Firefox 4 to include Do-Not-Track feature

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Mountain View, Calif.—Mozilla Corp. will include a Do-Not-Track feature in the newest version of its Firefox Internet browser, in keeping with a recent Federal Trade Commission recommendation aimed at protecting Internet user privacy.

Mozilla's move comes two weeks after Microsoft Corp. announced the same for its upcoming Internet Explorer version 9 browser.

When implemented with the upcoming release of Firefox version 4, marketers that have relied on behavioral tracking for online advertising purposes will have to adjust to the two most popular Internet browsers both offering users the ability to opt out of all tracking, causing behaviorally targeted ads to go dark for them.

The FTC, citing fears about the possible misuse of private consumer data, suggested earlier this month that a universal opt-out feature, similar to a pop-up blocker, be made part of all Internet browsers. The commission also recommended the creation of a do not track registry, similar to the current National Do Not Call Registry regulating telemarketing.

The recommendations strike at the heart of a self-regulatory program introduced in October by several marketing and advertising organizations, including the American Association of Advertising Agencies, Direct Marketing Association and Interactive Advertising Bureau, offering users information about behavioral ads as they are served, giving them the ability to opt out.

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