Wall Street Journal, Internet Explorer and users’ privacy
The WSJ has an interesting story about Microsoft, Internet Explorer and users’ privacy. According to this story, Microsoft designers wanted to build privacy into IE8. But they lost out to the businessmen.
In the end, the product planners lost a key part of the debate. The winners: executives who argued that giving automatic privacy to consumers would make it tougher for Microsoft to profit from selling online ads. Microsoft built its browser so that users must deliberately turn on privacy settings every time they start up the software.
Microsoft Quashed Effort to Boost Online Privacy
The story goes on to say that Simon Davies of the UK’s Privacy International was consulted by Microsoft when it was forming its plans:
Most users of the final product aren’t even aware its privacy settings are available, he says. “That’s where the disappointment lies.”
But come on. Is anyone in the security industry in the slightest bit surprised by this story? I doubt it. Google, Microsoft and Apple are locked in a battle for our private data to convert into advertising money (and we can add Facebook, although it hasn’t – yet – got its own browser). So the bottom line is you simply cannot trust any browser by any of these suppliers.
That just leaves Firefox as the primary independent browser – and given the breadth and scope of its security add-ons, I’m surprised that anyone anywhere is using anything else. If you are, shame on you! Stop it now!