Security News

Twitter adds Do Not Track, but tracks you anyway

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Twitter has tweeted saying that the FTC said that Twitter is using “do not track.” Yes, that sounds a bit confusing, and it might have been better if the company had just issued a statement or a press release…

A number of web browsers use this system, initially suggested by the Mozilla Foundation, which tells the browser, when a user opts out of tracking, to not set cookies on web sites that respect their choice. Currently, Firefox and Chrome support do not track, and Safari will support it in a future version.

At the same time, Twitter has said that the company will now offer tailored suggestions for you to follow based on “accounts followed by other Twitter users and visits to websites in the Twitter ecosystem.” This suggests that Twitter is tracking web usage, perhaps but the use of Tweet buttons on web sites. While this helps suggest other accounts to follow, one can only wonder what Twitter might do with that data.

So it seems that Twitter will allow you to not be tracked on the Twitter web site, but it’s not clear if this choice will affect tracking on third-party sites.

Note that you can turn this off on Twitter’s Settings page:

However, some users don’t see this option, but rather a text saying:

The feature to tailor Twitter based on your recent website visits is not available to you.

So it is possible that this has not been activated for all users yet.