Web trackers

With the hopes of strengthening user security and performance, Mozilla revealed that its Firefox browser will soon block web trackers. Mozilla said that Firefox users will have a string of controls to choose which information to share with particular websites. Web trackers are primarily consumed for targeted advertising and broad user data collection.

“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,” Mozilla wrote on a blog.

It wasn’t the first time that Mozilla went up against the web advertising industry. It can be brought to mind that the company disabled pop-up ads in the initial Firefox release in 2004.

Over the years, Mozilla has applied components crafted to foster consumer privacy and scale down on practices it sees as detrimental to the open web. Three years ago, the web browser decided to block ads and trackers in private browsing mode.

Just recently, Mozilla distributed a tool to prevent Facebook from tracking its users’ online behavior. Additionally, it also awarded users with a control over web pop-up notifications.

New Mozilla Features

Mozilla’s move comes in the heels of Ghostery’s study earlier this year, which found out that 55.4 percent of the total time needed to load a normal website was spent loading third-party trackers. Apart from blocking trackers, the open-source web browser added that it will also remove cross-site tracking to give users a private web browsing.

The feature, which denies cookies and blocks storage access from third-party tracking content, will be examined with some Firefox beta users in September. Mozilla plans to bring this security peripheral to all users of Firefox 65 next year.

Likewise, Mozilla will also be mitigating harmful web practices, citing that deceptive methods that inconspicuously gathers identifiable user information have been very common. The blocking trackers and removing cross-site tracking features are available now for users of Firefox Nightly.

Meanwhile, Chrome still leads the global browser market with nearly 60 percent shares, with Safari and Firefox trailing behind with 14 percent and 5 percent respectively. In other news, Microsoft recently began packaging an AdBlock Plus with mobile versions of its Edge browser.