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.