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Archive for November, 2009

MICROSOFT BUILDS ONLINE TRACKING BLOCKING FEATURE INTO IE9

Microsoft is building an anti-tracking function into its upcoming version of Internet Explorer (9). The new feature will let users easily keep lists of websites that track what they do online, and block any site from logging their web activity.

This silly feature might lead to distorted results of devices like Google Analytics, as IE users might not be tracked. I can only assume clicks by IE users, made on online banners, won’t be counted either, which might mean the end of ‘pay-per-click-ads’.

Ad agencies and tracking firms, who argue that much of the internet’s free services are dependent upon targeted advertising, will probably be as annoyed as I am.

Consumers however, just as browsers, might argue that it is in their right to decide who is tracking them, and when. So this brings up a debate whether who may decide this. The website, or the visitor? I mean, if it’s the first to decide and just keep on tracking information, the visitor could just decide not to visit the website? It’s a free world after all.

Just to make it clear, with tracking information, I mean the recording of how long visitors stay, where they come from (city, not street address or anything detailed), what pages they’ve visited and for how long and from which site they came, or what search terms they used. And of course the tracking of ads on website, which records how many times an ad is seen and clicked on, which then determines the payment for the hosting website. Both types include vital information for the website itself, for maintaining funds and feedback about which page is working and which is not. But none of these recorded information could harm any visitor, as there is no address or name recorded.

It might all be just a storm in a glass of water, for some reasons. First, and utmost, because most Internet Explorer users aren’t very full with knowledge about computers, internet and browsers. Most don’t even know what Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome is, otherwise they would have used it, as IE is, at this moment, not one of the high-quality browsers available. So, they wouldn’t probably even know of this plugin/addon’s existence, let alone use it.

Also, wasn’t the death of online banner advertisement already foretold by those plugins that functioned as ad blockers?

We’ll have to wait and see.