Microsoft to roll out more granular 'porn mode' with IE 8

Microsoft to roll out more granular 'porn mode' with IE 8

Summary: On August 25, Microsoft officials confirmed that the company will, indeed, provide private browsing, a k a "porn mode," as of Internet Explorer (IE) 8 Beta 2. IE 8 Beta 2 is expected to go to testers later this week.

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TOPICS: Legal, Browser, Microsoft
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On August 25, Microsoft officials confirmed that the company will, indeed, provide private browsing, a k a "porn mode," as of Internet Explorer (IE) 8 Beta 2.

IE 8 Beta 2 is expected to go to testers later this week.

With its private browsing feature, called "InPrivate," Microsoft is allowing users to cover their online tracks. But Microsoft is taking this functionality to a more granular level than some expected. With IE 8 Beta 2, Microsoft also is enabling users to delete selected cookies -- not simply all of them. That way, when deleting evidence of which sites s/he visited, a user has the option of keeping the cookies of her/his favorite sites but removing certain others.

On a new posting to the official IE Blog, Microsoft officials explained the new privacy mode without any explicit mentions of porn. From the posting:

"Have you ever wanted to take your web browsing 'off the record'? Perhaps you’re using someone else’s computer and you don’t want them to know which sites you visited. Maybe you need to buy a gift for a loved one without ruining the surprise. Maybe you’re at an Internet kiosk and don’t want the next person using it to know at which website you bank.

"What if you want to delete your browsing history after the fact, but you don’t want to lose your preferences at websites that you use frequently?

"When we began planning IE8, we took a hard look at our customers’ concerns about privacy on the web. As evidenced by some of the comments on this blog during the IE7 days, many users are concerned about so-called 'over-the-shoulder privacy', or the ability to control what their spouses, friends, kids, and co-workers might see."

The IE blog posting mentions a couple of other related privacy features that will go live as of IE 8 Beta 2:

  • "InPrivate Blocking informs you about content that is in a position to observe your browsing history, and allows you to block it
  • "InPrivate Subscriptions allow you to augment the capability of InPrivate Blocking by subscribing to lists of websites to block or allow"

Microsoft officials have said IE 8 Beta 2 will be more focused on consumers, as opposed to developers (who were the target of IE 8 Beta 1). The final version of IE 8 is expected to roll out in November 2008.

What do you think of the new privacy controls Microsoft is adding with IE 8? Safari already offers private browsing, but Firefox does not.

Topics: Legal, 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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40 comments
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  • Sex is a shameful thing?

    You can look at Internet porn all day and night and not libido.There's no libido there.Is this human nature to see naked as unnatural,dirty or even wrong?Or is it that you don't want your significant other to see what you've been doing?(I erase my entire drive and reinstall the OS after porn.)
    BALTHOR
    • Shameful?

      I am the director for a Christ-centered addiction program and there are countless men AND women addicted because they stumbled into an internet site that soon became an attraction to them.

      I have a question for you... If you feel that it is not wrong, why do you write "I erase my entire drive and reinstall the OS after porn."? My intent is not one of condemnation, but if you feel that you need help, I know of a way that has seen addicts of all types (alcohol, drugs, gambling, sex, over-eating, anger...) get victory in their life to the place they don't need to think about NOT doing it, but have a clean conscience and life today.

      Want to know more? Go to www.reformu.com
      Preacher709
      • he may not think it is wrong, but....

        his significant other may, and this may be the easiest way to avoid hurt feelings, personal conflicts, or arguments.

        However, I do wonder if his s/o is so computer literate as to be able to track his sites, cookies and activity.
        nmsyguy
        • Child protection matters too

          I, an adult male, don't think it is wrong, and my wife has no objections, but what if children use the computer too? We recently bought a new laptop with Windows Vista Home Premium. Naturally, immediately after purchasing it, I set up separate user accounts for the kids etc., and assumed that the protected mode would provide some degree of security. You can't believe how shocked my wife was to be asked by our young son, why she was sitting naked on the sofa! The widget that shows a slide show of images on the desktop had simply been changed from showing images from the sample photo library to My Pictures, but was now showing all of the images under /users/ INCLUDING those in the administrator account AND those in the Temporary Internet Files folders, also those in the administrator account! Needless to say, we were both rather shocked. This fun little widget was displaying everything, and mysteriously continued displaying at least some browser cache images even immediately after I had gone into IE and asked it to delete all temporary files. (A quick search confirmed that there were still plenty left!)
          I then discovered that it is also perfectly possible to access all of the files from the kids' "limited" account via Explorer, although the sub-folders under /Temporary Internet Files/ don't show unless you run a search (e.g. for all .jpg files, which unearths them and you then copy the path into Explorer's address bar. Isn't this a MAJOR security flaw, quite apart from the question of porn?
          d.s.williams
          • P.S.

