IT Pro is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

Microsoft turns off DNT in IE and Spartan by default

The company decided to change its thinking following the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) recommendations

Privacy

Microsoft has announced it will switch off do not track (DNT) by default on its Internet Explorer and Spartan browsers.

Previously, this feature was turned on by default, meaning websites and advertisers were told automatically users want their habits tracked for advertising purposes. However, critics said that by having this setting turned on, consumers weren't making a conscious decision as to whether or not they were tracked.

Additionally, some advertisers were choosing to ignore this message and were targetting the website visitors anyway because browser developers agreed that if the default option was on, advertisers could choose whether or not to disregard the request for privacy.

By changing the default option to off, browser users turning it on manually gives advertisers and website owners a clear message that they do not wish to be tracked, even if it means ads presented to them are more relevant.

The W3C said in its standards: "Key to that notion 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 principle is that a tracking preference expression is only transmitted when it reflects a deliberate choice by the user. In the absence of user choice, there is no tracking preference expressed."

Brendon Lynch, chief privacy officer at Microsoft, said in a blog post: "We said in 2012 that browser vendors should clearly communicate to consumers whether the DNT signal is turned off or on, and make it easy for them to change the setting. We did that for IE 10 and IE 11. And we're continuing to do so with future versions of our browsers."

Featured Resources

The state of Salesforce: Future of business

Three articles that look forward into the changing state of Salesforce and the future of business

Free Download

The mighty struggle to migrate SAP to the cloud may be over

A simplified and unified approach to delivering Enterprise Transformation in the cloud

Free Download

The business value of the transformative mainframe

Modernising on the mainframe

Free Download

The Total Economic Impact™ Of IBM FlashSystem

Cost savings and business benefits enabled by FlashSystem

Free Download

Recommended

Microsoft blocking Tutanota users from Teams registration, claims fix unfeasible
Business operations

Microsoft blocking Tutanota users from Teams registration, claims fix unfeasible

8 Aug 2022
Microsoft wins five-year digital transformation deal with Australia’s largest telco
digital transformation

Microsoft wins five-year digital transformation deal with Australia’s largest telco

26 Jul 2022
Slack Connect vs Microsoft Teams Connect: Better than email?
collaboration

Slack Connect vs Microsoft Teams Connect: Better than email?

20 Jul 2022
Microsoft announces simulator for autonomous aircraft development
Cloud

Microsoft announces simulator for autonomous aircraft development

20 Jul 2022

Most Popular

Why convenience is the biggest threat to your security
Sponsored

Why convenience is the biggest threat to your security

8 Aug 2022
How to boot Windows 11 in Safe Mode
Microsoft Windows

How to boot Windows 11 in Safe Mode

29 Jul 2022
Microsoft successfully tests emission-free hydrogen fuel cell system for data centres
data centres

Microsoft successfully tests emission-free hydrogen fuel cell system for data centres

29 Jul 2022