Internet Explorer 10 Defaults to 'Do Not Track'

Dennis Faas's picture

Microsoft has confirmed its "Do Not Track" feature will be switched on by default in the new Internet Explorer 10 (IE10) web browser.

The decision is intended to protect user privacy. However, it has earned a frosty reception from some online advertisers.

The feature was introduced to prevent users' online activity from being reported to third-party groups, a concern when advertisers began gathering information from multiple websites to compile very detailed pictures about what individuals do online.

Since then, browser makers have worked on a variety of measures to combat this capability.

"Do Not Track" Asks Advertisers To Stop Monitoring

Microsoft joined other groups in developing its "Do Not Track" feature, a system that has been adopted in some form by most major browser developers.

"Do Not Track" allows the user to set a properly equipped browser so it sends a signal to websites, saying essentially: "I do not want my activity tracked."

It should be noted the feature doesn't use any mechanisms to enforce this request. Instead, Microsoft and other browser makers merely hope to persuade the online advertising community to voluntarily respect the "Do Not Track" request.

It's possible the strategy could eventually gain legal backing. But at the moment there is no legislation in place to force site owners not to track their online visitors. (Source:

In the current edition of Internet Explorer 9 (IE9), "Do Not Track" is an optional feature that users must intentionally choose to switch on.

New Browser, New Options

Microsoft now says that in its new Internet Explorer 10 browser, which is likely to debut about the same time as Windows 8 (October 26, 2012), the "Do Not Track" feature will initially be enabled, and the user will have the option of switching it off.

Users of the newest Microsoft browser will get different prompts about turning off "Do Not Track," depending on the version of Windows their computer is running.

Windows 7 computers will prompt users during set-up of IE10 that "Do Not Track" is switched on and will supply a link for further details.

Windows 8 computers will offer two choices.

Under Express installation of IE10, "Do Not Track" will be simply be switched on. Under Customized installation of IE10, the computer will prompt for a choice of whether or not the user wants "Do Not Track" switched on. (Source:

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