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Microsoft Reaffirms Default Do-Not-Track For IE10, Windows 8 Express Setup 184

Billly Gates writes "Microsoft has confirmed that Internet Explorer 10 will have Do-Not-Track settings enabled by default. IE 10 comes with Windows 8, and will go release candidate for Windows 7 very soon, according to Anne Kohn in a comment in IE's blog. During Windows 8 setup, users who choose the 'Express' option will have DNT on by default, while using the 'Custom' option will give them the chance to change the setting, if they want. IE 10 already has a score of 319 in, while MS is trying to position IE as a great browser again. Will this pressure other browsers such as Firefox and Opera to do the same?" When Microsoft began talking about this in May, it touched off quite a debate at W3C about whether browsers should have DNT turned on by default or not.
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Microsoft Reaffirms Default Do-Not-Track For IE10, Windows 8 Express Setup

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  • I wonder what websites will do once almost everyone has Do Not Track enabled. If it's just a few nerds... let's stop tracking them if they insist. If it's everyone...?

    "And when everyone is Super... no one will be!" ---The Incredibles

  • by MrKaos ( 858439 ) on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @05:44AM (#40916091) Journal

    If all the browser support of Javascript, css and html5 was close to the same.

    I know... I know...

  • I doubt if Firefox is going to do this anytime soon.

    This is the reason Google made Chrome and also support Firefox monetarily.

    • by caspy7 ( 117545 )

      You're quite right. Mozilla, who has help to push Do Not Track and the first to implement it, is very much against turning it on by default. Doing so simply deflates the effort.
      MS may very well have this in mind.

      • My guess is they want to hurt Google, which this will. And then when Google eventually starts ignoring it they can trumpet that fact and hurt them some more.
  • by DrXym ( 126579 ) on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @06:28AM (#40916257)
    A more cynical person might believe this is just a way for Microsoft to stick it to Google, Facebook etc, especially in tablet land. I'm sure the terms and conditions mean MS / Bing services are not so impeded by what it may or may not do with user data.
  • by jamesh ( 87723 ) on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @06:29AM (#40916261)

    This website is incompatible with the Do Not Track feature of your browser. Please disable the feature and hit refresh to try again.

    • by wmac1 ( 2478314 )

      There are millions of other websites. I normally close the page and no more visit the website if it tries to bully me (force me to disable AdBlock or force me to register before I can see the article ...)

      • by jamesh ( 87723 )

        There are millions of other websites. I normally close the page and no more visit the website if it tries to bully me (force me to disable AdBlock or force me to register before I can see the article ...)

        It hardly counts as a bullying tactic - if you refuse to pay the cover charge (eg watch a few ads) then you shouldn't be allowed in.

        If a site asks me to turn off ad block or register (for a service I don't want to register for) then like you, I just go somewhere else, but I don't go around claiming they are bullying me.

      • by Bigby ( 659157 )

        What if DoubleClick/AdSense sites require it. That would shut down a significant portion of the web.

        • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

          What if DoubleClick/AdSense sites require it. That would shut down a significant portion of the web.

          Considering Google already does something similar for Google Analytics (Google owns DoubleClick, remember, so DoubleClick and AdSense are one and the same now) - i.e., it can require javascript to be enabled for GA, it's very possible that Google will require it. Most javascript blockers do implement stub functions to get around the click-tracking (it's been around a few years, but there's bound to be more).


  • ...please do not leave the ship. The water entering the hull is a feature and nothing to worry about.

  • while MS is trying to position IE as a great browser again.

    I can't remember anyone ever saying IE was great.

    • When it had to beat netscape, Explorer was a good browser. If it ever manages to become relevant again, it will try to make it difficult for everybody else again. All corporations behave the same way, not all have the levers MS can pull, but that's a technicality.

  • It's not enough to convert me to IE but of course it should be on by default. The only reason companies don't want that is because they know it'll never get switched on by most people.
    • by Ksevio ( 865461 )

      But what's the point of having it if it's just going to be on for everyone? Might as well just make a do-not-track rule that advertisers should follow.

      The problem is that much of the web is funded by advertising, so people blocking advertising (or making it less effective) means that sites will either shut down or need to charge customers/visitors in other ways.

      • Then why not ask people as part of a new install (first use)? I think just having it as a setting that you have to know it's there is pointless. Most people don't want to be tracked I suspect.

