On Monday an extraordinary letter went out from a who’s who of major corporations claiming a mandate to track all of us on the internet. In tone and substance, it is an amazing, over-the-top screed against efforts to give consumers even modest controls over who watches us as we surf online.
The letter was triggered by Microsoft’s announcement in May that when it ships its new browser, IE 10, the browser’s default setting will be Do Not Track. Microsoft heard the vast preference of its users and is giving them the default setting they want—no tracking of their movements and habits online. Consumers who want to get targeted ads will still be able to do so—and in fact will get a chance to turn that preference on when the program loads. As we said at the time, this is exactly the right decision, a powerful tool for giving back American’s their privacy online.