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Microsoft alters default setting for Do Not Track privacy feature in Windows 8

Users will have the option to turn it off
Wed Aug 08 2012, 10:53
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SOFTWARE HOUSE Microsoft has said that Windows 8 will have the "Do Not Track" (DNT) privacy feature in Internet Explorer 10 (IE10) turned on by default, but that users will have the option to turn it off when setting up the operating system (OS) for the first time.

DNT is a feature allowing web surfers to opt out of being tracked by online advertisers and web sites as well as analytics services that they do not visit. Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari and Opera all support DNT.

When Microsoft shipped the Release Preview of Windows 8 in June, it originally had said that it would have the DNT feature enabled by default for IE10, a decision that triggered the Tracking Protection Working Group of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) to kick up a fuss.

Microsoft today said that if users take no action the setting will remain on by default. However the firm's chief privacy officer Brendon Lynch noted that users will be able to modify the setting when running the OS for the first time if they wish.

"DNT will be enabled in the 'Express Settings' portion of the Windows 8 set-up experience," Lynch said in a post on Microsoft's Technet blog on Tuesday. "There, customers will also be given a 'Customize' option, allowing them to easily switch DNT off if they'd like."

Lynch said that customers will be asked to choose between two ways of configuring a number of settings, "Express Settings" or a "Customise" option.

"The recommended Express Settings are designed to expedite and streamline the overall set-up process, and, if selected, generally improve a customer's privacy, security, and overall experience on the device."

Lunch explained that those users who opt for the Customise approach will be able to independently turn on and off a number of settings, including the setting for the DNT feature.

Windows 7 customers using IE10 will receive "prominent notice" that DNT is turned on, together with a link providing more information about the setting, Lynch added. µ


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