Microsoft's submission for a new Web privacy standard has apparently been accepted and published by the World Wide Web Consortium.
The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has agreed to publish Microsoft's
submission for a new Web-privacy standard, according to the software
"Today, the W3C has accepted and published Microsoft's member submission for
an Internet standard to help protect consumer privacy," Dean Hachamovitch, corporate
vice president of Internet Explorer, wrote
in a Feb. 24 posting on The Windows Internet Explorer Weblog
. "Just as the
community has worked together at the W3C on interoperable HTML5, we can now
work together on an interoperable...way to help protect consumers' privacy."
The proposal with the W3C, he added, would help develop an industry standard
for Websites to "(1) detect when consumers express their intent not to be
tracked, and (2) help protect themselves from sites that do not respect that
Broad-based standards allow developers to achieve interoperability across
multiple platforms and devices. In the ramp-up to its release of Internet
Explorer 9, Microsoft has submitted thousands of tests to not only the W3C, but
other standards groups as well. "With this Release Candidate we've added over a
community feedback," Hachamovitch wrote
in a Feb. 10 blog post announcing that the IE9 Release Candidate
available for download. "During IE 9 development we have now submitted just
under 4000 test cases in total for standards like HTML5."
Among browser developers, privacy controls have assumed particular
importance of late. Google recently released an extension, "Keep My Opt-Outs,"
which blocks users from personalized online advertising and data tracking.
Mozilla's Firefox 4 beta includes a "Do Not Track" HTTP header. Not to be
outdone, IE 9 includes baked-in features such as TPL
(tracking protection list), which also protects against online behavioral
tracking by limiting the information that Websites can collect.
"IE9 enables consumers to express their preference for privacy, and also
gives consumers a mechanism to enforce specific aspects of that preference,"
Hachamovitch wrote in his Feb. 10 blog posting. "Consumers can do this by
choosing Tracking Protection Lists from organizations they trust. These lists
can block and allow third-party content in order to control what information
consumers share with sites as they browse the Web."
Microsoft's TPL initiative came on the
heels of a "Do Not Track" proposal pushed by the Federal Trade Commission, which
published a report in late 2010
advocating the creation of a Do Not Track
mechanism for online activity. A new Web-privacy standard, in theory, will
advance the cause of privacy advocates even further.