Do Not Track enabled by default in Windows 8 IE10

In a bold move for enhancing online privacy, Microsoft has announced that Internet Explorer 10 in the Windows 8 Release Preview will have Do Not Track (DNT) enabled by default. Microsoft is claiming that Internet Explorer 10 is the first web browser to have DNT enabled by default, and it is still changeable by users if they so desire DNT to be disabled.

Do Not Track was added to Internet Explorer 9 in 2011 as a means of telling websites to not track a user's movements and actions on other websites; information which could be used to target advertising among other things. In an ideal world, when a website receives the DNT signal it will disable tracking cookies and other nasty tracking tools so that outside of the website, the user cannot be tracked or targeted. Unfortunately websites have to add support for DNT signals, which is a problem Microsoft has highlighted.

As there is no "agreed definition" on responding to a DNT signal currently, Microsoft is throwing around their weight to ensure that advertising networks including their own respect DNT and disable tracking methods. On Microsoft's first-party network they aim to treat it as an opt-out to behavioral advertising, which should disable tracking cookies and other forms of cross-website monitoring. Currently (and somewhat ironically) Microsoft does not respond to the DNT signal, although they are planning support "in the coming months".

So while the Do Not Track signal being enabled by default in Windows 8's Internet Explorer 10, it still faces some hurdles before it becomes a great online privacy tool; but as Microsoft puts it, it's an "important step in this process of establishing privacy by default, putting consumers in control and building trust online".

Source: Microsoft On The Issues

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

QR codes could save lives

Next Story

Add Media Center to the Windows 8 Release Preview

10 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

remixedcat said,
what about people that need to track stats....? THAT IS VERY IMPORTANT to know visitor stats.....

It's not about internal tracking on a website, it's about exranious tracking and giving away tracking behavior to ad networks.

Spencer R said,

It's not about internal tracking on a website, it's about exranious tracking and giving away tracking behavior to ad networks.

does DNT differentiate?

people that use external tracking to monitor site stats like google analytics, etc use that method,

remixedcat said,

does DNT differentiate?

people that use external tracking to monitor site stats like google analytics, etc use that method,

All it is is an added header to the request that shows as DNT: 1 (or something like that). It is up to the web developer to decide what to do with it.

westonb_2005 said,

All it is is an added header to the request that shows as DNT: 1 (or something like that). It is up to the web developer to decide what to do with it.

ok, thanks.

Is this the thing that works as long as the site in question plays by the rules? Couldn't Google just circumvent this?

Sure, it may be with good intentions. But overall? Dumb move. It's hard enough convincing anyone to adopt DNT, it's going to be even harder if the most used browser has it on by default.

That being said, DNT is broken by design. It seems to disregard the essential flaws of humanity such as greed. It feels like hanging a sign on your house saying "do not rob me". I wish we could live in such a world.

Xerax said,
Release Preview*

Ooops, thanks for letting me know. I was so used to typing "Consumer Preview" after "Windows 8" lol