Facebook Container extension prevents Facebook tracking in Firefox

Martin Brinkmann
Mar 28, 2018
Updated • Sep 29, 2018
Facebook, Firefox, Firefox add-ons

Facebook Container is a new browser extension for Firefox by Mozilla that isolates Facebook from the rest of your browsing history to prevent tracking.

Internet and computer users are exposed to different kinds of tracking when they use their devices or browse sites on the Internet.

From device telemetry that companies collect over software specific diagnostics to online tracking. Online tracking with cookies is probably the most common form but there are other ways to track users online that use other types of temporary or permanent bits of data placed on the user device, or fingerprinting.

The larger a site or service is, the more pull it has when it comes to online tracking. Facebook has one of the largest user bases on the planet and sites tend to implement the company's like scripts and other scripts because of that.

Whenever you visit a site that implements these scripts, Facebook knows about it and may use the information to better profile you.

Facebook Container for Firefox

Facebook Container is a new extension for the Firefox web browser that isolates Facebook from the rest of the Web. It uses the recently introduced Containers functionality of the Firefox web browser to do so.

Think of a container as a sandbox that keeps sites and their data separate from the rest of the browser.

Mozilla's Facebook Container extension isolates Facebook from the rest of the browser. If you open Facebook in Firefox, it gets opened in the container, and if you activate links that point to Facebook, they too get opened in the container.

Any link that you click in the Facebook tab gets opened in it unless it points to a third-party site. If that is the case, that site will not be opened in the Facebook container but outside of it. A click on a YouTube link opens YouTube outside of the container, a link that points to another Facebook page inside.

When you install the extension in Firefox, all your Facebook cookies get deleted and you are logged out of Facebook. The next time you open Facebook you will notice that it opens in the Container, indicated with a blue icon and the name Facebook in the Firefox address bar. You need to sign in again as the container handles cookies and other things independently.

Facebook's Container uses functionality that the default Containers functionality does not support. While you can create and use Containers in all supported versions of Firefox, you can't associate sites with containers.

Firefox users may use the Temporary Containers extension which extends the functionality of containers.

The extension for Firefox improves privacy in several ways:

  1. It keeps Facebook isolated in a single container which means that Facebook's like, share and other widgets that websites may embed won't be associated with your Facebook account.
  2. Third-party connections to Facebook are not associated with the account.

One downside to Facebook being isolated in its own container in the Firefox browser is that some features may not work properly anymore. Sites that support account registration or sign ins using Facebook credentials can't be used anymore with a Facebook account.

How good is the protection?

Facebook Container does not offer full protection against all forms of tracking. Anything you do on Facebook or inside the container is still recognized by Facebook

It should be clear that Facebook knows about photos that you upload to the service, about comments you leave, or likes you give.

Facebook may also know about your activities from third-parties, e..g advertising agencies or marketing companies it works with.

Facebook Container limits Facebook tracking on the Internet, however.

Closing Words

Facebook Container is a privacy extension for the Firefox web browser that limits Facebook tracking on the Internet. It does so by isolating Facebook from the rest of the Internet but that comes at the cost of some functionality (share, like, sign in) that won't work properly anymore.

Firefox users have plenty of other options at their disposal to limit Facebook tracking. They can use a different browser profile or different browser for Facebook, access Facebook only on your mobile, clear cookies regularly, or use content blockers with social blocklists.

Now You: How do you protect yourself from online tracking?

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  1. ULBoom said on April 1, 2018 at 4:57 pm

    Facebook is just ad malware, it only addresses issues with the ostensible social network (flypaper, which has the worst interface ever on purpose: click, click, click) when the entire planet explodes over some transgression. Time to permanently breach their walled garden by leaving and blocking. Zuckerberg deserves nothing; he should have retired by now and started having fun, staying at FB is pathological. Boy’s not right in the head!

    They’re only one of the bugs living in your shorts, though. Everything you do on a device is somehow enabled by its OS. MS for example absolutely exchanges data with FB so don’t think blacklisting one hated company keeps them from getting your data elsewhere. Be sure to lock down everything best you can, use good security and periodically check to see if info is leaking.

