As Microsoft released the preview of the next version of its Internet Explorer browser, news that in Windows 8 the browser will be sending a “Do Not Track” signal to Web sites by default must have shook online advertising giants.
“Consumers can change this default setting if they choose,” Microsoft noted, but added that this decision reflects their commitment to providing Windows customers an experience that is “private by default” in an era when so much user data is collected online.
This step will make Internet Explorer 10 the first web browser with DNT on by default. And while the website are not required to comply with the user’s do not track request, the DNT initiative – started by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission – is making good progress.
Supporters of the initiative fear that Microsoft’s step might make the online ad industry feel like their hand is being forced and make it less willing to cooperate in the future.
“We’ve made today’s decision because we believe in putting people first. We believe that consumers should have more control over how information about their online behavior is tracked, shared and used,” shared Brendon Lynch, Microsoft’s Chief Privacy Officer.
“Online advertising is an important part of the economy supporting publishers and content owners and helping businesses of all shapes and sizes to go to market. There is also value for consumers in personalized experiences and receiving advertising that is relevant to them,” he pointed out.
“Of course, we hope that many consumers will see this value and make a conscious choice to share information in order to receive more personalized ad content. For us, that is the key distinction.”
Microsoft’s step comes two weeks after Twitter announcing that it will support the “Do Not Track” initiative and that it has already rolled out the DNT opt-out cookie.