But it requires that consumers know enough to turn it on, as well as to decide which sites to allow and which to block and which to trust. Indeed knowing what parts of a web page are collecting information requires a pretty sophisticated understanding of the way the web works.
- Advertising Age, Your Internet Browser, Now With Fewer Snooping Ads
Microsoft is ready for Internet Explorer 9 Release Candidate (IE9 RC) of the next major version of IE, on February 10th, 2011.
On the heels of Federal Trade Commission major report on consumer privacy online, Microsoft announced Tracking Protection in the Internet Explorer 9. This announcement has generated a lot of buzz and many concerns among the advertisers and publishers. “Tracking has become a powerful tool for online advertisers to identify groups of people who may be interested in products or services based on their web activities. The practice has been denounced by privacy advocates who argue advertisers have no right to use people’s personal information, including their use of the web, without first getting permission.”
What about the ads? Yes, the Tracking Protection feature will supposedly provide consumers the option to opt-out of receiving ads completely, or, to have more granular control over the certain types of advertising they do want to receive and the type of data they are willing to have collected about them.
What is Tracking Protection lists? Tracking Protection lists (TPL) will be integrated within Internet Explorer 9 browser to allow users make their own decisions about what sites are on the list. In the past, Internet Explorer 8’s InPrivate Filtering functionality relied on frequency heuristics to build a list as a consumer browses sites. Microsoft claims by improving the predictability of the user experience, the user will be in position to choose what information she’d like to share with which websites. A Tracking Protection List (TPL) will contain web addresses that the browser will visit (or “call”) only if the consumer visits them directly by clicking on a link or typing their address. . . By limiting the calls to these websites and resources from other web pages, the TPL limits the information these other sites can collect.
In addition to Microsoft, the Firefox and Google Chrome browsers are working on Do Not Track tools as well to help users block advertisers from collecting information about them. This will be the first in a series of steps designed to guard privacy.
My point is: not unlike the InPrivate feature in Internet Explorer 8, the new Tracking Protection might be too complex and go beyond what typical consumer is fully aware of. What will be the percentage of people who will go over the process below to keep track of the back-listed sites? See yourself.