Microsoft Internet Explorer 10’s DNT Won’t Protect Users’ Privacy

Microsoft created a lot of stir and frustration among online advertisers earlier this year after it announced that Internet Explorer 10 will have DNT option set by default. But, IE10 has a flawed implementation of DNT whereby it will only inform advertisers and other trackers of users’ preferences of not being tracked. It doesn’t block ads and neither does it stop online advertisers from dropping tracking cookies onto users’ systems.

This means that online advertisers can simply ignore what Internet Explorer 10 is saying and go on about their routine business. In the blog post Microsoft’s Chief Privacy Officer, Brendon Lynch, noted that DNT was just a part of the whole process. Lynch noted that for DNT to be effective websites should understand the meaning of this particular setting in the browser. Lynch wrote, “At the moment there is not yet an agreed definition of how to respond to a DNT signal, and we know that a uniform, industry-wide response will be the best way to provide a consistent consumer experience across the Web.”

Another important thing to note is that Microsoft itself doesn’t take into consideration the DNT signal when it comes to its own advertising network websites. “Microsoft does not yet respond to the DNT signal, but we are actively working with other advertising industry leaders on what an implementation plan for DNT might look like,” Lynch wrote.

IE 10’s default DNT status has received a lot of criticism lately and Apache has rolled out a patch that will override the default setting of Internet Explorer 10.