Gabriel Perna
January 24, 2011

The emergence of data mining by third party advertisers has caused a national debate from privacy experts, lawmakers and browser supporters.

Mozilla’s Firefox, a popular browser company, has proposed a new feature that will prevent people’s personal information from getting mined and sold for advertising. The feature would users to set a browser preference that will broadcast their desire to opt-out of third party, advertising-based tracking. It would do this via a “Do Not Track” HTTP header with every click or page view in Firefox.

“When the feature is enabled and users turn it on, web sites will be told by Firefox that a user would like to opt-out of [online behavioral advertising]. We believe the header-based approach has the potential to be better for the web in the long run because it is a clearer and more universal opt-out mechanism than cookies or blacklists,” said Alex Fowler, Mozilla’s technology and privacy officer, in an emailed statement.

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