Introducing DoNotTrackPlus: Keep your personal information personal

Note: As of December 2012, Do Not Track Plus has been renamed, revamped, and re-released as DoNotTrackMe!

Give us the chance to convince you why our new free browser tool will give you the most control you’ve ever had over your internet life.

Do Not Track Plus (DNT+) peels back the cover on invisible online tracking and targeted advertising, stopping you from being followed online.  And yes, you are being followed:  online tracking is a very real thing, even though you can’t see it.  It’s time to stop sharing your private information with people you don’t know!

The benefits of using DNT+

  • Stop advertisers from knowing what you do online, including your site visits, shopping interests, hobbies, clicks, and geographic location
  • Load certain websites up to 4 times faster
  • Block 580 different tracking technologies from over 215 tracking companies (and that list is always growing)
  • Get the good parts of Facebook and social networking without the bad:  block tracking but still voluntarily share and post (and DNT+ is the only available blocking tool that still lets consumers see and use social buttons)
  • See a total count of how many times you’ve blocked tracking since you started using DNT+
  • Browse in true privacy, far beyond what built-in “private browsing modes” offer
  • Easily see which companies and technologies are trying to track you on each site you visit

There must be a catch, right?  How could DNT+ be free?

No catch.  We have a freemium model, meaning that we offer a free base service (DNT+) and separate paid upgrades, such as our DeleteMe service that removes our customers’ personal information from public websites.  We are also working on another software offering called MaskMe that’s currently in beta, but it will have premium upgradeable features like forwarded emails and phone numbers.  The business model is to make awesome products that people love, have lots & lots of free users (and DNT+ will always be free), and then if some of our users want to support us by buying some sort of premium upgrade down the line, we’re good.

We’re also completely dedicated to your privacy, so don’t collect or track anything when you get DNT+ (unlike *cough cough* those other companies with shady ties to marketing people) .  The only thing we can see is that a download took place by a certain IP address so we can figure out how many users we have.  There are no forms to fill out and no tracking of any kind.  In fact, the only connection we ever have to the software is when it asks our servers for updates on new trackers to block.  That’s it!

Why should you care about online tracking?

Online tracking is a lot like this scenario:  you’re browsing online like you always do, but there’s a guy you don’t know standing behind you, looking over your shoulder.  He’s watching everything you do and keeping notes, notes that he’ll use to build a profile of you:  the pictures you upload, the things you like on Facebook, the sites you visit most, the things you like to buy, where you live, and more.  He’s going to sell this profile of you, with all your browsing information, to other guys you don’t know.

You wouldn’t be okay with this guy peering over your shoulder in real life, so why should you put up with it on the internet?  Don’t!  Stop giving advertisers, identity thieves, and spammers the advantage by blocking online tracking.  All this tracking & data collection creates a “double you,” a virtual you that advertisers & trackers built and try to target ads to.  But unfortunately, a lot of their data is inaccurate, out of date, or out of context, and the real you suffers because of the virtual you. Some of the real, demonstrated harms include:

  • Lowered credit scores and credit limits
  • Denial of insurance coverage, or more expensive coverage
  • Lost job opportunities, whether you aren’t hired to begin with or you’re fired because of something online
  • Identity theft (one particularly harmful example happened in 2005, when identity thieves pretending to be small businesses were given access to ChoicePoint’s database of over 163,000 consumers’ financial records)
  • Filter bubbles (to sum up this concept, we all see different things based on our targeted advertising profiles, which means we’re losing a collective understanding of the news and the world, things that are key to the democratic process)
  • Censorship of speech and association due to fear that what we do online will come back to haunt us
  • Erosion of the 4th Amendment right to privacy, particularly society’s collective understanding of when an expectation of privacy is “reasonable”

You’ll be shocked to see how many different companies are monitoring you on a single website.  Check out our “Top in Tracking” below for a preview of what you’ll come across.  And because loading all of these tracking companies’ data takes up your computer’s resources and your time, blocking them with DNT+ lets you load certain websites up to four times faster!

