Microsoft has announced that from now on it will disable the Do Not Track feature in future versions of Internet Explorer as well as its new web browser currently known as Project Spartan. For those who are unaware, the Do Not Track feature is present in many major browsers which tells websites and advertisers that the user wants to opt-out of third-party tracking which is used for targeting advertisements.
The feature is present in popular browsers by Apple, Microsoft, Opera, Mozilla and Google. It’s merely a request that the browser send, it doesn’t blocking tracking, so it’s up to advertisers if they want to accept the Do Not Track request.
Microsoft enabled Do Not Track by default when it launched Internet Explorer 10. Before Microsoft decided to do this advertisers had agree to accept these request as long as Do Not Track as not the default setting.
The advertisers argued that it should be up to the users to decide whether they want to be tracked for targeted advertisements, and that the browser shouldn’t decide for them be default.
Microsoft will now be joining the likes of Chrome and Firefox, which while do offer the Do Not Track feature, keep it disabled by default. Users can choose to enable the feature at any time they like.
The company’s Chief Privacy Officer Brendon Lynch says the reason for this change is merely compliance with the latest draft of the official W3C standard for Do Not Track, which states that the DNT signal “MUST reflect the user’s preference, not the choice of some vendor, institution, site or network-imposed mechanism outside the user’s control; this applies equally to both the general preference and exceptions.”