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Mozilla Firefox to announce new features to enhance user privacy

Tags: Mozilla

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Also adds new functionalities to Facebook Container, Firefox Monitor and Lockwise

  • Firefox blocks known third party trackers in its continued commitment to user privacy
  • Updated Firefox Facebook Container stops the social media giant from tracking users on sites that have embedded Facebook capabilities
  • Firefox introduces the Lockwise desktop extension to manage your passwords across all device types, and updates Firefox Monitor with a dashboard to help users easily identify which of their emails are being monitored and if any personal information has been leaked

Tuesday 4th June, London: Mozilla, the company behind Firefox, today announces new privacy and security features to its web browser. The new product features demonstrate Firefox’s ongoing commitment to creating stronger online protections for everyone by upgrading the privacy, security and functionality of its core offering.

Enhanced Tracking Protection blocks sites from tracking you

Firefox will now be available with Enhanced Tracking Protection on by default, keeping people safe from known third party trackers -- without causing websites to break. For new users who install and download Firefox for the first time, Enhanced Tracking Protection will automatically be set on by default as part of the ‘Standard’ setting in the browser and will block known “third-party tracking cookies” according to the Disconnect list. Enhanced Tracking Protection will be practically invisible to users who will only notice that it’s operating when they visit a site and see a shield icon in the address bar next to the URL address and the small “i” icon.

The new feature will stop thousands of companies that are known for tracking people’s every movement from accessing users personal data, and builds upon the standard Firefox has set by baking in privacy into its products with Tracking Protection in Private Browsing (launched in 2015), long before many contemporary data privacy issues came to light. 

For existing users, Enhanced Tracking Protection by default will be rolled out automatically in the coming months. In the meantime, users can turn this feature on by selecting Block Third Party Trackers in their privacy settings.

Dave Camp, SVP of Firefox, said:

“Over the past year, we’ve seen tech companies talk a big game about privacy in response to several global scandals, which have left people feeling increasingly vulnerable. It’s unfortunate that this shift had to happen in order for tech companies to take notice. At Firefox, we believe that in order to truly protect people, we need to establish a new standard that puts people’s privacy first. We have been working on setting this standard by offering privacy-related features long before these issues were brought to light. We are more committed than ever to building stronger online protections for everyone, and these new Firefox features are indicative of our dedication to helping people stay safe whenever they use Firefox.”

Latest Facebook Container blocks tracking from other sites 

The new update also includes an upgrade for Firefox’s Facebook Container, an add-on/web extension which has two million downloads to date and helps users isolate their web activity from Facebook. As of today, the Facebook Container will also prevent sites that have embedded Facebook capabilities on their site (such as the Share and Like buttons) from tracking users. These buttons and all connection to Facebook’s servers will be blocked, so Facebook won’t be able to track user visits. It will also be much harder for Facebook to build shadow profiles of non-Facebook users. Users will know the blocking is ineffect when they see the Facebook Container purple fence badge.  

Firefox Lockwise: manage your passwords safely and take them everywhere

After recently introducing Firefox Lockbox for iOSAndroid and iPad, Firefox is today rolling out a desktop extension to complete the product family, named Firefox Lockwise. Lockwise provides an additional touchpoint to store, edit and access passwords in a new dashboard that allows users to easily manage and interact with their stored passwords in Firefox. If users are no longer frequenting a website, they can easily delete their saved password, and for the most frequented sites, they can quickly reference and edit what is being stored to take control of their privacy.

The new update gives users a seamless integrated experience in Firefox when moving from desktop to mobile, with a similar layout of key features for easy navigation and access of logins and passwords. 

Firefox Monitor adds dashboard to manage multiple email addresses

Today Firefox is launching a central dashboard called Firefox Monitor to help users track and manage multiple email addresses. Through the breach dashboard, users will receive a quick summary of updates for all registered email accounts so they can easily identify which emails are being monitored, how many known data breaches may have exposed their information, and specifically, if any passwords have been leaked across those breaches. 

Whether they’re managing one or multiple new email accounts, users will be able to select a primary email address to serve as the hub for all notifications and alerts. Firefox has also added a safety measure to ensure that all email addresses are verified before they are activated.  

More information on the above can be found at the Mozilla blog here.