Microsoft rejects controversial cookie proposal

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Microsoft Corp. has followed Netscape Communications Corp.'s lead in rejecting controversial recommendations from the Internet Engineering Task Force about the "cookies" standard that would have hurt online advertisers. The IETF, on the counsel of privacy advocates, had recommended in a proposal known by its code "RFC 2109" that browser makers set their default options to reject certain types of cookie files, which Web sites use to identify individual visitors. If implemented, the new policy would have severely hampered sites' and advertisers' ability to customize Web content and ads.

Last month, Netscape said it would go against the recommendation from the IETF, an Internet standards body. A Microsoft spokesperson confirmed last week that Microsoft's Internet Explorer 4.0 browser would likewise set its defaults to accept all types of cookies, giving users the option to change their setting to reject cookies if they so please.

Copyright June 1997, Crain Communications Inc.

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