Microsoft Changes IE11 Do Not Track Behavior in Windows 8.1

The company has rolled out what it calls User-Granted Exceptions

By on July 3rd, 2013 19:11 GMT

The Do Not Track option remains a very important technology for Microsoft and its in-house Internet Explorer browser, so the company has improved the default behavior in Windows 8.1 Preview.

While Do Not Track remains turned on by default in Internet Explorer 11 and Windows 8.1 Preview, the browser will now feature what the company calls “User-Granted Exceptions” to allow specific websites to collect user data.

“The Do Not Track exceptions capability in Internet Explorer, which we refer to 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,” Brendon Lynch, chief privacy officer, Microsoft, explained.

“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 we heard clearly during discussions.”

Do Not Track has been one of the most controversial features available in Internet Explorer 10, especially because Microsoft has offered it turned on by default.

Advertisers have heavily criticized the Redmond-based software giant for keeping the option on all the time, while privacy advocates applauded the company for pledging to protect users’ privacy while browsing the web.

Do No Track is blocking websites and advertising platforms from collecting user data, thus being able to provide a better advertising experience.

Microsoft, on the other hand, has used the feature to show users that it cares about their privacy, thus trying not only to boost Internet Explorer’s market share, but also to increase the adoption of its newly-released operating systems.

“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. We look forward to continuing to innovate on privacy and provide the protections and choices our customers want,” Lynch explained.

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