Ad networks will not be able to create a “digital portrait” of users.
Mozilla released Firefox 69, which by default enabled the blocking of user tracking through cookies. This will make it harder for ad networks to create portraits of a user for targeting. Mozilla talked about the update on her blog.
The Enhanced Tracking Protection (ETP, Advanced Tracking Protection) feature allows third parties to block user tracking through cookies. Usually this is used by advertising networks, which make up a portrait of a person based on his actions in order to target advertising.
The prohibition of tracking function will also avoid hidden mining. Firefox will automatically block sites that start trying to use computer resources for cryptocurrency mining.
Mozilla said that prior to Firefox 69, only 20% of users used the ability to disable cookie tracking. With the release of the update, the company intends to protect 100% of its users by default.
In the browser, the function will be displayed in the address bar with a shield icon. By clicking on the icon, users will be able to see which cookies are blocked by Firefox.
As noted in Mozilla, the new version of the browser does not provide complete privacy for users. For example, the ETP function does not eliminate the technology of browser fingerprints.
To do this, ad networks run scripts in browsers in the background. This allows you to track the user without his knowledge and to tie online activity to specific equipment. The technique allows you to recognize the user, even if he moves between browsers.
Firefox has already implemented a blocking mode for such tracking, but so far it is not enabled by default. Mozilla noted that the feature is forcibly turned on for all users in one of the following updates.
Firefox was one of the first browsers to enable cookies by default. In 2017, Apple introduced a similar feature in Safari and faced criticism from the advertising industry.
In May 2019, Google added the ability to ban cookie tracking in Chrome. However, since then, the function has not been enabled for all users by default.