Microsoft to add privacy-tracking to IE 9 test build in 2011

Microsoft to add privacy-tracking to IE 9 test build in 2011

Summary: Microsoft is introducing a new feature, "Tracking Protection," to Internet Explorer (IE) 9 "to help consumers be in control of potential online tracking as they move around the Web," according to company officials.

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TOPICS: Browser, Microsoft
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Microsoft is introducing a new feature, "Tracking Protection," to Internet Explorer (IE) 9 "to help consumers be in control of potential online tracking as they move around the Web," according to company officials.

Microsoft officials said to expect the new feature to be part of the Release Candidate (RC) test build of IE 9, which is due out in early 2011. Microsoft execs have not said when to expect the final version of IE 9 to be released, but I continue to hear April 2011 is the internal target.

Tracking Protection will be an opt-in mechanism. Microsoft officials said “Tracking Protection Lists” will enable consumers to control what third-party site content can track them when they’re online. The new feature is meant to complement other privacy features in IE, including InPrivate Browsing, a k a porn mode.

From the IE Blog, here's an explanation of how those lists will work:

"A Tracking Protection List (TPL) contains web addresses (like msdn.com) that the browser will visit (or “call”) only if the consumer visits them directly by clicking on a link or typing their address. By limiting the calls to these websites and resources from other web pages, the TPL limits the information these other sites can collect."

Microsoft has posted some slides and videos detailing how the Tracking Protection feature will work.

Microsoft announced its plans to add Tracking Protection to IE on December 7, the same day (and the same time) that Google is holding a webcast on its Chrome 9 browser and is expected to announce more details of its Chrome OS operating system for netbooks.

Update: LiveSide poses a quesetion about the Tracking Protection feature that I've seen others wonder as well: Is it just a glorified ad blocker in another guise?

Topics: Browser, Microsoft

About

Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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29 comments
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  • Cupertino, warm up your photocopiers!!

    This feature to be added to Safari by 2015.
    NonZealot
    • RE: Microsoft to add privacy-tracking to IE 9 test build in 2011

      Over the past few months I?ve heard one complaint from a handful of Internet Explorer 9 users: the text is unacceptably fuzzy. I?ve never noticed the problem myself, but other people are sure sensitive to it, including a Microsoft developer who posted instructions last February on how to fix the problem (by disabling ClearType).
      raimu koyo asu
      • RE: Microsoft to add privacy-tracking to IE 9 test build in 2011

        ?They were told the ?Windows Phone expertise? was being discontinued and replaced by a ?Windows Phone Consumer? expertise, and that when their respective one year term was up, they would no longer be Windows Phone MVPs.
        Linux Love
      • RE: Microsoft to add privacy-tracking to IE 9 test build in 2011

        Effective the first week of July, at least a dozen (possibly two)
        Linux Love
      • RE: Microsoft to add privacy-tracking to IE 9 test build in 2011

        will be culled from the ranks around the world, and come October another couple of dozen will go.
        Linux Love
      • RE: Microsoft to add privacy-tracking to IE 9 test build in 2011

        This will continue until next year when all the Windows Phone MVPs will be gone,? the contact said.
        Linux Love
      • RE: Microsoft to add privacy-tracking to IE 9 test build in 2011

        The contact also said that the existing Windows Phone MVPs were told they will be considered for
        Linux Love
      • RE: Microsoft to add privacy-tracking to IE 9 test build in 2011

        the new program, but no details were given about the qualifications Microsoft will be seeking.
        Linux Love
      • RE: Microsoft to add privacy-tracking to IE 9 test build in 2011

        What?s particularly baffling is that all the MVPs are already helping Windows Phone consumers
        Linux Love
      • RE: Microsoft to add privacy-tracking to IE 9 test build in 2011

        so Microsoft?s stated rationale is particularly galling,? s/he added.
        Linux Love
      • RE: Microsoft to add privacy-tracking to IE 9 test build in 2011

        I?ve asked Microsoft what?s going on, but have not received a response from anyone on the Windows Phone team.
        Linux Love
      • RE: Microsoft to add privacy-tracking to IE 9 test build in 2011

        Update: One MVP told me that the Windows Phone Development MVPs are not part of this MVP ?house-cleaning.?
        Linux Love
      • RE: Microsoft to add privacy-tracking to IE 9 test build in 2011

        he MVP move comes during the same week that Microsoft released the Mango Windows Phone operating system beta bits to developers.
        Linux Love
      • RE: Microsoft to add privacy-tracking to IE 9 test build in 2011

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        bymadak
    • RE: Microsoft to add privacy-tracking to IE 9 test build in 2011

      @NonZealot That is really a big question. Google's servers are the heart of Google's business. And it has long been a FEATURE, a FEATURE, not a LOOPHOLE, that one could privately modify the GPL code they use to run their business. Of course web applications are obviously SaaS. But where does one draw the line between those applications and the servers that host them? For example, take an insurance company running open source on their back end servers. At some point they decide to put a customer facing front end on those servers so that customers can access their accounts over the Net. Does that suddenly make that whole kaboodle Saas? If so, I am not sure I am comfortable with AGPL. In fact, I am not sure I am comfortable with this concept anyway since it undercuts one of the few provisions that make GPL software highly attractive to businesses that are not engaged in reselling the software itself. It really compromises the spirit of the GPL in some ways
      arabaoyunlari@...
    • RE: Microsoft to add privacy-tracking to IE 9 test build in 2011

      @NonZealot <a href="http://cupu.web.id/pulauweb-web-hosting-murah-indonesia/">Pulauweb Web Hosting Murah Indonesia</a>
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      upinson
  • Wasnt this supposed to be added to IE8?...

    ..but was removed because the Ad group of MS felt that this is against their business (or) something similar. I remember seeing an article on ZDNet(??) on how innovation was cripped at MS because of different teams fighting within MS and this feature in IE8 was cited as an example.

    (or) am I mistaken.
    5ri
    • Privacy tracking as ad blocker

      Hi. LiveSide noted in their post that this new feature is basically an ad blocker in another guise. More here:
      http://www.liveside.net/2010/12/07/ie9-tracking-protection-a-built-in-ie9-ad-blocker/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+liveside+%28LiveSide%29&utm_content=Twitter

      MJ
      Mary Jo Foley
  • RE: Microsoft to add privacy-tracking to IE 9 test build in 2011

    I'm sure this feature WILL NOT be coming to a Chrome browser near you.
    jessiethe3rd
    • Seconded!

      nt
      Joe_Raby