THE MOZILLA FOUNDATION has announced a new version of its flagship Firefox browser which will lock down privacy settings by default.
As promised, today's release of Firefox (version 69) will switch on Enhanced Tracking Protection by default, meaning no third-party tracking cookies and no crypto mining, right out of the box.
Enhanced Tracking Protection was launched in Firefox 57 as an optional feature. Mozilla says that one in five of its users have elected to turn it on, with new users getting it by default since Firefox 67.
Now, it'll be the standard for everyone. Mozilla explains:
"With today's release, we expect to provide protection for 100% of our users by default. Enhanced Tracking Protection works behind-the-scenes to keep a company from forming a profile of you based on their tracking of your browsing behaviour across websites -- often without your knowledge or consent.
"Those profiles and the information they contain may then be sold and used for purposes you never knew or intended. Enhanced Tracking Protection helps to mitigate this threat and puts you back in control of your online experience."
If you want to override it, without turning it off altogether, there's access in the settings to all the domains being blocked, letting you tweak them at a granular level.
The other big feature in Enhanced Tracking Protection is the protection against "fingerprinting", the practice of using your browser settings as a means to identify you. Working with technologies developed by TOR, Firefox will be able to send false information about the size of your browser window, confusing the algorithm that can use it to deduce your browser use.
This feature isn't switched on by default in this edition, but will eventually become the norm too.
Firefox is at a key moment in its history. Soon, it will be the last major browser not to use Google's Chromium engine, Mozilla needs to find a new identity for its star product.
Luckily for everyone, it appears to be doing it in spades through a focus on being a super-secure option. μ
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