Firefox’s toughest anti-tracking tools are now the default setting
It’s been a big week for only privacy with Apple attempting to take big strides in preventing the internet big boys following you around the internet with iOS 13’s new Sign In With Apple feature.
Mozilla is following suit with a major Firefox policy change that enables its Enhanced Tracking Protection by default. First launched as an optional feature in Firefox 63 last October, it is now the standard setting for new users downloading the browser.
Effectively the tool brings the benefits of private browsing into play by blocking cookies and storage access from third-party trackers. Mozilla says the feature is designed to prevent sites tracking you around the web just to make a fraction of a cent from every ad impression.
In a blog post today, Mozilla says that privacy “shouldn’t be relegated to optional settings” and says the burden of figuring out privacy settings shouldn’t be placed on web users, especially when browser makers can simply enable the best protections as standard.
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In the blog post, the company said: “Today marks an important milestone in the history of Firefox and the web. As of today, for new users who download and install Firefox for the first time, Enhanced Tracking Protection will automatically be set on by default, protecting our users from the pervasive tracking and collection of personal data by ad networks and tech companies.”
The Mozilla foundation makes no bones about criticising rival firms for giving users choices when protecting privacy, but then placing the responsibility into web users hands, rather than taking the initiative.
The non-profit adds: “It seems that each week a new tech company decides to decree that privacy is a human right. They tout how their products provide people with “choices” to change the settings if they wish to opt into a greater level of privacy protection to exemplify how they are putting privacy first. That begs the question — do people really want more complex settings to understand and fiddle with or do they simply want products that respect their privacy and align with their expectations to begin with?”
Existing Firefox users will still have to wait for the full rollout, but it’s easy enough to manually enable. Firstly, ensure you’ve updated to the latest version of Firefox. Go the Firefox Options/Preferences > Privacy & Security, scroll down to Third-Party Cookies and select Trackers (recommended).