After being implemented in all relevant browsers, the ‘Do Not Track’ mode does not seem to be very effective. It is a small indicator that warns web pages and their data analysis tools that you do not want your browsing to be tracked.
But, as DuckDuckGo warns – a browser that does not commercially exploit your browsing data – for some time now, “it is not effective” because it sends this preference to websites, but there is nothing that obliges them to comply with it. In fact, not even Google, Facebook or Twitter do it.
So ‘Do Not Track’ creates false expectations of privacy, which would be simply inviting users to think that their data is not being mined for different purposes. According to the search engine, 23% of US users recognize having this feature -which is optional- activated. Of these, up to 41% do not know that it is simply a preference without effect in the vast majority of cases.
Apple leaves aside this feature in Safari 12.1, in favor of its ‘Smart tracking prevention’ mode, which is now improved. The reason? In fact, the ‘Do Not Track’ label is serving the sites as another source of information to … follow the users.
The feature, which has already been eliminated in the beta versions of iOS and macOS, is now under the official message of “preventing its potential use as a tracking variable”. The new feature, included in iOS 12 and macOS Mojave, now makes it difficult to track long-term and shared cookies from multiple web pages. Apple will therefore turn to this feature to protect the privacy of its users.