Internet users could be put back in the driving seat if Microsoft goes ahead with plans to ditch online web tracking and information sharing.
According to an announcement just made by the software giant, they are planning to launch to a new version of their Internet Explorer 9 browser, allowing browsers to evade online tracking by companies who use this information to sell to advertisers.
“We believe that the combination of consumer opt-in, an open platform for publishing of Tracking Protection Lists (TPLs), and the underlying technology mechanism for Tracking Protection offer new options and a good balance between empowering consumers and online industry needs,” Microsoft said.
The proposed tracking protection lists will be also updated regularly with new Web addresses to block, according to Microsoft.
Anti tracking will allow users to opt out of such online monitoring conducted by privacy groups and other firms who identify the online addresses that tracking companies operate from.
If this goes ahead the multi-billion dollar advertising industry built on the back of browser tracking could be dealt a huge blow, in particular the likes of Google, and Yahoo who spawned the concept, if other companies follow suit and users embrace the tool.
This announcement by Microsoft also comes after the US congress met last Thursday to debate if legislation to create a “Do Not Track Me” mechanism is needed to protect consumer’s privacy online.
90 percent of US consumers polled said they desired more protection, especially in light of recent revelations that Google Street views were tracking information from home Wi-Fi networks.
“Privacy remains a key topic and. ..finding the right balance of investments by both companies and the advertising industry that will provide meaningful choice, control and protection for the consumer’s information and that contribute to growing consumer trust,” said Microsoft Chief Privacy Strategist Peter Cullen.
In 2008 Microsoft had considered ‘InPrivate Subscriptions’ for its Internet Explorer 8.