EU regulators side with Microsoft in IE10's 'Do Not Track' controversy
Congress and the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) also waded in on IE10 and Do Not Track as the W3C met in Bellevue, Wash., last week to continue hammering out the standard.
Reps. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) and Joe Barton (R-Texas), the co-chairs of the House privacy caucus, sent a letter of their own (download PDF) to the W3C last Tuesday, pressing for a change in its stance on IE10.
"We believe that browsers which default to Do Not Track provide consumers with better control and choice with respect to their personal information," Markey and Barton said. "We call on W3C participants to make the protection of consumer privacy a priority and support Microsoft's announcement by endorsing a default Do Not Track setting."
One of the FTC's commissioners, however, disagreed with the congressmen.
"Microsoft's default DNT setting means Microsoft, not consumers, will be exercising choice as to what signal the browser will send," wrote J. Thomas Rosch in his letter (download PDF) to the W3C on Thursday.
The European Commission's idea that browsers should prompt users for their DNT choice has been considered by at least two browser makers, according to Jonathan Mayer, a researcher at Stanford's Center for Internet and Society (CIS). Mayer is one of two Stanford students who devised the HTTP header concept used by browsers to signal a user's DNT decision.
The W3G's DNT group has discussed the so-called "first-run" option, said Mayer in an interview earlier this month.
That solution is reminiscent of the deal the EU struck with Microsoft in 2009 that required the U.S. developer to show a browser ballot dialog box in Windows to offer Europeans multiple alternatives to IE.
Microsoft must include the ballot in Windows 8 when it launches this fall to give users in the EU a chance to download and install browsers other than IE10.
The European Commission's urging of a first-run DNT prompt could signal that it takes the privacy setting as seriously as browser competition, and that it may push aggressively for the choice dialog.
Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer, on Google+ or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed . His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
- NSA defends collecting data from U.S. residents not suspected of terrorist activities
- Groups fear bill would allow free flow of data between private sector and NSA
- Google's move into home automation means even less privacy
- Bill to require warrant for email searches gains ground in House
- Coming soon to a fridge near you -- targeted ads
- Snowden leaks prompt tech firms to tout privacy, transparency policies
- License reader lawsuit can be heard, appeals court rules
- Is EU's 'right to be forgotten' really the 'right to edit the truth'?
- Tails 1.0: A bootable Linux distro that protects your privacy
- Privacy jitters derail controversial K-12 big data initiative
Read more about Desktop Apps in Computerworld's Desktop Apps Topic Center.
- HTTP Status Code Cheat Sheet Look at the Graph, Find the Code and Boom - You're Solving Problems. Identifying and understanding common HTTP status codes can go a...
- Simple Solution, Big Capability Meet growing employee and business demands by connecting up to 1,000 users with powerful collaboration capabilities with a single, integrated platform -- Cisco...
- The Business Value of Continuous Delivery Download this whitepaper to learn more about the business value of Continuous Delivery and see why it could be a game changer for...
- Ten Factors Shaping the Future of Application Delivery Download this research report conducted by Enterprise Management Associates (EMA) to learn how those that are seeking to accelerate application delivery are leveraging...
- Live Webcast 5 Steps to Assuring Quality of Experience In order to align monitoring and management practices with the true demands of the business, IT professionals must expand beyond traditional comfort zones...
- Live Webcast Master the Changing SAP Landscape with Performance Management SAP landscapes are not getting simpler. Gradually, business processes that used to be contained on a single SAP system now involve a range...
- Business-driven data protection Setting up data protection infrastructures with your organizations' core mission or business in mind is key. In this webinar, the ARCserve team will...
- On-Demand Webinar: Mind the Gap! Watch the webinar featuring Bob Janssen, CTO and Co-Founder of RES Software, to start building a solid foundation for business and IT to...