Online Tracking, Consumer Protection, and Web Standards


Today, the W3C announced the creation of a Tracking Protection Working Group to work on defining what tracking is, signaling user intent, and tracking protection lists. The W3C’s action here can help protect consumers from unwanted tracking. We welcome the opportunity to work with the industry and governments on a Web standard based on our earlier work.

The Tracking Protection feature in IE9 provides a way for consumers to benefit today by restricting which sites on the Web get information from them.

The W3C accepted and published Microsoft’s member submission for an Internet standard to help protect consumer privacy last February. IE9 supports the “Do-Not-Track” header/DOM property and Tracking Protection Lists outlined in that W3C submission. The W3C noted that the submission was “…both timely and well-aligned with the consortium’s objectives and priorities” and announced a workshop at Princeton University to continue standardisation work for Web privacy and tracking protection. Microsoft presented two papers at the workshop in April.  The workshop report summarises the two days of passionate discussions with nearly a hundred participants from academia, government, advertising companies, browser vendors and major Web sites.

In the months since the workshop, the W3C has continued to discuss the best way to structure this work with the various stakeholders. As Dean noted last December, defining what the Do-Not-Track signal means and what to do with it is an important part of completing this work. We are looking forward to working with the Web community on this important initiative at the W3C.

—Adrian Bateman, Program Manager, Internet Explorer

Comments (16)

  1. Why does my IE 9 keep defaulting to IE 7 Standards... this is so frustrating!!!! says:

    Why does my IE 9 keep defaulting to IE 7 Standards… this is so frustrating!!!!

  2. ieblog says:

    The blog post blogs.msdn.com/…/testing-sites-with-browser-mode-vs-doc-mode.aspx describes how IE9 determines a page's document mode and how to investigate document modes with the F12 developer tools.

  3. Arieta says:

    So adblocking may become a web standard thanks to Microsoft? That would be hilariously ironic, yet an entirely welcomed change.

    It would be nice if there was a custom-modifiable, personal TPL list though, like the adblock in IE7pro. You guys should step up your game with this, and make it fully-featured, not a half-assed "it's there but you can't do much with it" thing. Customization is very important!

    Also, regarding the first two comments: Is there a chance we can get an user list in IE10 where we can set pages to work in whatever custom mode we choose? Sort of like the "broken page" button, except that we can set pages to run in whatever document mode we please – like, make a site work in current standards mode instead of quirks or ie7 mode. It would certainly break some pages, but it would be an interesting power user feature that would come handy on some old, badly coded, and un-maintained sites that would display fine in Standards mode, but they didn't bother to add a doctype to it.

  4. Anonymous says:

    @Arieta

    You can change the document mode in IE9 by bringing up the dveloper tools by pressing F12

  5. Arieta says:

    @Anonymous

    I know about that, what I meant was a permanent list, so the site always comes up in mode x. The current compatibility view lists achieve the same, but only for switching to older standards modes. I'm talking about switching to a newer compatibility mode, and make the site load that way all the time.

  6. Andrew says:

    Great! :)

    But please, make a visible checkbox option to enable the "Do-Not-Track" header in the internet options's privacy tab.

    This is way it is easier for users to enable it.

    Thank you.

  7. Andrew says:

    Also, there should be a way to view (and possibly delete one by one) the cookies/localstorage currently stored directly through the UI (in the Internet Options window).

  8. 56K says:

    This blog is too fat to download, please use the same solution to the site b8 windows. I hope that my words are heard. I waiting for your reply I thank you for your attention.

  9. Mario says:

    Hello, I have a question.. Will Internet Explorer 10.0 support text shadows?

  10. Mitch says:

    @Mario, Text-Shadow for HTML5 and SVG are in release candidate phase at W3. So, you need to wait till the standard gets finalize.

  11. Marko says:

    open the page in IE10 document mode – tavmjong.free.fr/…/svg_tests.php

    Apparently, IE10pp2 doesnt support drop shadow whereas Chrome does!

  12. Name says:

    Please support Google Spdy in IE10. Thanks.

  13. Jorin says:

    @Marko

    Apparently Chrome only supports 90% of CSS2.1 (89.58 out of 99.87) whereas IE supports 99% (98.89 out of 99.99)

    test.csswg.org/…/results.html

  14. hAl says:

    @Arieta

    IE already has a personalized TPL feature.

  15. Prior Semblance says:

    This needs to be done right or it could completely kill websites that rely on advertising to pay for hosting.

  16. Joel says:

    @Prior Semblance – re: "This needs to be done right or it could completely kill websites that rely on advertising to pay for hosting."

    Welcome to Business 101!

    You've just discovered (although 5-10 years too late), that a "Business Model" that *depends* on advertising on the Web is a *Flawed* Business Model.

    I've been surfing the Web ad-free for 5-7 years now… It's unbelievably great to not suffer through spammy advertizements and something that Millions of Web users will *Never* go back to.

    PS – to the IE Blog maintenance crew – the comments don't save properly when submitting, please revert to normal HTTP Form submission!