Knowing that someone is watching your every move is obviously unnerving - whether in real life or online.. Recently we reported on how Facebook and Google were informed whenever one of their users logged onto the NHS Choices website. With that in mind, Microsoft has today announced it will add more privacy settings to the latest iteration of its browser, Internet Explorer 9.
IE9 will offer consumers a new opt-in mechanism, called Tracking Protection, to identify and block many forms of undesired tracking. In addition Tracking Protection Lists will enable consumers to control what third-party site content can track them when they’re online.
“We believe that the combination of consumer opt-in, an open platform for publishing of Tracking Protection Lists (TPLs), and the underlying technology mechanism for Tracking Protection offer new options and a good balance between empowering consumers and online industry needs,” Microsoft said in its blog posting.
Web users, when they log onto a site, share information with more websites than the ones they see in the address bar of their browser. This is inherent in the design of the web and simply how the web works but it has potentially unintended consequences.
A Tracking Protection List contains web addresses (like TrustedReviews.com) that the browser will visit 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.
While this is probably good news for the end user, there could be some downsides from a financial and commercial point of view. “One potential downside is that some web site publishers and developers already have concerns with large numbers of visitors blocking some of the content today (usually ads). We understand this concern and have provided several ways to deal with this issue.,” Microsoft added.