As the debate continues about a potential privacy system that would allow consumers to opt out of having their data collected online, Microsoft on Tuesday announced a feature for the newest version of Internet Explorer that would permit users to stop certain Web sites from tracking them.
The feature, which will exist in Internet Explorer 9, available next year, will let users limit the ability of third-party companies to track them online. The announcement comes less than a week after the Federal Trade Commission advocated a “do not track” mechanism that could be built into a browser and alert Web sites that a user did not want to be monitored.
Jon Leibowitz, the commission’s chairman, said in a statement that he was encouraged by Microsoft’s move.
“Microsoft deserves enormous credit for taking a critical step toward providing consumers with more choice about who can track their online browsing,” Mr. Leibowitz said. “Just as important, this announcement proves that technology is available to let consumers control tracking.”