Microsoft About Internet Explorer 8 Privacy

Martin Brinkmann
Apr 10, 2010
Updated • Oct 27, 2016
Internet Explorer

A video posted on Microsoft's TechNet Edge website (now unavailable but still available as a cached page) has caused some controversy on the Internet.

In the video Microsoft IE product manager Pete LePage compares the Google Chrome way of handling user input in the address bar to Internet Explorer 8's way coming to the conclusion that Google Chrome submits every keystroke (even without hitting the enter key) to Google while Microsoft's Internet Explorer 8 does not.

The second half of the video then discusses the InPrivate mode of Internet Explorer 8 which is a private browsing mode allowing Internet Explorer users to access the web without leaving traces on the local computer system.

Take a look at the video below:

The comparison is problematic in several ways. Microsoft's Internet Explorer 8 uses an address bar and search bar to distinguish between the two while Google's Chrome browser uses one toolbar for both searches and addresses that are typed in.

The point LePage is trying to make is that the Chrome browser sends all keystrokes to Google which is correct for the browser's default settings. The keystrokes are send to Google Search and power the suggest functionality.

If the Chrome user changes the search provider the keystrokes are send to that provider and not Google. The same principle is valid for the Internet Explorer 8 search form as well. LePage is right that keystrokes are send out but it does not necessarily have to be Google that is receiving them. Still, most users probably stick with Google on Chrome.

A user who changes Google Search to Bing in the Chrome browser will send all those keystrokes to Microsoft instead.

It is furthermore possible to turn that feature off in the web browser settings in the advanced settings.

Unchecking "Use a prediction service to help complete searches and URLs typed in the address bar" disables the feature in the Chrome browser.

chrome google data

See, how to disable privacy invasive features in Chrome for additional information.

The second half of the video discusses the InPrivate feature that allows Internet Explorer users to access the Internet without leaving tracks behind on the local computer system once the session is closed. Many commenters have criticized that part because LePage is not mentioning that Google Chrome offers a similar feature (called InPrivate Browsing).

Some viewers might come to the conclusion that Google Chrome does not have a similar feature. Then again, the video's intention was not to compare Google Chrome and Internet Explorer 8 but to showcase some of the privacy features of Internet Explorer.

Microsoft About Internet Explorer 8 Privacy
Article Name
Microsoft About Internet Explorer 8 Privacy
A video by Microsoft's Internet Explorer product manager Pete LePage criticizes Chrome for sending keystrokes of users to Google.
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  1. Crodol said on April 11, 2010 at 1:52 am

    I think LePage is making a valid point. Not many users (maybe 1%?) are aware of that and it is another stepping stone of Goolge to take over the world ;-)

    PS: That tool “Fiddler” he uses – anyone can recommend it?

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