Pinterest, the popular pinboard-style photo-sharing website, has announced a couple of big changes, and among them is the Do Not Track (DNT) feature.
“We want you to feel like Pinterest is really yours—so in the next few weeks we’ll be trying out new ways to help you see more pins you love, and fewer you don’t,” the company explained in a blog post on Friday, adding that if users are interested, they will also suggest personalized pins and boards based on websites users visit that have the “Pin It” button.
But if they are not, they can turn off Personalization in their account settings, and opt for the DNT preference in their browser’s settings.
Do Not Track lets sites know if the visitor doesn’t want them not to collect his or her personal information via the site’s and third-party cookies, and its usefulness is somewhat limited as each site decides whether it will to honor the setting or not, and the number of sites that currently do is limited.
The issue of Do Not Track is very controversial. Advertising companies are naturally dead set against it, as it prevents both the collection of user data and personalized ad delivery.
But even though the feature is on by default on Internet Explorer 10, and all the major browsers allow users to set it, websites are not required to comply with the user’s Do Not Track request. In fact, some have explicitly said that they would comply to Do Not Track request sent by IE10 users.
Others, like Twitter, have publicly stated their support for the initiative and have agreed to honor the request when it is made, and even the US Federal Trade Commission has urged mobile platforms to consider offering a Do Not Track mechanism for smartphone users.