Microsoft keeps Do Not Track by default in IE10
By Nicole Kobie
Posted on 8 Aug 2012 at 09:42
Microsoft is leaving Do Not Track on in the next version of Internet Explorer, despite complaints from industry and standards bodies.
The W3C is working on a specification for the system, which currently stipulates that DNT must an explicit choice - if it's turned on by default, it would not meet the current draft specs, and could therefore be ignored by advertisers.
Despite such concerns, chief privacy officer Brendon Lynch has confirmed Microsoft is sticking to its plans: DNT will be on by default in the "Express Settings", but users will still be able to turn it off if they choose.
"Customers will receive prominent notice that their selection of Express Settings turns DNT 'on'," Lynch said in a blog post. "In addition, by using the Customise approach, users will be able to independently turn 'on' and 'off' a number of settings, including the setting for the DNT signal.
"This approach is consistent with Microsoft’s goal of designing and configuring IE features to better protect user privacy, while also affording customers control of those features," he added. "It also underscores that the privacy of our customers is a top priority for Microsoft."
Whether DNT is off or on by default, or setting up a browser requires an "active" choice, the anti-tracking system remains a request to advertisers - it doesn't actually block tracking, it simply asks companies not to do it.
MS is correct (for once)
Those that don't know what this does are almost certainly likely to be people who would want such a feature switched on. Those who do know what it's about will be able to switch it off if they want. The nerds at the W3C need to realise that most end users do NOT want to be bombarded with confusing technical questions about how to set up their PC before they can use it - it's bad enough with MS being forced to ask users which web browser they want to use.
By halsteadk on 8 Aug 2012
Microsoft v Google?
It's clear the those who would benefit from having this system off by default would be Google; Microsoft is involved in a low level but nonetheless serious battle with Google since the Big G created an OS and a competitor to Office.
In this battle I'm with Microsoft as while most users can easily choose between two programs (only a fool would claim otherwise) when it comes to the more detailed areas of PC set up a huge number leave them as they come out of the box.
It does sound rather like the people at the W3C involved in this seem more influenced by the Google argument than the MS one. Perhaps that's because MS has a history of being disingenuous in such matters? A lot of people dislike the default FUD attacks on competitors.
By SwissMac on 8 Aug 2012
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