When Microsoft first launched Internet Explorer 9 back in March 2011, the web browser had a new feature called tracking protection. Basically, this feature is like a "Do Not Call" list that blocks unwanted solicitations from calling you on the phone. A tracking protection list for your web browser blocks the web sites on those lists from receiving information about the browser's user.
Today on the official Internet Explorer web site, Microsoft said that tracking protection lists are now being considered as a standard for the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). In addition, the number of tracking protection lists has grown from just five in 2011 to over 20 lists from six different groups. There are a number of third party lists that are now available for IE9 at Microsoft's Internet Explorer Gallery web site.
Microsoft also announced on the blog that Simon Davies and Alexander Hanff of Privacy International will release three new tracking protection lists for IE9 this week. One of them is designed specifically to protect children in Europe. The lists will be made available at the UK based Privacy Online web site. Microsoft gave Davies and Hanff a grant to develop these new lists. Davies states:
Tracking Protection has huge potential and is a powerful tool for enhancing consumer privacy, but to build consumer trust it needs serious browser-level commitment. Alex and I were delighted when Microsoft decided to heavily invest in the technology since it has empowered independent parties like us to author Tracking Protections Lists knowing that the broader community will be able to take advantage of verifiable tracking protection from organizations they trust. Furthermore, we’ve also customized a copy of Internet Explorer 9 to make it easier for others to find and use our Tracking Protection Lists