Accessing the web habits of consumers is a tricky and hotly debated business, thus Pinterest has taken note and launched personalised recommendations alongside a carefully worded notice.
Pinterest on Friday announced a new "Edit Home Feed" button, which will allow users to adjust their feed so Pinterest can serve up content related to what they've been pinning. The new feature is available online and through the Pinterest mobile app.
Pinterest also said it would keep an eye on users' activity on other websites, but only so it can recommend content based on interests. For instance, Pinterest could show boards for recipes to a user who often visits cooking sites. The company maintained that users will always have the ability to opt out of this feature.
"We’re excited to give everyone a more personalised experience, but we also understand if you’re not interested," wrote Pinterest on its blog. "We support Do Not Track, and you can change your account settings anytime."
Pinterest unveiled these changes rather delicately on its blog, because providing personalised suggestions like pins and boards could cause a public outcry due to all the recent online tracking controversies, like the National Security Agency's Prism surveillance programme. The company further revealed that is also supports Do Not Track.
Do Not Track is when a website or app disables either its tracking or cross-site user tracking, but the option is completely voluntary. There are no legal or technological requirements for Do Not Track, therefore companies can either support it or not.