Apple adds 'do not track' feature to Safari Web browser

Apple Inc. has included a "do not track" feature to its Safari Web browser that prevents advertisers and other websites from tracking a user's surfing habits.

The feature hasn't been rolled out to the public yet, but it has been added to Safari in the latest release of Apple's in-development operating system, Mac OS X Lion, which is currently available only to Apple-certified programmers, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Mac OS X Lion, and an updated version of Safari, are set to be released this summer. Apple has said Lion will include many new features that will bring its user experience a bit closer to that of its iOS operating system, which runs on the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch.

Mozilla Corp.'s Firefox 4 and Microsoft's Corp.'s Internet Explorer 9, two other popular Web browsers, already have similar "do not track" features.

Google Inc.'s Chrome browser does not have such a consumer tool, but third-party plug-ins have been created and can be downloaded free. Google has promised to roll out such a feature soon.

In February, Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Hillsborough) introduced a bill into Congress that would allow the Federal Trade Commission to force online advertisers to respect the wishes of users who do not want to be tracked for marketing purposes.

nathan.olivarezgiles@latimes.com

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