It doesn’t seem like Microsoft can ever release a new version of Internet Explorer without it causing some big problem (Blocking Flash content anyone) and get everyone in an uproar. Their latest version, IE8, is still only in beta and it’s “InPrivate” feature has a lot of people in ad industry worried that it could block their ability to distribute, track and even profit on online advertising. The feature lets users surf without caching any content like the URLs visited or cookies. It even tells users about sites that consistently try to track their browsing histories and will automatically block third-party content if it detects that the third party has seen the user more than 10 times. In plain English that means that if a third party is stephengates.com and it I have ads on 10 different sites a user visited during an InPrivate session, it will begin to block stephengates.com tracking codes and possibly even my content on the 11th website.
So with the market share that IE has it is concerning about what this could do to the online ad industry and it makes Microsoft look like they are really look out for the consumer. That held up until I talked to some friends about all of this and found out that Microsoft is talking out of both sides of their face as they have sent tips for publishers and advertisers on how to get third-party content and ads seen during these session. The one that came up the most was that you can get around it by serving online ads directly from your site which makes the advertising then first party instead of third party and it will pass through the filter.