Safari on Mac OS X 10.7 Lion to include do-not-track tool

Posted:
in macOS edited January 2014
Apple has added a do-not-track privacy tool to the Safari web browser in Mac OS X 10.7 Lion that would prevent websites from monitoring users' activity, according to a new report.



Apple has joined the makers of other major browsers, with the exception of Google, in supporting a do-not-track feature, The Wall Street Journal reports. Developers have discovered the tool in the latest build of Mac OS X 10.7 Lion, Developer Preview 2, which was issued two weeks ago.



According to the report, the do-not-track feature, which sends messages to websites and advertising networks requesting that the user not be tracked, requires cooperation from marketers and website owners to function properly. Major online-advertising networks have yet to agree on how to handle the system.



The Mozilla-backed do-not-track standard has reportedly not yet been included as a preference option in the Mac OS X Lion prerelease version of Safari, though it can be activated from the Develop contextual menu.







Privacy matters



Online privacy has been a hot topic as of late, as politicians, security researchers and lawyers have pressed Apple and its partners for information on how both Mac OS X and iOS handle user data.



Last week, a federal grand jury served subpoenas to several prominent mobile developers for Apple's iOS and Google's Android as part of an investigation into the sharing of user data with ad networks.



Apple CEO Steve Jobs admitted last summer that the company had been "naive" about how some companies were using the data they collected. Developers had violated Apple's privacy policy by forwarding device and location data to a third party network. The practice drew Jobs' ire last year when Flurry Analytics published the data as evidence of the then-unannounced iPad.



"It's violating every rule in our privacy policy," said Jobs. "We went through the roof about this. So we said: No, we're not going to allow this. It's violating our privacy policies and its pissing us off that they're publishing data about our new products."



Last June, two U.S. Congressmen requested information from Apple regarding its privacy policy after an erroneous report suggested that Apple had begun tracking users' locations.



In February, security experts revealed that Apple had invited them to examine a prerelease version of Mac OS X Lion as part of a renewed commitment to security.



Researchers disclosed last month a vulnerability in Safari after security analyst Charlie Miller demonstrated a hack at the "Pwn2Own" hacking contest. At the competition, analysts also succeeded in hacking the iPhone, Internet Explorer and Firefox.



For more information on upcoming features in Mac OS X 10.7 Lion, see AppleInsider's extensive coverage: Inside Mac OS X Lion.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 33
    luphluph Posts: 14member
    Neat, but won't use it until they merge the URL + Search bars like Chrome.
  • Reply 2 of 33
    Quote:

    Apple CEO Steve Jobs admitted last summer that the company had been "naive" about how some companies were using the data they collected. Developers had violated Apple's privacy policy by forwarding device and location data to a third party network. The practice drew Jobs' ire last year when Flurry Analytics published the data as evidence of the then-unannounced iPad.



    "It's violating every rule in our privacy policy," said Jobs. "We went through the roof about this. So we said: No, we're not going to allow this. It's violating our privacy policies and its pissing us off that they're publishing data about our new products.



    I could, but I won't.
  • Reply 3 of 33
    bertpbertp Posts: 274member
    I hope the 'do not track' feature becomes well established among web browsers. I will stop here before I start ranting about data collection on the internet!
  • Reply 4 of 33
    john.bjohn.b Posts: 2,716member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    that would let those web devs with scruples honor your monitoring preferences



    T;FTFY. It's like a stop sign; just because it's there doesn't mean everyone will follow the rules.
  • Reply 5 of 33
    tipootipoo Posts: 989member
    Is there still no word on GPU acceleration in Safari? I know it has some rudimentary support, but its nowhere near as robust as the new browsers engines. Safari 5.1 on Lion doesn't seem to have it either. Any word on Safari 6?
  • Reply 6 of 33
    patranuspatranus Posts: 366member
    I love the part about the browser 'asking' a website not to track it.

    Does anyone actually think Google will listen to this "request"?

    I mean, Google only makes money by tracking people.....
  • Reply 7 of 33
    damn_its_hotdamn_its_hot Posts: 1,182member
    Too bad it has to be one of those cooperative protocols - I can see where it would take some major revisions to how most protocols work (if not all of them). Will be a nice feature - maybe there will be a companion API that will allow querying the host for privacy status. Still having a hard time imagining how you can avoid having something piggyback if it really wants to.
  • Reply 8 of 33
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Patranus View Post


    I love the part about the browser 'asking' a website not to track it.

    Does anyone actually think Google will listen to this "request"?

    I mean, Google only makes money by tracking people.....



    Indeed. Google could support it in Chrome as a show of good faith to the competition, but that doesn't require them to support it in their ads, thus retaining their primary source of income.
  • Reply 9 of 33
    damn_its_hotdamn_its_hot Posts: 1,182member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Patranus View Post


    I love the part about the browser 'asking' a website not to track it.

