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Yahoo! websites to get do-not-track tool
March 31, 2012
First Published: 16:36 IST(31/3/2012)
Last Updated: 17:06 IST(31/3/2012)
Yahoo! promised to deploy a "Do Not Track solution" across its global network. Photo: AFP/Nicholas Kamm
Yahoo! on Thursday said that it will soon add a tool to its websites that allow visitors to signal that they don't want their online activity tracked for ad targeting or other ends.

The California-based Internet pioneer promised to deploy a "Do Not Track solution" across its global network, including online advertising units Right Media and interclick, by mid-year.

"This site-wide DNT mechanism will provide a simple step for consumers to express their ad targeting preferences to Yahoo!," the company said in a release that did not provide details regarding how the tool would work.

Yahoo! said it would provide privacy innovation in a way that continued to allow free online services supported by advertising.

Yahoo! maintained that it "looks forward to continuing the dialogue with policymakers to discuss common sense solutions that protect user privacy while maintaining the free Internet model."

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) called for Internet users to be given an easy-to-use "Do Not Track" feature in a report released this week backing tighter online privacy laws.

The FTC put its seal on recommendations for businesses and US legislators to better protect people's privacy in "an era of rapid change."

"Companies should give consumers the option to decide what information is shared about them, and with whom," the report said.

"This should include a Do-Not-Track mechanism that would provide a simple, easy way for consumers to control the tracking of their online activities."

Progress is being made on a do-not-track tool that would prevent online services or advertisers from recording people's Internet activities without their permission, according to the FTC.

Allowing people to roam the Internet without having their behavior tracked for targeted advertising has become a hot topic, with pressure mounting for US legislators to pass laws better safeguarding online privacy.

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