Twitter is the latest site to jump on the Do Not Track bandwagon. The privacy feature, which is currently in use in several major browsers including Mozilla's Firefox, allows users to opt-out of third-party tracking.
The Federal Trade Commission's chief technology officer Ed Felten revealed the news this morning during an Internet Week privacy panel and Twitter confirmed the announcement in a tweet.
The Federal Trade Commission's CTO, Ed Felten, just mentioned Twitter now supports Do Not Track. We applaud the FTC's leadership on DNT.
— Twitter (@twitter) May 17, 2012
Mozilla, who hosted the Do Not Track event, shared its excitement for Twitter's support in a blog post. According to the post, 8.6 percent of Firefox desktop users have adopted Do Not Track, while the feature has attracted more than double the amount of mobile users, at 19 percent.
As advertising becomes more personal, focusing on age, gender and interests, social networking sites in particular have been known to provide advertisers with user's information to tailor fit ad experiences. Facebook has probably done this to the largest degree, though Twitter has also forked over some user data in the past.
But with its recent actions, including its court motion in favor of protecting the tweets of an Occupy protestor, Twitter has shown its interest in supporting and defending its users.
When enabled, Do Not Track informs websites and advertisers that users do not want to be tracked for purposes such as behavioral advertising by allowing users to opt-out of cookies that collect personal information. Users can turn on the feature in their Internet browser's privacy settings, and sites, such as Twitter, will prevent users from being tracked in any way while browsing.
Other websites that have voiced their approval of Do Not Track include AOL (The Huffington Post's parent company), Google, Microsoft and Yahoo.
Microsoft's Internet Explorer was the first to comply with FTC demands last year when it released the Do Not Track option. Firefox joined the crusade shortly after, and other major browsers have since jumped on board.
Apple's Safari includes the feature in its soon-to-be released 5.2 version, while Google has plans to add the feature to Chrome later this year -- a preliminary extension is available for web surfers to try out the feature now. For Opera users, Do Not Track will be available in its Opera 12 browser release.