Microsoft says that Internet Explorer 9 will feature Tracking Protection, a privacy feature that will enable users to stop websites and Internet tracking companies from collecting information about them. Microsoft's announcement was welcomed by regulators and privacy groups, but criticized by trade groups that represent the online-advertising industry.
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently called for the creation of a voluntary do-not-track system that would enable users to block Web sites from tracking them, but Microsoft says Tracking Protection is more powerful because it also blocks cookies and beacons. "This path is different in that it actually blocks the tracking now," says Microsoft's Dean Hachamovitch.
The FTC is calling on Internet service providers to offer similar features. "Now others in both the browser and advertising communities need to step up and develop technologies including implementing a do-not-track option," says FTC chairman Job Leibowitz.
Advertisers are worried that the new tool could prevent ads from reaching consumers. "We are concerned that the new browser features will block the advertising that supports free content on the Internet, and may inadvertently block news, entertainment, and social media content as well," says Interactive Advertising Bureau CEO Randall Rothenberg.
From The Wall Street Journal
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