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August 28, 2008

Finally: IE 8 to Incude "Porn Mode" Privacy Function

And they say Microsoft doesn't innovate anymore.

Microsoft’s latest Internet browser includes a piece of software that allows Internet users to hide the audit trail of websites they have visited.

The new InPrivate feature on Internet Explorer 8 — now in Beta release, and dubbed by many in the Web development community as “porn mode,” a nod to its most obvious use — when enabled automatically conceals sites visited by wiping clean browsing and search history, cookies, form data and passwords. It also clears the browser cache at the end of each session.

Once the setting is chosen, others using the same computer will not be able to see which sites have been accessed, the company said. Other browsers have similar functions, but this one is far more prominent. Although casual users cannot see the previous user’s search history, authorities such as the police will be able to access it if necessary.

Rival developer Mozilla said it is working to add similiar features to its Firefox browser, the New York Times reported.

The software may be hailed as a victory for privacy campaigners, but it represents a serious threat to Microsoft’s bigger rival, Google. In allowing surfers to access websites but conceal their browsing behavior, Microsoft prevents Internet sites from collecting information about their users — data that is then used to sell targeted advertising.

Another feature will, at the touch of a button, digitally convert the actors in pornographic movies to appear to be nothing more than mischievous animals in a nature documentary. Microsoft officials say this will help many marriages, as wives will now walk in to see large-breasted badgers pissing all over each other and/or and barking foul commands at each other in German.

"Which sounds like badger-language anyway," a Microsoft programmer noted.

Win-win-win. Except, of course, kids will be able to hide stuff from their parents, and they're always more tech-savvy about such stuff, so parents probably won't be able to figure out how to deny them access to the mode.

So, actually, kinda bad.

Thanks to JG.


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posted by Ace at 03:25 PM

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