Microsoft Wants Everyone to Honor IE’s Do Not Track

“The industry needs to fully implement a response to the signal”

Internet Explorer 10’s factory-enabled Do Not Track option remains one of the most controversial features implemented in Microsoft’s in-house browser, but the company is asking the industry to honor this privacy tool.

Brad Smith, general counsel & executive vice president, Legal & Corporate Affairs, Microsoft, said in a blog post that Do Not Track would remain turned on by default in Internet Explorer 10, despite all the criticism coming from advertisers and organizations across the world.

“We continue to strive to put privacy first for our customers, while recognizing that providing consumers with more choice and control of their privacy requires strong collaboration with a number of stakeholders. We often have a unique perspective in these discussions: We have billions of paying customers, as well as a thriving advertising business,” Smith said.

Even though some other browsers come with a similar Do Not Track option, Internet Explorer 10 is the only application that boasts such a feature turned on by default.

That could hurt ad performance, as advertising technologies aren’t allowed to collect user data and provide relevant ads, several companies have warned.

What’s more, Yahoo said that it wouldn’t honor Do Not Track on its websites, as it feels that the DNT signal can easily be abused by large companies such as Microsoft.

The Redmond-based technology giant, however, asks the entire industry to honor Do Not Track, claiming that users are actually asking for such a feature. A Microsoft survey has revealed that 75 percent of the consumers in the US and Europe have admitted they want DNT turned on, the company said.

“Since our announcement, we’ve heard from a variety of voices about our decision. We’re listening. While we remain steadfast in our decision to enable the DNT signal in IE 10, we also recognize that turning the signal on is only the first step. To achieve the full value and benefit of DNT, the industry needs to fully implement a response to the signal,” Smith explained.

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