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Internet Explorer 10 to Have 'Do Not Track' as Default

By - Source: WSJ | B 43 comments

IE 10 is the first browser to have DNT enabled by default.

Yesterday, Microsoft officially announced the availability of Windows 8 Release Preview. After three months of Consumer Preview, the company was ready to release the final pre-release version of Windows 8. Understandably, the fact that Windows 8 had hit RP got a lot of attention from the tech press and blogs. However, this also meant that another important thing was somewhat overlooked: The fact that Windows 8's IE 10 will be the first browser to have 'Do Not Track' turned on by default.

However, it seems the ad industry isn't too pleased with the move. According to the Wall Street Journal, the Digital Advertising Alliance (of which Microsoft is a member) says Microsoft's decision to ship IE 10 with DNT activated by default is contradictory to what the Alliance agreed with the White House back in February. WSJ reports that the industry agreed to honor "do not track" as long as it is not a default setting. Stu Ingis, general counsel of the ad group, said Microsoft's decision was concerning and highlighted the group's position on supporting consumer choice as opposed to the choice of the browser company.

On the flip side of things, Chief Privacy Officer at Microsoft, Brendan Lynch, spoke about the decision yesterday and described it as part of Microsoft's effort to advance trust and consumer privacy online.

"We've made today's decision because we believe in putting people first. We believe that consumers should have more control over how information about their online behavior is tracked, shared and used,"he said, later adding that the company hopes consumers will make the conscious choice to share this information for a more personalized experience.

"Online advertising is an important part of the economy supporting publishers and content owners and helping businesses of all shapes and sizes to go to market. There is also value for consumers in personalized experiences and receiving advertising that is relevant to them."

Would you switch 'Do Not Track' off in favor of personalized ads? Let us know in the comments below.

Further Reading

Wall Street Journal

Microsoft On the Issues

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Top Comments
  • 22 Hide
    NiPPonD3nZ0 , June 2, 2012 1:46 PM
    If i'm honest, i would prefer NOT TO SEE ADS at all... I NEVER look at them, they are useless and annoying...

    Let it be OFF by default. I Would turn it off anyway!
  • 14 Hide
    Zetto , June 2, 2012 2:06 PM
    "Personalized" ads? Give me a break. I'LL decide what I want to see thank you very much, and thank you very much Microsoft.
    About time we get a little credit for being able to make our own decisions, not some brain dead marketing group.
    Should be banned altogether, tbh, never mind off by default.
  • 13 Hide
    Shin-san , June 2, 2012 2:06 PM
    Nice. Also, they are going to have an integrated version of Flash that's crippled so that it won't display popups and is hard for advertisers to use. IE10 is looking to be starting some trends.
Other Comments
    Display all 43 comments.
  • 6 Hide
    juan83 , June 2, 2012 1:12 PM
    After "Micro$oft is banning third parties to block the start menu button" may they do the same with browsers because they believe IE 10 won't be a pain in the ass? :D 

    I wonder when i'm gonna read on wikipedia: "Micro$oft was an OS company for PCs, now is into tablet only with its new version of windows called 8, they just give a damn about users and do what they want.."
  • -5 Hide
    theconsolegamer , June 2, 2012 1:26 PM
    .... do M$ really think people care about IE? What a joke!



    @juan83

    That looks like a great article for Unclyclopedia!!!
  • 22 Hide
    NiPPonD3nZ0 , June 2, 2012 1:46 PM
    If i'm honest, i would prefer NOT TO SEE ADS at all... I NEVER look at them, they are useless and annoying...

    Let it be OFF by default. I Would turn it off anyway!
  • 11 Hide
    elbert , June 2, 2012 1:51 PM
    Finally another web navigation is stepping up to firefox + noscript level of privacy. Well I may think about IE if they do a good job in implementation.
  • 14 Hide
    Zetto , June 2, 2012 2:06 PM
    "Personalized" ads? Give me a break. I'LL decide what I want to see thank you very much, and thank you very much Microsoft.
    About time we get a little credit for being able to make our own decisions, not some brain dead marketing group.
    Should be banned altogether, tbh, never mind off by default.
  • 13 Hide
    Shin-san , June 2, 2012 2:06 PM
    Nice. Also, they are going to have an integrated version of Flash that's crippled so that it won't display popups and is hard for advertisers to use. IE10 is looking to be starting some trends.
  • 9 Hide
    DRosencraft , June 2, 2012 2:08 PM
    Would I switch DNT off? Never. That's why this whole DNT thing is such a big deal to the ad agencies. The vast majority of users wouldn't even know what DNT is, much less how to turn it off (or turn it on). Whatever default setting it has is most likely the way it would always remain on that computer. This is a simple step by MSFT, and ultimately doesn't matter tremendously for me since I would turn it off anyway, but it's a good direction.

