Washington, DC- The Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA) expressed reservations about today’s announcement by Microsoft of its plans to make available a patch to its Internet Explorer web browser that would prompt users whenever they visit a website that attempts to drop a cookie from a third party.

“This looks very much like another effort by Microsoft to utilize its monopoly power in the Internet browser market to establish dominance in an adjacent market — namely, the market for personal data and information,” Ed Black, President and CEO of CCIA said today. “While CCIA has strongly supported industry-wide efforts to protect consumers’ privacy, we do not believe that such information should be available without restriction to some, while requiring consumers to “opt in” to providing information to everyone else.

“Because the Microsoft website is the central repository for information related to its ubiquitous operating system, browser, security patches, and bug fixes, most PC users have no choice but to visit Microsoft.com, and it has become the most visited site on the Web. However, Microsoft should not be allowed to take advantage of this situation to collect information surreptitiously from computer users that is unavailable to others without specific permission.”

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