The “do not track” feature which Microsoft promoted as a key privacy advantage for users of Internet Explorer 10, the new version of its web browser, cannot be found in the browser’s “privacy” settings, according to Ad Age.Instead, they’re “buried” under the “advanced” menu:
The DNT tool can’t be found under the Privacy settings where many users are bound to look for it. Rather, it’s buried within the browser’s Advanced settings, where a check box is automatically checked to “Always send Do Not Track header.”
(DNT sends a default signal requesting that advertisers not target ads at the user.)
There are two interesting aspects about this:
- Apple also buried its anti-tracking feature so that it cannot be found under “privacy.” Instead, if you want to shut off ad tracking in iPhone 5 and other iOS 6 devices, you must dig around under “general” and then negotiate a counter-intuitive “Limit Ad Tracking On” button.
- Surprisingly, DNT has the opposite of its intended effect: Making DNT a default on IE10 means that most users will send the no-track signal to advertisers. But because DNT is the default chosen by Microsoft — and not the individual user — the entire online ad industry has previously pledged to ignore the signal.
Thus, although it was already guaranteed that users of IE10 would be tracked by advertisers even with DNT on, making DNT harder to turn off now doubly ensures that IE10 users are more likely to be targeted by advertisers than users of any other browser.
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