Microsoft allows tracking of surf behaviour in future browsers – disables Do Not Track by default

Microsoft will disable the “Do Not Track” option by default in future browsers. Users will have to enable the setting manually if they don’t want to be tracked.  The software giant enabled the setting two years ago for all Internet Explorer users. The company was the first to enable it by default; when enabled the browser tells websites they are not allowed the track the user’s surfing behaviour for e.g. advertising.


Although many users were happy with Microsoft’s initiative there were also criticasters. E.g. because a final standard for Do Not Track was still work in progress, which meant Microsoft used its own version. The World Wide Consortium has now released a draft in which the organisation states users have to enable the feature themselves.

“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”, the consortium writes. Microsoft has announced it will also disable the Do Not Track setting in the expres settings of Windows.

“But we will provide customers with clear information on how to turn this feature on in the browser settings should they wish to do so”, the software giant writes on its website. “This change will apply when customers set up a new PC for the first time, as well as when they upgrade from a previous version of Windows or Internet Explorer.”

Disabling the “Do Not Track” feature means that users of Internet Explorer, but also Microsoft’s new browser “Spartan” can be tracked by e.g. advertisers by default.