US security experts say that Internet privacy tools meant to keep advertisers and other companies from tracking users' Web browsing are confusing and ineffective.
Boffins at Carnegie Mellon University say that opt-out tools in most Web browsers are difficult for most Web users to understand and use. All nine of the tools the team tested have serious usability flaws and people were confused by the instructions and had trouble installing or configuring the tools correctly.
Often, the settings they chose failed to protect their privacy as much as they expected, or to do anything at all. As it lies the status quo clearly is insufficient for people to protect their privacy from OBA companies.
Effort is being put into creating these tools to help consumers, but it will all be wasted unless the developers start putting a greater emphasis is placed on usability, the team warned.