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Yahoo readies Do Not Track for entire global network

The Web heavyweight says that the move will let its users decide how they want to be seen by advertisers.

Yahoo is doubling down on the Do Not Track craze with plans to implement the service across the its entire global network.

The Web heavyweight said today that it install a Do Not Track mechanism in its sites by early summer. The service, which Yahoo says has been in development since last year, lets users "express their ad targeting preferences to Yahoo."

Do Not Track technology has been around for quite some time, and is currently available in most major browsers. The offering lets users inform a site's servers that they don't want their activities monitored for ad-targeting purposes. It's available in Firefox, Safari, and Internet Explorer.

Google announced last month that it, too, would offer Do Not Track in Chrome. But it's moving at a somewhat slower pace, planning to make the service available to users "by the end of the year."

"We have always thought the idea of DNT was interesting, but there didn't seem to be a wide consensus on what 'tracking' really means," Google said last month, justifying its decision to wait. "We didn't feel it was responsible to allow users to send a header in Chrome that largely had no effect and no agreed-upon meaning. Going forward, the scope is now clear, and we know that the header will be respected by the industry."

Google might have a point. The Do Not Track feature will not work on sites that don't actually cooperate with the option. The top Web destinations, like Google and AOL, though, do support it. And now, Yahoo is fully backing it, giving it even more legitimacy.