Today the W3C announced that it has formally acknowledged Microsoft’s proposal on a common W3C standard for Web Tracking Protection.

Privacy on the web is a great candidate for standardization, given the concern that consumers, academics and governments worldwide have expressed, as highlighted in today’s blog by Dean Hachamovitch, the Corporate Vice President for Internet Explorer. 

The Web Tracking Protection specification is designed to help users block content associated with online tracking, and the proposal has two parts:

 

  • Filter lists, which can enforce user privacy preferences by preventing the user agent from making unwanted requests to Web servers that track users.
  • A user preference, which is conveyed by an HTTP header and a DOM property, to be used by Websites and pages to respect the user’s privacy.

These technologies can be used to enhance privacy protection for users, and provide access to content and services that respect user privacy preferences. 

Microsoft is implementing Tracking Protection Lists in IE9 RC, which expresses both user intent as well as a way to enforce this by the user.

Read more about this on the IE blog, on the W3C blog and the Interop@MS blog.

Nice to see Microsoft continue to deepen its work with the open standards community.