Microsoft makes Do Not Track default in IE10 but hopes people won't use it

Microsoft makes Do Not Track default in IE10 but hopes people won't use it
Even Aragorn couldn't track you in IE10

Microsoft has taken the bold move of making Do Not Track the default setting on Windows 8's IE10 but hopes people won't actually use it.

Confused? Chief privacy officer Brendon Lynch explains the thinking in a blog post in which he backs the idea of 'privacy as the default state'.

"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," he writes.


"There is also value for consumers in personalised experiences and receiving advertising that is relevant to them.

"Of course, we hope that many consumers will see this value and make a conscious choice to share information in order to receive more personalised ad content. For us, that is the key distinction.

"Consumers should be empowered to make an informed choice and, for these reasons, we believe that for IE10 in Windows 8, a privacy-by-default state for online behavioural advertising is the right approach.

"Our decision to turn on DNT by default in IE10 for Windows 8… helps to provide clarity on one side of the discussion – when and how browsers send the DNT signal – and because it advances the idea of privacy as the default state."

Track record

Do Not Track is a feature of some browsers (notably not Chrome) which allows users to express a preference that their web movements not be tracked by sites, advertisers and the like.

Twitter recently announced that it was to support DNT even though it puts the kibosh on its Who To Follow recommendations function.

IE10 is the first browser to make DNT the default option; Firefox, Safari and older versions of Explorer all require users to physically opt out of tracking.

Unfortunately for privacy fans, not all websites pay attention to your DNT preference as there's no legal requirement for them to honour your preference at present.

From Microsoft

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