Microsoft demonstrated the Tracking Prevention feature for Microsoft Edge at this year’s Build Developer Conference. Later on, the company started testing the feature in the recent Insider Preview builds released for Chromium Edge.
Those who tested the feature noticed that Tracking Prevention by disabled at that time and users had to enable it manually. It looks like Microsoft has completed the initial testing phase. The Tracking Prevention functionality is now enabled by default in the Edge Canary and Dev builds.
How does Microsoft’s Tracking Prevention feature work?
Microsoft’s Tracking Prevention feature is slightly different as compared to the one offered by Mozilla Firefox. Both features have been implemented in different ways. Mozilla’s Tracking Protection feature works mainly as an ad-blocker. However, TP may not provide complete full-fledged ad-blocking capabilities in Microsoft Edge.
Microsoft implemented the feature in three modes in Chromium Edge. Users can switch between Basic, Balanced and Strict modes as per their requirements. The Basic mode allows websites to display relevant advertisements while blocking malicious advertisements. Moreover, the advertisements are reduced and the browser blocks some third-party and malicious trackers. Once you switch to the strict mode, Microsoft Edge blocks most of the third-party trackers.
A mentioned earlier, the feature does not work as a content blocker. There are some reports that Tracking Prevention failed to block YouTube advertisements. According to Microsoft, the feature is meant to prevent websites from tracking Edge users. The browser will block third-party cookies to reduce the number of targetted advertisements at your end. Microsoft’s explanation of TP explains the functionality in a better way.
Websites use trackers to collect info about your browsing. This info is used to improve sites and show you content like personalized ads. Some trackers collect and send your info to sites you haven’t visited.
Microsoft implemented the Tracking Prevention feature to rely on Trust Protection Lists. The browser maintains a list of trackers to block them. Microsoft Edge informs users about the number of trackers it blocked on the website with the help of a page info bubble.
The Tracking Prevention flag is by default set to Balanced mode. You can visit edge://settings/privacy page to switch between three modes. The same page provides an option to Turn off tracking prevention for trustable sites. The browser instantly saves the new settings and you don’t need to restart it.