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Wednesday, 04 November 2015 18:52

Firefox to have superior ‘tracking protection’

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Firefox is a good all-round browser that does mostly what the others do – but now has more privacy features than all of them.

Firefox’s maker Mozilla states that Tracking Protection in Firefox Private Browsing gives you control over the online data that third parties receive. No other browser’s Private Browsing mode protects you the way Firefox does—not Chrome, not Safari, not Microsoft Edge or Internet Explorer.

The original privacy mode simply did not save browser history and cookies. This still allowed private information to be shared by third parties (usually advertisers of other analytics) separate from the site being visited.

Private Browsing with Tracking Protection in Firefox for Windows, Mac, Android, and Linux actively blocks third party content like ads, analytics trackers and social share buttons that may record your behaviour without your knowledge across sites.

This should stop most single pixel trackers, and non-consensual tracking. It will be interesting to see if the advertisers object as ad blockers have been largely frowned upon and removed from app stores. Blocking ads also can significantly speed up your browser load time – that’s good.

There is a new Control Centre in Firefox that contains site security and privacy controls in a single place in your address bar. Since some Web pages may appear broken when elements that track behaviour are blocked, these controls can be easily turned for a specific sites via the Control Centre.

Read further about Mozilla’s intent to get rid of other plugins. And it is all about native HTML 5.

Mozilla intends to remove support for most Netscape Plugin Application Programming Interface (NPAPI) plugins in Firefox by the end of 2016. Firefox began this process several years ago with manual plugin activation, allowing users to activate plugins only when they were necessary.

This decision mirrors actions by other modern browsers, such as Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge, which have already removed support for legacy plugins. Since new Firefox platforms do not have to support an existing ecosystem of users and plugins, new platforms such as 64-bit Firefox for Windows will launch without plugin support.

Because Adobe Flash is still a common part of the Web experience it will continue to support Flash within Firefox as an exception. Mozilla and Adobe will continue to collaborate to bring improvements to the Flash experience on Firefox, including on stability and performance, features and security architecture. But the use of Flash, Silverlight and Java will diminish over time as web sites move to pure HTML.

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Ray Shaw

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Ray Shaw ray@im.com.au  has a passion for IT ever since building his first computer in 1980. He is a qualified journalist, hosted a consumer IT based radio program on ABC radio for 10 years, has developed world leading software for the events industry and is smart enough to no longer own a retail computer store!

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