    Does anyone actually think Google will listen to this "request"?

    I mean, Google only makes money by tracking people.....



    Not too hard to imagine the Google looking back and saying OK with a nod and then a quick turn of the head to a buddy a wing and a grin. Naw - I forgot they do no evil.
  • Reply 10 of 33
    bertpbertp Posts: 274member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mbarriault View Post


    Indeed. Google could support it in Chrome as a show of good faith to the competition, but that doesn't require them to support it in their ads, thus retaining their primary source of income.



    The major browsers, excepting Chrome, are supporting the 'do not track' feature.



    http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives..._not_track.php
  • Reply 11 of 33
    Looks to me like Apple is leading the way, again. Good for them. This will put some pressure on other companies to do the same.
  • Reply 12 of 33
    myapplelovemyapplelove Posts: 1,515member
    I 've almost (and very reluctantly) switched completely over to chrome, because safari is such a dog on my mba 11" (with 4gbs of ram...)



    I won't have it in this day and age to have my typing slowed down after opening 10 or so tabs...



    So, apple has some work to do here. Do not track tool sounds cool, but let's not leave it to that.
  • Reply 13 of 33
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by christopher126 View Post


    Looks to me like Apple is leading the way, again. Good for them. This will put some pressure on other companies to do the same.



    I think the pressure is on Apple and Google to support the feature. If you read the article carefully, Google has not implemented the do-not-track feature, and Apple will release it with Safari on Liion. Firefox 4 and Internet Explorer 9, both, already have the feature implemented.



    Firefox 4 = implemented & released for public

    Internet Explorer 9 = implemented & released for public

    Safari for Lion = implemented (still in development)

    Chrome = unknown, not yet
  • Reply 14 of 33
    bertpbertp Posts: 274member
    Deleted
  • Reply 15 of 33
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by John.B View Post


    T;FTFY. It's like a stop sign; just because it's there doesn't mean everyone will follow the rules.



    Except that a cop won't pull you over and give you a ticket for not following this. Also it is in your best interest to stop if you value your car and your life. It is not in advertisers best interest to follow these rules.
  • Reply 16 of 33
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by KevinN206 View Post


    I think the pressure is on Apple and Google to support the feature. If you read the article carefully, Google has not implemented the do-not-track feature, and Apple will release it with Safari on Liion. Firefox 4 and Internet Explorer 9, both, already have the feature implemented.



    Firefox 4 = implemented & released for public

    Internet Explorer 9 = implemented & released for public

    Safari for Lion = implemented (still in development)

    Chrome = unknown, not yet



    Yep, you're right. By "other companies" I meant those companies trying to collect and use private information.



    In other words, it will become more and more frowned upon to collect private information. Perhaps wishful thinking on my part, but I personally, am more inclined to do business with companies that respect my privacy where their 'default' position is not to exploit my privacy.



    Best
  • Reply 17 of 33
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Are websites actually abiding by this feature?
  • Reply 18 of 33
    bertpbertp Posts: 274member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by myapplelove View Post


    I 've almost (and very reluctantly) switched completely over to chrome, because safari is such a dog on my mba 11" (with 4gbs of ram...)



    I won't have it in this day and age to have my typing slowed down after opening 10 or so tabs...



    So, apple has some work to do here. Do not track tool sounds cool, but let's not leave it to that.



    Have you tried 'Reset Safari' under the Safari menu? Carefully review the options, and click on '?' in the lower left corner of the floating window before doing the reset.



    You may also have a plug-in or extension that is causing problems, or insufficient memory.



    You could try creating a temporary new account, and see how Safari does 'plain vanilla'. If it runs well at that point, then check out your modifications one by one.
  • Reply 19 of 33
    bertpbertp Posts: 274member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    Are websites actually abiding by this feature?



    I have not seen any information on your point yet. I am hoping the practice will become established.
  • Reply 20 of 33
    myapplelovemyapplelove Posts: 1,515member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by BertP View Post


    Have you tried 'Reset Safari' under the Safari menu? Carefully review the options, and click on '?' in the lower left corner of the floating window before doing the reset.



    You may also have a plug-in or extension that is causing problems, or insufficient memory.



    You could try creating a temporary new account, and see how Safari does 'plain vanilla'. If it runs well at that point, then check out your modifications one by one.



    thanks for the help, I am going to take your advice and try the last route. I have not reset safari, as I don't feel I should lose historical data to fix this, I have of course cleared some caches. As for plug ins, I do have my eyes on something that might be causing delays (cosmopod) but console doesn't really output any error other than loading it on safari startup.



    Having said all that, I do believe safari is a dog compared to chrome at this moment (and I hate to say this, because chrome was the last thing (or anything google for that matter) I would like installed). Almost everything is slower in load times, and extensions work much better in chrome. Seems like google has tons of people working on it and apple is slightly lagging with their relatively small safari team...



    what are other peoples' experiences here?
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