More about how DNT+ works

Although it is a powerful privacy tool, DNT+ is simple, user-friendly, and free.  Its icon sits in the corner of your browser and displays a number on each site you visit, which represents how many companies are attempting to gather information about you.

By expanding the DNT+ window, you can see more details on the specific companies and technologies attempting to track you, as well as an all-time count of blocked tracking attempts.

Download DNT+ today and take charge of your personal privacy once and for all.  It’s available today for Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox, and Safari browsers.

Learn more about how DNT+ works here, and check out what people are saying about it. Don’t hesitate to say hello if you have any questions, comments, or suggestions!




54 comments shared on this article:

  • A says:

    It’s great to see such addon for improving privacy. Although, an addon has the potential of tracking *everything* you do on your browser, thus becoming a greater concern.
    I would expect a company concerned with giving back the privacy to the users to act transparently, as opposed to the darkness in which many companies prefer us to be (specially noticeable in how they choose to disclose some information when they are forced to, there are some good examples in your site).
    As the only way to know what an addon really does to the browser is to look at its code… then, why is it minimized?

    • Sarah Downey says:

      We regularly let security professionals and other independent people review our source code. If you’d like to do that, email our CTO Andy at Andrew at Abine dot com. It’s obfuscated/minimized because A), it decreases download size, and B), we’re a privately-held company and we worked hard on our software, so although we’ll give it to users for free, we’re not going to give it to competitors.

  • jim scott says:

    Thanks so much for providing this software, it’s great.

  • Anand says:

    Any way to block the tracking – but to continue and allow the ads to appear?

    • Sarah Downey says:

      This is a good question and a complicated issue. Our goal with DNT+ is to continue to allow ads that DON’T track you. We don’t want to disrupt the financial ecosystem of the Internet; we want to keep it free.

      There’s a big difference between content-based online advertising and targeted advertising. Seeing personalized ads on Pandora based on the music you’re listening to is called content-based advertising:  it’s based on the content you’re seeing right then, and it makes sense.  People expect that.  I happen to think it’s totally fine and even helpful in some cases.

      In contrast, targeted advertising isn’t based on what’s on the page you’re visiting, but what was on other sites and pages you visited before that one.  So as an example, I’m looking up workout equipment on Amazon before I come to a blog, so I then see workout-based banner ads on that blog (which probably has nothing at all to do with exercise).  Targeted advertising refers to the advertising networks that follow you around and target you with ads based on your behavior, not your current site location. 

      One of the biggest distinctions is that your data is leaving the realm of a single company and trading hands, being sold around, etc., which is when the potential for abuse really grows.

      Unfortunately, many ads–even non-tracking ones–are built with tracking technology embedded, so DNT+ ends up blocking some of those “by accident.” That’s not what we want to do. Listen up, ad companies: make a clearer distinction, from the ground up, between tracking and non-tracking ads.

      To sum up, you should still see ads when you’re using DNT+, but they won’t be targeted or personalized to you.

  • Jelrik says:

    Thank You For The Fair And Onest Software That Works ! ;)

  • lld says:

    Installed DNT+, but when I close the browser and restart it, the icon disappears and I have to uninstall and reinstall to get it to show up. Tried your video directions, that doesn’t work. What am I doing wrong?

    • Sarah Downey says:

      Hey there, and sorry you’re having trouble. I’m guessing you’re using IE…am I right? Just email us at Support at GetAbine dot com and we’ll help you out.

  • Jason Carver says:

    I love the way this company takes an approach to protecting our privacy, in fact, I’ve done a mini blog review about Abine Inc Do Not Track Plus on my own blog. If you would like to check out my review (my take on the software you can visit the following link and read up.

