Followers are what makes TwitterTM work. A tweet without followers is like a tree that falls in the forest and no one is around to see it — does it make a sound?
But while you may want more followers, you probably don’t want more trackers. That’s why Twitter was one of the first large sites to recognize Do Not Track (DNT), a browser setting that tells companies that you don’t want your activities across different websites to be combined into a single profile for ads and such. Twitter has access to this kind of cross-site data due to the proliferation of Twitter buttons and social widgets across millions of websites.
Twitter explains: “When you turn on DNT in your browser, we stop collecting the information that allows us to tailor Twitter based on your recent visits to websites that have integrated our buttons or widgets.” So if you have blocked tracking through Privacyfix, you are already sending the Do Not Track signal. If not, you can also make the selection in Twitter’s controls (look under “Personalization”).
As with nearly all privacy choices, there’s a tradeoff. If you don’t allow Twitter to collect this data, they also won’t be able to personalize “Who to follow” suggestions. Personally, the list of people I follow should be enough for Twitter to customize these suggestions, without the need to collect my overall browsing history, too.
August 5, 2013