Why isn't Do Not Track enabled in Tor Browser Bundle by default? I'm aware that it's ultimately up to each site to decide if they'll honour the request, but wouldn't it be sensible to go ahead and enable it for the sites that do?

TBB Privacy Settings

  • I would agree except that I also think that it does make you identifiable since not many people do aswell
    – Dasein
    Commented Dec 5, 2016 at 15:30

2 Answers 2


This should not be considered an authoritative answer, but my best guess is:

  1. Most users do not have Do Not Track enabled. So enabling it makes your traffic stand out and makes you more uniquely fingerprintable. As bastik points out in another answer, the Tor Browser maintainer seems to agree.
  2. Do Not Track is technically advisory only; web sites are under no technical obligation to honor it. And even though there may someday be legal obligation, that can be set aside whenever it's convenient for those who make the laws.
  3. Better methods exist for controlling whether web sites use cookies, Flash storage, HTML5 storage, or other technologies to track you. A large number of Firefox extensions, for example, will remove these items with varying levels of aggressiveness. Though, since Tor Browser already runs in private browsing mode and has been patched to prevent writing to disk, all of these should be cleared at the end of each session, making extensions unnecessary.

So, in short, it's unnecessary to enable this, and doing so may actually reduce your privacy.


Additionally to what Michael Hampton said the maintainer of the TorBrowser is not in favor of DoNotTrack (DNT), because it is just another bit to fingerprint on and might not be honored at all as it is privacy by policy, where privacy by design approaches really work.

For me personally it is also a short-coming of DNT, that it is implemented as black, white or gray. I couldn't allow a website to track me if I want to block some others, or the other way around.

  • 2
    ...short-coming of DNT, that it is implemented as black, white or gray --- This is just an implementation limitation. DNT can be implemented so that it allows individual setting for every website/URL. Commented Dec 2, 2013 at 7:57

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