Microsoft yesterday announced its intent to implement its “Do Not Track” (DNT) functionality by default in the next iteration of its web browser, Internet Explorer 10, a shift that has already begun to ruffle the feathers of online advertisers.
In a post to its TechNet blog, the company’s Chief Privacy Officer Brendon Lynch details the move, explaining how IE 10, on track to ship with Windows 8 in October, will be the first browser with DNT enabled by default.
Lynch rationalizes that the move is in the customers’ interest, reasoning that users deserve to decide themselves whether or not they want their actions online monitored and shared.
“Consumers should be empowered to make an informed choice,” Lynch wrote Thursday.
The move didn’t exactly sit well with the Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA), a faction of several media and trade organizations who voiced concerns yesterday over what they referred to as a “unilateral decision” by Microsoft.
According to an announcement issued by the DAA’s General Counsel Stu Ingis, the group, which counts Microsoft as a member, fears the move may “ultimately narrow the scope of consumer choices, undercut thriving business models,” among other concerns.
The DAA championed the Do Not Track concept from the start but only under the condition it wasn’t a default setting on browsers.
The DNT initiative of course was launched in December 2010 after the Federal Trade Commission released a report that beckoned companies to implement a “Do Not Track” mechanism on their browsers in an attempt to give users a greater sense of privacy while online, allow each to block tracking from certain third party advertisers. The concept gained momentum over the last year and a half as Microsoft, Mozilla, Yahoo, and Opera all joined the party with their respective browsers and services.
The most recent convert, Twitter, implemented DNT technology into its service last month via Mozilla’s Firefox browser, giving users the choice of being tracked across other websites in the “Twitter ecosystem.”