In an announcement made through Mozilla blog, it was revealed that Mozilla developers will be changing their approach towards anti-tracking. This announcement came on August 30th, 2018 and stated that in the upcoming days, Firefox will be protecting its users from potential data breaches by default. Mozilla would achieve this by blocking all kinds of tracking and offering a clear set of controls. The blog stated that these controls aimed to give users ‘more choice over what information they share with sites.’
Mozilla developers also mentioned the reason for why are they announcing this approach, “This is about more than protecting users — it’s about giving them a voice. Some sites will continue to want user data in exchange for content, but now they will have to ask for it, a positive change for people who up until now had no idea of the value exchange they were asked to make.”
According to the blog, this new approach will be achieved through three key initiatives:
Improved Page Loading Performance
Considering the issue of long page loading times being detrimental to users, Firefox has decided to add the new feature in Firefox Nightly. This new feature allows the blocking of trackers that are responsible for slowing down page loading. A shield study will be used to test this feature in September. In case this approach worked well, slow-loading trackers will begin to be blocked by default in Firefox 63.
Removal of Cross-Site Tracking
Claiming that most web browsers fail to provide users with the required level of privacy which they deserve, Mozilla blog stated that they Firefox will be stripping cookies and blocking storage access from third-party tracking content. Firefox Nighty users can already try this feature out and a shield study will be conducted in September to test the feature’s performance for beta users.
Mitigation of Harmful Practices
Owing to the growing incidents of deceptive practices which collect user information, Firefox will be blocking these practices by default in the future. For instance, it would not be possible to track the fingerprints of Firefox users in any way in the coming months.
Users can learn more about how to manually enable these protections on their browser here.