Report: Microsoft Execs Blocked Automatic IE 8.0 Privacy Settings to Boost Online Ad Profits
August 2, 2010
(ChattahBox) – Microsoft’s browser, Internet Explorer is under perhaps deserved heat again. The Wall Street Journal claims that Microsoft bigwigs consciously choose to implement privacy settings in a manner that users must remember to turn them on, every time they start up the software. Software engineers originally built privacy features in IE 8.0, which one consumer-rights advocate calls “industry leading,” so that they would automatically block tracking tools. But Microsoft’s executives overruled them because users’ online information is valuable to advertisers, and they want to maximize profit from selling online ads. Even if one can remember to turn on the privacy settings each time IE is fired up, most users aren’t even aware the privacy settings are available. A Journal investigation shows why those privacy settings are important, as they found tracking to be pervasive, with the 50 most-popular U.S. websites installing on average 64 pieces of tracking technology each onto a test computer.