There is a growing debate about whether or not the government should be getting involved with creating a law that would require browser makers to provide an option for users to identify and stop any tracking mechanisms through some sort of “Do Not Track” system.
While the whole discussion about whether the government should get involved or not is interesting from a philosophical point of view Microsoft is stepping beyond the conversation with the next version of Internet Explorer.
On the IEBlog they announced today that Internet Explorer 9 will see the introduction of a Tracking Protection feature. Interestingly it will be an opt-in feature.
Today, consumers have very little awareness or control over who can track their online activity. Much has been written about this topic. With the release candidate:
- IE9 will offer consumers a new opt-in mechanism (“Tracking Protection”) to identify and block many forms of undesired tracking.
- “Tracking Protection Lists” will enable consumers to control what third-party site content can track them when they’re online.
We believe that the combination of consumer opt-in, an open platform for publishing of Tracking Protection Lists (TPLs), and the underlying technology mechanism for Tracking Protection offer new options and a good balance between empowering consumers and online industry needs. They further empower consumers and complement many of the other ideas under discussion.
Nice move Microsoft.