    Thanks Abine for creating such a wonderful add on.

    http://freebiebear.blogspot.com/2012/02/will-website-im-visiting-please-stop.htmlry

    • Sarah Downey says:

      Thanks for your support and for writing about us on your blog. You’re right that Facebook sometimes acts odd when you try to block their tracking. Facebook makes 85% of its money from advertising, and they make it complicated for you to use their site in a way that interrupts their ability to collect your personal information. Using Facebook is basically agreeing to be tracked. Although we can stop them from tracking you OFF of Facebook, including through Like buttons, there’s nothing that DNT+–or anyone else–can do about them ON Facebook. Anything you voluntarily post, like photos, your location, your comments, and your interests, is used for tracking purposes.

      Our best advice is to set strict privacy settings, be careful of what you share, and avoid games & apps that are essentially marketing companies in disguise. Facebook isn’t truly a free service; it’s paid for by its users’ information. That’s why the DNT+ icon turns yellow on Facebook: even if you can’t see any tracking companies in the alert window, you should surf with caution.

  • greg says:

    How does this compare/contrast with the Ghostery plugin?

    • Sarah Downey says:

      With regard to Ghostery vs DNT+, here are a few points:

      1. All in all, they are very similar, simple, functional “starters” for people who want privacy
      2. DNT+ is faster (based on page load/processing times)
      3. DNT+ sets opt out cookies and the Do Not Track header and blocks more categories
      of things (like facebook buttons and twitter buttons collecting your info)
      4. DNT+ generates far fewer Javascript errors on the top 10,000 web sites
      5. We’re not an advertising company making 100% of our money from advertisers and businesses paying us for ad data and compliance, unlike Evidon, which owns Ghostery (formerly Better Advertising, Inc.)
      6. DNT+ compliments a broader range of privacy solutions that we offer, which give users more of what they want when they download
      7. Unlike Ghostery/Evidon, we don’t collect any of your data when you use DNT+. All we see is that a download occurred, which lets us know how many users we have. You can start using DNT+ with 1 click and no exchange of your personal information.

  • Steve says:

    Are there any bugs in the software – is it fully compatible with Win7/IE?

    • Sarah Downey says:

      Whether it’s compatible and whether there are bugs are 2 different questions :) It’s compatible with IE8 and up, although there are still a few bugs. We’re working on them. If you see anything, let us know at Support at GetAbine dot com.

  • Steve says:

    Sorry – didn’t ask the right question – Is it better to remove all of any other tracking protection add-on(s) in IE before installing DNT+ – Or, does it not make any difference to performance etc (assuming the DNT+ software, otherwise to be bug free)? That is, are there any known compatibility issues with other Tracking Protection or other IE ‘add ons’?

    • Sarah Downey says:

      We’re actually 1 of Microsoft’s 4 TPL trusted partners, and to our knowledge, our TPL doesn’t conflict with DNT+ in IE. As for compatibility issues with other add-ons, we’re aware of a few:

      - ZoneAlarm conflicts with DNT+ and makes our toolbar icon disappear even when ZoneAlarm is disabled.
      - If you are running both Ghostery and DNT+ at the same time, then sometimes DNT+ will report lower numbers of sites blocked because it never sees the request to the tracking site once Ghostery blocks it. Probably because of the order you installed the add ons, Ghostery is first in line to block requests. Once a request has been blocked, processing on that request stops and other add-ons never see it. In your configuration, then, DNT+ is working as a back-stop to Ghostery, so any numbers it reports are ones that Ghostery missed.

  • Pete says:

    My system is running XP SP3, IE8.

    DNT+ works perfectly in Chrome and (probably) in Firefox. I say “probably” because I use FF less than Chrome. But in IE either there is a compatibility issue with another add-on or it fails properly to install – the icon is in the toolbar but never shows any numbers of sites blocked. in addition, I have several times seen a pop-up stating that DNT+ has encountered a problem and had to close, and earlier it crashed with a Microsoft-type error dialogue. Someone (Abine or Microsoft) was sent an error report automatically. And now I can’t uninstall the program from Add/Remove programs because the uninstall.exe fails to find a “proc”.

    So Chrome, FF, yes it’s a good product. XP/IE8 looks buggy, or else it clashes with something else in IE.

