Internet Explorer 10’s “Do Not Track” Threatens the Free Internet – Analyst

Advertisers are outraged with Microsoft’s decision to keep DNT on by default

The “Do Not Track” saga continues with a new episode, this time with advertisers again in the spotlight, as they continue to criticize Microsoft’s decision to keep this option on by default.

Internet Explorer 10 is the Windows 8 built-in browser and comes with a factory-enabled DNT feature, while its Windows 7 sibling, still in preview stage, adopts the same strategy.

Users are, however, provided with a tutorial the first time they launch Internet Explorer 10, just to let them know that DNT is turned on, but also to provide step-by-step instructions on how to disable it.

Daniel Castro, a senior analyst at ITIF, thinks that Microsoft’s efforts to keep DNT on all the time threaten the free Internet, as the feature blocks advertisers from delivering better targeted ads and boost ad sales.

“Without advertising, users cannot get all of the free materials that they have come to enjoy with the Internet,” he was quoted as saying by IBD.

Internet Explorer 10 isn’t the only browser on the market that sports such a feature, but the main difference is that Microsoft’s app offers it enabled by default.

“IE10 continues our focus on helping consumers protect their privacy, which started in IE9 with features such as Tracking Protection. In Windows 8, ‘Do Not Track’ (DNT) is ‘on’ in the Express Settings at time of set-up, and IE10 in Windows 7 also sends a ‘Do Not Track’ signal to Web sites by default,” Microsoft said a few days ago when it officially released Internet Explorer 10 for Windows 7 Preview.

Of course, privacy advocates are pleased with Microsoft’s decision to offer DNT turned on by default, but advertisers warn that such a strategy will only hurt the Internet.

According to figures released by Net Applications earlier this month, Internet Explorer remains the most popular browser on the market with a 48 percent share, while Mozilla’s Firefox comes second with 18 percent.

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