At last year’s Online Tracking Protection & Browsers workshop in Brussels, Vice President Kroes said “we should collectively pay more attention to the emerging ‘do-not-track’ technologies – or DNT for short.”
She went on to challenge browser manufacturers and the online advertising industry to join together with European and US regulators to create a Do Not Track standard by June, 2012.
June has arrived. Work on the DNT standard has been proceeding in the W3C Tracking Protection working group. Microsoft has been an active participant in these discussions, since we have both a browser (Internet Explorer) and an advertising network. We see DNT through 2 lenses – as the browser that sends the DNT signal, and the website/ad network that receives it.
Although the participants have done a great deal of hard work on the DNT standard and good progress has been achieved, it’s not finished yet. Today, we’ve decided to take the discussion a step further by announcing that in Windows 8, Internet Explorer will have Do Not Track on by default. Consumers can easily change this setting but the default will be to send the DNT signal to websites that consumers visit. Internet Explorer will be the first browser to have DNT on by default.
We’ve made today’s decision because we believe in putting people first. We believe that consumers should have more control over how information about their online behavior is tracked, shared and used. Vice President Kroes indicated in January that she hoped DNT “will have a big role to play for the future of online privacy.” We share that hope.To learn more about today’s announcement, please see our blog post on Advancing Consumer Trust and Privacy: Internet Explorer in Windows 8.