Microsoft admits that when it switched on “don’t track” by default in Internet Explorer 10 in 2012, it was “welcomed by many.” However, the organization now needs to change it off to comply with the most recent industry standard. The most up to date World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) draft for the feature says it “MUST reflect the user’s preference,” meaning you need to turn it on to activate it, much the same as on Firefox or Chrome. Redmond explains that it must choose the option to change the default, else advertisers can argue that it doesn’t need to respect any DNT signal from Microsoft’s browser.

While that sounds problematic, note that “don’t track” has always been optional: advertisers can decide to respect your request, yet they can essentially disregard it, also. This change will produce results when you set up another PC or when you move up to Windows 10, and hence its new Project Spartan browser, after it comes out this summer. Microsoft guarantees to give clear directions on the best way to switch it on, however, and to make it simple to change the setting.

This is what the organization cited from the new W3C draft:

Key to that idea of expression is that the signal sent MUST reflect the user’s preference, not the choice of some vendor, institution, site, or network-imposed mechanism outside the user’s control; this applies equally to both the general preference and exceptions. The basic principla is that a tracking preference expression is just transmitted when it reflects a deliberate decision by the user. Without user decision, there is no tracking preference expressed. (Emphasis added.)



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