Microsoft adds privacy tools to IE8

So-called porn mode tools to debut in IE8 Beta 2 this month

Firefox 3.0, which went final in mid-June, was meant to have a privacy mode similar to what Microsoft promised today for IE8, but the feature was pulled as the browser made its run toward completion. Beltzner wouldn't put a timetable on the enhancements, saying that he couldn't guarantee they would make it into Firefox 3.1.

Ari Schwartz, the deputy director of the Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT), a non-profit policy group in the US, said moves such as Microsoft's are important, not because they are new technologies, but because they put tools in the hands of more Internet users.

"The key part is getting privacy tools into the browser," said Schwartz, "rather than as add-ons or extensions. Microsoft's announcement is significant not because it's a major technological breakthrough, but because it's a breakthrough into making it easier for users to have real control over their privacy."

The CDT, said Schwartz, has talked with every browser developer about adding more privacy features to their applications, and was happy to see progress. Of the most-used browsers, only Apple's Safari currently has a privacy mode. "But we'll have to wait to see how easy it is to use," he cautioned, talking about IE8's InPrivate tools.

Beltzner, meanwhile, echoed Schwartz on the need for a more granular approach to browsing privacy -- they both noted that the problem exists on shared computers in places such as schools or Internet cafes -- as he wondered if the tools would be used by mainstream surfers. "What we're seeing in Firefox is that people want their browsers to remember more, not less," he said, citing the work Mozilla did on Firefox 3.0's location bar to add search capabilities so users could retrieve previously-visited sites.

Microsoft has not set a date for IE8 Beta 2's release, saying only that it would unveil the browser before the end of August. Company executives have said that the final version of IE8 will launch sometime this year.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags ie8

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Gregg Keizer

Computerworld
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?