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'Browzar' Keeps Web-Surfing History Secret

A U.K. startup on has launched a customized browser designed to protect users' privacy by automatically deleting cookies and discarding all traces of a Web session.

A U.K. startup on Thursday launched a customized browser designed to protect users' privacy by automatically discarding all traces of a Web session.

Named "Browzar," the 264K application runs on Windows systems equipped with Internet Explorer 5.5 or later. IE is required because Browzar employs its rendering engine. Browzar sidesteps privacy concerns by explicitly not saving files to a cache or a history log. It also deletes all cookies acquired during a session when it's closed, and because it lacks an address auto-complete feature, it doesn't store traces of URLs.

Browzar's backer is Ajaz Ahmed, who founded Freeserve, a free-of-charge U.K. Internet service provider in 1998. He sold Freeserve to France Tlcom in 2001 for $3 billion.

Browzar is small enough to download each time it's used, its makers noted on the browser's Web site, but it can also be stored on hard or flash drive, then run from there. Its primary purpose is to give users a more private way to surf than traditional Web applications like Microsoft's IE or Mozilla's Firefox.

"In today's big brother society it is easy to feel like our every move is recorded. Privacy is a hotly debated issue with the internet being somewhere that our actions leave trail that we often aren't even aware of," the developers said in the online FAQ. "The advent of consumer tools such as Browzar gives individuals the option to enjoy the freedom to surf the internet while keeping their personal details personal."

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