Firefox 42’s privacy fix: Does anyone still care about Mozilla?

Private Browsing: “My favorite member of the Army corps.” Now with added Tracking Protection.

Firefox 42 tracking protection private browsing
BBC / Angst Prod. [video is hilarious, but VERY NSFW]

Firefox now has “Tracking Protection” built into its Private Browsing mode. Mozilla argues that all the other browsers leak information in their Incognito, InPrivate or (ahem) pr0n modes.

It’s all down to those “evil” advertisers again. Apparently, they’ve found new ways to track you, even when your cookies and history aren’t saved.

But how many people care about Firefox any more? Its usage share has been consistently falling for ages.

In IT Blogwatch, bloggers wonder if new features like this will change Mozilla’s fortunes.

Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment.

Hey, Hayley Tsukayama. What’s happening?

All major browsers, already [have] a "private browsing" mode, for those who want to keep the program from recording their...habits. Tracking protection is designed to build upon that feature.

Recent stirrings from the advertising industry indicate that companies are clearly hearing consumer frustrations. ... The Interactive Advertising Bureau admitted that the industry had "messed up" [and] announced a new LEAN ads program — for Light, Encrypted, Ad-choice supported and Non-invasive.  MORE

And Shaun Nichols explainifies:

Firefox 42 [adds] "tracking protection" in private-browsing mode that stops websites from identifying and tracking you.

Firefox product vice president Nick Chrome, Safari, Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer allow websites to follow users...from site to site, even in incognito mode.  MORE

Mozilla VP Nick Nguyen “rambles” about it:

We’re releasing a powerful new feature in Firefox Private Browsing called Tracking Protection.

No other browser’s Private Browsing mode protects you the way Firefox does.

[It] actively blocks content like ads, analytics trackers and social share buttons that may record your behavior.

We hope you enjoy the new Firefox!  MORE

Yes, the Cory Doctorow is [IN]:

In earlier privacy modes on Firefox and other browsers, ad-tracking beacons were fetched by the browser, but not allowed to read or set a cookie.

But ad networks often use non-cookie-based mechanisms for identifying users, including "evercookies" [and] "browser fingerprinting" that uniquely identifies users.  MORE

As Chris Morran notes, it effectively blocks most ads, even if you don’t use an ad blocker:

The mode doesn’t block all ads, just ones that the browser determines are tracking.

Ad blocking is a huge bone of contention in the war of words between advertisers...content companies...and privacy-minded consumers.

To some, [ad blocking] is tantamount to thievery. Others counter that people would not be blocking ads if they weren’t so invasive and...slow.  MORE

To which whiskeylover waxes philosophical:

False dichotomy. I’m sure there is a pleasant middle ground. Show ads, but don’t track people.  MORE

However, this Anonymous Coward really doesn’t have much love for Mozilla:

When the **** will Mozilla realize that everything they've done since Firefox 4 has been universally disliked?

How much further does Firefox's market share have to decline?

They still haven't done much to improve Firefox's remarkably slow performance or its excessively high resource usage.

None of Mozilla's other efforts have seen much success.

Soon Firefox is going to become completely irrelevant [and] nobody will care what Mozilla and its handful of users...think.  MORE

You have been reading IT Blogwatch by Richi Jennings, who curates the best bloggy bits, finest forums, and weirdest websites… so you don't have to. Catch the key commentary from around the Web every morning. Hatemail may be directed to @RiCHi or
Opinions expressed may not represent those of Computerworld. Ask your doctor before reading. Your mileage may vary. E&OE.

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