We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
78,821 News Articles

Microsoft mulling 'persistence' changes to IE

Software giant forced to consider privacy issues

Microsoft is looking at altering the next version of its Internet Explorer browser to allow users to more easily disable the software's "persistence" feature, which lets Web sites gather some information about Internet usage and identify return visitors even if they've turned off Explorer's ability to accept Internet cookies.

Rick Miller, a Microsoft spokesman, said the persistence feature was designed to let more information be stored at the user level so Web pages can be downloaded more quickly, especially on slower dial-up connections.

But he acknowledged that users who have already disabled Explorer's cookie capabilities may be uneasy about the information gathered by the browser via persistence, such as search queries users have run and Web pages they've visited.

To disable persistence now, Explorer users have to turn off the browser's scripting features. But Miller said Microsoft is considering a plan to include a capability in Explorer 6.0, the next scheduled release of the browser, that would let users clear the cache of Web files in which information gathered by the persistence feature is stored. While the specific plans aren't finalised, Explorer 6.0 "will have enhanced privacy protections" for users, he added.

Privacy concerns about the persistence feature in Explorer were first raised by Guille Bisho, a Spanish information technology consultant, in a posting sent last Saturday to the Bugtraq security mailing list. Bisho said Microsoft should provide more information about persistence to users and place an option to deactivate the feature near the browser's cookie controls.


IDG UK Sites

Android One vs Android Silver vs Google Nexus: What is the difference?

IDG UK Sites

Apple updates MacBook Pro line-up: Price cuts & spec boosts for 6 MacBook Pro models

IDG UK Sites

Long live the internet fridge: the Internet of Things is coming

IDG UK Sites

How Prometheus' colourist Juan Ignacio Cabrera gave a tense, edgy feel to Chosen