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On the heels of an FTC report on consumer privacy and its recommendations for developing an online "Do Not Track" option, Microsoft has announced that IE9 will soon offer consumers "Tracking Protection." The new feature will be part of IE9's beta release early next year.
Tracking Protection will be an opt-in mechanism within the browser for users to identify and block certain forms of tracking. In addition Tracking Protection Lists will enable consumers to have more control over what third-party sites can track them while they're online - creating white lists, of sorts, for sites in which consumers don't mind sharing their data.
Arguing that this will be akin to a browser-based version of the "Do Not Call" list, Microsoft Chief Privacy Strategist Peter Cullen said that, "By designing these sorts of enhancements with privacy in mind at the design phase, we're able to deliver a functionality that provides consumers additional levels of control over what they want to engage in and how they choose to do so." He added that Microsoft believes "that the combination of consumer control, an open platform for publishing and Tracking Protection Lists, including lists that allow 'calls,' offer progress and a good balance between empowering consumers and online industry needs."
Microsoft's announcement came the same day as Google held its own press conference about Chrome, and certainly Microsoft seems to tout that its browser offers enhanced privacy features, perhaps tapping into the fears that Google knows too much about how we browse and search.___