    Uh, email, unless it’s secure is no different than sending PM’s through a site.

  2. Tom Hawack said on March 31, 2018 at 12:55 pm

    @InGSoC wrote

    ” i use it (Facebook) as a Platform to communicate to mee Fellows, easier than writing Emails all the time.”

    Writing Emails via Facebook may be far, far easier than with a traditional e-mail client but it is still cumbersome in comparison of T-Mail. T-Mail or ‘Telapathy-Mail” is the next generation “Think It and Forget It” (TIFI) tool to bring ease of communicating to a top-level never imagined before.

    Snail-Mail (postal) is such a pain, opening an e-mail client is hardly better but remains so tiring, doing it from Facebook is a giant leap, but all this is definitely a waste of time and energy. T-Mail is the future. To be followed, but that won’t be before a decade or two, by O-Mail (Order-Mail) where we won’t even have to think about an email’s content nor about sending it because our brains will have been instructed to accomplish what’s best for us even before we realize it.

    “…easier than writing Emails”. All is said.

  3. InGSoC said on March 30, 2018 at 7:54 pm

    Why do i get a u have been blocked Info???

  4. InGSoC said on March 30, 2018 at 7:32 pm


    Facebook won’t go down due to some people suggest to leave FB, that’s nonsense.

    I did an Account there to reach a Buddy of mine on the Canaries, so that’s a good way.

    Therefore i NO use FB for extraverted Selfshowing, i use it as a Platform to communicate to mee Fellows, easier than writing Emails all the time.

    No, i not use Smartphones, i have an old Cellphone to do calls when needed (Prepaid), so no Contract there at all.

    No What’s App, no Twitter.

    BTW, FB didn’t want an ID Card to check in there. I just use it for showing mee Pals, what i like and of course it’s thee Internet, no one, clear in the head uses his/her real Identitiy there

    No one follows u, when u block 3rd party cookies, so, what’s the Deal?

    I think FB is useful for me, better than other platforms,…but that’s my personal Idea and NO i didn’t sign in as InGSoC, i am not a Moron.

    Happy Easter, for all, Greets, InGSoC.

  5. TelV said on March 30, 2018 at 4:18 pm

    An often forgotten ogre sitting in the background is the Windows Clipboard. Copy any URL from the location bar and it’ll sit there until replaced by something else, or the user clears the clipboard. You can clear cookies, cache, history and anything else you can think of, but whatever you copied to the clipboard will be retained and can be reused in another tab, or after closing and then reopening the browser. The only exception to this rule (as far as I know) is when you use a password manager like Keepass which deletes the contents of the clipboard after 12 seconds.

  6. Anonymous said on March 30, 2018 at 4:16 pm

    @Tom Hawack you completely missed the point here and turned a technical discussion into a philosophical trial.

    You wandered too far.

    1. Tom Hawack said on March 30, 2018 at 6:14 pm

      @Anonymous, I must admit you’re right. Sorry for that, and thanks to Martin’s tolerance regarding my philosophical lyricism. I’m aware of it but I still happen to forget my resolutions, especially late in the evening/at night.

      Next time I’ll make it shorter :=) Like tobacco, starting by smoking less, lol.

      1. Jan said on March 31, 2018 at 3:59 pm

        @Tom It does add flavour to reading comments, there’s not many rambling commenters like that around the web so it’s refreshing :D

        Especially the part where there’s no hate or unnecessary antagonism. Or speech that says in the most convinced language things that are jaw-droppingly wrong. ^^’

      2. Tom Hawack said on March 31, 2018 at 8:25 pm

        @Jan, I almost had the feeling of hearing Stephen Colbert when reading your comment !=)

      3. Sophie said on March 30, 2018 at 6:34 pm

        Well…..i happen to like that style. Don’t change please!

      4. Tom Hawack said on March 31, 2018 at 8:45 pm

        @Sophie, “style” is the word! One man’s digressions wrapped in his very own style!
        English is not my mother-tongue as you know; that’s for the style. For the content of my digressions they deserve not of course a whatever philosophical tag. No philosophy there, only out-of-the-box thoughts inspired, or triggered by a topic. Ant too often ending in a totally off-topic manner (starting tries to hook on to the topic nevertheless!). We often qualify (not you so thanks for the “style” tag) a speech of being philosophical when it gets out of binary appreciations, either because we don’t understand, either because we do but don’t care to shift, or we disagree, or we get annoyed of the feeling the ‘philosopher’ is pedant.

