Earlier today, Microsoft announced upcoming plans for IE9 that include enhanced privacy and security settings, among other things.
It is important to note a couple of things about how we view this as it relates to our advertising business.
First, and most importantly, Microsoft has a long-held belief that people should have choice and control in how their personal information is used on the internet (privacy principles). The enhanced privacy settings in Internet Explorer 9 represent an evolution in the privacy and security tools that were available to users in IE8.
Concurrent to this, as one of the leading online advertisers and ad platform companies ourselves, Microsoft has a substantial interest in helping the online advertising industry grow. Our commitment in this regard is unwavering.
We believe that the convergence of new privacy tools and robust advertising growth can, in fact, co-exist and we are uniquely positioned to provide thought leadership in both areas. We also believe that advertising and the information which it yields, appropriately gathered and shared, is the fuel that drives the growth of the Internet.
To that end, we believe the industry must continue to adapt and evolve by developing technologies and offerings that strike an appropriate balance, and that incorporate the following:
- Providing consumer choice and control over personal data;
- Enabling more effective and relevant advertising to help fuel industry growth; and
- Highlighting the “value exchange” that occurs when people receive the content they want on the internet that is “paid for” by advertising.
This is a complex balance with many different interests and viewpoints that deserve to be heard.
IE9’s privacy settings, like those contained in IE8, will not be on by default, but they will allow users to create lists of sites they wish to share information with, as well as sites they do not wish to share information with. The settings do not take a position on managing information; instead, they provide an improved platform for consumers to exercise choice.
The new options available in IE9 represent another step in the journey to optimize the balance between privacy issues and targeted advertising. They should serve as a catalyst for continued thoughtful discussion and debate about how best to achieve that balance and in so doing, send a message that we are far better off developing solutions and choices as an industry than if we allow the government to do it for us.
We look forward to receiving input and feedback from all parties prior to IE9’s final release.
For additional information, please visit these links:
- NewsCenter Q&A: http://www.microsoft.com/Presspass/Features/2010/dec10/12-07IE9PrivacyQA.mspx
- IE Team Blog: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/ie/archive/2010/12/07/ie9-and-privacy-introducing-tracking-protection-v8.aspx
- Microsoft on the Issues: http://blogs.technet.com/b/microsoft_on_the_issues/archive/2010/12/07/online-privacy-amp-balance-our-perspective.aspx
Rik van der Kooi, Corporate Vice President, Advertiser and Publisher Solutions Group