Microsoft on IE10’s Do Not Track: People Don’t Want to Be Followed Around

An exec explains Microsoft’s decision to keep DNT enabled by default

On Windows 8 platforms, Internet Explorer 10 comes with the controversial “Do Not Track” option turned on by default, and the Windows 7 preview version of the same browser adopts a similar tactic.

Of course, advertisers and companies in the industry have continuously criticized Microsoft, but the Redmondians don’t seem to care.

Users need such a feature, Microsoft said, while pointing out that consumers are provided with guides and instructions on how to disable this feature if they really want to.

Basically, the implementation of DNT blocks advertisers and websites from collecting information about the user and his browser session which, for some of them, isn’t at all good news given their business activities.

Frank Holland, corporate vice president of Microsoft Advertising & Online, said at the Monaco Media Forum that consumers simply don’t want to be followed around, so a feature such as “Do Not Track” makes a lot of sense, even if it’s turned on by default.

“As an industry we have not done a good job of defining what it means to respect the signal when the users asks us not to follow them around the internet. Secondly, consumers are saying the same thing – they are saying; ‘if I said to you, please respect the privacy settings that I have put in place, please make sure that it’s easy to designate. I don’t want to be followed around,’” he was quoted as saying by The Drum.

“Thirdly, from an advertising experience, nothing can be less interesting than showing people content that doesn’t really register.”

Internet Explorer 10 for Windows 7 Release Preview allows users to choose whether they want “Do Not Track” enabled or disabled when they launch the browser for the first time.

Other browsers on the market, including Google Chrome, also come with a “Do Not Track” feature, but it’s not turned on by default and presents a warning whenever the user tries to enable it.

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