Ranjeet Walunj

August 26, 2008

Microsoft IE8 and Privacy by InPrivate Blocking

So called online user privacy advocates will be more than happy to have a look at microsoft IE8 feature list.

Microsoft is providing a feature called as “InPrivate Blocking” in IE8 which will allow users to block/edit/allow third party tracking/adserving options.

Read about microsoft IE8 and its features here

It also says

———————————————————————————-

InPrivate Blocking keeps a record of third-party items like the one above as you browse. When you choose to browse with InPrivate, IE automatically blocks sites that have “seen” you across more than ten sites.

———————————————————————————-

Washington Post in their Tech Blog said this feature as “Accidental AdBlocker”.

————————————————————————————-

A Microsoft spokesman said that the feature, to be known as ‘InPrivate Blocking,’ was never designed to be an ad blocker, though ‘there may be ads that get blocked.’ Instead, it was designed to stop tracking ‘pixels’ or pieces of code that could allow third-party sites to track users as they move around the Web.”

————————————————————————————-

What it means is that if user is browsing with these options ON it MAY block the following

  1. Ad Networks
  2. Ad Exchanges
  3. Behavioral Targeting Services
  4. Yahoo developer API
  5. and many others

(This is on the assumption that InPrivate Blocking is checking at the domain/subdomain level. If it is checking at the complete path level for the calls then its easier to bypass by changing the thirdparty path in every website where it is getting called.)

Similar feature is available with Firefox for last +2 years (AdBlock or AdBlock Plus Plugins.
However those plugins are entirely installed and configured by the users and they do not try to block some third party websites which have appeared in the calls more than 10 times.

Is microsoft is trying to kill Google’s revenue model by cutting off their advertising revenue source ?
In this process how are they going to treat their own ads ?
(will there be an exception/special treatment for microsoft services ?)

Publishers do provide free content and they need to have revenue model which has some contributions from Advertising revenue.
Such options may create an issue for the online advertising industry.

Microsoft is trying to take advantage of its OS market share (which also means 60-75% IE penetration) and cut its competition in another market.

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2 Comments »

  1. If this tool succeeds in blocking evil Google from using my browsing data via Google analytics/Urchin, then I support it. If it still allows Google to use my data, then I think its a waste.
    Google Analytics is the worst tool ever made.

    Comment by Reem Saied — August 26, 2008 @ 3:34 pm

  2. Sounds cool, I’d love such an extension for Firefox 🙂

    Comment by Vincent — August 26, 2008 @ 7:21 pm


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