There’s Another Big Reason Why You Should Ditch Chrome For Firefox

from Fast Company

It’s not paranoia: You are being followed. Marketers are embedding dozens of trackers per website to follow your online wanderings and build up ad-targeting profiles. While the dominant browser, Google Chrome, takes a timid approach to these trackers, Apple and now Mozilla are attacking them head on.

Firefox first started blocking all trackers by default in its experimental browsers in July and in a wide release in September. Since then, Firefox has blocked 450 billion tracking attempts, says Selena Deckelmann, the senior director of Firefox browser engineering at Mozilla. That comes out to 175 trackers per Firefox browser per day.

“I’m a specialist in privacy on the web, and it still was pretty shocking to see those numbers all added up,” she says.

Now, users will have yet another tool to help them understand the ways that marketers follow them around online. Today, Mozilla is rolling out a new version of Firefox, called Release 70, with a Privacy Protections dashboard screen in your settings that helps explain how those billions of trackers work—and what Firefox is doing about them. The new upgrades fit into the mission of making privacy and security easier to understand and act upon for the majority of us who don’t geek out on the subject, Deckelmann says. It’s yet another reason to consider a switch to Firefox if you haven’t already.

So-called third-party cookies are perhaps the best known trackers. The small files reside in your browser and report back to marketers the sites you visit. Other Firefox-blocked trackers use code in online ads and code in those social media “share” buttons on web pages to record your visits to them. Also blocked are cryptominers—hidden scripts that hackers use to commandeer your computer to generate cryptocurrency, like bitcoin.

With Firefox 70, you can look under the hood to see how it blocks all these trackers, in real time. When I visited FoxNews.com, for instance, Firefox reported finding 64 cookies and six social media trackers. It found 43 cookies and three social media trackers on FastCompany.com.

More here.

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30 Comments

  1. There are many concerns people who use the internet have. One major concern that internet users have is privacy. Users are concerned with outside people having access to what they research and look at on their personal computer. Many users believe that when browsers have access to see what they research, it is considered an invasion of privacy. They believe that what they research on their personal device should remain private because they consider it personal information. However, browsers use trackers for multiple reasons. The main reason browsers use trackers is to track trends in what you are researching. They use the results to tailor what the user sees. The advertisements are based on what you research the most. However, many do not have a problem with browsers having this information, many believe that trackers are doing much more and should not be storing their private information and using it without their permission. Users that feel that this is and invasion of privacy have the option to pick the browser that has protection when it comes to trackers. If you are using Google chrome, you should consider switching to Firefox because of their efforts to protect from trackers from tracking what users research. This could be a marketing advantage for Firefox. When promoting the browser, Firefox could tailor to customers that want to feel protected from trackers. Since google chrome is dominant over Firefox right now, that could be changing based on recent privacy issues that have been in the news lately. The more concerned people become with being tracked, the more they may feel inclined to switch to a safer browser.

    • There is always a constant talk about our phones tracking what we do. If I look up something on amazon, it shows up in an ad on a website I look at later in google chrome. Granted with most technology they give you an option to opt out of personalized ads. It doesn’t mean its not still collecting information, it just means they are no longer using that information to get a user to buy something via ads. Firefox has been a long-time browser for the internet. I used it back when I was in elementary school and refused to use google chrome because I knew Firefox was more secure. Then it flipped and chrome seemed like the most secure browser. Now we are at a stage where with technology there is no brand that is exceptionally better than the other. We pick based on personal preference because it is essentially all the same technology. However, Chrome is using a lot of tactics to essentially give away data on users so that companies can advertise. Firefox launched a program in 2018 that monitors all of the websites trying to read information on a particular site and blocks them. The reason google will not employ these policies most likely is because they are the biggest advertising company on the planet. They are all over the world without most people knowing. Google owns YouTube which is one of the biggest social media platforms in the world, and most of the revenue is due to advertisements. While Google seems like the best and easiest platform to browse on, it may not be the most secure and for people who care about their data, and we all should, this posses a problem.

