Huge Win For Privacy Advocates - Mozilla Claims Firefox Stops Entities From Tracking Your Online Behavior

Posted: Jun 4 2019, 11:39pm CDT | by , in Technology News

 

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Huge Win for Privacy Advocates - Mozilla Claims Firefox Stops Entities from Tracking Your Online Behavior

One of the more disconcerting trends in the modern era is that of online advertisers tracking user behavior in the hopes of fine tuning their targeted ads or just to gain some insight into their customer base.

Most every person that surfs the Internet hates it but only a few of us take active measures to stop it, like a VPN or even bespoke browsers that stop that activity in its tracks.

CNet reports that Mozilla’s Firefox will soon join the legions of web browsers that are stopping online tracking of user behavior.

In a blog post describing their move, Mozilla wrote: “People feel increasingly vulnerable...We believe that in order to truly protect people, we need to establish a new standard that puts people's privacy first.”

Specifically, Firefox is targeting cookies - those relics of the web that sound cute but actually collect data on you - and those are what Mozilla is blocking in Firefox through a feature called “enhanced tracking protection.” To their credit, Mozilla announced this project back in 2018 but it is rolling out to wider release just now.

As CNet points out, all of this is part of a larger trend on the part of web browsers and tech companies at large to rein in the somewhat unlimited freedoms that advertisers and websites enjoyed in the past in tracking user activity. Even industry titan Google is getting in on the action and that’s a bigger deal than it might seem. After all, the company makes the vast majority of its money from online advertising revenues.

So why the sudden emphasis on privacy over all else? It seems to be a differentiating factor in an already crowded browser industry but it also reflects wider trends from social media networks to place user data security first. While the notion of browser wars might seem like some relic from 1990s, it is actually an active struggle with the biggest players - Google, Mozilla, and Microsoft - setting the tone for how a lot of us navigate the Internet. The growth of derivative browsers and niche browsers that cater to data security and user privacy presaged this development somewhat.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai reiterated this sentiment in an op-ed when he stated that “Privacy cannot be a luxury good offered only to people who can afford to buy premium products and services” while Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg has echoed similar sentiments about the market’s future being in privacy. One company that has staked a lot of its future on the privacy argument is Apple which has not only been on the forefront of these developments with its Safari browser but also is moving ahead with more privacy protections in the future for its users.

Again, for the most part, users are aligned with the tech companies that are advocating for less invasive actions on the parts of websites and advertisers in the future though, ultimately, anyone thinking about this rationally knows the future of invasive tracking will be determined largely by one thing: Whether or not it works and makes money.

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The Author

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/2" rel="author">Luigi Lugmayr</a>
Manfred "Luigi" Lugmayr () is the founding Chief Editor of I4U News and brings over 25 years experience in the technology field to the ever evolving and exciting world of gadgets, tech and online shopping. He started I4U News back in 2000 and evolved it into vibrant technology news and tech and toy shopping hub.
Luigi can be contacted directly at ml[@]i4u.com.

 

 

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