As discussion heats up around the FTC's "Do Not Track" proposals, Microsoft has added its voice to the debate. Yesterday Microsoft unveiled a new Internet Explorer 9 feature, called Tracking Protection Lists, which promises to empower users to control what third-party sites can track them when they’re online.
Here’s the issue: Most of us share information with websites beyond those we see in our address bar. This is because websites can prompt our browser to connect to other servers and exchange information behind the scenes. This enables profiling, behavioral advertising, and other sorts of data collection some may find objectionable.
Microsoft's Tracking Protection List feature could help shield users from these practices—if they choose. The feature allows users to create a list of web addresses within Internet Explorer (for example, those of known behavioral ad networks). Referencing this list, Internet Explorer will refuse to initiate a connection with any address listed. Users can subscribe to lists maintained by trusted organizations, making the process all that easier. In short, when used properly, this tool gives Internet Explorer users a higher degree of control while browsing online.
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