  2. The past couple of weeks I have written about many different kinds of privacy issues online and after seeing this article, it really shows me how big of an issue this has gotten into. Another big thing that this article brought to light that I haven’t really realized was the popularity of different web browsers. By default, I normally use Chrome while on a Mac computer and it has been that way for a while. I have had no reason to even consider changing what I use because Chrome gets the job done and and seems to be the fastest for me. However, I have noticed an absurd amount of mobile advertising, and often times its very frustrating for me. I’m not trying to look at a product I have already searched for a couple of days ago. It is very off-putting and makes me want to get off that page because I know all of my searches are being tracked and that is not what I want. I have done some little things to slow down the abilities of mobile trackers, but this article may have fully gotten me to switch browsers because of their privacy settings.

    However, towards the end of the article, google brings up a very interesting point and says that by Firefox blocking these cookies, it will only inspire marketers to come up with more “insidious”ways of tracking computer users, which is scary to think about. I do not want web browsers fighting back and forth with each other over my privacy. The numbers that Firefox do boast about are rather impressive, as they say they have blocked over 450 billion trackers. With their new version coming out called Release 70, all of these privacy settings come included, as the user does not have to activate them manually or download from a third-party app. This sounds like Firefox is really taking the initiative to put their customers first and include services that they asked for. I would be really interested to see the numbers of how many people use Chrome v. Firefox, and if the numbers changed at all after this article or the release of Firefox’s new service.

  3. As someone that uses Google Chrome every day, and as someone that is currently using it right now to read these articles, I was quite curious to read up on why I should switch from Chrome to Firefox. I also like reading about how much I am being followed on the internet through the sites I use, and these articles certainly gave me a good reminder of that. Trackers, cookies, and cryptominers are always something one has to deal with as one uses the internet, and it is good to know that Mozilla is attempting to attack them head-on with the newest update of their browser. Having an organization that has user security and privacy as their mission, and then actually upholds and actively works to do better in that regard, is comforting.

    However, after taking everything into consideration I have decided not to make the switch from Chrome to Firefox for one simple reason; while trackers, cookies, and cryptominers are naturally being blocked by Release 70 of Mozilla Firefox, I can block them through Chrome with the use of extensions. For instance, I have an extension installed in Google Chrome called minerBlock that is explicitly for the use of blocking cryptominers. In just my use of Google Chrome today minerBlock has blocked 7 cryptomining attempts on my browser. So while the use of extensions was brought up in the FastCompany article as more of an annoyance of the switch as many are built for use with Chrome, I think that the use of trackers, cookies, and cryptominer-blocking extensions should be looked into more. For example, an experiment could be done where a person visits the same websites on both browsers over a length of time to see whether Firefox or Chrome (with the security extensions added) would catch more.

    So all things considered, while it is comforting to have an organization like Mozilla around, it is not enough for me to make the switch over to Firefox. Although I do wish Google would implement something like the Privacy Protections Dashboard into Chrome so that I do not have to have so many extensions installed.

  4. It is crazy how in today’s world technology dominates our lives like we’ve never seen before. Being able to use technology is considered a must among everyone today, especially myself as a college student. Even though we all must and will use the internet and other electronic interfaces, there are many ways that we are being stripped of the privacy of our information through the internet. We even are forced to be bound by so many different electronic contracts every day; whether it be through our phones or our computers. One of the biggest ways we are “being watched” is through websites like chrome. Marketers embed dozens of trackers in each website we visit through chrome to follow our online footprint; where we were and where we are going on the web. Chrome’s mindset on these trackers seems to be very laid back; like they don’t care that these trackers are taking user’s privacy away.
    Fortunately, I now know that apple and Mozilla are taking many steps into protecting their users from this problem. I have come to accept that everything we do on the internet can be tracked and given to other entities to have. The internet automatically gives away so much of people’s personal information that I find it very odd that more people haven’t had their identities stolen. Firefox has blocked over 450 billion trackers since they began their experiment in September; which is 75 trackers per Firefox browser per day. This is great for society as people including myself won’t have to fret as much about my privacy when I use the internet and websites. I was being tracked so much more than I expected. When I would open a website, I always wonder what a cookie was when it popped up on the screen. Now I know that cookies are best known trackers out there. They reside in your browser and report back to marketers the sites you visit. I will definitely be switching to Firefox as soon as possible knowing what I know now. They will give me the ability to protect my information and privacy while also being able to see how many trackers are being blocked.

