Acknowledging that websites don't always honor Firefox's "Do Not Track" requests, set by default, Mozilla is preparing another measure to protect the privacy of users of its browser. It's still in development, but Firefox's new Private Browsing feature will actively cover users' digital tracks to keep the advertisers from following them.
Right now, the private browsing tools offered in modern browsers only provide protection in what Mozilla calls "local privacy" cases. They discard users' browsing histories, but they don't stop the Web from tracking their movements online: shopping habits, websites visited, time spent on visited websites and so on.
"The experimental Private Browsing enhancements ready for testing today actively block website elements that could be used to record user behavior across sites," Mozilla said on Friday. "This includes elements like content, analytics, social and other services that might be collecting data without your knowledge."
Web surfing with the new version of Private Browsing may find that some elements on Web pages are blocked. Private Browsing will block trackers, but users can unblock the content if they wish to engage with it.
Mozilla and its community are also testing security enhancements for add-ons and Web content in the latest set of pre-alpha versions of Firefox.
Electrolysis will devote a single background process to Web content and it'll report to the core Firefox process.
Electrolysis will boost performance by spreading the work load out across however many computing cores are available on the computer or mobile device.
Because Web content is handled exclusively by a separate instance of Firefox, the browser can secure itself and its hardware home by sandboxing the Web content process.
Rounding out the security-centric features being tested now, add-ons are being retooled to give users more control. Add-ons can add toolbars without consent, store data and even install malware, Firefox said.
"We've worked with developers and created a process that attempts to verify that add-ons installed in Firefox meet the guidelines and criteria we've developed to ensure they're safer for you," said Mozilla. "Starting with this release, add-on verification is enforced by default in pre-beta Firefox."