Feeds

Microsoft responds to IE8 'privacy quashed' report

Heated exchanges

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Microsoft has responded to a report that claims it curtailed Internet Explorer 8's privacy architecture to benefit advertisers and marketers online.

IE general manager Dean Hachamovitch blogged here about IE8's InPrivate Filtering feature, which helps stop websites from sites collecting information about which sites you visit.

This information can be used for promotions and to serve up ads.

Hachamovitch went on to provide what he called some "context" about online safety and privacy.

"Part of what makes online privacy tricky is that browsing the web is fundamentally an information exchange. Your web browser offers information in order to get information. That information can identify you. Often, that information is sent automatically for your convenience (like the languages you prefer to read) to tailor the content for you," Hachamovitch wrote.

Interestingly, Hachamovitch was one of those named in a Wall Street Journal report here, arguing that IE8 should be given strong automatic privacy settings by default to block web sites' tracking of IE8 consumers. Hachamovitch's blog seems to have been updated for the WSJ piece.

The idea was that strong privacy would be one feature to help differentiate IE from other browsers, and to help Microsoft's browser reverse its declining market share.

However, senior Microsoft executives became involved in a debate that at times became heated, and that pulled in representatives of advertisers from outside the company who argued against strong privacy protection.

The result was that IE requires InPrivate Filtering to be turned on by the user rather than being activated automatically. ®

Remote control for virtualized desktops

More from The Register

next story
PEAK APPLE: iOS 8 is least popular Cupertino mobile OS in all of HUMAN HISTORY
'Nerd release' finally staggers past 50 per cent adoption
Microsoft to bake Skype into IE, without plugins
Redmond thinks the Object Real-Time Communications API for WebRTC is ready to roll
Microsoft promises Windows 10 will mean two-factor auth for all
Sneak peek at security features Redmond's baking into new OS
Mozilla: Spidermonkey ATE Apple's JavaScriptCore, THRASHED Google V8
Moz man claims the win on rivals' own benchmarks
FTDI yanks chip-bricking driver from Windows Update, vows to fight on
Next driver to battle fake chips with 'non-invasive' methods
DEATH by PowerPoint: Microsoft warns of 0-day attack hidden in slides
Might put out patch in update, might chuck it out sooner
Ubuntu 14.10 tries pulling a Steve Ballmer on cloudy offerings
Oi, Windows, centOS and openSUSE – behave, we're all friends here
Was ist das? Eine neue Suse Linux Enterprise? Ausgezeichnet!
Version 12 first major-number Suse release since 2009
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.
Mitigating web security risk with SSL certificates
Web-based systems are essential tools for running business processes and delivering services to customers.