Vivaldi introduces Tracking blocker functionality in latest build - gHacks Tech News

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Vivaldi introduces Tracking blocker functionality in latest build

Vivaldi Technologies released a new snapshot of the next version of the web browser to the public today. Builds or snapshots are created regularly by the company to test new features and provide interested users with options to test these before they make their way into the stable version of the browser.

Most snapshots are unspectacular when it comes to new functionality but the latest release is an exception to that. Vivaldi introduced Tracking blocker functionality in the browser. Powered by a list maintained by search engine DuckDuckGo, the Vivaldi browser is capable of blocking trackers without installation of an extension that integrates the functionality.

The list that Vivaldi uses is the same that DuckDuckGo uses in its Privacy Essentials browser extensions. It blocks "most of the known trackers out there and should not break websites" according to Vivaldi.

The initial version is disabled by default. Vivaldi takes the cautious approach and wants to test the functionality before enabling the feature as it could impact some sites negatively. Interested users that use Vivaldi may enable full blocking however or block content on select sites.

vivaldi tracking blocker

The tracking blocker options are available in the Settings. Select Menu > Settings > Privacy and scroll down to the Content Blocker section to manage the blocking functionality. If you want Vivaldi to use the full DuckDuckGo blocking list, switch the Tracking Blocker setting from "Block Trackers on 'Always Block' List Only to "Block Trackers on All Sites".

You may also add sites to the "never block" and "always block" listing right there.

Vivaldi supports a second option that is accessible when you are on a site. A click on the shield icon to the left of the site URL displays an option to block trackers on that particular site. Just toggle the option to block trackers on that site from that moment on. The site is reloaded automatically when you change the state.

vivaldi block trackers

Note that this means that you are exposed to the trackers loaded on the site as these will get loaded by default if you don't configure Vivaldi to block all trackers on all sites.

The toggle works as a whitelist if you have configured Vivaldi to block all trackers.

Closing Words

Vivaldi Technologies uses the same method that Mozilla implemented in the organization's Firefox browser some time ago. Instead of implementing native ad-blocking, like Opera does, blocking is limited to known trackers to limit tracking.

Now You: Do you think that tracker blocking is a viable option?

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Vivaldi introduces Tracking blocker functionality in latest build
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Vivaldi introduces Tracking blocker functionality in latest build
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Vivaldi released a new snapshot of the next version of the web browser to the public today that introduces the tracker blocking feature.
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Comments

  1. finoderi said on March 3, 2020 at 10:29 am
    Reply

    “…to test the functionality before enabling functionality that could impact functionality”…
    Talking about copious vocabulary.

  2. Yuliya said on March 3, 2020 at 11:30 am
    Reply

    Have they gotten rid of their unique ID nonsense yet? Otherwise this seems like a good browser.

    1. thebrowser said on March 3, 2020 at 11:57 am
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      Great question, it was announced a while back that they are planning on remove the ID gathering, however their site still clearly states that they are using it.

      @Martin, keep us posted on this! :)

      https://www.ghacks.net/2019/08/15/vivaldi-to-stop-using-unique-user-ids-in-upcoming-versions-of-the-browser/

      1. Iron Heart said on March 3, 2020 at 12:11 pm
        Reply

        @Yuliya & thebrowser

        Even if they did remove the unique ID I wouldn’t use it. Vivaldi is only partially open source, which is a no-go for me if the browser is concerned. The only Chromium browsers I would use are Brave and Ungoogled Chromium.

      2. Klaas Vaak said on March 3, 2020 at 2:24 pm
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        @Iron Heart: good reply. +1

      3. Allwynd said on March 3, 2020 at 2:52 pm
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        @Iron Heart,

        My problem with Vivaldi is not that it’s open source or not, but hat the Graphic User Experience is inferior to other browsers. The way you access your settings, how they appear the first time, how you acccess your downloads and such, it’s very counter-intuitive and they haven’t changed it since 2015.

        What’s more is that there are many issues with synchronization and importing of data from another browser, for example passwords are disabled by default so all your passwords won’t get imported into Vivaldi, even going to about:flags and enabling it doesn’t make a difference. On top of that there are other are many similar problems and annoyances with the browser.

