Microsoft Edge to Feature Improved Tracking Protection

Posted on December 3, 2019 by Paul Thurrott in Microsoft Edge with 6 Comments

Today, Microsoft outlined the ways in which it is improving its Edge browser’s use of tracking prevention technologies.

“We are looking to strike a balance between blocking more types of trackers and maintaining compatibility on the web,” the Microsoft Edge team explained today. “We learned through experimentation that it is possible to manage these tradeoffs by relaxing tracking prevention for organizations with which a user has established a relationship.”

Microsoft Edge’s tracking protection functionality is largely powered by the Disconnect tracking protection lists, but the firm has expanded into blocking new categories of trackers and it now blocks 25 percent more trackers than in the previous version. But the bigger change involves using on-device logic to determine the user’s engagement with any given site.

“By exempting sites and organizations that you have an ongoing and established relationship with from tracking prevention, we can ensure that the web services and applications you care about continue to work as you expect across the web,” the team says. “Leveraging site engagement also allows us to only unblock content that is likely to be important to you and reflects your current needs.”

Microsoft is also making changes to how InPrivate windows and tabs work. Now, instead of always working in Strict mode, your tracking prevention settings will be carried over to InPrivate sessions as well.

Microsoft provides an interesting comparison of tracking protection in Edge 79 (the latest version) and Edge 78. But what I’d really like to see, of course, is how this compares to other browsers, like Brave, Firefox, and Safari. Perhaps we’ll see a third-party rating of this functionality soon.

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