Firefox browser maker Mozilla published an Anti-Tracking policy recently that defines which tracking techniques Firefox will block by default in the future.
The organization launched Tracking Protection, a feature to block or restrict certain connections, in 2014, and revealed in 2015 that Tracking Protection would reduce page load times by 44% on average.
Mozilla's plan is to implement protection in the Firefox web browser against all practices outlined in the anti-tracking policy.
Tracking Protection relies on Disconnect lists currently to identify trackers. Mozilla defines tracking in the following way in the document:
Tracking is the collection of data regarding a particular user's activity across multiple websites or applications (i.e., first parties) that aren’t owned by the data collector, and the retention, use, or sharing of data derived from that activity with parties other than the first party on which it was collected.
In short: if user activity data is collected and stored, used or shared by third-parties, it is tracking.
Mozilla plans to block certain tracking practices. Outlined in the policy are the following types:
The organization highlights other tracking practices that Firefox's tracking protection won't block from the get-go but might in the future:
Firefox won't block techniques described above if they "lower the risk of specific user harm". Mozilla highlights two scenarios where this is the case:
Mozilla will implement protection against the outlined forms of tracking in future versions of Firefox. The organization's plan to tackle tracking and not advertisement in its entirety is different from the ad-blocking approach that Opera Software or Brave are pursuing. Ad-blocking takes care of tracking practices automatically by blocking certain content from executing on web pages.
I like Mozilla's approach to tracking as a webmaster as it does not block advertising outright and speed up the death of sites like mine. As a user, I think it would only have any chance of being effective if advertising companies like Google would get their act together and a) start to limit tracking and b) deal with malvertising and advertisement that is very taxing to system resources.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.