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Home » Internet » Web browser makers developing new tools to protect privacy

Web browser makers developing new tools to protect privacy

Amid growing pressure from government regulators and consumer advocacy groups, Web browser makers are developing new ways to help consumers protect their privacy online.

Google and Firefox developer Mozilla in recent days have announced new tools in various states of development that will help users of their browsers better control and restrict the data online advertisers collect about them. Microsoft, which makes Internet Explorer, the most popular browser application, announced a similar move last month.

The moves follow rising publicity and concern about the tracking of consumers’ online activities by advertisers and corporations. The intensive data collection allows advertisers to put together detailed dossiers on consumers — sometimes containing sensitive information about their health or financial concerns — often without their knowledge.

Last month, both the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Commerce issued reports on online privacy practices and raised the possibility of government action to ensure consumers are given greater control over their data and more information about how it’s being used.

The browser makers “all are moving forward. That’s great,” said Justin Brookman, director of consumer privacy for the Center for Democracy and Technology, an online rights group.

Brookman noted that each browser maker is approaching the issue of consumer privacy a bit differently.

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