Online advertisers and third-party ad sellers are not best pleased by the latest gizmo under pilot by Microsoft - a patch to its Internet Explorer web browser that by default alerts surfers to the implantation of a cookie from third-party ad servers, giving them the option to refuse it.

While claiming to welcome Microsoft’s initiative as in the interests of online privacy, web ad industry body, The Network Advertising Initiative, warns of 'overbroad'' solutions that "undermine the internet business model that allows websites to stay free”.

NAI believes the Microsoft move could put the entire economic foundation of the web at risk. Broadscale implementation of the ‘opt-in’ alert system, it fears, could both affect advertisers’ targeting accuracy and their ability to measure web ads’ frequency and reach. The NAI points to a similar system, already operated by rival browser Netscape, that accepts cookies on an ‘opt-out’ basis.

News source: Advertising Age - Interactive Daily