        It’s Vivaldi’s theme – it’s constantly suffering from small annoyances, in order to use it, you have to adjust to its crap factor.

        The last problem is that they are already bloating their already bloated (due to their custom CSS UI) with many useless features that nobody uses, like image data info that only some image designer would use or Philips Lights or Razor Chroma stuff that would make some lights on your custom special monitor change based on the content you’re viewing through the browser at the moment.

        Basically the Vivaldi team is wasting their time with lots of useless things instead of making their browser perform better and be easier to use by people.

        Frankly, the old Presto Opera was a lot better than Vivaldi. And Vivaldi will never amount to anything, they claim it has customizability, but there are so many things that could improve your quality of life with using the browser that just aren’t there. They’ve been suggested and subsequently ignored. It’s really a shame.

      4. Iron Heart said on March 3, 2020 at 6:40 pm
        Reply

        @Allwynd

        I think you are right on the money when it comes to Vivaldi. Their browser seems buggy and slow, as far as I understand this is a result of them taking Chromium as-is, and then building their own UI on top of it, artificially. Their UI basically breaks with each major Chromium update, meaning they are occupied with basic bugfixing (and pouring out new features), leaving no time to improve performance. Typical case of “flawed by design”. Other Chromium-based browsers like Ungoogled Chromium, Brave, MS Edge etc. don’t have this problem, as they are not building their own UI on top of Chromium, but rather only slightly modify the Chromium original interface.

        You are also correct when it comes to their lack of focus, I noticed this as well. They seem to introduce a myriad of new features, without caring how many people actually use them. They could create some poll where people can anonymously vote for their favorite features, but nope… That would be too easy, wouldn’t it? I think actually asking the community would yield better results for them. And some features you already mentioned, like Philips Lights, seem to be driven by the sponsorship of other companies, rather than user demand. They are basically pure bloat to the vast majority of users.

        > Frankly, the old Presto Opera was a lot better than Vivaldi.

        As mentioned before, Vivaldi is only partially to blame for this. What you can criticize them for is their lack of focus, and their inability to listen to the community. What you can’t really blame them for is the comparatively bad UI performance. The Chromium UI was never meant to be customizable, so Vivaldi had to artificially build their own UI around it, with the associated performance loss. Yes, Vivaldi is basically a hackjob and will always remain one, however Chromium was their only real option. Firefox is failing in terms of market share (not a good bet for a technical basis), and Webkit isn’t actually used anywhere except for Safari, and is generally lackluster in terms of web standard support.

        > My problem with Vivaldi is not that it’s open source or not

        Everyone has different priorities of course, yet I want to mention this: The browser is your gate to the Internet, it handles some of your most private data, e.g. your passwords, and companies building web browsers might have access to your browsing history. For a software like this, demanding it to be open source is reasonable. No browser should be only partially open source or even closed source, IMHO.

      5. Klaas Vaak said on March 3, 2020 at 6:58 pm
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        @Iron Heart: I know a number of commenters here will hate me for it, but here’s my view: your comments are well balanced and thought through. You get a lot of stick from some, esp. those believing you are pushing Brave, which I think is clear you are not. My advice, FWIW: ignore the asinine and continue with your comments.

      6. Anonymous said on March 4, 2020 at 3:17 am
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        @Klaas Vaak
        He does push Brave, and it’s painfully apparent with how he feels the need to mention it multiple times in each one of his posts, in every single Firefox article and so on. I don’t hate you for it, but I do hate him for being such an obnoxious troll.

      7. Iron Heart said on March 4, 2020 at 8:34 am
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        @Anonymous

        > I do hate him for being such an obnoxious troll.

        First off, thank you for the flowers. /s Is that really necessary, I wonder?

        > He does push Brave, and it’s painfully apparent with how he feels the need to mention it multiple times in each one of his posts, in every single Firefox article and so on.

