Mozilla Firefox will now block third-party tracking cookies and cryptominers by default for all users across the globe, the company said in a blog post. Its ‘Enhanced Tracking Protection’ will now remain turned on by default as part of the ‘Standard’ setting in the Firefox browser. However, users will have the option to turn off the feature for particular websites. “If users want to make use of Enhanced Tracking Protection, they will need to update to this most recent version,” Amba Kak, Mozilla’s Public Policy Advisor for India, told MediaNama. According to The Verge, users have to update to Firefox version 69.
The company had introduced default Enhanced Tracking Protection in June for new users while existing users could turn on the feature. According to Mozilla, the feature stops companies from forming a user profile by tracking browsing behaviour across websites — often without user knowledge or consent. These profiles or information may then be sold or used for different purposes, while the user remains oblivious. The company claimed that over 20% of Firefox users currently have their protection feature switched on.
In April. the company had also added a feature to block fingerprinting and cryptomining in the Firefox Nightly as an option which needed to be switched on by the users. “Cryptominers run costly operations on your web browser without your knowledge or consent, using the power of your computer’s CPU to generate cryptocurrency for someone else’s benefit. These scripts slow down your computer, drain your battery and rack up your electric bill,” the company explained. However, this feature will now be included in the ‘Standard Mode‘ of the users content blocking preferences.
Firefox add-on also limits Facebook’s ability to track user activity
Last year, the company had also launched a Firefox browser add-on ‘Facebook Container’ which isolates users Facebook sessions from the rest of their web activity to prevent Facebook from collecting information on other sites that users visit and target them with ads and other messages.
When a user gets the extension installed, it deletes the Facebook cookies from the browser and logs the user out. Following this, Facebook will be opened in a blue-coloured tab or “container” and where the user will be needed to log back in.