Do Not Track in the Windows 8 Setup Experience

Posted by Brendon Lynch
Chief Privacy Officer, Microsoft

With Windows 8’s recent release to manufacturing, we know many people are interested in how customers will discover Do Not Track (DNT) in Internet Explorer 10. DNT will be enabled in the “Express Settings” portion of the Windows 8 set-up experience.  There, customers will also be given a “Customize” option, allowing them to easily switch DNT “off” if they’d like.

Brendon Lynch
Brendon Lynch, Chief Privacy Officer, Microsoft

This approach is consistent with Microsoft’s goal of designing and configuring IE features to better protect user privacy, while also affording customers control of those features. It also underscores that the privacy of our customers is a top priority for Microsoft. 
In conjunction with the release of the Release Preview of Windows 8 in late May, we announced that we would be turning “on” a DNT signal as part of the default configuration for IE10.  Since then, we have conducted additional consumer research that confirmed strong support for our “consumer-privacy-first” approach to DNT. We have also discussed our point of view with many interested parties, who want to learn more about how our customers will first experience and control the DNT setting in IE.
In the Windows 8 set-up experience, customers will be asked to choose between two ways of configuring a number of settings: “Express Settings” or “Customize.” By providing a simple experience that allows customers to set their preferences, we’ve sought to balance ease of use with choice and control. The recommended Express Settings are designed to expedite and streamline the overall set-up process, and, if selected, generally improve a customer’s privacy, security, and overall experience on the device.

DNT fits naturally into this process. Customers will receive prominent notice that their selection of Express Settings turns DNT “on.”  In addition, by using the Customize approach, users will be able to independently turn “on” and “off” a number of settings, including the setting for the DNT signal.  A “Learn More” link with detailed information about each recommended setting will help customers decide whether to select Express Settings or Customize. A Privacy Statement link is also available on the screen. Windows 7 customers using IE10 will receive prominent notice that DNT is turned on in their new browser, together with a link providing more information about the setting.

Our approach to DNT in IE10 is part of our commitment to privacy by design and putting people first. We believe consumers should have more control over how data about their online behavior is tracked, shared, and used. If you would like to learn more about Microsoft’s approach to privacy, please visit


Comments (21)

  1. cooper says:

    Thank you for not caving to the ad networks!

  2. Why is microsoft still being so dumb about simple things like this?

    Will you ever learn?

  3. Bryan says:

    So what do you do to advertisers that will now ignore the DNT setting? There needs to be some way to blacklist non-conforming advertisers, or all of them will simply ignore the DNT setting and things will be worse off than they are now.

  4. topper says:

    Love it…thank you for not folding to the corrupt w3c standards body that is setting the standards with a full deck of ad supported companies on the panel.  Standards are like arseh*****s – everyone's got one.  This is why google wants everyone on chrome as quickly as possible – they are an advertising company – not a tech company – they just use tech to deliver ads.  IE10 for me – I'm sold and thank you.  I'd rather buy / use my technology from a tech company – not an advertising company.

  5. Blog of Nancy Templeton says:

    This post is very interesting and it also helpful for us. liking stuff like this blog as well as this has now given me Some inspiration To succeed, ever so Appreciate it.

  6. Victor B. says:

    Thank you. With this great implementation no advertiser will ever care about the Do Not Track header.

  7. Lurker says:

    This is not issue of being dumb. This is a smart-ish and evil action. Microsoft is undermining DND feature and any further developement of the situation hurts Google. Either Google will be forced to ignore IE implementation of DND (and receive bad press because of that) or it will be forced to lose track of large chunk of it's users, losing money. It's a win-win situation for MS.

  8. Grad says:

    Does anyone even use IE anyway? There are plenty of ways to protect your privacy and granted not everyone as astute as developers and the like but this is a step in the right direction for Microsoft.

  9. Peter says:

    It's a little bit useless, or have the IE10 somewhere a display that a website track or not?

