With privacy being a huge concern for those who utilize social networks Twitter is out to set itself in its own lane. You can opt out from being tracked on Twitter with Firefox. Check out the full story after the jump.
While privacy seems like a concept lost on Facebook, Twitter is showing that it understands its usersâ€™ need for security by supporting Mozilla Firefoxâ€™s â€œDo Not Trackâ€ feature, a day before Facebook is set to raise billions in its IPO.
Federal Trade Commission CTO Ed Felten announced Twitterâ€™s adoption of the feature today during a panel at Internet Week New York, the New York Times reports. Naturally, Twitter confirmed the news via a tweet.
Firefox users will now be able to enable the â€œDo No Trackâ€ feature â€“ which lets you opt out of cookies that track personal data and online movements â€” when viewing Twitterâ€™s website. Most Twitter users interact with the service via its site, but itâ€™s unclear if Twitter will be offering any additional privacy features for users of its mobile and desktop apps. Weâ€™ve dropped a line into the company for further clarification.
Ironically, the company also announced this afternoon that it will personalize suggestions on who to follow, even if youâ€™ve never used Twitter before. To do so, Twitter will take advantage of cookies within your web browser, though it wonâ€™t work if you have Do Not Follow enabled. The company says it will also explain to users how their suggestions are being personalized, and there will be other ways to disable the feature.
The FTC has been pushing businesses to adopt a â€œDo Not Trackâ€ privacy option since it released a major report in March. Twitterâ€™s support gives the FTCâ€™s position even more weight, and it will likely lead to many other businesses making a point of privacy. Anti-virus company AVG announced in March that it was adding a Do Not Track option to its software. (And Iâ€™m sure some businesses will adopt Do Not Track just to spite Facebookâ€™s sure-to-be obscenely successful IPO.)
â€œWeâ€™re excited that Twitter now supports Do Not Track and global user adoption rates continue to increase, which signifies a big step forward for Do Not Track and the Web,â€ wrote Alex Fowler, head of Mozillaâ€™s privacy and public policy, in a blog post today. He pointed out that 8.6 percent of Firefox desktop users, and 19 percent of Firefox mobile users, are using the browserâ€™s Do Not Track feature.
Given that so much of Facebookâ€™s business is based on tracking user data â€” even if youâ€™re logged out of the social network â€” I donâ€™t suspect weâ€™ll see it jump on board the Do Not Track movement. Twitterâ€™s support of the feature also clearly shows the difference between the two companies â€” Facebook wants to know everything about you, while Twitter is focused on being a communication service.
Twitter has been on a role with kudos-worthy announcements lately. The company unveiled the Innovatorâ€™s Patent Agreement last month, which keeps control of patents in the hands of engineers and designers, and is a declaration that Twitter canâ€™t use them for offensive patent lawsuits.