Google produces Chrome add-in to aid in opt-ing out of tracking cookies

Google may not have the best track record when it comes to privacy issues. But it seems they are trying to fix that with today's announcement. Today they announced the release of a Chrome extension to provide a centralized way for users to opt-out of various tracking cookies one might pick up when browsing the Internet.

The extension, called "Keep my opt-outs" as explained by Google, takes advantage of the self-regulation efforts of the online advertising market to let users permanently opt out tracking cookies from companies that participate in certain industry programs such as Network Advertising Initiative.

Google also said that it sees its solution as walking the thin line between privacy and keeping the ad-supported web afloat Sean Harvey and Rajas Moonka both Product Managers on the Chrome team at Google commented, saying "This new feature gives you significant control without compromising the revenue that fuels the Web content that we all consume every day". One privacy expert has dubbed Google's effort a "marginal improvement", but otherwise said some attempt was better than no attempt.

Google isn't stopping with Chrome, saying that they will be porting this extension to other browsers in the future. They also are releasing the code for the Chrome version so that it can be examined for flaws and possibly replicated by third parties for other browsers. This announcement follows another one made on Sunday by Mozilla saying they were taking a different approach using a Do-Not-Track HTTP header. Both have followed Microsoft's IE9 which is expected to have another form of protection against tracking, in the coming RC build that is reported to be coming on Friday.

For Chrome users the extension is available today in the Chrome Web Store here.

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11 Comments

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i don't think it will make it run faster but it will help a bit with your privacy. rakeshishere's solution could further help.

Heh an awesome business decision.

Google are one of the only ad providers who are able to accurately serve targeted ads without the use of cookies. When every launchpad is Google and your browser is pushing referrers to sites with Google AdWords embedded in to them; who needs a cookie?

This means that they get to monopolise the ad market even further by killing the method the competition works on. I like it. Impressive business work. I do find it interesting that the blog comments that ads are 'going too far' and just 'becoming creepy'... to this I say: nothing is quite as creepy as G-Mail offering to find me a paediatrician in an ad because I have invoices from childcare stores in my inbox

Nice job Google. I'm using it now! Even though I do trust Google either way, them tracking my browsing habits to deliver better ads for my style isn't evil anyways, but this is just another method to keep the tin-foil kids a little happier.

rakeshishere said,
Srware Iron is the perfect answer for this problem

SRWare Iron + up-to-date ablock.ini + NotScripts + no 3rd party cookies is the PERFECT solution.

Does anyone know how the compatibility is with any combination of Disconnect, AdBlock and FlashBlock already installed? Is Disconnect now redundant?

koppit said,
Doesn't stop IP tracking, but it's a nice step in the right direction.

No an addon made to stop tracking COOKIES will not stop ip tracking. Nothing on the client side could prevent that anyway.

SharpGreen said,

No an addon made to stop tracking COOKIES will not stop ip tracking. Nothing on the client side could prevent that anyway.

Exactly, and now it allows me to stop clearing my cache every other day... and maybe just once a week.