        If you think that I am pushing Brave, you are totally misreading my postings. I think that Chrome and Opera and MS Edge are the worst privacy offenders currently available on the browser market. Many people recommend Mozilla Firefox as an alternative, claiming that it is privacy-respecting. Problem is, there is a giant gap between how Mozilla markets Firefox and what it actually does. In actuality, the browser is also a gross offender of privacy, and users have to put in a considerable amount of tweaking to make it somewhat privacy-respecting. People also claim that Mozilla is the last thing standing between us and a “Google monopoly”, while ignoring that Mozilla and Google are in a prosperous business relationship with each other. I am basically calling Mozilla and their fans out on their hypocrisy, and naturally they don’t like it at all, especially since they are always trying to portray themselves as the white knights compared to the competition.

        If we’d lose Mozilla, as @Sarmanto Hermes would put is so aptly, “we’d lose a company that claims to protect privacy, while doing the opposite”, and that’s what I think as well.

        Having gotten this out of the way, why do I mention Brave sometimes? I mention it because, once you have realized that all the mainstream browsers are pretty bad in terms of privacy, you begin looking at the smaller ones, analyzing their advantages and disadvantages. In the Firefox sphere, I think Pale Moon and Basilisk have a good level of privacy, but they are lacking behind in terms of web standard support, so I don’t recommend them. Fennec F-Droid on Android is something I would recommend, though. Looking t Chromium-based browsers, the only ones worth mentioning are Brave and Ungoogled Chromium, when it comes to privacy protection, on Android also Bromite… Ungoogled Chromium is not for noobs, though. It lacks automatic application updates, which leads to me recommending Brave more. I recommend Brave because the company is upfront about it, because it is fully open source, and because it has a decent level of privacy out of the box, and is comparatively easy to use.

        Me favoring Brave is my opinion based on what I see, period. I also have actual reasons for being opposed to / to criticize Mozilla Firefox, whether you like it or not. Deal with it.

      8. Samanto Hermes said on March 6, 2020 at 9:06 pm
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        The only relevant web standard lacking in Pale Moon and Basilisk is Google WebComponents, which is already in the process of being implemented by them.

      9. Klaas Vaak said on March 4, 2020 at 8:56 am
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        @Anonymous: it is not my job to defend Iron Heart, he is more than capable to take care of that himself. Nevertheless, I do want to point out that it is obvious he does not push Brave but rebels against the nonsense that is spewed here about the browser, and I hope he will continue his crusade against the often asinine comments from those pretending to know what they are talking about. We need critical assessment of a browser, or any other software mentioned here for that matter, we don’t need nonsense.

        BTW, I do not use Brave for different reasons; after many years of using Firefox, then trying out different browsers I have now opted for Ungoogled Chromium.

        As for not hating me, thanks for your kindness, but please bear in mind that I do not comment to score brownie points, only to voice my views and opinions.

        Hating Iron Heart is your business, although it demonstrates your inability to counter his arguments with facts. And even if you present facts that don’t convince him, that’s fine, everyone is entitled to his/her opinion, and an opinion about a browser, and other software, is also a matter of subjectivity, to a certain degree.

        Last but not least, if you consider someone to be a troll, why bother to react to his/her comments? Furthermore, why bother to even read his/her comments?

      10. Iron Heart said on March 4, 2020 at 8:52 am
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        @Klaas Vaak

        Thank you, may I say that I appreciate your posts as well for the same reasons? :) As for me being attacked for my comments: Yes, it happens, but I do not really care, nor would I lament it here. I mean, I am calling out Mozilla sometimes for claiming to protect privacy, while doing the exact opposite. People who believe in their marketing get all worked up over it for reasons I do not fully understand, except maybe that their ego is somehow connected to the browser they use(?). Yet whenever an article arrives here which describes yet another privacy-hostile decision of Mozilla, they are the first to whine under these articles and then exchange workaround solutions with each other. It’s bizarre, you know.

        It’s a bit like someone being in a relationship with a partner who goes behind the back of said someone. The someone in question knows about it and whines about it, yet if I appear and point out that their partner isn’t entirely faithful to them, I am the one getting all the shit. I mean, how crazy is that? It’s a case of punishing the messenger instead of dealing with the bad message itself, and that usually doesn’t make for a good discussion.

