WebKit nightlies support HTML5 noreferrer link relation

November 19th, 2009

WebKit nightlies now support the HTML5 noreferrer link relation, a neat little feature that allows web developers to prevent browsers from sending the Referrer: header when navigating either <a> or <area> elements. Just add noreferrer in the rel attribute of a link like so:

<a href="" rel="noreferrer">noreferrer!</a>

When receives the HTTP request generated by clicking this link, the HTTP Referer field will be empty, as if the user had navigated from about:blank.

When rel=”noreferrer” is used in conjunction with target=”_blank”, WebKit will also set the window.opener attribute to null. This usage is interpreted as a request from the web page author that any scripts on the destination page should be run in a new context, even if the destination page would normally be considered to be of the same origin.

The noreferrer link relation is one of many link relations defined in the HTML5 spec, and the first to be implemented in WebKit. We hope it will make life a little easier for web developers who have concerns about user privacy and security.