        Anyway, I recall years of education being told and repeated “Think, be accurate, express your thoughts according to your limits (what not to say, what to emphasize on), consider the appropriate place and time to share those thoughts, and always speak in an open-dialog style, listen to others, avoid monologues”

        I’ve always had difficulties with the right place and avoiding monologues! Otherwise I guess I’m OK (especially in French!).

        Read you later, Sophie :=)

        P.S. Was that another monologue? Darn! But I do read and pay attention, also, not all my comments are digressions, I think I occasionally stay on the topic track to share 100% genuine techie data….

  7. Tom Hawack said on March 29, 2018 at 6:44 pm

    Wanna be motivated, wanna close your FB account?

    Google and Facebook are watching our every move online [ https://tinyurl.com/yd52c9qk ]

    Fed up with Facebook? Here’s how to break it off [ https://tinyurl.com/y78f2959 ]

    1. Anonymous said on March 29, 2018 at 7:49 pm

      Not to mention the psychological negative effects that those social networks may cause to this already-wrecked generation.

      I’m produly happy oldschool: no social networks, no smartphone, no whatsapp.

      My REAL friends talk to me either face-to-face or on regular landline phone.

      1. Tom Hawack said on March 29, 2018 at 11:13 pm

        @Anonymous, I wouldn’t evoke pride to state that I’m in the same state of mind as that you describe. I don’t know if I’m right, hard to be objective, but I do know that if pride means striving successfully for an idea, because I strive not, I have no reason of being proud. “Pride” is a word more and more used nowadays to describe the fact of not being ashamed, which is different.

        I”m not ashamed of being “oldschool: no social networks, no smartphone, no whatsapp.”. Real life shouldn’t be mistaken with virtual relationships. Of course life sneaks into all dialogs because behind words there are thoughts. I recall some twenty years ago where I read in the papers someone searching for an epistolary relationship : it lasted perhaps a year, most interesting though not a “real” relationship as we may understand it.

        We may notice that on the Web smaller is the number of participants closer the dialogs seem to be to what we know of life’s authenticity.

        What I mean is that in my view the debate about social networks is maybe less about its (pseudo) anonymity than about is factory aspect. Factory because debating among 2 billion people cannot guarantee authenticity, factory because of the way these networks are organized and meant to be — a source of income — we entertain there work more than we could be entertained by leisure. People on the major social networks are profitable for the owners of those factories.

        Lack of authenticity, source of income. Also brain-washing by the numerous sources of fake news. Fake news aren’t provided by CNN but they are (at least) accepted by Facebook. Facebook, a company that closes an account because a user included the painting ‘Le radeau de la Méduse” where the breast appears (even if the company reverted later on) but hardly kicks out promotion of armament, racist, segregation and hateful comments.

        Yes, I cherish as you, dear Anonymous, the simplicity of the most elaborated relational tool : life within all its dimensions.

      2. Sophie said on March 29, 2018 at 8:58 pm

        @ Anonymous – I second that! I have no smartphone (and people thought I was odd for that, and even more odd not to have FB) …..and I love a regular landline phone too, which millenials would laugh at me for (and I’m not too old!).

        Face to face, and emails…..well, that just feels human. Nice.

        Looks like all this FB fiasco has got everyone chatting about it, and that’s a good thing.

        But what I’d really like, is for EVERYTHING to come out in the wash….not to just keep talking about Cambridge A. but the octopus tentacles that Tom alluded to.

        The whole of this area needs a re-evaluation, and privacy at last….needs to go up a little more, in terms of importance. But will young people really care that much? Not sure yet.

  8. Chris said on March 29, 2018 at 3:39 pm

    On CBS news today it stated that FB learns lots about you from which articles you hit the ‘like’ buttons for, more than some other means. Will not be doing that again then.

