Microsoft said Thursday that its coming Internet Explorer 10 browser will integrate Do Not Track functionality switched on by default. Though consumers will be able to change the setting, the default will be to tell Web sites that users do not want identifying information about them saved.
"We believe that consumers should have more control over how information about their online behavior is tracked, shared and used," Lynch wrote in a blog post Thursday.
Rep. Edward Markey, D-Mass., praised Microsoft's move as an important first step toward greater privacy protection for consumers.
"It is my hope that Microsoft and other companies will go further in the future, so that Do Not Track also means Do Not Collect -- giving consumers the ability to say no to both targeted advertising and collection of their personal data," Markey said Friday.
An Aggressive Privacy Move
According to Net Applications, Internet Explorer 8 holds a 26.92 percent share of the global browser market, while IE9 has a 17 percent share. Given that IE8 launched in March of 2009 and IE9 followed in March of 2011, it will take a while for IE 10 to reach comparable market share levels.
Still, the decision to ship IE 10 with Do Not Track as the default setting will begin to have an effect on Web advertisers, content producers and free software app developers when Windows 8 launches later this year, including IE 10.
"From the refinements in this release it is pretty clear that Windows 8 will make its deadlines as a solid product," said Al Hilwa, director of applications software development at IDC.
We also asked Hilwa for his reaction to Microsoft's DNT privacy implementation for IE 10.
"No doubt this was a tough discussion internally with the advertising franchise, but I think Microsoft made the right choice," Hilwa said Friday.
Microsoft's new DNT strategy for IE 10 is clearly a shot across Google's bow given that the search engine giant recorded a total of $36.5 billion in online advertising revenue during 2011.
"With this move they have an opportunity to build up the trust in their brand and differentiate it from Android and Google," Hilwa said.
Clever Brand Building
Microsoft is also determined to set its new Windows 8 OS apart from Apple's own operating system offerings. "Integrating Flash into Metro IE is a real surprise and a smart move for Microsoft, as it will help set Windows 8 and Windows RT tablets apart from the iPad," Hilwa said. "In fact, with Flash and bundled Office apps, Windows RT becomes much more viable in the early days when the app portfolio is still forming."
The downside for Microsoft is that its latest privacy move will end up alienating the software giant's advertising clients at Bing and other Web properties, though it will take a while for Do Not Track to become fully implemented.
"DNT is just a signal and there is no enforcement at the backend," Hilwa said. "Companies can ignore it if they want to and so better industry policing is key for all this to be of value."
Microsoft also realizes that a large number of enterprises are worried about what tracking data coming from their employees might also be carrying with it in terms of corporate secrets. "It is clever for Microsoft to build its brand as a trusted source in the enterprise, and possibly with consumers around privacy," Hilwa explained.
Posted: 2012-06-05 @ 2:15am PT
I use web browser at work every day so I hope it can protect my privacy!
Firefox, chrome, ie have this feature; hope more browsers add it soon, such as comodo, Avant browser...And so on