The Wall Street Journal reports on a new tool for people browsing online:
A new version of Microsoft Corp.’s Internet Explorer to be released Tuesday will be the first major Web browser to include a do-not-track tool that helps people keep their online habits from being monitored.
Microsoft’s decision to include the tool in Internet Explorer 9 means Google Inc. and Apple Inc. are the only big providers of browsers that haven’t yet declared their support for a do-no-track system in their products. In January, Mozilla Corp. said it would include a do-not-track feature in an upcoming version of its Firefox browser. Internet Explorer is the most widely used browser. […]
Microsoft is also including a feature in Internet Explorer 9 called “tracking protection lists,” which will let people prevent specific Web-tracking companies from snooping on their browsing habits.
Microsoft shelved a similar feature several years ago when it was working on a prior version of its browser, under intense pressure from online advertisers and publishers, who feared the features would deprive them of necessary data to sell lucrative targeted advertising. […]
It still isn’t clear how effective the privacy protection tools in Microsoft’s browser will be. The do-not-track feature automatically sends out a message to websites and others requesting that the user’s data not be tracked.
But the system will only work if tracking companies agree to respect visitors’ requests. So far, no companies have publicly agreed to participate in the system.