So, Microsoft has plans to add a "Do Not Track" feature to IE9 that would allow users to opt out from being tracked while surfing the web. Can Microsoft's new found interest in protecting user's privacy lure you away from your current browser and to Internet Explorer?
Note: The idea of a "Do Not Track" list was initially suggested by the FTC in its online privacy report.
The feature, which is akin to a "Do Not Call" list, allows users to create a customized list of companies that they don't want to be able to track their online activities. This new feature is called Tracking Protection and incorporates two features:
- IE9 will offer consumers a new opt-in mechanism (“Tracking Protection”) to identify and block many forms of undesired tracking.
- “Tracking Protection Lists” will enable consumers to control what third-party site content can track them when they’re online.
By default, the "Tracking Protection List" is empty. Users will be able to create their own "Do Not Track" lists, or download ones to suit their needs from the web. These lists will be in XML format and the format available under a Creative Commons Attribution license and the Microsoft Open Specification Promise.
Mozilla was working on a similar feature for Firefox 4, but this was dropped from the beta following concerns from advertisers who were worried that such a feature would harm revenues. Microsoft it seems isn't as bothered by pressure from advertisers.
So, what do you think? Is this going to be enough to lure you to Internet Explorer, or does Microsoft have a long way to go before its browser beats Firefox/Chrome/Opera/Safari* (delete as appropriate)?