    1. Anonymous said on March 29, 2018 at 4:39 pm

      > On CBS news today it stated that FB learns lots about you from which articles you hit the ‘like’ buttons

      You don’t say!? is that possible? How come my antivirus allow that? (sarcasm)

  9. Anonymous said on March 29, 2018 at 2:03 pm

    Users just don’t get it. You can sandbox as much as you want, you can VPN it as you like, they still know all about you because it is all linked to your account, NOT to your IP, NEITHER to your cookies.

    Facebook’s profits comes from ads and handing your data to 3rd parties (either, over or under the table).

    They can promise you whatever you want to hear but they will always sell your data and preferences to their partners, either over or under the table.

    – Lame: Did you see that? Now facebook have a button that gives you privacy and clean your your data.
    – Assange: Dude, please.

    Selling your data is their business. They will only cease that when they go out of business.

    1. Sophie said on March 29, 2018 at 2:37 pm

      No….Anonymous. I think its you that does not get it here – because I did say to you that I DON’T HAVE a Facebook account, and all scripts are blocked – and many other mitigating actions.

      You sound a little angry, and to be honest, I really don’t blame you. I think we all should be.

      Facebook should be shut down. End of.

      1. Anonymous said on March 29, 2018 at 4:36 pm

        Sophie, I was referring to those that use facebook.

        If you don’t use facebook, have a vpn and select cookies then you are good.

        I was referring to those regular users that have a facebook account.

        Truth to be said, without anger, facebook users are naïve and lame.

      2. John Fenderson said on March 30, 2018 at 8:57 pm

        “If you don’t use facebook, have a vpn and select cookies then you are good”

        If only that were true. However, if you have friends who are on Facebook and mention you (or have you in their contacts list), Facebook is still compiling a dossier on you. Likewise if you fail to block the FB trackers that so many websites include.

      3. Sophie said on March 29, 2018 at 5:42 pm

        Thank you, Anonymous. I appreciated your reply.

        I so very much get you. I wear my tinfoil hat proudly. We have to!

        Ultimately, we all seem to be in agreement that FB is not a good news “outfit”. Call them what you will. The problem is that the “masses”, without wishing to patronise anyone, do indeed care much more about their ability to post onto sites like that, and much less about privacy.

        To me, it seems natural and correct, that we here….at Ghacks, are likely to be in a different mode of thinking. We are likely to have a greater knowledge and a greater interest than a typical FB user. Granted not all! I hate to generalise. But one this is for sure, we all agree….they are pretty bad, and I for one, am very happy that the s*it is finally hitting the fan. I just hope it keeps going! Best to all, on here.

      4. Anonymous said on March 29, 2018 at 7:40 pm


  10. Anonymous said on March 29, 2018 at 1:43 pm

    Forget about cookies and vpn. Everytime you log in to facebook they know right away everything about you. Facebook & partners knows more about you than your mom does, thats a fact.

    The typical lame, low knowlege person: “so I use a VPN and clean all my cookies, I’m no being tracked.”

    dude, please…

    1. Sophie said on March 29, 2018 at 1:47 pm

      No…..respectfully, I use a VPN and deal with my cookies….but I also don’t use Facebook and never have or will.

      So if some script that I have not blocked yet pinged me on FB’s servers from my PC, they will have my VPNs IP, and so I still consider this issue dealt with.

  11. Jacob Groß said on March 29, 2018 at 1:38 pm

    If anyone can get me the source of this addon, I’ll port it to Chrome.

    1. Jacob Groß said on March 29, 2018 at 1:45 pm

      Actually, I got it. But my approach would be different. Mozilla chose to intercept ALL requests, I’d only intercept calls to Facebook (after exiting clear cookies, on opening restore them). Not sure if mine is a little less secure, but certainly not as invading in terms of performance.

  12. Anonymous said on March 29, 2018 at 12:55 pm

    I was analysing a regular facebook page’s source HTML. I got stunned on how much garbage and tracking are bundled in their html. 1Mb for a single .html facebook page LOADED with nags, trackings, ads, fingerprinting, etc…

    I’m glad I never had a facebook account and I feel sorry for those misinformed users that use it.

  13. Anonymous said on March 29, 2018 at 12:48 pm

    How lame people can be thinking a addon can prevent them from being exposed…. sigh..

