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Microsoft sticks to default Do Not Track settings in IE 10

Posted on August 8th, 2012 at 15:14 by John Sinteur in category: Microsoft, Privacy -- Write a comment


When Microsoft shipped its Release Preview of Windows 8 in June, it announced that the default browser, Internet Explorer 10, would have the Do Not Track (DNT) signal enabled by default. That action unleashed a heated debate in the Tracking Protection Working Group of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).

To the advertising and analytics companies that make up the tracking industry, this issue is an existential one. If the default browser in the world’s most popular operating system is set to disallow tracking, the effect would be profoundly disruptive to companies that live and die by their ability to follow users around the web.

After much discussion, the working group agreed that DNT could only be turned on by a browser if that decision “reflects the user’s preference.” The result was a consensus by the working group that a browser (technically, a user-agent) should not enable DNT by default.

Today, Microsoft answered those critics by saying it still intends to enable DNT in Internet Explorer in IE 10. But the final released version will make one concession, according to Microsoft Chief Privacy Officer Brendon Lynch, who announced the decision in a blog post

  1. From farther down:

    One of Microsoft’s most ardent foes in this debate is Mike Zaneis, SVP & General Counsel of the Interactive Advertising Bureau, who has argued strenuously that the tracking industry should feel free to ignore DNT signals from anyone using any browser that enables DNT by default:

    Sounds a bit like a lose-lose situation.

  2. The only way to be sure is to use a browser that doesn’t send the request in the first place. That way, there’s no DNT flag for the tracking site to ignore.

    In other words, to use AdBlock.

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