Twitter backs browser privacy project

image captionTwitter will look different if people take up the Do Not Track privacy option

Micro-blogging service Twitter has declared its support for an initiative that lets people browse the web without being monitored.

The "Do Not Track" initiative stops firms tracking people as they visit several different websites.

The monitoring is done to help advertisers craft ads to a user's preferences and lifestyle.

Blocking the tracking depends on websites honouring requests from users to browse anonymously.

Do Not Track (DNT) has been brokered by the US Federal Trade Commission which wants people to be able to tell websites to stop gathering and sharing data when they visit.

Sites that decide to ignore users' requests to stop tracking them could be subject to FTC action.

A DNT option is available in the recent versions of the Firefox, Internet Explorer and Safari browsers. Turning on Do Not Track in Google's Chrome involves installing an add-on.

For DNT to work, websites have to agree to discard any data they would otherwise collect and share about what people do when they visit a site.

In a help document, Twitter said it would now respect the Do Not Track option in all the browsers that supported it.

However, it said that those that turn on DNT would notice a change in the information Twitter presented to them.

"We stop collecting the information that allows us to tailor Twitter based on your recent visits to websites that have integrated our buttons or widgets," it said in its help document.

A survey carried out by Mozilla, which makes the Firefox web browser, found that 8.6% of the users of its desktop browser and 19% of mobile browser users were opted in to Do Not Track.

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