Firefox Private Browsing Says Up Yours To Ads, Blocks Them

Firefox Private Browsing Says Up Yours To Ads, Blocks Them

The latest version of Firefox has thrown a big ‘Eff you’ to adland, with Mozilla announcing the update will feature a powerful ad-blocking feature.

Under the browser’s new setup, Private Browsing mode will block any script that could be used to identify a user, and that includes ads, analytics trackers, and features like the Facebook ‘Like’ button that can link you to social networks.

The latest version promises a more anonymous form of browsing that’s only heard of in stories nowadays, and will also load pages faster and cut off many of the web’s most surveillance-friendly features, along with the ad networks many websites use to make dollars.

Before now, Private Browsing had deleted cookies but only managed locally stored content, and still allowed third-party scripts to run as per usual. Chrome’s Incognito Mode takes a similar approach, clearing browser history but not interfering with any content loaded in the browser.

In the announcement, Mozilla emphasises tracking scripts rather than advertising units, however ensures us that the Private Browsing mode will still function as an ad-blocker, which allows sites to load faster.

“You might notice that some web pages load more quickly with tracking protection,” Mozilla’s VP Nick Nguyen said. “We don’t think you’ll mind.”

Web tracking is a hot topic of late, particularly after recent changes in iOS 9 allowed for similar functions on the iPhone and in apps, and it was this shift that has allowed for a number of ad-blocking apps to appear, alongside fresh concerns over the ability for independent publications to go it alone in the wide world web.

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