Security Experts:

Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

SecurityWeekSecurityWeek

Privacy

Microsoft Sticks to Its Guns, Makes Do Not Track a Default Setting

Microsoft Logo

Refusing to buckle to the pressure put on them by industry insiders and the competition, Microsoft said on Tuesday that Do Not Track (DNT) will be a default option for Internet Explorer 10. As was the case when SecurityWeek last reported on the issue, Microsoft maintains that the choice reflects their desire to protect the privacy of the end user.

Microsoft Logo

Refusing to buckle to the pressure put on them by industry insiders and the competition, Microsoft said on Tuesday that Do Not Track (DNT) will be a default option for Internet Explorer 10. As was the case when SecurityWeek last reported on the issue, Microsoft maintains that the choice reflects their desire to protect the privacy of the end user.

As our previous coverage noted, DNT enables users (at home and the office) to opt-out of the tracking mechanisms that many Web advertisers use. It was first proposed by the FTC, but there isn’t a single law on the books that enforces its usage on the Web. DNT is completely optional, but sites such as Twitter have taken the initiative and implemented it anyway. 

In June, Microsoft said that consumers “should have more control over how information about their online behavior is tracked, shared and used.”

Microsoft Makes Do Not Track a Default

This caused some debate, as switching it on by default removes the choice from the user. Most argued that users should opt to turn it on, which seems to be backwards according to privacy advocates. Taking the aforementioned step, Mozilla said that users of Firefox will need to activate DNT on their own.

On Tuesday, Brendon Lynch, Microsoft’s Chief Privacy Officer, made things official in a blog post. 

“With Windows 8’s recent release to manufacturing, we know many people are interested in how customers will discover Do Not Track (DNT) in Internet Explorer 10. DNT will be enabled in the ‘Express Settings’ portion of the Windows 8 set-up experience,” he wrote.  

“There, customers will also be given a ‘Customize’ option, allowing them to easily switch DNT ‘off’ if they’d like. This approach is consistent with Microsoft’s goal of designing and configuring IE features to better protect user privacy, while also affording customers control of those features. It also underscores that the privacy of our customers is a top priority for Microsoft.”

In response to this announcement, the Tracking Protection Working Group of the World Wide Web Consortium has said they are looking into a new round of debates.

Written By

Click to comment

Expert Insights

Related Content

Privacy

The EU's digital policy chief warned TikTok’s boss that the social media app must fall in line with tough new rules for online platforms...

Privacy

Meta was fined an additional $5.9 million for violating EU data protection regulations with WhatsApp messaging app.

Cybersecurity Funding

Los Gatos, Calif-based data protection and privacy firm Titaniam has raised $6 million seed funding from Refinery Ventures, with participation from Fusion Fund, Shasta...

Mobile & Wireless

As smartphone manufacturers are improving the ear speakers in their devices, it can become easier for malicious actors to leverage a particular side-channel for...

Application Security

Microsoft’s security patching machine hummed into overdrive Tuesday with the release of fixes for at least 97 documented software vulnerabilities, including a zero-day that’s...

Privacy

Employees of Chinese tech giant ByteDance improperly accessed data from social media platform TikTok to track journalists in a bid to identify the source...

Cloud Security

AWS has announced that server-side encryption (SSE-S3) is now enabled by default for all Simple Storage Service (S3) buckets.