Tracking Protection is a new feature in IE9 which gives users more controls on protecting personal data and privacy by blocking online tracking items such as tracking scripts, web bugs, information collectors, cookies and etc. Tracking Protection in IE9 supports two methods of privacy protection. The primary method is the use of Tracking Protection Lists (TPL) which acts as “Do Not Call” list and normally provided by privacy-related organizations, and the second method is the emerging “Do Not Track” header, which indicates to the website that it should not deliver tracking mechanisms.

Currently, whether a site follows the “Do Not Track” restriction is entirely voluntary, and thus deemed less effective. The most effective way to protect your privacy and avoid been tracked is by using one or more Tracking Protection Lists which are compiled by various Tracking Protection Lists providers. Furthermore, browser request sent by Internet Explorer 9 will always contain “Do Not Track” header whenever a TPL is installed and enabled, in addition to block sites that been included in the TPL’s block list. In fact, user has to enable a TPL to turn on Do Not Call in IE9.

Tracking Protection will always be effective once at least a TPL is installed and then enable or turned on, even after IE 9 web browser is started afresh. According to Microsoft, if a site is listed as a “do not call” site on a TPL, Internet Explorer 9 will block third-party content from that site, unless you visit the site directly by clicking on a link or typing its web address. In other words, Tracking Protection List is a blunt tool similar to popular Adblock Plus, as it not only blocks trackers, but also blocks third-party content serving, including ads. By limiting “calls” to third-party websites, Internet Explorer 9 limits the information these third-party sites can collect about you by preventing the information from been sent in the first place when the requests are made.

IE9 Users can create personal TPL or select one or more TPL provided by various TPL provider such as Abine, PrivacyChoice TrackerBlock, Adblock Plus EasyPrivacy, and TRUSTe. If you’re looking for a Tracking Protection List to add into IE9, several organizations have created free Tracking Protection Lists for consumers. Visit the following URLs to get a list of all available Tracking Protection Lists:

http://iegallery.com/trackingprotectionlists/

or,

http://ie.microsoft.com/testdrive/Browser/TrackingProtectionLists/Default.html

Click on the Add TPL links to the right to add the list to IE9. Which is the best Tracking Protection list? All lists are created for different purposes and there is no clear choice on a list that gives you best privacy protection. So it’s recommended to inspect the TPLs carefully or else it may interferes with your browsing experience. You can however install as many lists as you want on top of creating your own list, as IE will handle any conflict automatically.

Add Tracking Protection List

However, do note that TPLs can include “do not call” or “OK to call” entries that permit calls to specific third-party sites. For conflict between “do not cal” and “Ok to call” TPLs, the “Ok to call” rules take precedence and implemented.

An added TPL will be automatically checked for update by the web browser weekly.

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