Microsoft has revealed a forthcoming upgrade to its Internet Explorer 9.0 web browser that will help stop web sites from recording details about users' browsing activity.
The revamped browser, scheduled to appear in the first release candidate of IE9 next year, will use a tracking protection list (TPL) which contains lists of pre-defined web addresses that the browser will not swap information, or cookies, with. These TPLs can be created and maintained by the end users themselves or downloaded from other sources.
The feature will not be switched on by default however, nor will IE9 ship with predefined TPLs of its own - users will have to locate and download them manually.
Previous versions of IE have allowed users to manually block the sharing of third party 'cookies' - morsels of information that may contain user names or browsing habits - by changing settings in the browsers 'Internet options' menu. IE8 also lets them choose whether to switch on InPrivate filtering algorithms that control information shared during browsing sessions.
IE9 also features a SmartScreen Filter that protects against phishing attacks by blocking malicious content detected in web pages (pictured).
Microsoft estimates the beta version of IE9, available here, has been downloaded 15m times since being made available in September this year.