One of the top three web browsers released an update recently, and its creators are touting one of its more sought-after features: enhanced privacy. The developers at Mozilla have upped the security for the latest Firefox update, and they’re feeling pretty good about the results.
One of the first new features in the new version is the Private Browsing with Tracking Protection feature. Internet tracking has gained a lot of attention lately as consumers push back against having their online behaviors followed by those who want to push advertisements their way. A large segment of the connected public is appalled by the idea that their browsing, emails, and even comments on articles will be used to target them with promotions, as it indicates their behaviors are being monitored, recorded, and sold to advertisers.
Of course, advertising is what keeps the internet functioning at an affordable price, so some consumers see tracking as just a necessary evil that keeps everything accessible. But there’s another issue with ad tracking other than just the perceived invasion of privacy. As Molly McHugh explains for Wired.com, “Internet advertising is still evolving, but one constant remains: ads specifically targeted to you make more money for publishers, so it is in their interest to fill their sites with those ads. However, those ads are murder on the speed of a page, turning a lightening-quick load time into an eight-second slog. It’s worth noting that ads aren’t the only thing to blame for this. The scripts that track you and peep on your tent-shopping load along with the page, and slow it down too.”
Moving into the realm of tinfoil hat land for a second, privacy advocates worry that it won’t stop with just finding out what items you want to buy. A recent interview with Edward Snowden, for example, unveiled a host of tools he referred to as the Smurf Suite that several governments already have in place, allowing them to track everything from citizens’ online activity to their photographs.
Mozilla’s Nick Nguyen, Vice President of the Firefox Product, posted a blog post that explains in greater detail how the privacy tools in the latest version of the browser are going to keep internet users more secure. To download the latest version of Firefox, go to FileHippo by clicking HERE.