Tracking Protection Added to IE9

Microsoft has announced the addition of Tracking protection to their new Internet Explorer 9 web browser.  The feature consists of two options that allow users to have more control over which (if any) websites are allowed to request data from the user’s browser and computer.

It’s a simple privacy measure that is long overdue.  While advertisers may say that allowing websites to query your computer for information helps deliver targeted adverts to you that are relevant and that you will actually want to see, it’s also true that end users have no idea who is collecting this information, what information they are collecting and what it will be used for.

In providing this functionality Microsoft are preempting possible future action by governments who will want to crack down on the privacy of their citizens.  In a statement the company said…

On the IE team, we’ve asked similar questions and want to make progress operationally as well as in the public discussion. We want to develop (as the recent FTC report put it) “more effective technologies for consumer control” and make progress on the report’s recommendation of “a browser-based mechanism through which consumers could make persistent choices” regarding tracking. Today, we’re offering an early look at a way to enable operational progress in the privacy discussion.

There will be very few people who won’t welcome this move though it’s now entirely down to how Microsoft implement this in the browser and how easy and obvious they make it for people to use.  The best privacy tools in the world are no good to anyone if they’re implemented in a way that only advanced computer users can understand.

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7 Responses to Tracking Protection Added to IE9

  1. Jason December 8, 2010 at 1:42 pm #

    IE takes alot of flak for many things (some deserved and some not), but this is a smart move on MS part to hit this early.

  2. Bluefin28 December 9, 2010 at 4:28 am #

    It’s about time, it will be nice to allow only the adds that I want to see, if ANY.
    Can’t wait bring it on.

    Rod.

    • Anonymous December 14, 2010 at 7:02 am #

      Use Adblock+, NoScript, RefControl and other Firefox add-ons which help avoid some tracking.

      Any uninformed person who complains about ad blocking fails to realize consumers don’t even have a choice to pay to see the website’s content, which many would be glad to do and many more would if they knew the real cost of advertisements and the benefits of a subscription, or some other interesting business model. At least on mobiles, Shazam is free (no advertisements) and is paid by record companies. I’m not 100% sure about it being completely free, as I don’t know if there is any tracking/analytics.

  3. r40 December 9, 2010 at 7:56 am #

    it will probably slow down the browser somewhat. but the feature is great.

    • Anonymous December 14, 2010 at 7:01 am #

      It will actually speed it up because it won’t be loading that junk using up your bandwidth. I already benefit from not loading webbugs, or analytics by using NoScript (I also put http://www.google-analytics.com and others in my hosts file). There’s no reason not to use it if you’re using IE9. After empty promises and privacy policy violations, and continued effort put into tracking user’s behavior rather than getting a real business model I actively block and will not tolerate this ridiculous behavior businesses promote.

  4. Troll December 9, 2010 at 11:01 pm #

    You want to be scared about tracking???

    Get “wondering ip” let it show you where you are just encase if you are lost!!

  5. Michael 'White Eyes' Pitkin December 20, 2010 at 11:18 am #

    Hmm, if that tracking protection can protect me from seeing nothing but tripe from Google then I will certainly be using IE9, hell I’ll even put up with Facebook’s constant bugs as long as I am out of Eric’s line of site.

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