Microsoft wants to 'move beyond' the Cookie Monster
After all, people are getting wise to deleting those
Microsoft has confirmed a report that it is looking into replacing cookies, which underpin the global online advertising business, with its own technology that would store all that valuable user information on Redmond's own servers.
Sources within the company told AdAge that Redmond is in the early stages of developing a replacement technology which acts as a device identifier and stores similar data to cookies, but within Microsoft's ecosystem and linked in with Internet Explorer and Bing.
Redmond's cookie replacement system would store all that information on Redmond's servers by default, although the company may share it with third parties.
This would give Microsoft a lot of power with advertisers, but also a lot of responsibility for maintaining customer privacy – and the company's involvement in PRISM means the NSA would also be able to take a trawl through the data.
"Microsoft believes going beyond the cookie is important. Our priority will be to find ways to do this that respect the interests of consumers. We have nothing further to share," a spokeswoman told El Reg in an email.
Microsoft isn't alone in looking to change the current cookie system and bring in new technology that eliminates the need to share this valuable data with third parties who aren’t willing to pay. Google and Amazon are both reportedly working on their own cookie systems, no doubt for the same reasons.
But having the internet big boys hoarding all that data for themselves isn't going to fly with the businesses who rely on it now. Expect squeals of protest and heavy political lobbying if such a system is instituted without taking their needs into account. ®