      11. Klaas Vaak said on March 4, 2020 at 8:58 am
        Reply

        @Iron Heart: +1

      12. Trey said on March 3, 2020 at 8:05 pm
        Reply

        Vivaldi is fantastically customizable – such a great browser experience. So many usable built-in options and tools. Glad they seem to be tightly integrating with DuckDuckGo rather than the alternatives.

      13. Jack said on March 9, 2020 at 12:27 pm
        Reply

        I’ll agree about the sync issues. That does need some improvement.
        I’d also agree that for some hardware, they should really be thinking about shaving off the rough edges with the UI to improve performance at least initially. The rest is something that will probably be in other browsers in a few years, if not, there will be someone with 200 extensions and that would be bloat.

    2. thebrowser said on March 4, 2020 at 10:03 am
      Reply

      @Iron Heart

      I agree with you on the topic that browsers should be open source since we rely so much on them for our daily lives. However this is just another layer, another piece of the puzzle. Most of the services we use already gather information about you, irrespectively of the software you are using to access them. Not all of these services have privacy-friendly alternatives, or they are simply not practical enough.

      The key is to compartmentalize your activity, which is what I do with Vivaldi and other browsers.

      As for Vivaldi itself, I particularly like that is actually innovating a little bit rather than being yet another browser. Some of the features it ships with out of the box are actually quite useful, for instance the CSS debugger and selector on hover, or some of the filters which are nice to protect your eyes without having to lower the brightness of the screen. It’s also really simple to great your own themes if you like and toggle between them.

      It does take a few seconds to start up, but otherwise while browsing it performs fine, I don’t even think about it. Not the best browser but an interesting one for sure.

      1. Anonymous said on March 4, 2020 at 12:18 pm
        Reply

        @Klaas Vaak
        >Last but not least, if you consider someone to be a troll, why bother to react to his/her comments? Furthermore, why bother to even read his/her comments?

        That’s the thing. I never directly replied to him or read his posts. In fact, I just scrolled past the wall of text he wrote just for me. I looked at his posts in the past. It’s apparent he is politically motivated against Firefox, and for Brave. It’s practically impossible to convince someone to change their political beliefs, so talking to him is pointless, really.

        I do appreciate his effort though, but it’s also really concerning. Does he really have all the time in the world to reply to every comment here? I’d honestly feel bad for him if that’s the case.

        But I just want to drop some facts here ~let’s talk about facts here now you mentioned it~ Brave does not, by default, ~remember, default are really important, can’t be modifying them~ allows Twitter and Facebook scripts to go through Brave’s “protective shields”. That’s not because Facebook and Twitter found a way around them, that’s because Brave explicitly allows them to track Brave users.

        On it’s website, Brave claims that
        >”Brave fights malware and prevents tracking, keeping your information safe and secure. It’s our top priority.”

        Yet despite this claim, Brave actually disables its tracking protections for Facebook and Twitter’s spyware scripts that allow them to track people across the web.

        https://spyware.neocities.org/articles/brave.html#5

        Brave’s spyware protections, and any claims that it makes to work in the interests of it’s users, cannot be taken seriously. Brave is actively working against its users while lying to them about supposed privacy protections that it offers. This problem becomes even more serious when you take into account Brave’s response to this situation:

        >”Loading a script from an edge-cache does not track a user without third-party cookies or equivalent browser-local storage, which Brave always blocks and always will block. In other words, sending requests and receiving responses without cookies or other means of identifying users does not necessarily create a tracking threat.”

        This statement is just, completely wrong. Just because a website isn’t able to store cookies, does not mean that it cannot uniquely identify you. Executing JavaScript spyware from Facebook and Twitter is more than enough. Blocking cookies is not going to stop them from tracking you. This isn’t even information that is difficult to verify. There are many websites that you can visit, right now, to see just how much information a JavaScript program designed to track you can get. Here are a few:
        https://browserleaks.com/
        https://panopticlick.eff.org/

      2. Klaas Vaak said on March 4, 2020 at 1:19 pm
        Reply

        @Anonymous:
        > Does he really have all the time in the world to reply to every comment here?
        With all due respect, I don’t think that’s relevant nor is it any of your business. If he wants to spend 24 hours commenting here and/or elsewhere, that’s his right.

