Google has implemented Do Not Track (DNT) in the latest developer build of Chrome, signaling that the feature could soon make its way to the Google browser.
Do Not Track, a web header that tells websites when a user wants to opt out of behavioral tracking, has slowly been gaining support from privacy advocates and technology companies over the past few years. Google, however, has been relatively slow to implement it in Chrome, getting beaten to the chase by Internet Explorer 10, Safari, and Firefox. But the feature may become a competitive advantage for web browsers soon, and Google can’t ignore it for too much longer.
But while DNT could make it to Chrome at some point soon, it’s extremely unlikely that Google will go the Microsoft route and turn it on by default. That’s because, unlike Microsoft’s, much of Google’s business is ad-supported. And Google isn’t likely to sacrifice its ad business just to make Chrome a better browser.
So for Google, as with any web tracking-based ad network, the ideal solution is this: Allow the relatively few people who care about web tracking to opt out while hoping that the vast majority of web users don’t care enough to pay attention.
Ultimately, however, the inclusion of Do Not Track in Chrome will be an uncomfortable one, a necessary conflict between Google’s advertising business and its web browser efforts. And for that reason, it’s unlikely to go all that smoothly.