Microsoft Edge logo on Start menuSource: Windows Central

What you need to know

  • Microsoft Edge version 79 blocks 25 percent more trackers than the previous version of Microsoft Edge.
  • Microsoft continues to balance blocking trackers while maintaining web compatibility.
  • The same update also brings InPrivate changes that relate to trackers.

Microsoft Edge has a new update that pushes the browser to version 79. The main emphasis of this update is blocking trackers on the web. Microsoft states in a blog post that the company has to balance blocking more types of trackers while maintaining web compatibility. The result of the update is a browser that blocks 25 percent more trackers than the previous versions.

Blocking more trackers can't be done in sweeping motions without unintentionally blocking things that people find useful. For example, federated logins and embedded social media content could be blocked if a browser was made too strict. The Microsoft Edge team experimented to find a balance according to the team's blog post. A solution was to relax tracking prevention when a person uses a website that they have an established relationship with. The main part of this improvement relies on creating site engagement lists for people.

Site engagement is measured on a score of 1 to 100. Sites that people interact with on a daily basis will have a higher score, while sites that don't require a relationship will get a lower score. Site engagement scores are computed on devices and do not sync to other devices or get sent to Microsoft.

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The blog post from the Microsoft Edge team explains the process further, but the end result according to the post is the ability for Edge to block trackers without getting in your way, "Leveraging site engagement also allows us to only unblock content that is likely to be important to you and reflects your current needs. This ensures that actions such as briefly visiting a site or seeing a popup aren't enough to unblock content by themselves." The blog later continues, "By combining these exemptions with more strict blocking of trackers by default, we can provide higher levels of protection while still maintaining compatibility on the ever-evolving set of sites that you engage with." These changes only affect balanced mode within the browser.

Another change related to trackers is that when viewing in InPrivate mode, Microsoft Edge will automatically switch over to Strict mode.

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