Introducing DoNotTrackMe (DNTMe) for online privacy made easy

DoNotTrackMeMore than 2.5 million people who have tried DoNotTrackPlus (DNT+) to stop online tracking (and if you were one of them, thanks!). Now, we’re excited to announce that DNT+ has become DoNotTrackMe (DNTMe).

It’s the same free privacy tool you know and love, but with some terrific upgrades:

Stronger tracker-blocking. DNTMe stops more than 50 additional trackers, so it protects you from more than 200 companies and 630 tracking technologies. We also removed the option to set advertiser opt-out cookies, a self-regulatory attempt at an opt-out method. They’re confusing to consumers because they involve downloading more cookies to get less tracking, something that’s difficult or impossible to verify and that our users rejected.

The new DNTMe interface.

A new look. We kept the features our users liked–such as a simple, easy-to-see browser icon that shows how many trackers are trying to mine your information on the site you’re visiting, an all-time count of trackers blocked, and blocking social button tracking—and gave a little facelift to everything else. A new chart visually displays how many trackers you’ve blocked since you started using DNTMe, and you can share your number from within DNTMe (don’t worry: these share buttons aren’t the kind that track you!). The layout is cleaner and easier to read, but if you’re a creature of habit, you can return to the old look in your settings.

Privacy news & alerts. An alert feature appears on the DNTMe icon when we have privacy news about the site you’re visiting. For example, if Twitter experienced a big password reset, DNTMe users visiting Twitter will see an alert in the DNTMe window directing them to a webpage explaining what happened and providing privacy tips and next steps.

Translation into 12 languages. Now it’s even easier for people who want privacy across the globe to use and interact with DNTMe. Our FAQs and support docs are translated, too.

A new name. We’ve brought DNTMe in line with our “Me” suite of products, including DeleteMe and MaskeMe (beta). We thought it made more sense to link our privacy tools in a clear way using their names. This change is part of a bigger Abine rebranding that you’ll start seeing in the next month or so.

DNTMe is available today as a free add-on for all the major browsers, so please give it a try! It only takes 1 click to be on your way to more online privacy.

Now, let’s answer some of the questions you might have about DNTMe:

How can DNTMe be free?

Your tireless privacy superheroes at Abine.

The typical online company makes money by advertising, selling data, or in other ways that reduce your privacy, but we don’t.

Our freemium model lets us make money as a leader in privacy protection without compromising your data. Quite simply, we rely on users liking and trusting our free software enough to try our paid solutions such as DeleteMe and MaskMe (beta) premium. We’re also backed by premiere venture capital firms Atlas Venture and General Catalyst Partners.

Our hope is that some of you will find value in these enhanced privacy services. It only takes a few people to keep our business growing. As you might have guessed, we don’t do advertising or data mining of any sort, ever.

Our motivation—and the only way we get paid—is if our users trust us to be responsible with their personal information. If we messed that up, we risk our entire business model. Our duty is to our customers and their privacy. Period.

Why should I care that I’m being tracked online?

Targeted ads that pop up on your screen or follow you around based on your browsing habits might seem useful, or at worst, a nuisance. But they’re much more than that. The bits and bytes about your personal life and Internet activities can be used against you to make important decisions, like whether you’re hired, what your credit limit or credit offers will be, your insurance premiums, even the prices you see online. Worse still, it can increase your risk of being the victim of a crime like identity theft, fraud, or stalking. Simply put, targeted ads aren’t the problem: data collection is.

Tracking companies build detailed, hidden online profiles out of your browsing activities over time, like the sites you visit most often, the things you buy and click, and your GPS location. They correlate that with other personal information you’ve provided offline for things like account signups, rebate cards, vehicle registrations, and marriage licenses. It’s all bought and sold in “grey markets” for personal data that you can’t see or access.  The end result: and you may never know why you’ve been turned down for that car loan, a better job, a dating site, or a new credit card provider.

There may be websites that you trust with your information and want to support, which is why DNTMe makes it easy to enable data sharing and advertising in 1 click. DNTMe will remember your preference the next time you visit these sites. We’re giving you the choice when it comes to advertising and data collection.

How does DNTMe work?

Put simply, DNTMe works by blocking these trackers’ requests for your personal information. We scan the web regularly to keep updated on which types of trackers are out there, and then we make a list of which trackers to block for DNTMe. If DNTMe sees any of these trackers on a website you’re visiting, it will thwart their mission of collecting your data. DNTMe recognizes the many forms that trackers come in—cookies, Javascript code, tiny images—and shuts them down.

DNTMe also broadcasts the Do Not Track header, something you may have heard about in the news because most of the major browsers, like Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, and Chrome, have included it as a menu option. We do this because we support the idea of the header and hope that it offers more protection in the future. But let’s be clear: despite its name, the Do Not Track Header does almost nothing to protect your privacy. Even though it’s a thoughtful idea and it would be nice if advertisers and trackers followed it, they currently ignore it. Only a handful of sites across the entire Internet, including Twitter, actually respect Do Not Track. Even if you click that Do Not Track button in your browser, websites and advertisers are still tracking you.

Do Not Track is like politely asking a rude person not to come into a club, but DNTMe is like a bouncer who folds his arms, stands right in that person’s way, and doesn’t let him pass. It’s a passive request versus an active response: which would you prefer?

Blocking tracking requests is the primary method that DNTMe uses to stop data collection because it’s the strongest one. DNTMe can tell when a website tracker is trying to collect your information, and it then completely blocks those tracking requests from ever being made.

When DNTM blocks trackers, they can’t collect your personal information.  And because they can’t collect your information, they aren’t able to make big data requests that can slow down your browser. The end result of blocking tracking is more privacy and faster browsing. Millions of users worldwide, including our Internet security partners who are powered by our blocking technology, depend on DNT+ to deliver effective privacy controls, and blocking is the most effective tactic.




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