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3 On Your Side: Web Browsers To Add ‘Do Not Track’ Buttons

jim-donovan-web Jim Donovan
Jim Donovan is a 13-time Emmy Award-winning consumer reporter w...
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By Jim Donovan

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – You know those ads that show up on your internet browser and seem to be tailor-made for you? You’ll soon be able to get rid of them if you want.

3 On Your Side consumer reporter Jim Donovan explains how internet providers are hoping to win back some trust.

In part due to more and more consumers wanting stronger privacy protections on mobile gadgets, internet services and other tools now do a better job of tracking what you do and where you go.

Sports fanatic Amanda Grund uses her iPhone for instant access to NBA stories and scores, and she’s not surprised she gets basketball ads through her browser.

“Everybody has your information. What can you do?” Grund said.

But federal officials say internet users should be able to choose whether they want their personal information collected and sold to advertisers.

On Thursday, White House officials announced that a coalition of internet giants have agreed to add a ‘Do Not Track’ button to their web browser.

Web providers will still track you, but will not use the information to send you customized ads.

The American Civil Liberties union says it’s a start.

“Now they have to take the next step by making it really meaningful by making ‘do not track’ actually mean ‘you won’t be tracked,’” said ACLU legislative counsel, Christopher Calabrese.

Web providers will still collect information about your internet habits and use it for market research and product development.

Mozilla’s Firefox first offered a do not track option last year, and Microsoft followed. Google resisted, but the search engine now says it will follow the industry agreement.

The internet companies have nine months to build Do Not Track buttons into their browsers.

Ultimately, the ACLU wants internet providers to provide a true Do Not Track but also that Congress make it not just a voluntary measure, but federal law.

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