Much has been said about Google’s decision against implementing Do-Not-Track functionality in the Chrome browser. It turns out Google may be a little closer to providing Do-Not-Track than you might think.
To see, copy this into your URL bar while using Chrome – chrome://settings/contentExceptions - and you will see this interface:
This allows you to manually set up Allow and Disallow rules for any number of specific domains or URL patterns. (See instructions here.) This is not unlike the Tracking Protection List feature in IE9 or our own TrackerBlock for Firefox, but limited to normal browser cookies. IE9 restricts all server interactions (include ad images, much to the chagrin of advertisers).
It would seem simple enough to allow the user to upload or select a list of rules within this interface. Like IE9 TPL’s, the user sees an icon in the URL bar that indicates when cookies have been blocked, and can create exceptions on the fly if wanted content is blocked.
Will Google put a better interface on this feature and enable Do-Not-Track in Chrome? If they did, would web users really find and understand it?
I’m not holding my breath, but the point is that the basic toolset is already present for more granular control over tracking in Chrome. As always, the crux of the matter is usability and findability. On those points, the ball is in Google’s court.