Privacy Extension for Firefox, Priv3 - gHacks Tech News

Privacy Extension for Firefox, Priv3

All Internet users were recently made aware of the fact that social networking sites like Facebook, Google+ or Twitter had the power to track a user's movement over the web. This is done with the help of scripts such as Facebook Like or Twitter buttons that webmasters add to their websites and pages. While it is not really clear if the social networking sites use the information to track users - and Facebook vehemently said they do not - it is clear that they have the capabilities to do so.

This falls in line with the finding that Facebook does not delete all cookies on a user system during sign out.

I reviewed several browser extensions and add-ons to deal with the privacy issue, Share Me Not for Firefox for instance is one of them.

social network scripts

Priv3 for Firefox uses a very similar concept to improve a user's privacy on the Internet. The developers of the extension note that Priv3 "does not block third-party interactions completely". It instead "selectively suppresses the inclusion of third-party web cookies" when the browser connects to the social networks.

Instead of blocking or removing the social scripts outright, it basically blocks their functionality until the user makes the decision to interact with them. With the add-on installed it is still possible to see the number of likes, Twitter messages or +1s a page has received.

When you start interacting with a social networking script on a site the extension starts to reload the session cookies to pass on the click to the social networking site so that the desired action can be completed (e.g. liking a page).

Priv3 in its current state supports the three top social networking sites Facebook, Twitter and Google+, as well as LinkedIn. The developers promise to add support for additional sites in future releases.

The extension works similar to Share Me Not which uses a similar technique to block privacy sensitive data to be transferred to one of the social networks. Firefox users can install Priv3 from the official Mozilla add-on repository.

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Comments

  1. EuroScept1C said on October 5, 2011 at 10:26 am
    Reply

    Is there one add-on to remove completely all those buttons ( blocking scripts ) ?

    The “disconnect” for Fx doesn’t work as good as on Chrome.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on October 5, 2011 at 11:26 am
      Reply

      You could use NoScript for that.

  2. SFdude said on October 5, 2011 at 12:43 pm
    Reply

    I use the “AntiSocial List”
    for the [ Ad Block Plus ] extension in Firefox.

    Just go to:
    http://adversity.uk.to/

    and click on the AntiSocial link (see right-side column),
    and click on “Add to ABP”.
    Maybe Martin can chime in.

    Works for me…

    1. EuroScept1C said on October 5, 2011 at 2:10 pm
      Reply

      Of course I use that AntiSocial list.

      And I’d like not to use ‘NoScript’ because I’ve already a couple of such “blockers”. In order to avoid conflicts and for simplicity reasons, I don’t install it. I use ABP and Flash Blocker ( and Better Privacy but nothing to do about ). It would be a bit hyperbole :S

      In another clean profile, I don’t use any privacy-addons. I’ve an external ad-blocking which of course doesn’t block Social-Crap. That’s why I’m looking for one like Disconnect.

      Thank you anyway.

  3. Nilpohc said on October 5, 2011 at 9:46 pm
    Reply

    Hi Martin,

    I used to think that checking the right boxes in Firefox Privacy options, i mean checking the “tell web sites i don’t want to be tracked” one and unchecking the “Accept third party cookies” one, was enough to prevent us from this phenomenon. I guess i was wrong, wasn’t i ?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on October 5, 2011 at 10:37 pm
      Reply

      Well at least the first is an option to ask websites not to track, but it is up to them if they abide or not.

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