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Privacy paramount in IE9

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Tracking Protection Lists unveiled

Microsoft has announced that the next version of Internet Explorer will offer an innovative way to protect privacy online.

Tracking Protection is a new addition for Internet Explorer 9 (IE9). The opt-in feature allows users to limit which external sites receive information while they explore the web. IE9 has been available as a public beta since 15 September 2010 but will not launch officially until early next year.

How do Tracking Protection Lists work?

On existing browsers, a visit to a single website can lead to the consumer’s information being shared with several other sites. This is because the browser typically provides information about the user at the same time as requesting third-party content such as cookies, HTML code and scripts. However, with Tracking Protection Lists (TPLs), users can name web addresses that the browser will only provide information to if the site is directly accessed by typing in the URL or clicking on a link.

Dean Hachamovitch, corporate vice president of Internet Explorer, said: “Tracking Protection and TPLs are a great way to start making progress as we work through the public discussion. They provide greater transparency about how the web operates and the opportunity to act on that information.”

Earlier this year, Microsoft was heavily criticised after multiple security flaws were detected in the official release of IE8. When a vulnerability was exploited during a series of high-profile cyber attacks, Germany and France even temporarily advised people to stop using the browser altogether. However, Britain decided against telling users to abandon IE8.

Written by Richard Frost

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