    Everytime a major news regarding security and privacy headlines people begin to release addons for that.

    I think I’ll write and sell an addon to preventing poisoning from Russian agents and get rich.

    2018 and people still go for “congrats! you just won …”, “get your free vpn here”, “price watch addon”

    They should teach some basic “dont get fooled on the internet” in basic school curriculum.

    1. Tom Hawack said on March 29, 2018 at 1:32 pm

      @Anonymous, I can understand your anger about privacy issues, I share it. But I don’t think it’s a good thing to include “people” in that revolt, unless to consider that the ignorant are guilty.

      The Web and computer devices, à priori, are not meant to require a specific knowledge; unfortunately, given the toughness of what the Web has become it seems the connection environment is closer to a that of a cockpit than to that of a simple phone : a computer, a browser out of the box, used by a newbie, are snake pits, unfortunately. You can’t blame people for that.

      Without endorsing the role of a holy humanist (not sure both terms synchronize!) I really believe the best we can do is help ourselves and help others to keep our heads above the water.

  14. Sophie said on March 29, 2018 at 10:51 am

    Oh goodness……….now the’ve all appeared!!!

    I still respectfully think you need to re-vamp your comments!!
    Kind regards,

    1. Tom Hawack said on March 29, 2018 at 1:52 pm

      @Sophie, hi there :=)
      You weren’t the only one affected, seems there’s been a thunderstorm over the comments. Looks OK now.

  15. Sophie said on March 29, 2018 at 10:49 am

    Martin…………I’m a bit disappointed!

    I left “several” comments here, on the Facebook story. None of them were inappropriate, used bad words, or in any way unsuitable.

    And yet none of them have shown up. It’s like they’re all gone!!

    Can you do anything about your commenting system to improve this? Maybe they will show up some time, but they’ve all been yanked.

    I think its time to have a “validated” comment system, that does not do daft things like this, or delete comments when someone has made a simple spelling mistake correction.

    With respect, I think you need to validate, with login, and let us post comments without these peculiar things happening. Thank you for listening.

  16. Sebas said on March 29, 2018 at 1:13 am

    Facebook is blocked in my host file using these entries: https://gist.github.com/thomasbilk/1506210/2d20f47bbcca75b2f78d6909c1637501000d846

    1. leanon said on March 29, 2018 at 9:53 am


    2. ilev said on March 29, 2018 at 8:10 am

      404 error in your link.

      Blocking Facebook in HOST file won’t help much when web sites send your IP to Facebook to track all your web movements.

      1. Sebas said on March 29, 2018 at 2:20 pm

        Care to elaborate? Because if that’s true the whole idea of using of a host file blocking list is not alone useless, but dangerous.

      2. Sophie said on March 29, 2018 at 10:13 am

        VPN……but blocking in hosts is still a good idea, even if not completely effective.

        It just gives pleasure to think that calling up facebook.com gives a failed return page.

        Heaven!! But I have always thought this……..not just now, these last days. I have disliked Facebook for all time I can ever remember.

      3. Sophie said on March 29, 2018 at 10:12 am

        100% VPN for me, so they can take any IP my provider should happen to give them that day thank you!

  17. Stefan said on March 29, 2018 at 12:18 am

    I have blocked all Facebook servers since a few years back in my HOSTS file. That is far easier. Other spying servers end up there to – BLOCKED !

  18. Tom Hawack said on March 28, 2018 at 5:32 pm

    “If you can’t stop smoking at least try to smoke less” used to say my mom. In the same way “If you can’t stop facebooking, use the Facebook Container extension” lol

    I’ve never had a FB account and never will. The company and its policies and practices represent the ultimate of what I have always stood against in the Web area.

    But having an account and logging off is not enough, not having an account is not enough as well to escape from the despicable octopus. So Facebook is blocked everywhere with different means, with system-wide blocklists (domains and IP ranges) to the browser level with uBlockOrigin and dedicated anti-social filter lists.

