A new Tracking Protection option in Microsoft Edge

While Apple is working on an “Isolation mode” in iOS 16 which allows, among other things, to disable certain web technologies (such as on-the-fly JavaScript compilation), Microsoft is also looking to offer more options to its users to protect themselves from sites malicious or indiscreet. The latest stable version of its browser, Microsoft Edge 104, contains a new “basic” tracking protection option.

The new “basic” Tracking Protection option in Edge.

While tracking protection has existed since version 98 of Edge, users have so far only had the choice between two operating modes: “normal” (enabled by default) and “strict”. In normal mode, Edge notably blocks tracking devices from sites that the user has not visited, while strict mode is much less selective: almost all tracking devices are blocked, which sometimes compromises the operation of some sites.

This new basic mode, on the other hand, weakens tracking prevention but seeks to preserve the user experience: tracking is authorized on almost all sites, except the least visited. In practice, this means that large, popular sites should not be affected by these safeguards — a trade-off in security that is arguably better than nothing.

Finally, Edge 104 also contains a welcome new feature for (ex-) Google Chrome users: it is now possible to import data from this browser by connecting directly to your Google account during the initial configuration of Microsoft Edge, which which avoids having to install Chrome.

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