Mozilla has just announced a significant update to its flagship web browser, the Mozilla Firefox. As part of the announcement, now Firefox will come with enhanced tracking protection by default. In addition to that, the company also revealed improved to its Facebook Container, improvements to Firefox Monitor, and introduction of Firefox Lockwise for password management. Facebook Container is an extension that enabled a Facebook-free internet. Dave Camp, the Senior Vice President of Firefox, stated that the company is working on a new standard that will put the privacy of users on the front. These new changes with the enhanced tracking protection, Firefox Lockwise, and Firefox Monitor, show that the company is moving in that direction.
Camp also revealed that the company has long been working on such privacy-focused features long before the recent shift towards privacy in the tech world. After introducing Tracking Protection in Private Browsing back in 2015, the company feels only right to move towards “stronger online protections”. The enhanced tracking protection by default is that step which comes just a year after the company announced its approach towards anti-tracking last year in August. Mozilla clarified that this feature will be turned on for all new Firefox users by default which will make it harder for “over a thousand companies” to track users.
War on Third-party cookie tracking in Firefox
As part of enhanced tracking protection, Firefox will block known “third-party tracking cookies” that are in the Disconnect List. It will not impact Firefox user in any way. In fact, the only way one can even notice this is by seeing the shield icon in the address bar that is next to the URL, and the small “i” icon. When you see the shield icon, users can be assured that Firefox is blocking companies from tracking them. For more details, users can click on the Shield icon. Then users can go to “Content Blocking” section and then click on “Cookies” where the browser will show “Blocking Tracking Cookies”. There, if the user clicks on the arrow on the right side, they will be presented with a list of companies that have been listed as third-party cookies or trackers.
Users can easily disable the third party tracking and blocking by clicking on the “Turn off Blocking for this Site” button. Mozilla revealed that it will roll out this protection by default for existing Mozilla Firefox users in the coming months so that users don’t have to change anything on their own. If users can’t wait then they should head to the “Content Blocking” option under “Browser Privacy” section in the “Privacy & Security” option in the Browser settings. and then click on the “Custom gear” on the right side. There, they should click on the Cookies checkbox and ensure that the “Third-party trackers” is selected there.
Mozilla has also revealed that it has made improvements to the Facebook Container. This will make it much harder for Facebook to make “shadow profiles” of internet users who are not on Facebook. Users can notice the “Facebook Container” fence badge in purple to see that the blocking is working. In addition to this, the company is also finally rolling out an extension for Firefox Lockwise, the password manager that the company rolled out on iOS, iPad, and Android. This will allow users to easily manage passwords, and access them.
Last but not least, the company has also added a Firefox Monitor dashboard so that Firefox users can manage multiple email addresses. For people who may not be aware, this is a free service that notifies users if their email address has been part of a new data breach so that they can take action and change password on that particular service.