  5. My general thoughts on web privacy were that it was basically a lost battle, save for some kind of government legislation that makes it illegal to allow these marketing gimmicks, which involve invasive tracking and data-compiling efforts against basically everyone who uses the Internet. I never would have thought it possible that a tech company would take a step to meaningfully prevent the privacy of its users — after all, why would they?
    But seeing Mozilla (and even Apple, apparently) take a stand against these unfair privacy violations has both proven me wrong, and made me feel a bit better about our prospects for the future as people who care about those pesky ‘rights.

    Chrome being the usual default browser for everyone, including myself, I took the step to switch to Firefox a few months ago. Though I cannot say there has been any noticeable difference, I was not really expecting one. The tracking methods used by these companies do not really stand out, and are so easily forgettable, which is part of the reason why so few people even care.

    People simply do not realize what is going on. Most would shudder and feel genuine concern if they found out that they were being followed on their shopping trips, by someone who was carefully noting every move they took, including what they bought, what they liked, what they didn’t like, etc. Why then, do they not care that it happens online? That is, after all, what these trackers are doing.

    Mozilla is even making most of these key privacy blockers the default on their browser, which is another thing I would have never expected to see. Microsoft Windows has some useful privacy tools, yet they are all turned off by default, almost existing as a way for Microsoft to say that they do care about privacy, when if they did, they would simply turn these features on by default!

    We should also take careful notice of the fact that Google has not decided to follow suit. Just as Mozilla’s actions here say a lot of good things about their company, Google’s lack of action should say the opposite.

    There is no question that those wrongdoing, privacy-invading folks out there will continue to develop sharper ways to collect data undetected, but we can reasonably expect that tech-savvy people will respond with the appropriate defenses, as they become available to meet the new threats. To have a large company like Mozilla going up to bat for the privacy rights of its users is truly a breath of fresh air.

  6. In an age where tech companies are showing themselves to be less and less trustworthy, it is truly nice to see Firefox fighting on behalf of its users. I have always been a chrome user as it is fast and synced very nicely with my Gmail account. I knew that whatever I searched could and would be used against me by companies to make targeted advertisements. This reality was something many of us have grown accustomed to, especially with our phones and smart devices always listening to us. Often times on Instagram, Snapchat, or Google, I will see advertisements for products or events I have may have been discussing with friends or researching. For a more private person, this is a nightmare scenario and a seemingly inescapable one at that. Firefox, however, is now showing consumers that privacy, albeit not complete privacy, but that some privacy in the digital age is achievable.

    In the article, it is revealed that Firefox has blocked a staggering 450 billion tracking attempts in a two-month time frame. The author discusses their own experimentation with the new feature that shows the number of cookies blocked. It is truly amazing to see that just by visiting websites we a seemingly low interaction level, we are being tracked by so many different things. The settings are the default in Firefox and are there to protect all their users. I know I personally will most likely be switching to Firefox as my main browser after hearing this and I will be telling friends and family about it as well. I am sure as news spreads of the new features from Mozilla, Google will see a large dip in daily users as more people opt for more private browsing.

