Consumers Union: Microsoft’s “Do Not Track” Default Raises the Bar for Privacy Standards

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Friday, June 1, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC — Microsoft announced that its upcoming Internet Explorer 10 will feature a default “Do Not Track” privacy setting. The browser, which would allow consumers to say “no” to targeted ads based on personal information and online activity, is the first to make the privacy protection the default mode.

Ioana Rusu, regulatory counsel for Consumers Union, the policy and advocacy division of Consumer Reports, praised the development as an important step for consumer online privacy.

“Traditionally, consumers have been left with all the responsibility when it comes to protecting personal data online. This development is just one of the first steps in shifting that balance. Having “Do Not Track” as the default setting ensures that more consumers have more control over their information online, without having to navigate confusing or difficult privacy settings across multiple platforms. Moving forward, we encourage more browser companies to move towards this model and make the default “Do Not Track” the industry standard.”

A May 2011 survey conducted by Consumer Reports found that 81 percent of respondents agreed that they should be able to permanently opt out of Internet tracking from a single location.

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Contact: Kara Kelber, 202-462-6262