Microsoft to put tracking protection on IE9

9 Dec 2010

In the wake of a report on the issue of protecting consumers online, Microsoft has said it is introducing ‘Do Not Track’ technology with Internet Explorer and plans to move tracking protection to curated lists.

Dean Hachamovitch, corporate vice-president, Internet Explorer, said Microsoft is introducing Tracking Protection, a feature that will enable users to filter out content from any website by using tracking protection lists.

Tracking protection Lists are like “do not call” lists for content that has an impact on your privacy.

When you add a tracking protection list, Internet Explorer 9 prevents your information from being sent by limiting data requests to websites in the list.

Last week, the Federal Trade Commission issued a report, Protecting Consumer Privacy in an Era of Rapid Change, in which it urged browsers to create a “do not track” program where consumers could opt out of online tracking. 

‘Do not call’ technology

“In addition to ‘do not call’ entries that prevent information requests to some web addresses, lists can include’OK to call’ entries that permit calls to specific addresses,” Hachamovitch said. “In this way, a consumer can make exceptions to restrictions on one list easily by adding another list that includes ‘OK to call’ overrides for particular addresses.

“We designed this feature so that consumers have a clear, straightforward, opt-in mechanism to enable a higher degree of control over sharing their browsing information and websites can provide easy-to-use lists to manage their privacy, as well as experience full-featured sites.

“There are many points of view to balance in the design of such a feature because the technologies involved create such a complex situation, going well beyond what typical consumers and even many web developers are fully aware of,” Hachamovitch said.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years