Study shows IE10 to have better privacy protection than rivals

Microsoft has generated a lot of hype, and also a lot of controversy, over its decision to make Do Not Track as the default setting in Internet Explorer 10. Microsoft also says that the preview version of IE11 has some improvements for this feature. Now a new study of the major web browsers (IE10, Chrome, Firefox and Safari) shows that IE10 has the best privacy protection overall, but that the Do Not Track feature is mostly just a PR bullet point and not effective, at least not yet.

The study, posted this week by NSS Labs, stated that IE10 is the only one of the four browsers that allows users to select from one or more tracking protection lists. All four browsers prompt the user if a website attempts to retrieve their location. In terms of third party cookies, Firefox and Chrome allow them but Safari blocks all third party cookies by default. As far as IE10, NSS Labs states:

IE is not set to block all third-­party cookies by default; however, those third-­party cookies that do not have a compact privacy policy, or that save information that can be used to contact the user without explicit consent, are blocked by default. IE also restricts first-­party cookies that save information that can be used to contact the user without their implicit consent.

The Do Not Track feature in IE10 is not enabled by default in any of the other three browsers, and in some cases finding how to enable it in Safari and Chrome is difficult. However, the study says that even though IE10 has Do Not Track enabled, it doesn't mean much other than Microsoft making a statement on customer privacy in general. The study states that "if proposed legislation prevails and requires honest compliance" then people who use IE10 will have their privacy better protected than users of Chrome, Firefox and Safari.

Source: NSS Labs | Image via NSS Labs

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