This morning in the United States, the White House announced a new “Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights” as part of the effort to improve consumers’ online privacy. As I’ve mentioned before, Microsoft is actively participating in the industry initiative for Tracking Protection at the W3C to produce Web standards for online privacy.
The Tracking Protection Working Group is chartered to work on two complementary initiatives: Tracking Preference Expression (Do Not Track) and Tracking Selection Lists (TSL). The TSL editor’s draft defines a format for interchangeable lists for blocking or allowing tracking elements from Web pages. Last month, at the W3C face-to-face meeting, the working group decided that a sub-group (or “task force”) of those interested in TSLs should work on the specification together.
Work on Do Not Track (DNT) is continuing and the W3C expects this to become a standard sometime in 2012. In the meantime, IE’s Tracking Protection feature is available to IE9 and IE10 users today. This is the only technology that can filter out unwanted cookies, beacons, and other tracking devices without requiring Web sites, advertisers, and publishers to change.
At the CPDP 2012 conference in Brussels, Simon Davies and Alexander Hanff of Privacy International launched two new tracking protection lists designed to protect consumers from Web Analytics and Behavioural Tracking. These lists are available from http://www.privacyonline.org.uk/. Check out the complete set of Tracking Protection Lists available from the IE Gallery (including the popular EasyPrivacy and Fanboy lists).
--Adrian Bateman, Program Manager, Internet Explorer
Note: Correction in last paragraph