Microsoft testing cookie control
- By IDG News Service, James Evans
- Jul 21, 2000
Microsoft Corp. on Thursday announced a beta version of its new Internet
Explorer Version 5.5 browser that will let users know when and what kind
of cookies are being received by their computers.
Microsoft's new upgrade will track first- and third-party cookies. Users
will be notified with alerts when cookies arrive and will be able to manage
and delete them. Microsoft received consumer feedback expressing confusion
over cookies, prompting the company to update the browser, the company said
in a statement.
The new browser function is a positive move to provide users with more
control over the information they give out about themselves, said Richard
Smith, an Internet security consultant based in Brookline, Mass., who has
discovered security holes in Microsoft software in the past.
"What this is going to do is prevent the tracking (of users),"he said.
Cookies are small bits of information that can be placed onto the hard
drive of a World Wide Web site visitor. They often are used to track a user's
Web surfing habits. Third-party advertisers also often place cookies to
better target consumers based on their online profiles.
The update will first be beta tested by consumers, corporate users and
industry partners. Following their feedback, Microsoft said it plans to
release a public beta within four weeks.
Microsoft's browser competitor, Netscape Communications Corp., put cookie
controls in its latest browser, Netscape 6.0.