Mozilla made the announcement on its blog on 14 August. The new tool is not yet fully effective. It may contain a large number of bugs. However, Mozilla’s ultimate goal is to create a tool for its users to begin to browse the web away from the prying eyes of advertisers and analytics agencies.
According to Mozilla’s blog post, the new tool would allow users to block websites that record browsing behaviors. This would keep personal data away from organizations looking to profit from data collection.
Because the new extension is still in early stages, Mozilla warns testers that it may result in certain pages loading irregularly. For the present moment, users must manually unblock these pages to load them with the new tool.
Many browsers available have struggled to create a tool that offers a fully private experience. For users who are looking to remain entirely undercover, the best option is to use Tor. However, even Tor suffers attacks from security agencies like the FBI and the CIA.
The new Firefox extension will be made available for Windows, Mac and Linux users. It will also be available for users on Android.
Mozilla is not the first software company to make an attempt at truly private browsing. The Internet is now full of dozens of extensions that claim to block advertisements and tracking. Their efficacy varies. However, the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Privacy Badger makes a real attempt at a solution.
Unfortunately, many companies still do not honor visitors’ wishers. If a user visits a page with a do-not-track option on their browser, some organizations will choose to ignore it and collect data anyway. The EFF is working to bring real accountability to change this usage of the Internet.
As Mozilla travels down the road less tracked, its potential success could draw users away from Google’s Chrome. Regardless of its crafty programming, Mozilla will still rely on the acquiescence of data hungry organizations who view do-not-track options as mere suggestions.