        I agree to an extent about advertising. I actually think advertising is in a way getting worse. There are two scenarios usually. One is no matter what you like you get those ugly ads about weight loss, nicer teeth or younger skin (the one that looks like grandma is peeling off a layer of flesh) or you see an ad for
  • So every script that handles DNT will start with something like "if browser=="IE10" and dnt=="1" then dnt=null", treating IE users the same as any other user that did not set the DNT flag explicitly. No harm done, except to people who are savvy enougth to know about DNT and still use IE (and they really have nobody to blame except themselves).

    Now, while we're on the subject, could browser makers please make the "Accept-Language" also default to null unless the user sets it explicitly? If I set it to "en-us"

  • []

    Why doesn't anyone use these?
    MS has given the ability to filter this stuff out already. Nobody looks though.

    • Do the tracking protection lists work in Metro IE?
  • Is that like a mobile speed camera detection system?

  • If the ad companies ignore Internet Explorer's DNT, then Microsoft should respond by adding an adblocker that blocks them.

    This is actually a good business strategy for them :

    1.It benefits consumers because they get an integrated adblocker and it establishes customer goodwill and a reason to upgrade IE.
    2.It would seriously hurt Google. Microsoft's revenue from online advertising is peanuts; their profit is in their software. By contrast, Google's only real source of income is online advertising.

  • Thank you for looking after the consumer.

    Do-not-track should be enabled by default. The problem is not that "it will be rendered worthless", the problem is that it IS worthless, currently. Do-not-spam-me-with-unwanted-telemarketers should be the default too. The reason the Do-Not-Call lists work is that there is legislative teeth behind them, not that it is opt-in. Do-not-track is a lame attempt at self-regulating to avoid regulation, a veneer of respecting privacy in an industry where the most profit is

    • The principle purpose of user tracking technology is for the oh-so-evil reason that advertisers want relevant ads to be pitched.

      That's it. Nothing more. Like virtually everything out there, it can be used for evil, but for the most part is used innocuously.

      Now, before you cry and wail and say "Squiggie's evil, he just said it's OK for someone to watch me on the web like a lecherous prevert" I want you to consider the following:

      - Do not track is a voluntary program by the industry.

      - Tracking is usua

  • I said this in June, but it still stands (unless the draft standard has been updated, but I couldn't find anything). The latest draft of the standard states "[a]n ordinary user agent MUST NOT send a Tracking Preference signal without a user's explicit consent." Having it set by default, without any input from the user, violates that. That seems about as simple as you can get.

    I agree with a lot of others. This voluntary DNT stuff doesn't really have any teeth. The only real reason for anyone to honor it is to avoid real regulation (which may or may not actually be enough to keep sites honest). However, enabling it by default will definitely ensure that advertisers do not honor it (at least for that browser). Advertisers will not voluntarily stop for all users of a certain browser based on a default browser setting (where the browser maker is the one deciding, rather than the user). I will admit that this leads to the question of whether or not they'd actually stop even if DNT is explicitly set by the user.

    I still feel that a question during the IE first-run wizard is the best solution. MS can present the benefits and privacy implications of choosing whether or not to allow advertiser tracking, without any default value. The setting would be user-set regardless of whether they choose yes or no.

    This could actually come back to hurt IE10 users overall. As other commenters have suggested, there's some gray area over what exactly constitutes explicit user consent regarding the setting. If IE10 sets this without any user intervention, advertisers have a not-totally-unreasonable excuse to ignore DNT from IE10, since it's a browser default rather than a user preference. An advertiser could continue to honor DNT for browsers where it is an explicit user preference, while ignoring it for only IE10 (in an effort to reduce ire toward them from DNT users without crippling themselves on all IE10 users). The IE10 users who actually want DNT may find that they can't actually use DNT, since advertisers assume it's just a browser default and ignore it. You end up with DNT working in Firefox, Chrome, etc. (when the user sets the preference) but not ever working in IE10.

    DNT is a compromise between users and advertisers. Setting DNT as a browser default shoots that compromise in the face, making it almost expected for advertisers to stop honoring it.

    This is similar to Microsoft's attempt to have IE8 render in standards-mode only if a special meta tag was included []. This would allow IE8 to render old, broken sites with the old, broken rendering engine while new compliant sites would be rendered with the great new rendering engine (as long as the new page included the special tag to tell IE8 that it really, really, really meant that the code should be rendered as written). They're trying to achieve what end users really want, but going about it in the worst possible way. Is it really that hard to have one more screen asking the user if they want DNT or not? That would completely avoid the issue of whether or not it was an explicit preference set by the user, and pretty much dismiss all of the tech community's complaints. There's still the issue of whether or not advertisers would actually honor it, but that's an issue for all browsers in general.

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