23 June, 2011

Firefox 5 - Do Not Track!



Writer: Head Geek Furious

Mozilla has released a new version of Firefox that supposedly speeds up browsing and is supposed to help improve your ability to get dates on the Internet (I can't verify that, though). The update isn't huge and doesn't seem to be causing many add-on problems, unlike previous versions, but there is one addition to this browser that is a GAME CHANGER!

Firefox 5 is the first browser to include an option for all platforms to tell websites to not track your movements to and from a site. This is something many laypeople are not even aware of, but many sites collect information about how you got to their site and how you left it. So, if you came in from a porn site, your favorite Sesame Street site knows it. And if you leave that site by going to your favorite creeper stalker site, then it knows that too.

But now, at least in concept, Firefox 5 allows you to opt out of that tracking. But you would think that the developers would have put a gigantic button on the browser that says "DO NOT SPY ON ME!" In their infinite wisdom, they decided to hide it. But I am here to show you where it is.

Go to TOOLS (you will need to bring up the menu on your Firefox button, or enable the Menu Bar by right clicking on the top of the browser) and then OPTIONS and look at the pretty picture below:


22 comments:

  1. Do you know if Chrome offers this?

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  2. As far as I know, Firefox 5 is the ONLY browser to offer it.

    For at least the next 12 hours (before every single browser decides to add it, since this will likely become a popular feature).

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  3. Why didn't anyone think of this before?

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  4. I just had a terrifying thought of all the times I've clicked a link to my kid's school website while surfing porn.

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  5. Man, I think I need to change the font on this site. My exclamation points look like I's.

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  6. Screw you Big Brother Interwebs! You won't track me no more.

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  7. Wait, why is this such a bad thing? It helps the sites I visit know what content is popular and (theoretically) helps them deliver more like it to me. It also lets more relevent ads get delivered, which isn't a bad thing. I don't care if they know what site I was on before as long as they're not taking personal data that I don't offer freely.

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  8. And PS, this font sucks to read for more than two lines. Just cause the Oatmeal uses it for comics does not mean anyone wants to read a whole blog like this.

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  9. Well, Karl, you solidified my decision. I was just talking to one of the writers about changing the font because it annoyed us that the exclamation points looked like I's. But your two comments have told me everything I need to know.

    The font stays.

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  10. Vader's My Little Pony PillowJune 23, 2011 at 3:56 PM

    You don't get why people would have a problem with being tracked across the Internet without their permission, Karl? Are you some kind of communist? I want to have the choice to be tracked or not to be tracked.

    I am sorry that your data mining is going to be damaged by this but too bad. I don't know anyone who wants to have better ad delivery. We want no ad delivery. It's why we run ad blockers.

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  11. Karl must be one of those born-to-be-corporate types shooting for a double major in business and technology. What kind of asshat thinks data mining is a good thing?

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  12. Cough... I double majored in business and technology.

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  13. If you don't want to see ads, then fine, but what about Google's data mining in order to deliver more relevant search results? I'm not saying it's always good, just saying that it has its pros and cons.

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  14. I don't disagree that there are pros and cons. But people should have the ability to make the choice to be data mined or not. This gives people some power in that regard, until someone figures out a way around it.

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  15. Oh and if you don't want to read the articles with this font, there is a way provided on the site to avoid it.

    On the side panel it says "Altered Geek Furious" click on the CLICK ME link. Then choose to view the site in whatever glory you wish, with the basic font for text.

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  16. This is a good tool if it works, but just in case: the Ghostery add-on will block those trackers whether the companies comply with Firefox's new feature or not. It also shows you in a little pop-up bubble the name of every tracker it's blocked on each site you visit. Also, BetterPrivacy will delete Flash cookies hidden in your system, which also track your surfing habits and can't be deleted in-browser.

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  17. Ghostery is nice, I use it, but I have also noticed that it slows down my browsing at times.

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  18. I haven't noticed that about Ghostery. If it does happen, it's not too glaring a problem for it to affect my browsing. I have, however, noticed a lag in the tabs with Firefox 5. It takes a noticable amount of time for them to respond at times. Or is that just me having that problem?

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  19. I have lag in tabs in every browser.

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  20. From http://support.mozilla.com/en-US/kb/how-do-i-stop-websites-tracking-me

    "When you turn on the Do-not-track feature, Firefox tells every website you visit (as well as their advertisers and other content providers) that you don't want your browsing behavior tracked. Honoring this setting is VOLUNTARY — individual websites are not required to respect it."

    Do you really expect your favorite porn sites to honor do-not-track requests?

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