Not everyone thrilled with Internet Explorer supporting Do Not Track by default

Microsoft “acted irresponsibly through its unilateral action to embed ‘Do Not Track’ functionality into Internet Explorer 10", said Bob Liodice of the Association of National Advertisers
Microsoft “acted irresponsibly through its unilateral action to embed ‘Do Not Track’ functionality into Internet Explorer 10", said Bob Liodice of the Association of National Advertisers

“Consumers should be empowered to make an informed choice and, for these reasons, we believe that for IE10 in Windows 8, a privacy-by-default state for online behavioral advertising is the right approach”, wrote Brendon Lynch, Microsoft’s chief privacy officer, in a blog.

Lynch cited a 2010 US Federal Trade Commission report about online tracking as the impetus for Microsoft to expand user control over online behavior tracking. A subsequent report issued this year explicitly called on companies to include a Do Not Track mechanism in their consumer products.

Dean Hachamovitch, corporate VP for IE, explained how the default setting would work: “In Windows 8, IE10 sends a 'Do Not Track' signal to websites by default. Consumers can change this default setting if they choose. This decision reflects our commitment to providing Windows customers an experience that is 'private by default' in an era when so much user data is collected online. IE10 is the first browser to send a ‘Do Not Track’ (DNT) by default.”

While privacy advocates are pleased with Microsoft’s move, online advertisers are definitely not thrilled. Bob Liodice, president and chief executive officer of the Association of National Advertisers, said Microsoft “acted irresponsibly through its unilateral action to embed ‘Do Not Track’ functionality into Internet Explorer 10 with a default setting in the ‘on’ position.”

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