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IE 11 Features Selective Do-Not-Track

Microsoft says its latest release of Internet Explorer (IE 11) will have stricter Do-Not-Track (DNT) options. In particular, it will allow users to grant permission for specific websites to log their movements.

The latest version of Internet Explorer debuted in the Windows 8.1 preview, released at the end of June at the software firm’s Build conference for developers.

The web browser comes with a default DNT setting, as featured in IE10, in order to prevent advertisers and websites snooping on users’ online activities. However, the software giant has introduced a User-Granted Exceptions option to IE11 that allows users to pick and choose the sites they want to track their movements.

The company claims to be the first web browser software vendor to offer this capability. According to Brendon Lynch, Microsoft’s chief privacy officer:

“The exceptions capability… enables websites to ask for an exception to a consumer’s DNT setting and provides a mechanism for that permission to be stored and communicated to the website in the future. Enabling consumers to grant permission to a particular website or service for collection and use of their information, even when DNT is on for other sites, reflects feedback we heard during discussions.

“As part of our ongoing commitment to privacy, we will continue to listen to our customers, engage with industry, consumer groups, policymakers and academia, and evolve our products.”

Microsoft is setting the standard by introducing user-granted exceptions to DNT requests. This essentially allows users to determine which websites are allowed to track them, thus allowing some websites to make more money and users to continue to access free content.

The Details

Specifically, the latest version of IE 11 will be the first major browser to implement user-granted exceptions from the W3C’s Tracking Protection Working Group’s specification effort. The DNT exceptions capability in IE, which is known as the “permissions API” (application programming interface), enables websites to ask for an exception to a consumer’s DNT setting and provides a mechanism for that permission to be stored and communicated to the website in the future.

Enabling consumers to grant permission to a particular website or service for collection and use of their information, even when DNT is on for other sites, reflects feedback that Microsoft received from their clients.

IE 11 works the same as previous versions with respect to enabling DNT. Users must choose “Custom Settings” during set up to turn DNT off, should they choose to do so. There are additional ways to change the DNT setting in IE for those who many want to change it. Users can now set their DNT preference in IT11 from the “Privacy” panel in “Settings,” or from the “Safety” menu on their desktop.

This new functionality can be tested via the Windows 8.1 Preview, found here.

Summary

Microsoft is setting the standard by introducing user-granted exceptions to Do-Not-Track (DNT) requests in its latest version of Internet Explorer (IE 11). This essentially allows users to determine which websites are allowed to track them and which are not.

CIPP Exam Preparation

In preparation for the Certified Information Privacy Professional/Information Technology (CIPP/IT) a privacy professional should be comfortable with topics related to this post, including:

  • Data processing – relationships with third parties (I.F.b.)
  • Privacy and system design – security safeguards (I.I.a.v.)
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