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Microsoft Internet Explorer 9 launches with Tracking Protection

Consumer Reports News: March 15, 2011 12:06 PM

The newest version of Microsoft's Web browser, Internet Explorer 9, releases today. Among other enhancements is a tool that's getting a lot of attention from privacy watchdogs: It's called Tracking Protection, and it "provides you an added level of control and choice about the information that third-party websites can potentially use to track your browsing activity," says Microsoft.

IE9's Tracking Protection allows you to select which third-party sites can collect your information and track your online activity. You can create a list of websites you wish to limit in this way, and the blocking stays in effect until you choose to remove it.

In December 2010, the FTC proposed that Web browsers institute "do not track" features. Microsoft is the first to do so with IE9, although Google Chrome offers a more limited extension called Keep My Opt-Outs, and Mozilla has indicated it will include a similar tool in an upcoming version of Firefox.

Other recent online-privacy news: Legislation to create an " online privacy bill of rights" will likely soon be introduced in the Senate.

—Carol Mangis

Carol Mangis

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