    As an aside to the whiners, IE10 will be the next web browser, meaning it's in 8 and will be available for download for 7 and other OS. So, let's just be honest here. There are some people who will complain about any and everything MSFT does regardless of the merits or facts at hand.
  • 3 Hide
    monsta , June 2, 2012 2:14 PM
    I actually like ie 10 , looks great and works well on Win 8
  • -2 Hide
    Shin-san , June 2, 2012 2:24 PM
    DRosencraftWould I switch DNT off? Never. That's why this whole DNT thing is such a big deal to the ad agencies. The vast majority of users wouldn't even know what DNT is, much less how to turn it off (or turn it on). Whatever default setting it has is most likely the way it would always remain on that computer. This is a simple step by MSFT, and ultimately doesn't matter tremendously for me since I would turn it off anyway, but it's a good direction.As an aside to the whiners, IE10 will be the next web browser, meaning it's in 8 and will be available for download for 7 and other OS. So, let's just be honest here. There are some people who will complain about any and everything MSFT does regardless of the merits or facts at hand.
    The best thing about this is that it's one of those things (like IE copying tabbed browsing) that the other browser makers would probably end up copying
  • 2 Hide
    drwho1 , June 2, 2012 2:36 PM
    I don't use IE anymore .... but this version appears to deserve a look.
    As for Windows 8.... No Thank You.
  • 7 Hide
    wopr11 , June 2, 2012 2:37 PM
    It is great that for once microsoft thinks about the vast majority of dumb computer users and delivers IE 10 with DNT on. The crooked companies who want to track your every move online can kiss my posterior end in the middle-center area.
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , June 2, 2012 2:37 PM
    I already have the DoNotTrack feature with FF & love it.. I also use AdBlockPlus for FF & Chrome add-on's & there are no ads when you use that.. Not a fan of IE though so I will stick with my FF & Chrome (sometimes)
  • 4 Hide
    cookoy , June 2, 2012 2:42 PM
    Just turned on the DNT option. Should be off by default for folks like me who don't bother to check each device before using it.
  • 1 Hide
    noreaster , June 2, 2012 2:44 PM
    I have not used IE in ages, not since IE 4, since the main reason I switched away was to allow advertisement blocking add-ons in other browsers. With this move I may actually consider IE again, even though I have become accustomed to not even seeing the advertisements, knowing they won't track me by default is a minor consolation.
  • -2 Hide
    Anonymous , June 2, 2012 2:59 PM
    With moves like this, it won't be too long before we see a paywall on every site we love. While I do care about my privacy, I feel that in the next couple of years this won't be too good. We will go from complaining that websites violate our privacy, to "Why is everything premium now?".

    Any1 that knows anything about economy and how money is made on the internet should understand that without proper tracking= no more advertising, no more advertising means websites/services/apps will look into other ways to monetize their content.
  • 0 Hide
    ta152h , June 2, 2012 3:40 PM
    NiPPonD3nZ0If i'm honest, i would prefer NOT TO SEE ADS at all... I NEVER look at them, they are useless and annoying...Let it be OFF by default. I Would turn it off anyway!


    Use your brain, and think about what you just said. If there were no ads, there would be no free Tom's Hardware, or most of the sites you go to. They need to make money somewhere, and if not from ads, you'd have something where you'd pay the ISP by the minute (and they'd pay the sites), or you'd have to pay to get to any site you wanted to access (or most, anyway). Putting up with noise on the page you're looking at is pretty desirable compared to that, right?
  • 0 Hide
    JohnnyLucky , June 2, 2012 3:51 PM
    I like the DNT feature.

    There are inherent problems with tracking. For example, a surfer visits a web site featuring clothing. Later the surfer visits a web site featuring automobiles. As a result of tracking the automobile site will have an ad for clothing from the clothing site. It is the wrong ad on the wrong site. It would be more appropriate to have ads that correspond to a site's content.
  • -2 Hide
    Anonymous , June 2, 2012 3:59 PM
    Meh. Anybody who doesn't think that this "on by default" will somehow acquire "exceptions" by way of cash payments from big advertisers is a FOOL who's unaware of Microsoft's track record.

    BTW, @DRosencraft, try downloading IE9 on XP. "Other OSes" my ass - Vista users are almost certainly boned, and Win7 users may be too. Try drinking a little less Kool-Aid next time...
  • 0 Hide
    razor512 , June 2, 2012 4:10 PM
    I wonder how much additional bandwidth overhead is added when you ass the extra content needed for the do not track header which as we all know, will be promptly ignored by any site you go to?

    Also, most of the internet is supported through advertising, and most people really don't mind being tracked as usually the only manifestation of the tracking is a more relevant banner ad which they will also promptly ignore since most banner ads lead to shady looking sites that you would not trust with your money.

    Also even though all of the companies that do tracking still fail at everything they do, it still brings in money for the sites that we like.



    the only ad related thing that annoys me are ads that make noise, and ads that cover the content you are trying to view (and those are present regardless of tracking and are the primary reason why extensions such as adblock were created)
  • -5 Hide
    ojas , June 2, 2012 4:40 PM
    Hell with that, i'm unable to set the default search engine to Google on IE9 anymore.
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