            I have since switched to using FF and deleting the cache at the end of each session just to be sure, but will now probably consider Opera or Safari.
            d.s.williams
  • RE: Microsoft to roll out more granular 'porn mode' with IE 8

    I can see the usefulness for this feature (deleting cookies and saved form values/urls from bank sites etc) but I agree it porn was probably a big part in this concept.
    ZenMasta
  • RE: Microsoft to roll out more granular 'porn mode' with IE 8

    Finally, private mode is one of the coolest parts of Safari. If
    only Firefox had this feature as well.
    ChrisOPeterson
    • FF has this (nt)

      .
      none none
      • Explain

        FF doesn't have this. At least not natively. If you're talking about a plug-in that doesn't count.
        LiquidLearner
        • ORLY?

          Firefox has this natively (for a while now). Preferences > Privacy > Cookie Exceptions. Plus complete control over the cookies: Show Cookies, which shows them grouped by site, shows what's in any cookie and allows for individual or bulk removal.

          Just because Microsoft made up a pretty name for it doesn't hide the fact it took them years to offer some of the most basic features in other browsers.
          ZDNET_guest666
  • Quit calling it "porn mode"!!

    ...as though desire for privacy is exclusively the domain of the perverts!!
    Techboy_z
    • re: Quit calling it "porn mode"!!

      [i]...as though desire for privacy is exclusively the domain of the perverts!! [/i]

      If you listen to some people, it's also the domain of criminals. "What do you care unless you have something to hide?" is the pro-obliterate-privacy folks' argument.







      :)
      none none
      • Advertisers

        I don't want advertisers to see what or where i go and do. I already have a program that removes the unwanted cookies,and keeps the ones I want.Its all about personal choices
        Stan57
      • I have tons to hide and so do you (NT)

        .
        voska1
      • There are a number of things you might hide...

        Like where you've been shopping for that special birthday or anniversary gift.
        johnay
      • Exactly!!

        I don't care if I'm online, ordering a flat of daisies for backyard planting,..... I don't want anyone to know about it. It's absolutely nobody's business but mine.

        The morons that say "if you have nothing hide, why worry?" are basically saying that if you are not a criminal you should give up your privacy willingly. After I slap the crap out of them, I would like to reply that it's because I'm NOT a criminal that I am entitled to some privacy. Bottom line: If I'm not doing anything illegal, leave me alone.... period.

        [i]If you listen to some people, it's also the domain of criminals. "What do you care unless you have something to hide?" is the pro-obliterate-privacy folks' argument.[/i]
        shawkins
        • Rights to privacy

          Precisely! Here in Germany, where I now live, there are fairly strict laws on privacy and a person's "right to their own image", for example. So, if I post a photo of a stranger on the web, I might get a letter from a lawyer asking me to take it down, and charging me a hefts fee for the privilege of being sent a polite warning letter rather than being taken straight to court. However, in spite of these rights, the authorities and businesses such as shops are nevertheless allowed to invade our privacy routinely with CCTV cameras.
          d.s.williams
    • C'mon, we all know who reads ZDNet articles!

      She is writing for the average ZDNet reader in terms that they
      would understand. She knows her audience and Microsoft
      knows what people use IE for!
      B.O.F.H.
  • RE: Microsoft to roll out more granular 'porn mode' with IE 8

    Again, I'll say it. I want to share my porn with the rest of the world! There is some pretty funny stuff out there. As long as there is the option to disable this mode then I guess its not too bad when it comes to porn.
    Loverock Davidson
  • RE: Microsoft to roll out more granular 'porn mode' with IE 8

    Unlike Safari (and FF if it had it) this will be controllable with Group Policies for network admins, making it an excellent feature that can be disabled when it needs to be. I'm actually starting to look forward to IE8 with this and the tabs/toolbars running in separate processes from the main browser shell.
    LiquidLearner