Microsoft has responded to a report that claims it curtailed Internet Explorer 8's privacy architecture to benefit advertisers and marketers online. IE general manager Dean Hachamovitch blogged here about IE8's InPrivate Filtering feature, which helps stop websites from sites collecting information about which sites you visit. …
"representatives of advertisers ... argued against strong privacy protection"
Of course they did! They have a vested interest in the matter.
But when has Microsoft ever demonstrated that they understand that a PC and the data it holds are private property, not fodder for the deluded snoops of the advertising business? Not since Win3.1, perhaps.
That settles that.
"However, senior Microsoft executives became involved in a debate that at times became heated, and that pulled in representatives of advertisers from outside the company who argued against strong privacy protection."
The rats have agreed the ship is not sinking.
I hate to point this out...
...but Firefox (which I'm using to post this) also requires its equivalent to MSIE's InPrivate browsing to be turned on, and I wouldn't be surprised to find out that if Chrome has an equivalent, it *also* needs to be turned on.
Microsoft may suck, but in this case, they don't suck more than anyone else seems to.
According to the WSJ report the eventual compromise between the marketeers and the tech guys was that the privacy option had to be selected each time the browser was fired up. So, not quite the same as other browsers after all.
You mean like Safari.
It requires you to set privacy every time too!
The trick is to use a shortcut/Link that forces InPrivate (which I do for both IE and Chrome's incognito mode).
Must just be a Firefox thing then.
Tools/Options/Privacy and tick the box for "Automatically start Firefox in a private browsing session."
Silly old Firefox.
and Google followed suite...
The folks at Google are simply preserving the pretence of online privacy - their entire business model revolves around monetising you and your actions on the web - so when they belatedly followed suite with an Incognito mode for Chrome guess what... they didn't make it the default either.
Hmmm... gotta wonder if those "representatives of advertisers" who argued strongly in the first place were Google and DoubleClick...
Of course with IE it's pretty easy to actually make inprivate the default mode - http://tinyurl.com/32nbz7a (a similar option exists for Chrome as well)
It would have been nicer to make this a user selectable default via GUI but there ya go.
Now of course there are some side effects of doing this... no more history, no more auto-login or sites remembering you ... and sites that rely on advertising revenue to stay in business (like, oh ... El Reg for instance) may find times getting a little tougher...
Sad how Microsoft innovate to protect users on the web - being the first to add a "private" mode like this - and then someone winds up a WSJ hack who bitches that they didn't go far enough
Correct me if I am wrong but I thought the whole idea of inprivate was that after your visit to the redlight district it wiped the lipstick off your collar
Since a lot of people go to the same pages everyday (Facebook, banks etc) & would want them to know who they are, I think it obvious you would want the wank mode to be turned on by the user.
I smell BS here
""Part of what makes online privacy tricky is that browsing the web is fundamentally an information exchange. Your web browser offers information in order to get information."
Essentially total bullshit. Your browser need to give only (dynamic/proxy) IP and a get-command and nothing else. Everything above that is unnecessary. And your browser need to give just those in order to get information, nothing else.
It's not about "exchange" but spying and behauviour gathering. But it's not a surprise that MS get even the fundamentals totally wrong, they have been very good at it last 20 years.
No privacy for you from MS either
"it curtailed Internet Explorer 8's privacy architecture to benefit advertisers and marketers online"
Of course it would do that, that's where the money is in. MS itself is a _huge_ advertiser and marketer online.
"No privacy for you" is the message here, just like Googles CEO said.
"The result was that IE requires InPrivate Filtering to be turned on by the user rather than being activated automatically. "
And, undoubtedly, the filtering is later found to be not working as advertised. Odds are 100 to one.
Standard MS-policy: Lip service is given and then the problem still exists.
Well that is hardly surprising
Anyone who thinks that Microsoft has its "users" best interests at heart should now be clearly aware of who Microsoft believes its users are.
It's not you and me.
Since Vista it is clear that Microsoft favors the RIAA/MPAA/rights holders, and now it is officially nurturing advertisers.
If only my favorite games ran on Linux, I'd be there yesterday.
InPrivate Filtering != InPrivate Browsing
Ive seen a lot of confusion around this subject, particularly in comments.
InPrivate Filtering (the technology this story revolves around) is not the same as InPrivate Browsing.
Stop confusing people with accuracy and facts!!! Every forum poster has a basic right to browse the news story, fail to follow what is said in plain black 'n' white, and thereafter rant in a total misunderstanding of what is being discussed.
It's what's made the interweb the force for evil and confusion that it is today, and we wouldn't want it any other way!
Correct me if I am wrong,
but does not IE8 by default submit every website address you visit to MS so that they can inform you if you are visiting a malicious site?
If you set up IE8 to MS recommendations when installing and running for the first time, just about everything you do with the browser is logged by MS.
What privacy are MS talking about here?
I don't use IE8 for anything but testing code locally or code pulled from my own LAMP server, I need to know what changes I have to make to standards compliant code so IE can render it correctly. I don't know what data if any is sent to MS when in privacy mode having never used it. My experience of MS tells me privacy mode cannot be trusted.
When I get some free time I will play with IE8 through Wireshark.
Consider yourself corrected
Chrome submits every URL you type into the address bar to Google. IE8 asks you when you install it if you want "recommendations".
Which goes to show...
...exactly how much I've been looking into the private browsing settings on Firefox and Chrome. :P
Fail, because, well...