THE MOZILLA FOUNDATION has announced it is teaming up with The Tor Project to bring one of its key security features to the Firefox browser.
The technique, known as "letterboxing" is expected to appear in Firefox 67, due in May, and is designed to stop advertisers from tracking you using the size of your browser window.
It sounds bizarre, but that's just one of the sneaky techniques being used by the people determined to serve up adverts that are tailored to you, whether you like it or not.
Letterboxing works by adding grey bars to the side of the screen as you resize, which gradually disappear over the next few seconds. Doing so confuses the "sniffing" technology used by the advertisers, and thus diverts the unwanted attention.
As the last major alternative to a Chromium-based browser, features like this will be a major part of Firefox's strategy going forward, as it attempts to distance itself from the features of Chromium-based browsers like Opera, Vivaldi, the forthcoming relaunch of Edge, and of course, Chrome itself.
ZDNet reports that the technology was first used in Tor back in 2015 as part of the Tor Uplift programme, but it has been refined by the community since then to remove the grey bars, once they have done their job.
Tor Uplift was also the origin of the Enhanced Tracking Protection feature that first appeared in Firefox 63. μ
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