Firefox Now Enables Enhanced Tracking Protection by Default

Posted on June 4, 2019 by Paul Thurrott in Cloud, Mozilla Firefox, Web browsers with 13 Comments

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.

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Comments (13)

13 responses to “Firefox Now Enables Enhanced Tracking Protection by Default”

  1. Daekar

    I'm glad to see this. Privacy settings need to be less permissive by default, and this is a great step. It's amazing that third party cookies were ever permitted by default.

  2. chrisrut

    Hm. Sounds like a remarkably good idea.

  3. Pbike908

    The browser wars are gonna get good again as soon as Chromium Edge comes out. I switched to Firefox on my Windows Laptop a couple of years back. It was a little wonky at first, however, I am pretty happy with it these days.

    I use Samsung Browser as my default on Android Galaxy phone...

    Perhaps wants Chromium Edge comes out I will migrate to Edge on both Windows and Android. A lot of it depends on if I an use an ad blocker on Android Edge.

    • nevadah

      In reply to Pbike908:

      Android Edge has content blocking built in, provided by Adblock Plus. However, like Chrome, it does not support any extensions, whereas Firefox on Android does. That said, I'm currently running Android Edge as my daily driver, though I may switch back to Firefox at a future date.

  4. Bdsrev

    Does Safari already do this?

    • rosyna

      In reply to Bdsrev:

      Safari has disabled third party cookies by default for a long time (I think it may have always done so) but other browser makers have been afraid to adopt that stance.

      Safari now includes Intelligent Tracking Protection, Which is a level beyond “Enhanced Tracking Prevention” and will force expire cookies that look suspicious.

  5. madthinus

    This is great. Looks like Firefox and Mozilla has found their mojo again.

  6. spullum

    Very cool. After reading the following, I decided to switch away from Google Chrome on all of my devices:

    I'm using Chromium Edge on my Mac laptop, Firefox on my work desktop (Windows 7, will try ChrEdge when available), Safari on my iPhone, and Safari on my two less-used desktops along with content blocker add-ons.

    So far so good. I didn't think I'd be able to switch so quickly, honestly. I think the ad-blocker breaking changes for non-businesses is really what did it for me.

  7. lvthunder

    So what setting are they changing? Are they setting content blocking to strict?

  8. fbman

    I think there maybe an increase in firefox's market share in the future.

    I have being a firefox user since 2008, very happy with it. I never fell for that chrome BS.

  9. wright_is

    I turned it on manually when it first appeared. I haven't noticed any downsides in the intervening months.

  10. waethorn

    It's not all full of rainbows and unicorns:

    I'll let the video speak for itself.