Firefox Facebook Container Add-On Protects Data Exposure And Harvesting By Social Media Giant Across The Internet

The latest Firefox web browser update brings up the version to 74. Among several other features, contain an important privacy-focused prompt to install the update Facebook Container Addo-on. The add-on isn’t new, but a prompt is certainly a new approach from Mozilla to further enhance the security, privacy and data protection of Firefox web browser users.

Mozilla’s latest update for its popular Firefox web browser greets users with a prompt to install the updated Facebook Container add-on. The add-on has existed on Firefox add-on repository for quite some time, and continues to do its work, but never has Mozilla openly prompted users of Firefox to head over the add-on’s page and install the same after a successful update.

Facebook Container Add-On Pushed By Mozilla On Firefox Web Browser To Limit User Data Harvesting And Exposure?

The latest update to the Facebook Container Add-On is suggested by Mozilla after updating Firefox. The Facebook Container add-on is not new but has been enhanced in its latest version, 2.1.0. It now has the ability to add custom sites to the “container” so that users can “login with Facebook wherever you need to”. According to the official add-on description, “The purpose of the Facebook Container is to let you continue to use Facebook but without having the social network site track your browsing elsewhere. Installing this extension closes your Facebook tabs, deletes your Facebook cookies, and logs you out of Facebook.”

When users visit Facebook and log in, the cookies the social media giant plants are instantly isolated to the container. This essentially prevents Facebook ‘Like’ buttons and embedded comments from working on other sites. Previously there was an issue with sites that require or offer a Facebook login. After the latest update to the add-on, users can now overcome the same by adding particular sites to the container. Sites are added by clicking a fence icon and selecting the “Allow site in Facebook container” setting. The effect is like having two web browsers, one in which you are logged into Facebook and subject to potential tracking on any site which has Facebook content, and another where Facebook has no knowledge of you.

Mozilla began developing Containers for Firefox in 2016 but started deploying them just last year. The technology essentially provides a way to create contexts (tabs) in which browser-based data – cookies, indexedDB, localStorage, and cache – can be sandboxed. In other words, the data is strongly contained and doesn’t have a way to reach Facebook. Facebook Container implements a Container designed and deployed specifically for Facebook. It works to restrain Facebook’s informational reach. The social media giant tracks interactions on third-party websites that have implemented Facebook technology such as the ‘Like’ button or Facebook Login.

Will Facebook Usage, Data Tracking, and Harvesting Be Affected By Facebook Container Add-on?

The Facebook Container has slightly more than a million active users. Moreover, it is well-liked, which is evident from the 4.5 Star rating. However, Facebook alone has more than 2 Billion users. Hence, the add-on shouldn’t have much of an impact on Facebook. Nonetheless, the users of the Facebook Container add-on now have an additional layer of protection between their data and Facebook data collection practices.

While Facebook Container add-on might limit the users’ data exposure and potential data harvesting and processing attempts, the method is quite limited. This is simply because Facebook is just one of the big giants that actively look for and harvests user data. Google is such a behemoth, and shielding user data against Google and its massive reach across the internet is not only difficult but tricky as well.

In addition to the Facebook Container add-on install prompt included in the Firefox v74 update, Mozilla has also included CSS updates, tweaked developer tools, and an improved add-on for working with React, among several other feature improvements.

Alap Naik Desai
A B.Tech Plastics (UDCT) and a Windows enthusiast. Optimizing the OS, exploring software, searching and deploying solutions to strange and weird issues is Alap's main interest.

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Firefox Facebook Container Add-On Protects Data Exposure And Harvesting By Social Media Giant Across The Internet

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