If you are a fan of the government tapping your phone calls without a warrant and Google potentially reading your gmail, you’ll love Microsoft Internet Explorer 8!

Part of Microsoft’s new approach to the web is targeted ads (and in fairness, Google and Facebook have also played with this).  The idea is that instead of displaying random ads, it will query what sites you have been on and display ads based on what pages you’ve been visiting.  This means that your browser willingly gives up this information.

Due to market demand for privacy, Microsoft is giving the illusion of privacy, but really just playing a dirty game.  It offers InPrivate features that gives the user the option to block cookies and disallow ads from seeing where you’ve browsed.  Sounds good.

The catch?  The settings to change this are cumbersome and annoying, and these are turned off by default, meaning a large demographic of Windows users won’t be aware of that Microsoft is seeing what they are doing, but even those who are aware may lack the skills to turn it off.

If that seems like nit-picking, it gets better:  InPrivate Filtering must be enabled for each new browsing session!  Microsoft can then say “we have a feature” but in reality their plan is to annoy the end user in consenting to giving up their browsing information.

Let’s compare the private browsing settings for Firefox’s upcoming release (you can see this now in Minefield):

A simple check and it’s done.  Was that so hard?

Currently unrated