    • Sarah Downey says:

      Hmm. Send us an email to Support at GetAbine dot com and include what you just posted, and we’ll take a look. Sorry for the inconvenience!

  • Myra Wade says:

    Looks like exactly what I’ve been looking for.I’ve been hacked badly and anything that keeps me hidden from internet is wonderful. Plus I do not want everyone in the world knowing all my personal info from just a little bit of formation that I supply on computer.They seem to find out things about me and my family & that is scary.
    If this software does what it says it will ,it will make me feel a whole lot safer using the internet. I’ve almost become afraid to even get on it as bad as I was hacked,Thanks for coming up to make it safer.

    • Sarah Downey says:

      It’s definitely scary stuff, and I’m sorry to hear you were hacked. Thanks for your support, and we’re glad to help you feel more secure when you’re online!

  • Myra Wade says:

    Thanks for creating a great product to protect us.

  • Gail says:

    I just wanted to tell you that I think Albine’s DNT+ is an amazing product. The information is somewhat scary though. In just a few weeks of use, over 30,000+ and counting, ads, ad companies and social networking companies have been blocked from tracking my use. Big Brother really is watching, George Orwell got that right in “1984″. DNT+ is FREE , safe and takes no effort to use. Also, the idea that you provide the DIY information as a option to Delete Me is awesome. I immediately contacted Been Verified and had them remove me. Thanks again Albine for keeping me safe and informed on the web. (By the way, feel free to use my comments as PR for the company if you’d like.) Good luck! Gail

    • Sarah Downey says:

      Thank you, Gail! We’re scared, too. This stuff can be shocking. We’re doing everything we can to make people aware of these privacy risks and give them the tools to help.

  • michael says:

    I wish that my copy and paste of the screen shot worked here. As I posted this to Facebook just today !! Great job and great software, keep it coming …

    I would recommend this to everyone. Have you ever noticed how when your looking at something and then you start to notice it follows you to other places. That is NOT good marketing that is SPAM or male-ware. Here is my screenshot and the link, well if you enjoy your privacy that is ?! http://www.donottrackplus.com/howitworks.php

    Like · · Share

    • Sarah Downey says:

      Thanks! Glad you like it. What you’re describing with ads following you across the Internet is called “targeted advertising,” also known as “behavioral advertising.” Advertising companies build up profiles about you based on what you do online–what you click, read, buy, type, etc. They then target you with personalized ads based on what they think you like. That’s why you’re seeing banner ads that seem to follow you everywhere. Do Not Track Plus blocks targeted advertising. You’ll still see ads, but they’ll be based on the page you’re viewing right then, not your previous browsing behavior.

  • ralph says:

    Is DNT+ also available for Linux?
    I’m using Firefox on Ubuntu Linux.

  • K says:

    It would be great if someday you could create this as an extension for Opera, as that’s my main browser. Thanks.

  • Peter W. says:

    What about safe browsing for iPhone/iPad/iPod?
    Is it necessary? Available? Coming?

    Thanks.

  • Isidore says:

    That’s my question also-what about iPad/ iOS? DNT+ is great! I even found tracking on the UK Consumers’ Association website- in theory all sites here should give a cookie opt out from 26th May. Just waiting for a response to my ‘shame on you’ complaint. :-)

  • Vernice says:

    I would like to find is the key to this problem. Speaking with someone regarding this on a personal level so that I can ask ALL of the questions that seem to crop up daily. I am working on putting up a website. How can I have any success with the site if there is no info on me listed? It’s a non-profit; and before people consider paying membership dues, I’m certain they will want to garner as much info on me as possible. If you would trust me with a contact number, I have no problem giving you mine. Please get back to me on this ASAP. Time is crucial, as I’m sure you know. Please do not post this for others to read. This is a confidential issue for me. Thank you in advance.

    Vernice

    • Sarah Downey says:

      Hi Vernice, and thanks for your question. Feel free to email me directly, Sarah at Abine dot com, and I can take a better look at your question there (and take it to the phone if you’d prefer). Thanks for reading!

