Bookmark that Site, Save the Cache and Cookies?

by | May 11th, 2009

Many users are quite concerned by the amount of tracking performed online so they dump their browser’s cache and cookies quite regularly. Effective privacy perserving strategy or not, all browsers thus have a commonly used setting to dump various browsing droppings like cookies, browser history, and cached files when the browser is closed. When looking at Internet Explorer 8 version of this recently we noticed that a subtle and likely overlooked aspect of the dialog – a privacy purge exception for favorited sites.

IE8 retains data for some sites

IE8 retains data for some sites

It appears that Microsoft has made an interesting assumption, end users are ok with preserving their tracks with bookmarked “friends,” but certainly not various sites they may occasionally visit. I guess the idea here is that because you have favorited the site you have committed to a more long term relationship and thus saving a cookie for easy login or cached files for fast render is ok? Seems a bit suspect to us, at least Redmond could have started with an opt-in for this rather an than opt-out.


Thomas Powell is a long-time web industry veteran, as well as the founder and CEO of PINT.

  • It’s interesting to think about how users’ browsing habits can reflect how they feel about privacy. Personally I think people should be more concerned with sensitive information being divulged on the Internet, but that’s another story. Regardless, another preventative measure in favor of privacy is always a bonus.

    I think the reason why you are automatically ‘opted-in’ on that choice is because since you have elected by default to leave “browser droppings” (I like that term btw) for every web site, it is inherent that you will also leave those files for your favorite sites.