Firefox Joins the Tracking Prevention Crusade
Last summer, we informed you of Safari’s tracking prevention efforts — Apple’s crusade to protect their users from being tracked and targeted by creepily persistent advertisements while browsing online. Very soon, Mozilla’s Firefox browser will join them with the introduction of Content Blocking, providing users with more control over what information they share with the sites they visit. “This is about more than protecting users — it’s about giving them a voice,” states Mozilla in a blog post announcing this change. Mozilla believes users don’t experience the level of privacy they deserve; even though some sites find data collection necessary to stay in business, users should have control over this transaction and be aware of it before it happens.
What Firefox is Targeting
- Blocking trackers from loading in the first place, increasing page-load speed
- Stripping cookies and storage from trackers that store access from third-party content
- Blocking tools that allow per-user fingerprinting or silent cryptomining
- Giving you control with clear tools to choose what information to share
What It’ll Improve
Site speed — Ghostery, an independent tracker-blocking service, cites that about half the time it takes any given webpage to load is spent loading third-party trackers. Blocking these trackers will make websites load much faster and improve user experience.
Your right to privacy — Strengthening the campaign against web-based invasions of your privacy is always a worthy cause. Although sites need to store cookies in order to provide an optimal user experience, this should never compromise your privacy as a user and a healthy balance should always be encouraged. Firefox blocking cross-site tracking is a step in this direction.
How To Manage Your Privacy
Firefox’s Content Blocking is currently available for Firefox Nightly users to try out, and will be available to all users in Firefox 65. Further refinements to these efforts will continue as new versions of Firefox are released. If you are a Firefox user, information about managing your privacy settings can be found here. For Firefox Nightly users, Mozilla provides the following helpful steps in the “Content Blocking” preferences panel:
- Click the checkbox next to “Slow-Loading Trackers” to improve page load performance.
- Click the checkbox next to “Third-Party Cookies” and select “Trackers (recommended)” to block cross-site tracking cookies.