Microsoft adds opt-in privacy features and tracking protection for IE9

Scared about what websites are learning by tracking your browsing history on the web? Microsoft has come up with a new anti tracking feature for its soon-to-be released web browser, Internet Explorer 9 (IE9), that helps users keep their web-browsing history private.

"Today, consumers share information with more websites than the ones they see in the address bar in their browser. This is inherent in the design of the web and simply how the web works, and it has potentially unintended consequences," says Microsoft in a December 7 IE blog post.

The feature, which Microsoft calls a Tracking Protection List (TPL) acts in the same way a "Do Not Call" list for telephones works.

By limiting data requests to selected third-party sites, you also restrict those sites from collecting data and tracking your movements on the web explains Microsoft.

Unfortunately the feature is opt-in, meaning most IE9 users won't have the know-how or the patience to sit down and built their own TPLs.

Microsoft says they've made the TPL an opt-in feature because, "Controlling this aspect of the browser's behavior is up to the consumer. The browser vendor provides the functionality and respects the consumer's choices here."

With this in mind, hopefully Microsoft will provide everyday users with an easy-to-follow guide, in plain English, that shows them how to create their own TPLs and how to activate the feature within IE9 for more private web browsing in the future.

For more information about the "Do Not Track" features in IE9 and a (rather technical) guide to creating your own TPLs, you can read Microsoft's blog post here: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/ie/archive/2010/12/07/ie9-and-privacy-introducing-tracking-protection-v8.aspx

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