    I note that having Mozilla take the time and effort to build a dedicated anti-Facebook inquisition webextension is relevant of the importance of the problem : Facebook IS a problem, and many top figures are abandoning it, closing their account. The company is bound to disappear sooner or later, not because it’s worse than another three or four but because it hasn’t understood where the red line stands, in other words it blends obvious dishonesty with a certain form of madness. I’m evoking the company of course, remaining thoughts undisclosed.

    1. b said on March 29, 2018 at 5:25 pm

      @Tom Hawack
      i don’t have a facebook account either but would like to block the buttons spread everywhere at almost any site. you, and several others, mention Ublock filtering. could you please tell how to do that? i surfed the wikipage of Gorhill, but did not detect any guide. I block cosmetic filtering by default and facebook.net as well

      1. Tom Hawack said on March 29, 2018 at 7:35 pm

        @b, if you want a radical list, which is really a tough cleaner, cleaning whiter than white, you can add in your uBO custom lists (uBlockO / Dashboard / 3rd-party filters / Custom (at the bottom of the page) this list : [https://secure.fanboy.co.nz/r/fanboy-ultimate.txt] : no Facebook intrusions then, believe me!
        Less radical but should do it : [https://filters.adtidy.org/extension/chromium/filters/4.txt] (grom AdGuard).

        Fanboy’s lists : [https://fanboy.co.nz/]
        AdGuard Lists : [https://kb.adguard.com/en/general/adguard-ad-filters]

        Among many, many other filter lists ….

      2. b said on March 29, 2018 at 9:36 pm

        @Tom Hawack
        thank you so much. exactly what I needed.

      3. ULBoom said on April 1, 2018 at 4:32 pm

        I agree with the Adguard recommendations, it blocks social buttons well and has page element blocking that works better than adblock’s used to, although I gave up on adblock long ago.

      4. Tom Hawack said on March 29, 2018 at 7:03 pm

        @b, if you decide to block those FB buttons (‘Like’ etc) uBlock Origin is a way to achieve that, but not the only one.

        uBlock Origin? Have you installed it? If no I’d advise that you go through a t least a minimum of the basics before anything else;

        Once uBO installed, it’s all in the filter lists. uBO comes with pre-installed lists but I don’t know if those will include specific Facebook dedicated lists. You can add some of your own, and choosing the right ones is, like in cooking, the secret of many marvels. But I’m enclined to believe that the default filter lists provided with uBO should handle FB and its buttons, APIs etc etc. If not, a good library of available filter lists is [https://filterlists.com/] : beware, it includes lists of all sorts, but if applicable to uBO then a direct install link is provided.

        Other than uBO, if you’re a beginner, especially in the computing area (I don’t know, I ignore your level) then you can opt for AdBlock Plus Firefox (and other browsers) extension which will allow to block several Facebook intrusions, to which you can add other filter lists as with uBO, from the link above as well.

        Good luck! Not hard, but give it and yourself a minimum of time to get into it.

    2. Sophie said on March 29, 2018 at 10:16 am

      @ Tom – you say that it is bound to disappear (FB) sooner or later.

      But I worry. When you have 2 BN users, it takes a lot to disappear. Even if you lost 50% of your users, you would still be the most gigantic octopus in the sea….

      This needs something BIG to happen. And I truly hope something can build, that really starts to sink this cancerous ship.

      1. Cthulhu said on March 29, 2018 at 3:34 pm

        “you would still be the most gigantic octopus in the sea”

        I resent this statement

    3. Sophie said on March 29, 2018 at 10:10 am

      @ Tom – your words:

      I’ve never had a FB account and never will. The company and its policies and practices represent the ultimate of what I have always stood against in the Web area.

      I believe this to be so incredibly true. They are at the very extreme end of ultimate badness.

      I’m just so happy that at last, something may….just may….be starting to shift.

      MOMENTUM is what we need, not just to soon forget.

  19. James said on March 28, 2018 at 5:26 pm

    Why not just delete your Facebook cookies every time you log out of Facebook? Seems like a straightforward and simple solution.

    1. TelV said on March 29, 2018 at 5:01 pm

      It doesn’t work like that James. You can prove it for yourself here: http://lucb1e.com/rp/cookielesscookies/

      1. TelV said on March 29, 2018 at 5:38 pm

        Correction to my previous post. It would appear that FF or any fork of it (I’m using Basilisk for example) does delete eTags when the cache is cleared which is supposedly the method used on the cookieless cookie site to track users.

