Mozilla at work on mobile Do Not Track

The Boot to Gecko project aims to build convenient Do Not Track settings into an open-source mobile operating system.

By Alex Wawro, PC World |  Security

"In many existing smartphone systems, security is an afterthought and the primary means of security is the fact that a single silo owner controls and 'reviews' all apps," says Andreas Gal, director of research and development at Mozilla. "But in the world of the Web, there is no central authority, so we have to build privacy and security into the very basic architecture [of Boot to Gecko] from the start."

Even better, the Boot to Gecko project is open to the public. "All aspects of the design and implementation of B2G are open, including privacy and security," Gal says. "Everyone can participate and review our work, and our every technical decision takes place in the public eye."

Unfortunately, Boot to Gecko can do no more than broadcast your preferences with regard to being tracked. Since Do Not Track is a voluntary program based on the honor system, there is no mechanism for ensuring that the apps you access and the sites you visit will honor your request for privacy. Until we see federal legislation that requires companies to respect and comply with Do Not Track requests from consumers (similar to California's proposed Do Not Track law), you have no guarantee that your favorite apps and websites won't track your habits and breach your privacy. But plenty of free software for protecting your privacy is available online, so practice safe surfing and don't download apps from untrustworthy sources.


Originally published on PC World |  Click here to read the original story.
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