Apple Removing Safari’s ‘Do Not Track’ Feature


It appears that the next version of Apple’s Safari browser is going to ditch the “Do Not Track” feature. The release notes for Safari v12.1 mention that this version is going to remove “support for the expired Do Not Track standard to prevent potential use as a fingerprinting variable.”

Apple’s decision to remove this feature from Safari will not have a major impact on your online privacy if you use Safari. It does have an alternative in place which was launched in 2017. The Intelligent Tracking Prevention feature in Safari relies on machine learning to pick up on ad tracking behavior and block advertisers from following the user’s movements online as they go from one website to the next.

Reports have shown that many people don’t know precisely what the Do Not Track feature, which is present in other browsers as well, does. What it simply does is send a voluntary signal to a website that you visit, indicating that the user does not wish to be tracked.

Websites are not bound to follow that signal so even if you have Do Not Track enabled, there’s nothing preventing the website from tracking you anyway. You can wager a lot of sites already do that, disregarding the Do Not Track signal entirely.

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