Last week Microsoft announced that Do Not Track would be enabled by default in Internet Explorer 10, but now Wired reports Microsoft is backtracking due to complaints by online advertising firms. The latest proposed draft of the Do Not Track specification requires that users must opt-in, otherwise advertisers would be free to ignore it.
The latest proposed draft of the Do Not Track specification published Wednesday requires that users must choose to turn on the anti-behavioral tracking feature in their browsers and software.
That means that Microsoft IE 10, which the company announced last week will have Do Not Track turned on by default, won’t be compliant with the official spec. Which means that tech and ad companies who say they comply with Do Not Track could simply ignore the flag set by IE 10 and track those who use that browser. Which means Microsoft has no choice but to change the setting.
Microsoft’s surprise announcement last Thursday was interpreted by many as a way to gouge Google, which runs an ad system based on tracking cookies. But it also enraged many online ad companies and industry groups, who saw the move as overly aggressive and a threat to their business model.