Microsoft Adds Privacy Features to IE9

As online privacy becomes a hot issue on Capitol Hill, Microsoft Tuesday (Dec. 7) unveiled new privacy features for Internet Explorer 9.

The new privacy protection mechanism on the browser allows users to choose which third-party Web sites track them and which sites can display ads by creating tracking protection lists.

The news of Microsoft’s new privacy protection scheme follows the release of the Federal Trade Commission’s report on online privacy, which suggested that companies were not moving fast enough to self-regulate online privacy. The FTC made several recommendations, such as a “Do Not Track” practice as a solution to online privacy concerns.

“We believe that the combination of consumer opt-in, an open platform for publishing of Tracking Protection Lists, and the underlying technology mechanism for tracking protection offer new options and a good balance between empowering consumers and online industry needs,” said Dean Hachamovits, corporate vp, Internet Explorer, Microsoft.

In October, several advertising industry groups launched a self-regulatory program that allows consumers to opt out of online behavioral advertising. So far, about 5 billion ads have been tagged with the privacy icon.