Have you ever noticed that when you log into your web account on a different computer that you still get the same advertisements? That’s no coincidence. What’s really happening is that advertisers are tracking the activity of all the web identities you use, and then link that browsing history to wherever you log in with those accounts; basically tracking your actions on whatever computer you use.
As scary or as intrusive as it might sound, advertisers know exactly which websites you visit, and can easily know when you are using a new computer or are logging in from a new location. There are a few ways that you can opt out of being tracked, but most of them involve long processes of adding yourself to advertiser’s no-tracking blacklists or getting special cookies loaded onto your browser.
Mozilla, however, has a better idea for its Firefox browser. Instead of having to go through a long process of opting out of being tracked, which most people won’t do or finish, there can be an opt-out button on the browser that tells advertisers to not track the user’s web activity.
The process works by Firefox offering the user a special header which will let them select whether or not they share their tracking information with third party advertisers. As of right now, however, this is only in the development stage, and will require advertisers to agree to follow this simple process of opting out, which might take some negotiating as advertisers might not want to lose so much of their tracking data. One thing is for sure, if and when Mozilla implements this feature, web users will have much more control over their data and just how much of their browsing habits will be shared with the advertising world.