The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Apple has added a “do-not-track” feature to the version of the company’s Safari web browser included in the latest developer release of Mac OS X 10.7 Lion. As the article says, “Do-not-track tools in browsers automatically send out messages to websites and online-advertising networks requesting that users’ movements around the Web not be tracked.”
We initially reported on this in January, when Mozilla proposed such a solution, then again when Google joined the club. It’s clear that this feature is going to impose itself, as Microsoft also offers it in the latest version of Internet Explorer.
Whether web sites will respect this feature or not is another story. It’s in the interests of many to ignore it, but the Wall Street Journal mentions that “Rep. Cliff Stearns (R, Fla.) introduced privacy legislation that would encourage companies to offer more information to consumers about how they are being tracked,” so this non-tracking feature may end up being useful, at least for those web sites hosted in the United States.