By: Duke Staff
It’s a familiar story. You go online to buy a gift for a friend or family member. After buying it, you return to browsing the web, only to discover that every single ad now showcases the item you just purchased.
It’s no secret that websites track what people click on these days. Facebook and Google have been making money on what people have been clicking on, what websites they are visiting and what products they are looking at, all to tailor advertisement experiences to each person.
While some may find this convenient, others can find it increasingly creepy and annoying to know that their every move is tracked online. What’s worse is that it is almost unavoidable, with many websites like Facebook requiring users to agree to let the site track what they are doing in order to use the site at all. While institutions like the NSA get mass protest, no one seems to mind Facebook recording people’s personal data to sell off,
However, a way out now exists. Firefox, the second most popular web browser behind Google Chrome, has just released an update that brings a major new feature to its private browsing option. Usually the safe haven of people wanting to search the web for unsavory sites, the new private browsing option now also blocks websites from tracking what the user is doing while it is active. This means no influx of ads trying to selling users something they don’t care about due to an accidental click or a search for a gift.
Web companies make a lot of money by selling data on users to companies. Google and Facebook make millions off of selling personal user data to ad companies. So the fact that a company has come around and provided an option that will make it lose money, all to provide a safe browsing alternative for its users, is quite admirable.
However, this move can also be seen as a public relations stunt, aimed at gaining more users in the long run.
In a day and age where more and more devices can connect to the internet, an option of privacy is something that should be implemented in all devices. While it is good that Firefox has taken the first step, it is now time for other companies to do the same and let users have the option to not have everything they’re doing be tracked online like some kind of Orwellian nightmare.
Chrome, Internet Explorer, Safari and any other web browsers should step up and follow Firefox’s example.
As profitable as the internet ad industry may be, many people do not want their every click to be tracked. The option to not be tracked should be available to everyone and anyone .