Do Not Track has been around for quite some time, but it appears to be at the end of its lifespan.
As was first noted by MacRumors on Wednesday, Apple has decided to remove the Do Not Track feature from Safari. At the time of publication the feature is not present in the latest beta of iOS 12.2, which indicates it won’t be present in the public launch later this year. Apple’s release notes related to the removal read as:
“Removed support for the expired Do Not Track standard to prevent potential use as a fingerprinting variable.”
For those who might have forgotten Do Not Track even exists, it’s something that first debuted with OS X Lion way back in 2011. It’s designed to be a preference for software users to let websites and advertisers know that they don’t want to be tracked online. However, it was always optional for those websites and advertisers to actually agree to not track that person. The fact that the companies were always able to ignore the request from the user made the feature relatively useless.
As noted in the original report, Apple has removed the Do Not Track feature from the latest Safari Technology Preview this week as well, indicating the feature will also be dropped from the upcoming macOS 10.14.4 version of the browser in due time for the public.
Since the roll out of Do Not Disturb, things have changed quite a bit on Apple’s end. Specifically, the company has far more dedicated means to let Apple device owners not be tracked while browsing the web, as well as blocking advertisements. That includes Intelligent Tracking Prevention, which almost immediately put a damper on ad firms’ revenue.
It’s about time Do Not Disturb was phased out. It has been a long time coming, and Apple’s new rules are far better for the end user.