New Year, New Privacy Protection for Firefox Focus on Android

Have you ever signed up for a contest to win a big screen TV or a vacation to an exotic location? Or have you joined a big retailer loyalty program so you can save money? If you answered yes to either of these questions you may be exchanging your name, home address, email address, phone number and sometimes even your birthdate to companies who are building your profile with the information you freely provide. Companies use those profiles to help them make ads that are targeted at convincing you to purchase, like resurfacing an item you were shopping for. When you go online, there are similar tactics that work behind the scenes to gather information about you and your browsing behavior, and track you when you go from site to site.

Mozilla has been leading the industry in privacy protections by putting our users first. Last year, we introduced one of our strongest privacy protections to date, Total Cookie Protection, to combat cross-site tracking, and we’re bringing it to Firefox Focus on Android, our simple, privacy by default companion app. Firefox Focus on Android will be the first Firefox mobile browser to have Total Cookie Protection. This will help mitigate the cross-site tracking where companies collect information about you like the sites you visit every day or the products you are searching for. 

Total Cookie Protection works by maintaining a separate “cookie jar” for each website you visit

What is Total Cookie Protection 

Total Cookie Protection stops cookies from tracking you around the web. Total Cookie Protection joins our suite of privacy protections called ETP (Enhanced Tracking Protection). In combining Total Cookie Protection with supercookie protections, you can ease your worries about companies tracking you from site to site by using Firefox Focus on Android. Total Cookie Protection works by maintaining a separate “cookie jar” for each website you visit. Any time a website, or third-party content embedded in a website, deposits a cookie in your browser, Firefox Focus confines that cookie to the cookie jar assigned to that website. This way, no other websites can reach into the cookie jars that don’t belong to them and find out what the other websites’ cookies know about you. Now, you can say good-bye to those annoying ads following you and reduce the amount of information that companies gather about you whenever you go online.

Plus, we added SmartBlock to keep websites working 

In December, we also added SmartBlock and other fixes which help keep websites running smoothly. These features work around breakage with websites, while those sites investigate proper fixes. SmartBlock helps fix issues related to Total Cookie Protection and other pro-privacy measures.

For instance, some websites contain maps hosted on other servers. If the expected cookies are not being sent to those servers, because Total Cookie Protection is active, then the maps will fail to appear. With a simple work-around we can allow these maps to appear, without disabling any pro-privacy measures, while still giving sites time to come up with a proper fix.

And for users who opt into stricter tracking protection, SmartBlock also provides replacements for commonly-blocked trackers, keeping web sites working. These replacements are bundled with Firefox, minimizing the risk of any tracking taking place. 

Get the fast, private browser, Firefox Focus today.

For more on Firefox:

Introducing Firefox Relay Premium, allowing more aliases to protect your identity from spammers

Firefox’s Private Browsing mode upleveled for you

Do you need a VPN at home? Here are 5 reasons you might.

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