  10. Old timer says:

    It's about time this has happened more privacy is needed in systems a user of windows since windows 3.0

  11. jack loveall says:

    this is very great I like it.  we all need our privacy. especially these days when there is so many companies trying to get your information

  12. Don Marti says:

    Do you have any opinion on keying third-party cookies to the domain?  There was a interesting proposal at Mozilla that didn’t go far but would help with a lot of the same tracking issues:

    This could be an interesting middle ground between complete DNT and the status quo, and it doesn’t require cooperation from third-party tracking side as DNT does.

  13. JT says:

    The whole point of DNT is that it should only be present if the user has *specifically chosen* for it to be turned on or turned off. That's why the header has two available values, rather than just present and not-present. The W3C were very specific when drawing up this spec that the header should only be present if the user has chosen for it to be, and the browser shouldn't be making decisions for the user. The onus should be on the websites, not the browser, to use the correct behaviour for when the user hasn't expressed a preference either way.

  14. james says:

    Too bad microsoft is doing this due to a hidden agenda, for greed.

    Microsoft have never been on the users side or even cared about the user at all.

    "putting people first"

    Since you "care" so much about what people think and how they like to use your software.

    Why did you actively remove the start button and forced metro start screen on desktop users ?

    If you really cared about the users you would have provided the users with the choice of removing the start button and having metro start screen enabled.

    Microsoft must be fined again for being anti-competitive and plain lying to the users faces.

    Designing their software to only work good on their own hardware (Tablet 'surface').

  15. lisa says:

    Yes i do the add on,s mobile does belong to the person added it he did not have my premission or concent to download mt mobile phone i want this issue to stop fix this stop him iv closed out mt google gmail yahoo and tryed take mt mobile out also but the owner of these home computers keeps down loadeding my mobile phone this has got to stop i even went got another phone and he did that one also he has hacked all my accounts linked them into him on his laptop either i get help to stop eddie morgan or i will file a complant on this issue thank you Lisa Mcfalls

  16. Lennie says:

    But what about pre-installed Windows 8 ? Which is how much users will probably encounter it.

  17. jerry says:

    How does this work on OEM installations.

    Does the user get an 'Express settings' on first use of an OEM installation?

  18. SirEllington says:

    With the upcoming release of Internet Explorer 10 we will have to face the same problems all over:  We still need to keep in mind that a lot of users will be using OLD Microsoft software, like IE9 and lower.  

    I'm sick of Microsoft being the browser market leader. A leader should lead by example, not by pushing their browsers into corporate systems in a way that nobody is able to update their software. This sucks. I live in a time that WebGL and HTML5 flourish. Microsoft should focus on developers!

    I want Microsoft to invest in the future by offering large corporations, governments, schools and universities free technicians and network operators that will update all of their infrastructure. If they do this, then they could be ready by 2015 and the result will be that all Internet Explorer users will have AT LEAST version 10 installed AND native WebGL!

    Then humanity will no longer be held back, so it can fully experience immersive high quality  and very smart designs and tools on the web. It would be a revelation and a revolution. It's up to you.

  19. DjFreeStyLl says:

    what you meen to  .,

    Thank you for not caving to the ad networks!@#$?

  20. Thresil says:

    Yes! I admited Sir! Madam, first I would like to say good day to all  of you and Thank you so much,and I really appriciated what you all did to help me to see my mistake. but? is so hard to explain everything what happen? But? I came now and say SORRY to all of you, and I know this is not enought but Truly in my hart.but I dont mean to hurt all your felling. it just some times or most of the time my coputer gone crazy VIRUS and shot donw. my kid use it to and one more guy using it. yes I know I dont have to till you over those people around me. yes I admited SCHAME to heard and I read over me, but I did´nt  RUN for that. I have to admit what I did,Im not good with computer im a sick woman that No jod right now trying to get a jod or fine work in the internet to provine to my kid every day she need and shes only 4 years just trying to give her what she need specialy food.sorry for what I did,,,,if you do want to see me  in the LINE PLEASE   just BLOCK me out…but what I said is true..

    sorry every body…. thank you all

  21. Vielka Rodriguez says:

    I need help you your web had my name address and tel # on the web need to stop some one going to pass years traing to my not get a job this is impisible

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