  7. Throughout my education, I used to use Internet Explorer nonstop and I did not even know that there were other browsers such as Chrome or Firefox. It was not until high school that my school district forced us to use Chrome because of the horrible Wi-Fi that caused Internet Explorer to lag—and using Firefox was frowned upon back then. Whenever I use the internet, it has become a habit to use Chrome, even though I know that Firefox is a much safer option—based on Professor Shannon’s wise words. Although I understand the basics of how Firefox is a safer option than Chrome and Internet Explorer, this article written by Sean Captain truly went in-depth as to why Firefox is more transparent to the consumer and how it is better at protection and privacy.

    What Firefox did was they added a tool for public use so their users can know what these trackers are doing behind their backs. This is helpful because I know that there are millions of trackers watching my every move. But how many specifically are tracking me throughout the day is an answer I would not normally know. Therefore, as the articled stated, it would use a dashboard to easily present the information to the consumers so everyone can understand this complex information. This reminds me of the TID #2 I just completed on Uber. When reading terms of service, the lawyer language makes it very difficult for average people to understand. Therefore, if they condensed the information and made it easy for non-lawyers to understand, it would benefit people more. The same goes for tracking data. When companies, such as different browsers, try to be more protective of their consumers and notify their users of the different tracking that goes on, it makes sense to only make their data easy to understand by the average citizen. Especially when dashboards are visual and in this technological age people prefer to see things than read them. Therefore, Firefox is doing a great service to the people and it is definitely a reason to start using their services.

    In addition to the program showing its users how many trackers have visited them, it also lets the users know what they can do to prevent this from happening in the future. So, the individual would click on a purple shield near the URL and see who tracked them. And from that point on they can block specific trackers/cookies and enable different protective measures to prevent the tracking of data through the use of Firefox. This makes it very easy for regular people to use and check their daily tracking. As well as implementing different measures to prevent tracking. Although many other companies have such add on in their systems, the average person is not willing to take the time to install such programs. Therefore, what Firefox has done with a preinstalled browser protective/informative system is ease on the user. People are lazy and by having preinstalled systems that benefit them, it makes life much easier. Additionally, there are ways to turn on more advanced settings to prevent the trackers from deviously tracking Firefox users. Although it is not required of the user to use this built-in program, having it available to everyone is definitely something that benefits all. Especially when people have the choice to use it or not. Which gives freedom to choose while also giving them options to better their privacy and security when using the internet by using Mozilla.

    I find this a great way to help people who just do not want to deal with searching up programs to download and then dealing with the heartache of failed downloads. Sometimes these apps could be corrupt, which is why people may not even try to download any protective apps through the app store or the internet. I am one of those people and to know that Firefox took the extra step to help their consumers be more protected and informed is something that I could stand by. Therefore, from this point on I will now use Firefox as my primary browser, especially utilizing the Mozilla program installed in it.

  8. The world of privacy breeching is ever increasing, and the ability for companies like Google to track its users and user data, is not acceptable. Although, that is how the world is today. I think what Mozilla and Apple are doing are very helpful and give users a piece of mind in how they are being protected while using the internet. However, ads and pop-ups will never go away. That is the one thing about this whole protection of one’s privacy that I think is actually beneficial to the user. Although everyone knows ads are annoying, at least since companies are tracking and putting cookies on our usage, the ads are tailored to our interests and are not random. This can be good or bad. Good because it will give those companies more revenue through ads, because users will be more likely to click on it and purchase something (I am guilty on clicking on a few ads here and there, but I have not bought anything). The bad side is that users are still being tracked through their web browser, which is against their privacy.
    I think it would be wise for everyone to switch to Mozilla or even Safari on Apple devices, because those search engines block trackers. Mozilla even shows the user how they are being tracked, which brings the severity of the tracking to the user’s attention. While I think Google’s excessive tracking is wrong, I do agree with the point that “blocking cookies will encourage marketers to devise more insidious ways of tracking users”. This could be even worse than the cookies, because companies may go to unethical and malware ways of tracking users. Also, what if companies learn to infiltrate the security implemented by Mozilla? Then users will no longer be protected and Mozilla will have to go back to the drawing board to recreate a new system of ad blocking and anti-tracking software. Another thing about using Google instead of Mozilla is that while Mozilla is more user conscious and secure, an average person may not even know what that is and opt to use Google instead. I think if Mozilla was able to get their name out more for being the secure web browser, many users would switch to it which would enhance their revenue.

