AfterDawn: Tech news

Mozilla's anti-tracking surprise: Firefox to block all ad tracking

Written by Matti Robinson @ 31 Aug 2018 3:41

Mozilla's anti-tracking surprise: Firefox to block all ad tracking Once upon a time the browser known as Firefox was one of the hottest tech companies in the world. It was on its way to dethroning the great Internet Explorer, and it seemed inevitable.
Now a decade later the Mozilla browser seems to be a blip on the radar while Chrome, a browser that wasn't even on the radar when Firefox was starting its rise to the top. There are some signs of life within Mozilla, most notably perhaps the "super-fast" Quantum CSS engine.

Now Mozilla has revealed their latest, and perhaps most radical approach to claw back marketshare: anti-tracking. New blog post details how the company is looking to preserve the browsing experience in the face of websites tracking their users' every move (read: ad tracking).



In fact, Mozilla is going to be offering a complete block to all tracking from advertiser by default. This means that you won't have to download, or even turn on, an ad blocker. All third-party cookies trying to track your browsing will be blocked by default, straight out of the box.

Obviously this doesn't stop advertisement, and one could argue it only makes it worse, and at least less tailored when it still reaches you.

Mozilla is not intending to do all this in one big swoop though. First it'll test if blocking the tracking has a performance benefit, and if so, they'll be blocked in a future Firefox v63 update. In version 65 Mozilla is planning to further block third-party access to web storage and cookies.

Lastly it will block the possibility for advertisers to collect so-called fingerprint data which combines user's browser details to form a somewhat unique identification. This includes blocking websites from using browser for crypto mining.

We'll have to see if this is enough to turn Firefox's plunge, and if so, whether it's actually going to benefit the users and/or the largest advertisement networks, including the likes of Facebook and Google.

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