Mozilla Boosting Firefox Browsing Privacy

Future versions of the Firefox Web browser could provide users with new ways to block online site elements that track visitors' behaviors. Mozilla, the organization that develops Firefox, said it is currently experimenting with a private browsing update and other new features in pre-beta versions of its browser being tested by developers.

The new features are currently being taken for a test drive on the Firefox Developer Edition for Windows, Mac and Linux, as well on Firefox Aurora for Android. In addition to promising users greater control over their private browsing settings, the updates also require that newly installed add-ons meet Firefox's online safety guidelines and criteria by default.

Mozilla is also working on several new features that could be available for testing soon, including new options for parents who want to control their children's online browsing and updates for Firefox's Skype-like Hello for online video and voice communication.

Blocking Online Behavior Tracking

"Our hypothesis is that when you open a Private Browsing window in Firefox you're sending a signal that you want more control over your privacy than current private browsing experiences actually provide," Mozilla said Friday in a post on its Future Releases blog. "The experimental Private Browsing enhancements ready for testing today actively block Web site elements that could be used to record user behavior across sites."

Those elements could include services for content, analytics, social and other purposes "that might be collecting data without your knowledge," Mozilla said. Blocking such elements could make a Web site appear broken, but users can unblock those elements if they want the site to behave normally, the company said.

The just-released pre-beta version of Firefox also features a Control Center that puts site security and privacy controls in a single place. Mozilla is inviting developers and early adopters who try out the test...

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