Internet Explorer 10 Won't Track Users: Microsoft

Dennis Faas's picture

Two weeks ago Twitter made headlines by announcing a new "Do Not Track" feature that prevented the service from collecting information about the online behavior of its many users.

Now, Microsoft has unveiled a similar plan for the next edition of its popular web browser, Internet Explorer.

According to a blog entry written by Microsoft Chief Privacy Officer Brendon Lynch, Internet Explorer 10 (IE10) -- which is expected to launch alongside Windows 8 later this year -- will by default be set to avoid collecting data about the online activity of its users.

Microsoft Says Privacy Setting Is "Putting People First"

If users of IE10 decide they want their online behavior used to provide them with targeted advertising based on the kinds of products they view and purchase on the Internet, they can easily disable this default setting within the new browser software. (Source:

Lynch sees this announcement as a major victory for privacy advocates, and insists it's part of Microsoft's plan to implement policies that satisfy privacy-minded consumers.

"We've made today's decision because we believe in putting people first," Lynch said.

He continued: "We believe that consumers should have more control over how information about their online behavior is tracked, shared and used. Consumers should be empowered to make an informed choice and we believe that for IE10 in Windows 8, a privacy-by-default state for online behavioral advertising is the right approach." (Source:

Microsoft's Move Not To Collect Browsing Data a Bold One

Microsoft has clearly changed its tune since it launched Internet Explorer 9. That software forced users to find the "Do Not Track" capability within the browser's settings, and enable it.

But that's commonplace in this market: right now, both Mozilla and Google require users of Firefox and Chrome, respectively, to enable those browsers' "Do Not Track" feature.

However, no matter what setting users select in IE10, the software won't completely shut down all Internet tracking capabilities.

In fact, the 'Do Not Track' setting merely sends a message to visited websites that the person browsing their page does not want his or her online activity to be monitored in any way. Websites may or may not comply, as they choose.

Still, it's a bold move by Microsoft, which is likely to upset powerful businesses by taking steps to hinder them from supplying targeted advertising to people surfing the web. (Source:

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