Microsoft sticking with default "Do Not Track" setting for IE10

In May, Microsoft announced that Internet Explorer 10 would set "Do Not Track" as the default setting for Internet Explorer 10. The decision has made a number of Internet advertisers unhappy, and even Yahoo announced it would not honor the default DNT signal from IE10 when users access its websites.

Now, several weeks after the launch of IE10 with Windows 8 and the release of the preview version for Windows 7, Microsoft says it is sticking with its controversial decision. Bloomberg quotes the company's General Counsel Brad Smith as saying, "We crossed the Rubicon and are completely comfortable being on the other side of the river. We have no intention of going back and have no intention of engaging in discussion on that possibility.”

Bloomberg reports, via unnamed sources, that Microsoft's advertising division actually opposed the IE10 "Do Not Track" decision. However, the IE team reportedly overruled them, believing that it was the best thing for consumers.

Smith expanded on those views in an official Microsoft blog post this week, saying that the company is willing to discuss its opinions with other groups. One thing Microsoft might be willing to support is a "permissions API" which would allow web browser users to give their specific permissions to have their activity tracked by certain websites even if "Do Not Track" is turned on. Smith added, "This is a strong option, but only if the outcome respects the initial intent behind enabling the DNT signal in the first place."

There is still a lot of debate over how Do Not Track should be followed by Microsoft and other companies. A working group in the World Wide Web Consortium has met for 18 months to finalize a standard but so far has yet to come to an agreement.

Souce: Bloomberg | Image via Microsoft

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11 Comments

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The biggest thing that ****es me off is that an OPEN SOURCE project like Apache actually wants to help advertisers who make MONEY. WHAT? Sometimes you wonder if software leads in these supposed OSS non-commercially influenced projects are indeed being paid off by large companies like Google so they can get the code they want in there. OSS devs that aren't getting paid a lot would gladly suck up a couple of hundred thousand from a company to just make sure they keep making squillions of dollars of targeted advertisements.

What is the fuss over something being on or off when it is ignored (not purposely but because there's no "law" to enforce it) anyway?? Pretty much an irrelevant issue. lol

I think there could be one possible way for IE10 (or vNext) to display a notification to its users whether sites they're visiting is respecting or actually being disrespectful to DNT setting that has been set in the browser.
That way, users are made aware of something that shouldn't happen, and perhaps, they could further take a class action to those disrespectful websites and/nor companies involved.

Nice, isn't it? LOL

I agree that hearing things like this makes me pretty darn annoyed with companies that choose to ignore DNT because of this.

Stuff like this should be opt-in, not opt-out. I'm guessing these companies probably realize if the vast majority of users were more aware about DNT and given the choice, they'd likely choose to not enable DNT. If these marketing companies had a much better model that didn't seem too invasive, then they'd probably have less animosity when it comes to getting better data for marketing purposes.

It's the same thing with the big 4 consumer reporting companies that send you what is essentially junk mail. The process to remove your name from mailing lists is much more complicated than just simply putting your name and address on a remove list. Nobody should have to provide their social security # to not receive unwanted junk mail in a world where people have to worry about security breaches at companies.

I don't think the government needs to intervene in everything, but sometimes there are good consumer-based reasons for doing so.

This stuff ****es me off. I think as a consumer, I would agree that turning on do not track by default is a great thing, and I would also think honoring it would be a very good thing.

The fact that corporations made a stink about it being enabled, and are now choosing to ignore it, even the open source project Apache ... that saddens me. Sure maybe Microsoft is trying to gain an edge, but in the end we should protect the consumers.

Between the crazy reluctance to offer high quality reasonably priced online TV streams and the hoopla over this DNT setting, I really feel powerless and at the mercy of people who do not know what is best.

IE team reportedly overruled them, believing that it was the best thing for consumers

Cheersssssssssssssssssssssss

And the FANS Go Crazy. Good Job Microsoft.

And you think those sites would honor DNT if many people used it any way? They'd have found an excuse regardless, or just acted without one.

Really doesn't matter anymore. Some sites are ignoring it, and by default it's completely ignored by Apache now, DNT is pretty much dead. I'll stick with AdBlock/NS instead, my choice, not theirs.

Microsoft should really just enable a good baseline Tracking Protection List (TPLs) by default, enable ActiveX Filtering by default, and add more functionality and granularity to how you control what's blocked and what's not. Both features are good in IE9 & 10, but definitely have room for improvement.

That said, they need to actually make the TPLs exist within the WinRT version of IE. Presently they don't.