Microsoft crippled online privacy protections in the latest version of its Internet Explorer browser, due to vigorous opposition from Microsoft’s advertising executives and ad industry representatives, the Wall Street Journal reported.
IE8’s architects planned to build sophisticated, default tools into the IE8 browser to thwart online tracking and profiling by advertisers who track users to place targeted ads.
When he heard of the ideas, Mr. Brian McAndrews, the executive involved with Microsoft’s Internet advertising business, was angry, according to several people familiar with the matter. Mr. McAndrews feared the Explorer group’s privacy plans would dramatically reduce the effectiveness of online advertising by curbing the data that could be collected about consumers.
The debate widened after executives from Microsoft’s advertising team informed outside advertising and online-publishing groups of Microsoft’s privacy plans for Explorer.
That debate included input from the Interactive Advertising Bureau, the Online Publishers’ Association and the American Association of Advertising Agencies, which sent representatives to a half-day meeting in the spring of 2008.
One of the key changes that seems to have come from that meeting was that if a user turned on IE8’s anti-tracking InPrivate Filtering, it would be turned off again once the browser was closed.