  • Carlos Almeida says:

    After installing DNT+ in chrome, i’ve notice an increasing number of tracking cookies;

    1) install chrome
    2) check your cookies
    3) install DNT+
    4) restart chrome
    5) check your cookies

    In my case there where more than 200 tracking cookies, just by installing DNT+;

    Are you sure that DNT+ is as good as you said in the article ?

    • Sarah Downey says:

      We fight trackers in 2 ways: by both blocking them and opting you out of being tracked. You can learn more about these 2 different methods here: http://www.donottrackplus.com/whatisoptout.php

      There are both good and bad cookies, and the ones that we add to your browser are the good kind. They’re called “opt-out cookies,” and they signal to advertisers that you want to opt-out of receiving target advertising (it’s like the “Do Not Call” list for targeted advertising). But while regular cookies tell Web sites information about your online behavior, opt-out cookies tell advertising companies that you don’t want to receive targeted advertising. They’re the same cookies for everybody, so they can’t be used to track you, and we keep them from getting deleted to ensure maximum opt-outs. You can read more about the NAI (which is the advertising industry initiative to let people opt-out here: http://www.networkadvertising.org/managing/opt_out.asp )

  • Tallulah says:

    I just installed DNT+ on Chrome, Win7 and now I can’t play videos on youtube or other websites. There doesn’t seem to be any information on DNT+ doing this , or how to fix this online. I want to watch videos, but avoid the tracking! Enabling the Youtube website makes no difference.

    Worked before install!

    • Sarah Downey says:

      Sorry you’re having a problem. Just email support at abine dot com with your question, and tell them Sarah from the blog sent you :) We’ll fix it!

  • Bill says:

    Using Firefox (13.0.1) on a Fedora 17 Linux machine for abour 3 weeks and everything was fine intil 45 minutes ago when I went to show a colleague how well DNT+ worked and it had disappeared from my browser. Not in the top right bar, not in the list of add-ons. So…??? I just added it on again and it shows up once more. There isn’t a 30 trial or anything like that going on, is there?

    I must admit “Greasemonkey” also evaporated at the same time…It was the next icon.

    Since I am flying again, I guess this is more FYI than “help!”

  • Stew says:

    (DNT+) works great I haven’t had any problems some other people have. I use Internet Explorer 9 on a W7 computer. I think the bugs will be worked out as new updates come along. On another computer I have Zone Alarm Firewall Free Version and DNT+ does conflict. What I did was disable Zone Alarm and restarted my computer and it worked if that doesn’t work for you disable Phishing in Zone Alarm. I hope DNT+ will always remain free as stated this has to be the best free app I ever used. I’m not getting paid for this or work for the company I’m just pointing out how good it works for me give it a try once you use DNT+ you won’t be sorry.

  • Chas says:

    I downloaded your program. ie: “Four Social Networks tracking you” “Zero Blocked” WHY? I want them all blocked.

    • Sarah Downey says:

      When you install DNT+, it’s blocking almost every tracker that we know of by default. Although you can block every tracker, we suggest allowing specific trackers on certain websites to allow those sites to function correctly.

      For example, one of the main reasons people go to ESPN.com is to watch videos. But blocking certain trackers on ESPN.com can prevent videos from loading. We’ve identified those specific trackers and suggested that you allow them on ESPN.com, but they’re still blocked everywhere else on the web.

      Our suggestions are designed to give you as much privacy as possible without changing the web experience in the process. But if you’d rather block everything, that’s easy too. Just go into DNT+’s settings and click “block all.”

  • betmart68@yahoo.com says:

    I have read through all of the comments and no one has mentioned spam. I receive a lot of spam/bulk mail that is explicit in nature. If I download DNT+ on the iPod will that stop the daily emails I’m receiving?

  • Michael Keller says:

    You need to support Opera!

  • Raychel E. says:

    Best thing since the zipper was invented. Absolutely love it. Thanks

  • Tammy Hoover says:

    We will see.

  • Chris says:

    Is there an apple version of this?
    iso6 and osx



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