Sep 02, 2018

Firefox to Block Tracking Cookies for User Privacy

Firefox is launching an anti tracking program for its browser which will give users the choice to allow tracking by third party websites. The company is planning to roll this system out in stages where in as default setting tracking cookies would be blocked. The user will also be able to decide which information they want to share with websites.

Tracking cookies are tools that websites use to build a picture of the browsing behaviour of any user. They can can share this data with other companies. Based on a user's browsing habits, companies can serve them targeted ads relevant to their interests. Most users may not find this problematic, however some companies like Facebook have been under fire for unethical data practices and security breaches that makes a user's data vulnerable. It is definitely a breach of privacy if the user has not given their consent for tracking their online behaviour.

To protect user's privacy, General Data Protection Regulation has been introduced that does not allow company's to track the data without user consent. Over the summer, people have noticed pop windows asking user's permission to install cookies, before they enter nay website. The problem with these pop up windows is that user's do not usually read the content and agree to conditions so that they can move on to the website.

This is why Firefox has decided to include an anti-tracking program on their browsers. Another issue with trackers attached to ads is that they can increase the loading time of a web page. The feature of blocking ads that slow down a webpage is currently available in Firefox Nightly. It will introduced to all users after a successful test. Mozilla also has plans to block cryptomining scripts known for reporting cryptocurrencies on a user’s device and fingerprinting trackers capable of identifying users by device characteristics.

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