        That’s mentioned in the Bug report (last post at the foot of the page) at https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=231852

        According to that, the cookieless cookie site uses the IP address to track users. I just changed my location to another country via my VPN to test that and it would appear to be the case.

      2. Tom Hawack said on March 29, 2018 at 6:52 pm

        Just a side-note : eTag is ineffective on Firefox with First Party Isolation (privacy.firstparty.isolate = true). I checked at [http://lucb1e.com/rp/cookielesscookies/] with and without FPI=true.

    2. John Fenderson said on March 28, 2018 at 7:08 pm

      Containers also prevent sites from being able to see your browser data outside the container, such as browsing history, etc. Deleting cookies doesn’t address those sorts of data leaks.

    3. Tom Hawack said on March 28, 2018 at 6:01 pm

      @James, because cookies are only the emerged part of the iceberg. Think of a site with Facebook scripts (as many sites have them) : as soon as you visit such a site, if 3rd-party cookies are blocked at least Facebook won’t set one but nevertheless your IP is sent to FB via the dedicated script. Not only FB by the way. The company follows you, with or without cookies, you’re moves are tracked, systematically, hence even without a FB account, even without or deleted FB cookies. The only way is to block access to FB servers. Just an example: many adblockers include Facebook in their lists, but as domain, urls, never as IP addresses. Consequence? I’ve seen sites calling FB no longer addressed with an url but directly with an IP address in order to bypass those adblockers. Which is why having an extensive system-wide domain and IP blocking list which includes facebook and its ramifications is the only way to escape from the cancer.

      1. Peter said on May 7, 2018 at 11:04 am

        That is why you block scripts as well. You can win and I think I do.

      2. Sophie said on March 29, 2018 at 10:20 am

        @ Tom – I have 3P cookies blocked of course, but also, I only have a small amount of “allowed” cookies set.

        As soon as my browser is restarted, that list gets picked up from my NAS, and re-injected into my browser.

        That external list of cookies in a text file, sits on the NAS, so that every browser on every PC in the house picks it up each time there is a restart of any kind.

        So my cookies are constantly “refreshed” back to basics.

        If you add to that, lots of other ‘means’ you have alluded to, and add to that….a VPN, and if you’ve never had an FB account, like me, then they really have nothing on you.

        I’ve never once signed into Google either. Any search I’ve made with them (that they have collected), has given a false IP from my VPN, so Google has nothing on me either.

        I have no Smartphone, only a basic phone for calls only. Both FB and Google don’t know I exist, quite frankly.

      3. Ranjeet said on March 13, 2020 at 10:39 pm

        Just one small problem. You still have an Internet connection. Hence you exist, still. The govt, the ISP, the VPN and the likes still know a lot about you, such as what websites you visit, how much time you spend there and so on.

        Not being on FB/Google is only a start, a good one at that. Ultimately as long as you are on the web, you’re being tracked.

      4. Sophie said on March 29, 2018 at 10:08 am

        @ Tom – Facebook is indeed a cancer. I’ve said it myself to family members for as long as I can remember. I have also said it to friends, who I think, have found me a bit odd or at least a bit unusual for not having an FB account.

        I block them on several levels, including some filters in UBO for social buttons etc, and by some other scripts. I’ve always been a little shocked how many things “connect” to FB behind the scenes. Even my bank, for goodness sakes (Barclays).

        What I really hope (with all my heart) is that this ‘movement’ or call it what you will, gains momentum, and we see a real shift away from these cancers.

        Snowden was a gift from god (IMO) , and if something good can come out of this that helps people to reassess their privacy, then it will have been another gift. It has been such a long time coming!! I have wondered why (and still do) so many people seem to care so little about their privacy.

        Let us hope, let us really hope that this does not soon get forgotten, and that momentum builds. Again, only my opinion….but I think “most” (not all) forms of Social Media are like a cancer on society. Yes…there are some good reasons to have it too, I accept that, but in so many ways, society has not benefited, and in so many ways, old values, old good fashioned manners, are what really count, and FB has not helped those values to thrive in our digital world.

