Firefox
(Photo : GettlyImages/ SOPA Images ) Firefox 90 update

Firefox 90 announced the new version of its SmartBlock feature. SmartBlock is Firefox's own tracker blocking mechanism that is built into its strict mode for private browsing.

The SmartBlock now has improvements designed to help improve the performance of buttons used to log in to websites via Facebook accounts, as there have been reports of Facebook login buttons breaking in the past.

Firefox 90 SmartBlock Update

SmartBlock was launched together with Firefox 87 in March. The feature fixes up web pages that are broken by the browser's tracking protection without compromising the user's privacy.

SmartBlock fixes web pages by giving local stand-ins for blocked third-party tracking scripts. The stand-in scripts act just like the original ones to make sure that the web page works properly, according to TechRadar.

The stand-in scripts allow broken web pages relying on the original scripts to load with their functionality intact.

Also Read: Mozilla Firefox 86: 'Total Cookie Protection' to Safeguard Users From Online Tracking

However, there are instances wherein the feature would break the login buttons of Facebook. In a new blog post by Firefox, Tom Wisniewski and Arthur Edelstein from Mozilla explained why this would happen.

Wisniewski and Edelstein stated that before Firefox 90, if users were using a Private Browsing window when they clicked on the "Continue with Facebook" button to sign in, the sign-in button would fail to proceed due to the third-party Facebook script required had been blocked by Firefox.

With Firefox 90 and the new SmartBlock, users should be able to use Facebook login buttons, all while the new SmartBlock still blocks cross-site tracking.

On the new browser, Facebook scripts are all blocked just like before, ensuring the privacy of the user, according to The Verge.

However, when the user clicks on the "Continue with Facebook" button to sign in, SmartBlock reacts fast by unblocking the login script on Facebook just in time for the sign-in to go through smoothly.

Firefox 90 FTP Removal

Aside from fixing the login issues on Facebook accounts, Firefox 90 will also remove the File Transfer Protocol or FTP implementation.

In 2020, Mozilla announced its intention to disable the support for FTP, but it also said it would delay the disabling of the feature due to the pandemic.

By February, FTP was disabled in Firefox's nightly channel, and it is now disabled in the Beta channel. On April 19, the FTP was disabled in Firefox 88.

When Firefox encounters an FTP link, it will try to pass it off to an external application.

Mozilla add-ons community manager Caitlin Neiman wrote in a blog post that most places where an extension may pass FTP, such as filters for webRequest or proxy, should not show an error. However, the APIs will no longer handle those types of requests.

Neiman added that to help offset this removal, FTP had been added to Firefox's list of protocol_handlers used for browser extensions. This means that the browser extensions can remind the users to launch an FTP application to handle proxies.

Firefox 90 will remove the FTP implementation completely upon its release, affecting the Firefox browser on Android as well.  

Firefox 90 release date is on July 13.

Related Article: Mozilla Firefox v. 86.0.1 Releases Fix for Linux, Windows OS-When is the Apple M1 Mac Version Coming?

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Written by Sophie Webster

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