Mozilla announced today that new users of the Firefox web browser will automatically be protected from all online tracking by default.
“This past year, we’ve seen tech companies talk a big game about privacy as they’re realizing that, after several global scandals, people feel increasingly vulnerable,” Mozilla senior vice president Dave Camp writes. “It’s unfortunate that this shift had to happen in order for tech companies to take notice. At Firefox, we’re doing more than that. We believe that in order to truly protect people, we need to establish a new standard that puts people’s privacy first.”
That standard is called Enhanced Privacy Protection, and it prevents third-party tracking cookies from tracking your online movements between websites. According to Camp, the feature will be completely invisible to most users and won’t impact how the web works. But a small green shield in the address bar lets you know that Firefox has prevented unwanted tracking as you browse.
Those who are interested to see how they would have been tracked can click this shield to display a list of blocked tracking cookies. This list will identify the companies trying to track you and let you permanently turn off blocking for those sites you trust.
Enhanced Tracking Protection will be enabled by default for new users, but existing users of Firefox can enable this functionality now as well in the browser’s Privacy & Security settings interface. But Mozilla says it will enable this feature by default for all users “in the coming months” if you want to wait for some reason.