Apple Mac OS X 10.7 Lion New Feature: Do-not-track Privacy Tool

Developers sifting through the latest build of Mac OS X Lion have found a new feature, a privacy tool in the Safari web browser. This means that Apple’s browser would join with other main browsers in committing to the do-not-track tool, which would mean that websites would not be able to track user activity online for marketing purposes.

The tool works by automatically asking websites and advertisers not to track a user’s online movements but it does require the cooperation of online-advertising networks. These networks currently tailor ads using this tracking and have yet to come to an agreement on how to handle the do-not-track system. The news comes to us from a report by Nick Wingfield over on The Wall Street Journal. The current build of Mac OS X Lion is only available to developers, with the public release due in the summer.

Apple, along with Microsoft and Mozilla, have all committed to support for this capability with the one major exception being Google’s Chrome web browser. Google does though offer a download called Keep My Opt-Outs. Currently there is a lot of discussion about online privacy and on Wednesday privacy legislation urging companies to give customers more information about tracking, was introduced by Rep. Cliff Stearns (R, Fla).

Meanwhile Josh Lowensohn over on Cnet reports that Apple has yet to confirm if the do-not-track tool will come to the current Mac OS X and notes we expect to hear more about the new OS at WWDC in June, such as price, release date and more. Do you think the do-not-track feature is a must and would put a lot of users’ minds at rest when browsing online? Let us know your thoughts on this.