PC World reports that Microsoft will include technology in its latest version of Web browser Internet Explorer (IE9) to allow individuals to block the tracking of their Web habits. IE9 is expected to be released next year.
The next version of Internet Explorer will let users turn on “tracking protection,” a new mechanism that will block specified third-party sites from tracking users, Microsoft said.
The announcement comes just as the U.S. Federal Trade Commission has proposed that consumers be allowed to subscribe to a “do not track” system that is similar to the “do not call” lists that consumers join in order to block telemarketers.
To use the new IE9 feature, people will turn it on and then choose a list of sites to block. Anyone, including individuals, companies and consumer protection groups, can make such lists, and users can subscribe to as many as they please. […]
Users may like the idea of being able to block certain sites from tracking their actions online but some may be surprised by the result. That’s because sites that users block from tracking them will also be blocked from displaying content. During the webcast, the executives showed a prerecorded demo of how the mechanism works. Once the feature was turned on and started blocking sites, certain content on the page that was provided by the third-party sites no longer appeared on the page.
The lists are subscription-based, meaning the authors can update the lists and the updates will be automatically pushed out to subscribers. IE9 will check for updates to the lists once a week.
The feature will not block cookies that are built in Flash.