Microsoft Corp plans to introduce a new tracking protection feature in the next version of its Internet Explorer browser, which will let users filter out sites they don't want to share information with.
The move comes amid growing concern over websites and advertisers using technology to track sites visited on the Internet to build up profiles of users, generally without their knowledge or explicit consent.
Last week the Federal Trade Commission backed the creation of a do not track option that would limit the ability of advertisers to collect consumers' data online.
Microsoft said on Tuesday its tracking protection feature would meet the demands being discussed by the FTC, by allowing users the option of blocking content from certain advertisers within a web page, and thus prevent any exchange of information.
Currently, many ads or invisible elements on web pages -- from weather information to stock quotes and embedded videos -- can automatically load a user's Internet address and web page being viewed. Using cookies, or strings of data saved by the browser, web sites can build up a profile of a user over time.
By allowing users to effectively block certain sites, Microsoft likens its new feature to a do not call list to prevent unsolicited telephone marketing.
Once a user blocks a site, or element within a site, the browser limits data requests to that site to prevent exchange of information.
The new feature will be included in IE9, the latest version of Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser, which is expected to be released sometime next year. Microsoft's browser is the world's most popular, with about 60 percent market share.
(Reporting by Bill Rigby; editing by John Wallace)