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Microsoft blasts Google for tracking Safari users

Microsoft is taking Google to task for a newly revealed way in which Google tracked the web activities of Mac owners and users of iOS-based devices like the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch.  The Wall Street Journal first reported that Google, as well as other online ad companies, put in some extra and secret codes on their sites that circumvented the privacy controls of Apple's Safari browser.

The code, which was first discovered by Stanford researcher Jonathan Mayer, allowed Google and the other companies  to keep tabs on the activities of Safari users via a tracking cookie. When contacted by the paper, Google said it would disable the code.

In a post on the Internet Explorer blog site, Microsoft blasted Google for this practice, stating, "This type of tracking by Google is not new. The novelty here is that Google apparently circumvented the privacy protections built into Apple’s Safari browser in a deliberate, and ultimately, successful fashion."

Microsoft also took the opportunity to tout the privacy controls of Internet Explorer 9, stating, "Through unique built in features like Tracking Protection and other privacy features in IE9, you are in control of who is tracking your actions online. Not Google. Not advertisers. Just you."

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