Online privacy company Abine, released a free tool that allows users to avoid being tracked as they surf the Web. The tool, Do Not Track Plus (DNT+), lets users see when they are being tracked and prevents social media sites, online advertising networks and other data collection companies from profiling them, Abine said. As an added benefit, the tool, which works seamlessly with Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome and Safari, promises to increase page load speeds by up to four times. “Our mission is to give every consumer control back over their private information online,” Bill Kerrigan, chief executive of Abine, said in a statement. Once installed, the tool allows users to see which companies are tracking them on each website they visit. Users can then decide whether they want to block or allow the tracking at the individual website level. With the tool, users can currently block 580 different tracking technologies and more than 200 tracking companies.”By doing so, consumers regain control of information while shopping, playing games, socializing, and more, and prevent real problems that can occur from profiling such as identity theft, reduced credit score ratings, and loss of employment,” Abine said in a statement.
DNT+ is the latest of numerous tools and optional web browser settings available that give users the ability to prevent online advertisers from tracking their web browsing activities. These online advertising opt-out tools are too confusing for most users, however, according to a report released last year by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University. Researchers tested nine commonly available opt-out tools, including those offered by the advertising industry, and found that they did not protect users’ privacy as much as was expected. Abine said it developed DNT+ superficially to address many of the Carnegie Mellon researchers’ concerns. The tool features an easy-to-use interface that spells out how it works and what it does. Users can download the tool without sharing any personal information and Abine does not collect or sell any of its customers’ personal data. The beta version of DNT+, released last year, was downloaded more than a million times. More information on the link below.