Microsoft says it will offer a privacy setting in the next version of Internet Explorer that will make it easy for users to keep their browsing habits from being tracked by advertising networks and other third-party websites.

The feature, known as Tracking Protection, was unveiled on Tuesday, five days after the Federal Trade Commission, the US government’s top consumer-protection agency, proposed that browsers be equipped with a “do not track” option that prevents websites and advertisers from compiling data about people’s web-browsing habits. Microsoft officials said the core of the opt-in feature involves simple text lists that specify the sites that are and are not allowed to track online behavior.

By designing these sorts of enhancements with privacy in mind at the design phase, we’re able to deliver a functionality that provides consumers additional levels of control over what they want to engage in and how they choose to do so,” Microsoft Chief Privacy Strategist Peter Cullen blogged. “We believe that the combination of consumer control, an open platform for publishing and Tracking Protection Lists, including lists that allow ‘calls,’ offer progress and a good balance between empowering consumers and online industry needs.”


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