May 21, 2020 –
It is important to understand the fundamentals of how Convert tracks visitors.
Let’s hope the feature is developed to a state where Microsoft rolls it out in the stable version of Edge, and turns it on by default, just like Mozilla and Apple did for the Firefox and Safari user base.
That’s it! Once the tracking prevention experiment is enabled, you can go to the Microsoft Edge privacy settings page to configure tracking prevention. In the address bar, enter edge://settings/privacy and adjust the settings as desired:
Microsoft said that they are introducing ‘Trust Protection Lists’ which contain a list of organizations and domains commonly known for tracking users. The tracking prevention feature shall be enabled by default for all the domains falling under the afore-mentioned list.
Turning on Edge’s Tracking Prevention
The default tracking prevention setting is Balanced, which blocks 3rd party trackers and known malicious trackers for an experience that balances privacy and web compatibility.
In any case, the Microsoft Edge Tracking Prevention will block the Convert tracker only when a visitor is setting the Tracking Prevention to the Strict mode (and not to the Balanced mode which is the default one). Hence, in normal browsing Convert’s experiences are not affected by the new settings that Edge will impose.
To try out tracking prevention, you’ll need to be on a Microsoft Edge Insider preview build browser (version 220.127.116.11 or higher). For the purpose of this article, we will be using the Canary Channel since it is a feature that was just added on 27th of June, but please feel free to use the official Dev channel in a few days. Once you’re on the right build, you’ll need to manually enable the experiment.
The implementation in Microsoft Edge Insider preview builds is early and is likely to change. For that reason, it’s currently behind an experimental flag and disabled by default.
You can customize tracking prevention to your preferences by setting it to Strict, which blocks the majority of 3rd party trackers, or Basic, which only blocks malicious trackers.
Edge’s tracking Protection is practically invisible to you and you’ll only notice that it’s operating when you visit a site and see a lock icon in the address bar next to the URL address.
Convert uses first party cookies to identify your site visitors. First party cookies are set with the same domain name that is in the location bar of the visitor’s browser. It is very important to understand that cookies can only be ‘seen’, and changed, by the domain that sets them. In fact, it is almost impossible for a website to set a cookie for a different website. This is due to a default security setting that most browsers have. Website A can not set a cookie on website B.
Investigating Third Party Tracking Cookies
We will definitely continue to monitor this situation as it builds and stay on top of solutions that respect privacy, but do not unnecessarily complicate the ease of testing for customers.
You might also see under Privacy that by default Do Not Track feature is disabled.
Let’s look at the two sections that the Tracking Prevention settings have (Trackers and Cookies) and how these relate to Convert.
What the Future Holds
The Convert tracker might be listed in the Trust Protection List and we say might because it is a hidden component that Edge has not revealed yet.
In Convert, in our efforts to be GDPR compliant, third party cookies were disabled on February 21st, 2018. This is why the Microsoft EdgeTracking Prevention will not affect your Convert Experiences from running.
This feature is similar to the Enhanced Tracking Protection in Mozilla Firefox and the Intelligent Tracking Protection in Apple Safari and blocks off any tracking scripts loading from a domain that isn’t accessed by the user directly.
Convert Experiences is happy to say that users can rest easy with their A/B testing drives in this regard because there are no third party cookies used by our tool.