Today we launched Firefox Focus, a brand new iOS browser that puts user privacy first. More than ever before, we believe that everyone on the Internet has a right to protect their privacy. By launching Firefox Focus, we are putting that belief into practice in a big way.
How big? If you download Firefox Focus and start to browse, you will notice a prominent “Erase” button in the upper right-hand corner of the screen. If you tap that button, the Firefox Focus app erases all browsing information including cookies, website history or passwords. Of course, you can erase this on any other browser but we are making it simple here – just one tap away.
Out of sight too often means out of mind. Burying the tools to clear browsing history and data behind clicks or taps means that fewer people will do it. By putting the “Erase” button front and center, we offer users a simple path to healthy online behaviors — protecting their online freedom and taking greater control of their personal data. To further enhance user privacy, Firefox Focus also by default blocks advertising, social and analytics tracking. So, on Firefox Focus, “private” browsing is actually automatic, and erasing your history is incredibly simple.
Of course, we know that for many Web activities people like the functionality that cookies or tracking data provides. Subscribers to the New York Times probably dislike typing a password every time they want to read articles on the site. Most people prefer that their browser autocompletes their commonly used URLs.
That said, sometimes people don’t want to be tracked. We use the internet to research personal topics about our health – cancer or Alzheimer’s, for example. We use the Web to make purchases that are legal but can be sensitive — “hotel reservations in Cancun” or ”engagement rings”. We browse controversial topics that we may not want anyone else to know we are reading about.
This accessibility of information is one of the most powerful aspects of the Web. It is all the more powerful when anonymity is protected.
We at Mozilla believe that protecting one’s privacy should be as simple as a single tap. Firefox Focus is an experiment to see what happens when we make this radically simple. As part of our mission to maintain the health of the Internet, we will continue to try out new ways to promote user privacy. We hope you download Firefox Focus, hit that “Erase” button and see how it works for you.