On January 15, 2020, Microsoft is scheduled to roll out a completely revamped Edge browser to the general public. That browser, which is available for beta testing now on all supported versions of Windows and MacOS, includes a feature called Tracking Prevention.
If that name sounds familiar, you’re not imagining things. Microsoft added a Tracking Protection feature to Internet Explorer 9, back in 2011; it used simple text files called Tracking Protection Lists (TPLs) to allow or block third-party requests from specific domains.
That’s the same general principle behind Tracking Prevention in the new Edge, but the implementation is more usable and more sophisticated, with multiple Trust Protection Lists taking the place of a single TPL. I’ve spent the past week looking closely at this feature. In this post I explain how it works and how it affects your browsing experience. And although it’s aimed at the online advertising and tracking industries in general, my tests suggest that its effects are likely to be felt most directly by one company: Google.
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