        > It’s apparent he is politically motivated against Firefox, and for Brave.
        I am not convinced that’s the case, but even if it is, so what? Like I said, the evaluation of a browser, like any other piece of software, is a combination of facts – objectivity – and feelings – subjectivity. I very much doubt that your appreciation of software is wholly and only objective.

        And, just like you feel you are not able to convince him, he probably has the same feelings about you. Who is right? I don’t know. All I can say is that the comments he makes that I can assess (somewhat) on their validity seem reasonable to me. Maybe I am wrong, but that’s my opinion, FWIW.

        As for the facts about Brave that you present here, I cannot comment because, like I said, I don’t use Brave, and technically I am not savvy enough anyway to take on the discussion. You would have to have that discussion with Iron Heart, but that obviously will not happen.

        I can only repeat my advice: if you really dislike his comments, esp. those aimed at you, then just keep scrolling past them, as you say you already do. You cannot stop him from replying to you, though, because he has the right to reply to whomever he wants, providing he does not insult or otherwise verbally hurt others.

      3. Iron Heart said on March 4, 2020 at 1:32 pm
        Reply

        @Anonymous

        > That’s the thing. I never directly replied to him or read his posts. In fact, I just scrolled past the wall of text he wrote just for me. I looked at his posts in the past.

        If you never read my posts, I wonder how you can know the content of my posts. Magic?

        > It’s apparent he is politically motivated against Firefox, and for Brave. It’s practically impossible to convince someone to change their political beliefs, so talking to him is pointless, really.

        You mean because I have pointed out once that Mozilla is indirectly propping up Antifa?

        https://www.foxnews.com/tech/mozilla-gave-100000-to-secure-email-platform-harnessed-by-antifa-groups

        That was because I do not support any kind of political extremism and political violence. If that’s a “political motivation” against Mozilla, then I don’t know what to say. Are you a supporter of political extremism?

        Moreover, I have also pointed out repeatedly that Firefox and Brave are both non-political products, and that the political stances of the companies or even just individuals in the companies behind them don’t disqualify the products themselves, because the products don’t do anything political. But you conveniently forgot about that, didn’t you?

        > I do appreciate his effort though, but it’s also really concerning. Does he really have all the time in the world to reply to every comment here? I’d honestly feel bad for him if that’s the case.

        Your concern for my well-being is lovely I must say, but completely unwarranted.

        > Yet despite this claim, Brave actually disables its tracking protections for Facebook and Twitter’s spyware scripts that allow them to track people across the web.

        Just shows again that you don’t know what you are talking about:

        https://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/2019/02/12/privacy-browser-braves-user-concern-over-facebook-whitelist/

        They whitelisted some trackers because Facebook & Twitter misuse trackers for legitimate functionality. Blocking one Facebook tracker resulted in the Facebook login page being broken, for example. People complained about it, so Brave whitelisted them. You can easily disable the whitelist in the Brave settings.

        @Klaas Vaak

        I suggest that you ignore foolishness of such a high degree.

      4. Klaas Vaak said on March 4, 2020 at 1:43 pm
        Reply

        @Anonymous: I take it your normal pseudonym, the one you say Iron Heart is trolling, is “notanon”.

      5. Anonymous said on March 4, 2020 at 7:10 pm
        Reply

        No notanon is someone else.

      6. Klaas Vaak said on March 5, 2020 at 1:17 pm
        Reply

        @Anonymous: sorry for the mistake. Your comments are remarkably similar to anon’s, or his/hers similar to yours. Pure coincidence , I guess, no need to consider conspiracy theories.

      7. Jack said on March 9, 2020 at 12:30 pm
        Reply

        Agree Whole-heartedly!

