According to a new report, it appears that the next version of Apple’s Safari browser is going to ditch the “Do Not Track” feature. The release notes for Safari v12.1 mentions that this version is going to remove support for “Do Not Track” to prevent potential use as a fingerprinting variable.
Apple’s decision to remove this feature from Safari will not have a major impact on your online privacy if you use Safari. It does have an alternative in place which was launched in 2017. The Intelligent Tracking Prevention feature in Safari relies on machine learning to pick up ad tracking behaviour and block advertisers from following the user’s movements online as they go from one website to the next.
Previous reports have shown that many people don’t know precisely what this feature does, which is also present in other browsers as well. What it simply does is send a voluntary signal to a website that you visit, indicating that the user does not wish to be tracked. However, websites are not bound to follow that signal so even if you have “Do Not Track” enabled, there’s nothing preventing the website from tracking you anyway.