by JASMINE ELSHAMY Staff Writer
Twitter decided to give users the option of whether they want to be tracked or not. They have joined with Mozilla, the maker of the Firefox web browser, to help give the users this ability. The thriving social network is doing this by enabling the “Do Not Track” feature on the Firefox browser, unlike many other networking sites like Google+ and Facebook, whose business models rely mostly on collecting users’ data. Some browsers, including Firefox, Microsoft Corp’s Internet Explorer, and Apple Inc’s Safari, include a “Do Not Track” option that sends a line of code to websites indicating the user does not want to be tracked. However, under current regulations, it is up to the website to honor the requests. “This is a really great option for all Twitter users because most people don’t realize the danger that they put themselves in by putting out so much information publicly. Much of it can be used against them. Especially with people our age, it is imperative to watch what you put on the Internet. We are going to be applying to college soon; what are they going to think of your tweets concerning your awesome Saturday night spent getting high at a party?” says freshman Lindsey Frankel. Even though Facebook has begun to allow their users to know what information companies take of theirs, there still is not a specific way to completely disable this invasion of privacy. That is not something most users would like if they actually knew of this. On the other hand, Twitter has been doing things in favor of their users other than the “Do Not Track” option lately. For example, they have recently filed a court motion to protect one if its users’ information who used Twitter during the Occupy Wall Street protests. Twitter was also applauded because in April, they announced the Innovator’s Patent Agreement, a new type of patent agreement that gives legal rights to engineers who are awarded a patent, stopping any potential for a patent to be used for offensive litigation in the future. Mozilla made a blog post to their web site in praise of Twitter. They noted that the embracing of the “Do Not Track” option has risen from 8.6 percent of desktop users and 19 percent of mobile users. “We’re excited that Twitter now supports Do Not Track and global user adoption rates continue to increase, which signifies a big step forward for Do Not Track and the Web,” Mozilla said in the post. Online tracking through bits of code embedded in websites known as “cookies” underpins the business models for lots of Internet companies. Major online destinations that have endorsed “Do Not Track” include Yahoo, which said in March it would allow consumers “to express their ad targeting preferences to Yahoo” beginning this summer. “I hope all social networks begin to do this. I know I don’t want random companies stalking my profile and taking my information without my permission,” says freshman Alyssa Wence.