updated 08:57 pm EDT, Fri June 1, 2012
Microsoft also to push for 'Do Not Track' standards among sites
Following the debut of the Windows 8 Release Preview, Microsoft announced in a blog post that Internet Explorer 10 would have the "Do Not Track" browser privacy feature enabled by default. The feature has been a part of other popular browsers for some time now, but the announcement means that IE10 on Windows 8 will be the first browser to have the setting enabled by default. Microsoft also announced its intention to bring about better standards in implementation of the "Do Not Track" feature for websites and software.
"Do Not Track" has been something of a touchstone topic in the evolution of online privacy. The feature forms much of the foundation of an agreement laying out standards for consumer protection on the Internet, and the Federal Trade Commission recently posted recommendations that the feature should be more strictly adhered to in the mobile sector. Google and Mozilla have made available browser extensions that allow users to opt out of tracking.
Microsoft based its decision to make the privacy feature the default setting on a 2010 report from the Federal Trade Commission, which called for uniform and comprehensive consumer choice mechanisms governing online behavioral advertising targeting. Following the report, Microsoft added "Do Not Track" support to Internet Explorer 9, and the company has been working to implement the feature in IE10 since.
In addition to the announcement of the new default feature, Microsoft has reaffirmed its commitment to the development of a common standard governing how sites and software will respond to the reception of a "Do Not Track" signal. For its own targeted advertising efforts, Microsoft says it will treat a "Do Not Track" signal as an opt-out of behavioral advertising, although the company does not yet treat the signal as such.