Microsoft keeps Do Not Track by default in IE10

Microsoft is leaving Do Not Track on in the next version of Internet Explorer, despite complaints from industry and standards bodies.

Microsoft keeps Do Not Track by default in IE10

Do Not Track (DNT) lets users tell websites not use cookies or other tracking systems on them. However, if it’s turned on by default, some say that doesn’t count as an informed opinion from users.

The W3C is working on a specification for the system, which currently stipulates that DNT must an explicit choice – if it’s turned on by default, it would not meet the current draft specs, and could therefore be ignored by advertisers.

Despite such concerns, chief privacy officer Brendon Lynch has confirmed Microsoft is sticking to its plans: DNT will be on by default in the “Express Settings”, but users will still be able to turn it off if they choose.

“Customers will receive prominent notice that their selection of Express Settings turns DNT ‘on’,” Lynch said in a blog post. “In addition, by using the Customise approach, users will be able to independently turn ‘on’ and ‘off’ a number of settings, including the setting for the DNT signal.

“This approach is consistent with Microsoft’s goal of designing and configuring IE features to better protect user privacy, while also affording customers control of those features,” he added. “It also underscores that the privacy of our customers is a top priority for Microsoft.”

Whether DNT is off or on by default, or setting up a browser requires an “active” choice, the anti-tracking system remains a request to advertisers – it doesn’t actually block tracking, it simply asks companies not to do it.

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