Microsoft to add tracking protection to Internet Explorer 9

Posted: December 8, 2010 in Internet, Microsoft, Software
Tags: , ,

A unique privacy protection feature called ‘Tracking Protection’ in Microsoft’s next-generation Web browser will protect users from being tracked. This recently announced feature will enable users to stop certain websites and tracking companies from gathering information about them.

A list of the web addresses used by tracking companies called “tracking protection lists” can be subscribed by the users and the Internet Explorer would then automatically block those companies from the user’s computer.

The feature is expected to arrive in the first release candidate of IE9 early next year. This will direct the browser which third-party page elements sites can and cannot be blocked from tracking. The new feature will allow users to prevent being tracked by small text files called “cookies” and bits of software known as “beacons.

Dean Hachamovitch, Head of Internet Explorer development, explain its working in detail on the Microsoft’s IE blog. 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.

The lists will not be created or hosted by Microsoft, but likely by consumer protection organizations or interested enthusiasts. Once downloaded to the user’s PC, they will be automatically updated via a subscription mechanism.

The tracking protection will not be on by default when it arrives, but users will need to opt-in to enable it and will have to seek out lists of sites which will not ship with the browser. Two years back, Microsoft had abandoned a set of similar privacy features planned for Internet Explorer 8.

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