Tracking user behaviour online has become a dominant source of revenue for many companies. By tracking what users do online, companies like Facebook, Google and Amazon are able to sell their services to advertisers in the form of targeted advertising. As users started to block cookies which were the original tracking method, companies developed newer, more persistent ways of tracking people through the browser, using technologies like invisible pixels and what not. Today, Mozilla is taking a stance against such practices, changing their policy in favour of the consumer, switching from passive a “do not track” policy to “will not track.”
“In the near future, Firefox will, by default, protect users by blocking tracking while also offering a clear set of controls to give our users more choice over what information they share with sites,” said Mozilla VP of product strategy Nick Nguyen.
The changes will roll out on a trial basis later in September with Firefox 63 which will block slow-loading trackers. Mozilla hopes that by the time Firefox 65 is released, it would have blocked all cross-website tracking by default. Mozilla will allow users to enable tracking if they need it and also add options to allow blocks for slow-loading trackers and third-party cookies.
While all the popular browsers such as Google Chrome, Safari and Microsoft Edge (IE) offer a 'Do Not Track' feature, none of them are as aggressive as the method being implemented by Mozilla on Firefox. Mozilla states that this decision goes beyond just protecting their consumers’ privacy. It says that slow loading trackers take as much as 50 percent more time to load in comparison to regular trackers. Additionally, Mozilla says that many trackers use deceitful methods to collect more information on users than they think, warranting a step to keep them in check.