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Sunday, August 1, 2010

Microsoft Cut IE8 Privacy Features to Sell Ads

Microsoft developers planned "industry-leading" privacy features in Internet Explorer 8 that would have automatically blocked third-party tracking tools, but one feature was scaled back and another was dropped because they went against the interests of advertisers.

A senior executive in Microsoft's web advertising division became angry when he heard about the privacy features and complained that the plan would disrupt ad sales by Microsoft and other companies. Microsoft said it weighed considerations like ad revenue for free sites before deciding to scale back the plan.


  • Microsoft ultimately included one feature, called InPrivate Filtering, but users must enable it every time they open the browser instead of having it activated by default. InPrivate Filtering pinpoints likely tracking tools by blocking any third-party content that turns up on more than 10 visited websites.


  • Microsoft also dropped another proposed feature, known as InPrivate Subscriptions, that would have automatically blocked Web addresses that appeared on "black lists" compiled by privacy groups.

Internet Explorer is used by more than 60 percent of all worldwide users, according to Net Applications, a web analytics company that tracks browser market share. Firefox is in second place with almost 23 percent and Chrome is third with about 7 percent.

Source: ReadWriteWeb


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