  3. anona said on March 3, 2020 at 2:49 pm
    Reply

    Tracking blocking alone is almost useless. You need adblocking as well. And you need to be able to add filterlists. Otherwise this is just snake oil, trying to deter users from installing real content blockers like ublock origin.

    1. Jack said on March 4, 2020 at 5:41 am
      Reply

      This isn’t snake oil trying to get users to not use adblockers though, because google already put a stop to content blocking in general.

  4. Brit said on March 4, 2020 at 2:40 am
    Reply

    @Klaas Vaak

    +1

  5. Jack said on March 4, 2020 at 5:43 am
    Reply

    I think this is a breakthrough, but it will require more testing and a way to tell the user what is being blocked.

  6. Sophie said on March 6, 2020 at 10:53 am
    Reply

    @Iron Heart. I’m going to keep this simple. You are truly a major troll that has wayyyy too much time on your hands. You fill these boards with endless text, some of which may well be perfectly reasonable and true, while other things are just trolling nonsense.

    Do you not have a nice grand-ma

    ma that you can visit to cool down a bit? You know, take her some boiled eggs and a bunch of flowers, and talk to her about life, rather than endless “Brave type conflict”.

    Wow, you just like the reaction don’t you? You then sit there and fire off reams and reams and reams of replies, all plugged in and vexed, aggressive and may I say, often pretty unpleasant.

    Go boil those little eggs and pay grandma a visit, and save us from your rants for a while?

    Thanks.

    1. Iron Heart said on March 7, 2020 at 1:13 am
      Reply

      @Sophie

      How about you leaving? What right do you have to be here that exceeds mine? I can’t even remember the last time you’ve contributed something useful here, it was ages ago if ever, I presume. And you post this under some post of @Martin Brinkmann that isn’t even among the top posts anymore, so I don’t think anyone will care.

      > You are truly a major troll that has wayyyy too much time

      What I do with my time is my business, at least it was last time I checked. And “troll”… Well, last time I checked trolling was something else, far apart from the facts (what I say is verifiable, in case you haven’t noticed) I present. You disliking or not understanding the facts doesn’t make me a troll.

      > You fill these boards with endless text

      You being either illiterate or too lazy to read or too dim to just ignore my texts is clearly not my fault, whatever of the three options it is. Behave like an adult, don’t like it, don’t read it. It’s that easy.

      > vexed, aggressive and may I say, often pretty unpleasant.

      Don’t let your tears flow over my keyboard, I still need it for work as well as leisure time. And yeah, oftentimes the comments I reply to warrant my tone because they are written in the exact same manner, you just conveniently ignore that. You know the old saying: “What goes around comes around.”

      And it’s not my fault that your grandkids never visit you, no need to share your emotional problems with me here. I read your whole post as a silent cry for fellowship, which you seemingly don’t have in real life. Cheers.

      1. Klaas Vaak said on March 10, 2020 at 6:02 pm
        Reply

        @Iron Heart: +1.

    2. UKDad002 said on March 7, 2020 at 4:38 pm
      Reply

      @Sophie
      oh the irony of someone like you critiquing someone else here!!
      I’m a big supporter of Vivaldi, never had a ‘buggy’ problem with it in my life, and I use it regularly every day, so I don’t agree with @Iron Heart re: his criticism (I sometimes wonder when he last tried it out fully but no matter, don’t really care)

      you have been a huge commenting pain since coming upon the scene, and your seriously delusion paranoia re; all things ‘internet’ would lead one to believe that you need to shut down your computer, stop your illegal internet use, and go read a book (to your sad grandma, preferably)

  7. Mike W. said on March 8, 2020 at 1:52 pm
    Reply

    Hopefully Vivaldi does a better job rolling this feature out than they did Picture-in-Picture. The PiP feature in Vivaldi 2.11 is extremely buggy and you cannot turn it off. I don’t (quite frankly) understand why Vivaldi thought it was ready for the release channel.

    1. Jack said on March 9, 2020 at 12:38 pm
      Reply

      I donno man, every time I think something might be up with vivaldi, it turns into a spiraling issue that reminds me why i moved away from Chrome in the first place.

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