Microsoft Makes “Do Not Track” IE10 Default Setting

Microsoft’s Internet Explorer’s default setting will soon be to block tracking by third-party advertisers, as its Chief Privacy Officer explained “consumers should be empowered to make an informed choice.”  Advertisers, however, are fuming over the move, with IAB President Randall Rothenberg asserting that ”a default setting that automatically blocks content violates the consumer’s right to choose.”  Currently less than ten percent of users turn on their browser’s do not track functionality.

 

Also weighing in has been the Internet standards group World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) which has asserted that “a user agent MUST NOT set a default … unless the act of selecting that user agent is itself a choice that expresses the user’s preference for privacy.”  TRUSTe’s CEO, Chris Babel stated that the new standard “will be confusing to consumers who have historically had default internet browser choices set to open, with the ability to adopt more restrictive limits.”  The move, however was praised by FTC Chairman Leibowitz who said “Microsoft’s Do Not Track option in its upcoming version of Internet Explorer is yet another step forward in giving consumers choice about their browsing data.”  Congressmen Ed Markey (D-MA) and Joe Barton (R-TX) have urged W3C not to oppose the IE10 default setting.

What is at stake in this debate was highlighted by the release of the IAB/Pricewaterhouse Cooper’s  Q1-2012 report that online advertising grew by 15 percent from last year and set a new record with $8.4 billion in ad spending for Q1-2012.

 

More Info: Despite Pushback, Microsoft Still Plans Do-Not-Track By Default In IE10, Online Media Daily; Online Ads Hit $8.4 Bil, Mobile Dollars Double, Online Media Daily; Web Standards Group Criticizes Microsoft’s Do-Not-Track Move; Online Media Daily; Lawmakers look to save Microsoft’s ‘Do Not Track’ default setting, The Hill.

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