Twitter adds 'Do Not Track' feature
| by Padmini Harchandrai |
Twitter announced a new feature for new users, which allowed the microblogging service to dig into the user's browsing history to recommend people to follow. The company announced in a blog post that they generally recommend the same people to follow to all new users. However, someone who is into cooking may not want to follow the same people that someone who likes football would follow. Twitter has launched a few experiments to remedy the situation. For one, new users might see a list of people that Twitter recommends they follow along with a few selected tweets from those accounts. This experiment is not available to everyone and Twitter says that if you are part of the experiment, you'll find a Twitter that's more relevant to you right from when you sign up.
Twitter lets you say 'no' to tracking
Current users already see tailored suggestions on their Twitter pages for people to follow. These suggestions are based on followed users as well as websites visited in the Twitter ecosystem. Twitter says, "We receive visit information when sites have integrated Twitter buttons or widgets, similar to what many other web companies — including LinkedIn, Facebook and YouTube — do when they’re integrated into websites. By recognizing which accounts are frequently followed by people who visit popular sites, we can recommend those accounts to others who have visited those sites within the last ten days."
However, Twitter recognizes the privacy breach such a feature could potentially cause, so they've integrated a Federal Trade Commission recommended feature, 'Do Not Track'. Those who do not want Twitter to track their browsing history have the option to turn the feature off by turning on the 'Do Not Track' cookie-blocking option in their Mozilla browser. New users will also see an option, 'Tailor Twitter based on my recent website visits' and existing users will see a new 'personalization' section in their account settings. Through these options, users can opt to not have Twitter track them as well. Users can even choose to turn off tailored suggestions on their preview pages.
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