        Lastly, FB is really just now a surveillance tool for governments and three letter agencies. I thank so much, my decision never to be a part of all that, and I have no data connected with any service like that. I have nothing to delete, but I hope that as many people as possible get back their lives and their privacy. If that’s what is right for them, of course.

      5. Tom Hawack said on March 29, 2018 at 2:50 pm

        @ Sophie, I really appreciate your comments, civilized, weighed, empathetic (which all resume to civilized),

        > “I have wondered why (and still do) so many people seem to care so little about their privacy.”

        Indeed. Maybe are there values we follow and others, deeply anchored. No idea i.e. how some of us would consider a law authorizing to kill someone robbing you : what would prevail, law or consciousness? For those who guide their values by following those of others, when the others are leading figures who happen to remind everyone their disagreement with a company’s policy then,maybe, will the followers change their minds? A pity nevertheless than our era is maybe more than ever an era of manipulation, be it for the best as for the worse.

        > “[…]but I think “most” (not all) forms of Social Media are like a cancer on society.”

        I do as well, for two reasons,

        1- The way social medias are deployed. I mean that I wouldn’t disagree with a social media which would stay at home and not follow its users not to mention all of us, which would, say, deploy a webextension for those who wish to stay in “live-touch” with their social account wherever they go on the Web. But not as it is now, when users are used an not served.

        2- The way people (some, few, many?) behave o, social medias, confined to hysterical, excessively passionate, dangerously disrespectful attitudes, comments, words. Makes me wonder if misery is not far more factual than I would believe it is. In French we have these two words, “peuple” and “populace”, “people” and “populace” is it in English? People, together, move a world towards its best when the populace cuts the heads of innocent aristocrats, the populace spits of the presumption of innocence when the people celebrate the communion of their souls, be it for a concert, be it for God. I’d search for the people should I embrace a social media, i’d fear the populace.

        > “Snowden was a gift from god (IMO)”. I’d consider his action was inevitable, maybe even foreseeable if taken into consideration the errs of a mind, of a soul when in the situation of performing what is likely to establish a clash with his consciousness. In a way I’d say Snowden’s choices were necessary in a naturalistic way, as a thunderstorm when the weather conditions are united. A thunder may strike but it remains in the course of nature’s deployment.

        Nice to read you, Sophie, as always.

      6. Sophie said on March 29, 2018 at 5:43 pm

        Thank you Tom! I have read you back, and I always enjoy that too. :0)


  20. MdN said on March 28, 2018 at 3:38 pm

    Good effort, but I’m using uMatrix to do a similar thing – I block Facebook globally and only allow it on Facebook and one site where I’m logged in with FB. The same can be done with uBlock Origin.

  21. TelV said on March 28, 2018 at 2:04 pm

    I deleted my Facebook account in 2012. I now use filters such as Fanboy’s Social Blocking List https://easylist.to/ to remove the FB “like” button from sites which display it and block FB’s trackers with Privacy Badger.

    But for FB junkies the extension sounds like a good idea to isolate the site from the rest of a user’s browsing history.

    1. Weilan said on March 28, 2018 at 7:05 pm

      That’s the best way to rid yourself of the facebook gargabe – delete your account, don’t taint your disk by allowing it to store facebook cache on it. And then actively avoid it like the plague.

      1. John Fenderson said on March 29, 2018 at 6:21 pm


        At this point, deleting your Facebook account (if you have one) really is the only reasonable thing to do. However, it doesn’t let you escape the hungry maw of FB’s data collection.

        TelV’s point is correct — FB maintains profiles on people whether or not they have accounts, and your friends who still use FB are likely to further expose you. Also, you have to be sure to block those FB trackers that get sprinkled liberally around the web.

      2. TelV said on March 29, 2018 at 4:37 pm

        One the problems here is that your friends might not think the same way and during conversations any of them via another app, FB will vacuum up everything said via their “Smart Speaker”. The device hasn’t been released yet, but will be soon according to NYmag: http://nymag.com/selectall/2018/03/facebook-delays-always-listening-device-for-unclear-reasons.html

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