Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Mozilla to Block Slow and Cross-Site Trackers in Firefox

Nick Nguyen of Mozilla:

Anyone who isn’t an expert on the internet would be hard-pressed to explain how tracking on the internet actually works. Some of the negative effects of unchecked tracking are easy to notice, namely eerily-specific targeted advertising and a loss of performance on the web. However, many of the harms of unchecked data collection are completely opaque to users and experts alike, only to be revealed piecemeal by major data breaches. In the near future, Firefox will — by default — protect users by blocking tracking while also offering a clear set of controls to give our users more choice over what information they share with sites.

This will be rolled out in two stages: Firefox 63 — two major releases away from the current build — will start blocking slow-loading trackers, while Firefox 65 will block cross-site tracking. The latter sounds a little bit like Safari’s Intelligent Tracking Prevention feature. However, instead of blocking scripts based on behaviour, Firefox will rely upon a list of trackers created by Disconnect Me.

Mozilla’s Asa Dotzler:

When pop-ups got out of control in the early ’00s Firefox took a stand and killed them all dead. Now Firefox is taking a stand against tracking on the web because it too has gotten out of control.

Firefox also spearheaded the renaissance of web standards over the past fifteen years or so, but I’m not sure whether it has the kind of sway it once did. Even so, the combination of Apple’s and Mozilla’s prioritization of user privacy is a formidable one.

Of course, Google still makes the world’s most popular browser. There’s simply no way they can join the club of companies that actually care about user privacy with their current business model.