Microsoft will disable the "Do Not Track" option by default in future browsers. Users will have to enable the setting manually if they don't want to be tracked.
The Redmond giant's move means that users will have to manually turn on the Do Not Track feature in future browser versions and it will no longer be the default state in Windows Express Settings.
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Although many users were happy with Microsoft's initiative there were also criticasters. E.g. because a final standard for Do Not Track was still work in progress, which meant Microsoft used its own version.
Disabling the "Do Not Track" feature means that users of Internet Explorer, but also Microsoft's new browser "Spartan" can be tracked by e.g. advertisers by default.
Microsoft's Brendon Lynch, Chief Privacy Officer, in a blog stated that "Key to that notion of expression is that the signal sent MUST reflect the user's preference, not the choice of some vendor, institution, site, or network-imposed mechanism outside the user's control; this applies equally to both the general preference and exceptions. The basic principle is that a tracking preference expression is only transmitted when it reflects a deliberate choice by the user. In the absence of user choice, there is no tracking preference expressed."
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Lynch adds, "This change will apply when customers set up a new PC for the first time, as well as when they upgrade from a previous version of Windows or Internet Explorer."
The World Wide Consortium has now released a draft in which the organisation states users have to enable the feature themselves.