  9. After reading this article, I definitely understand why a person who is not very tech savvy will consider switching from Google Chrome to Firefox. For my entire life, I have used various web browsers such as Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Safari and Chrome. It was not until high school where my school distributed Google Chromebooks to my entire class and we had no other choice but to use Google Chrome. Personally, I prefer to use Chrome because I have multiple Gmail account that I use for personal business purposes. By linking my Gmail accounts to chrome I can have easier access to mail and all my accounts are linked to the homepage of Chrome. I also prefer the interface and design of chrome which makes it easy to access Google Docs, Slides, and other useful apps that I have used over my academic career.
    Although I am comfortable with Google Chrome, this article was very persuading when it comes to switching over to Firefox. I have not used Firefox for over 6 years, so I have not seen the design and interface evolution of the web browser. Regarding the privacy aspect, which is the main point of the article, I personally do not take much heed into securing my browser searches and history. I believe that it takes a person a lot to care about what a marketing and advertising agency does with what you are searching for. I personally do not care that amazon knows that I am searching for stainless steel earrings for myself. Then they actually create an ad that appears on my browser with a deal that I enjoy. With that being said, I believe it really boils down to the point whether an individual care that their searches are being used to market products to them that they like. As for making the privacy setting of Release 70 a default I believe is something Chrome should consider. Yes, it is a good idea that Firefox is implementing this privacy setting as a default and I feel that Google Chrome should implement this kind of software as well.

  10. This article really hit home for me, as a daily user of Google Chrome. Learning how Firefox is protecting their users is truly an eye opener, since Google is not making the same initiative. After reading about Firefox’s initiatives, I myself am heavily considering switching browsers. I feel that many other Chrome users should consider this switch as well. With the internet and social media being as popular as they are, it is known that our personal privacy is exposed in at least some way. With this being the case, users must take initiatives themselves to protect their privacy. Other browser companies should also consider following in the footsteps of Mozilla in order to protect their users. If these companies do not amp up their privacy factors, they may begin to lose many loyal users to their competitors.
    As with most cases of user privacy, companies take the risk of facing a lawsuit. Many users are not even aware that their privacy is being violated daily. Myself as an example, I had no idea that this type of protection was even available and necessary until I read this article. As more users like myself become aware of these factors, they may investigate what the company that controls the browsers they use is doing to protect their users. Learning that Google Chrome has the options and ability to protect their users but chooses not to, could be detrimental to the company. Users may try to sue companies, such as Google for neglecting to protect them from these hackers. While these users may not be successful, even just an announcement of a lawsuit always has a negative impact on business. In order to protect both themselves and their users Google and companies alike should follow in the footsteps of Mozilla.

  11. After reading this article, I am starting to feel vulnerable and paranoid about the amount of information that is being taken from my computer. As a Google Chrome user, I cannot fathom the amount of data that has been taken from my online whereabouts over the years. In only two months with the new tracking software infused into Firefox, there have been over 450 billion tracking attempts blocked by the software. To have blocked that many attempts in such a short amount of time, it is impossible to quantify the amount of information Chrome has taken from its users over the years. Now that I know how Firefox is attacking this problem head on, I am strongly considering changing browsers and I am going to suggest it to anyone else I see using Google Chrome as well.
    This article has really opened my eyes to how much more secure and private I can be searching the internet just by switching to Firefox. Mozilla offers many different security features in their new version of Firefox, which is called “Release 70.” This new version includes a Privacy Protections dashboard screen in the settings that helps explain the billions of trackers trying to record your history and what Firefox is doing to prevent them. This is important because the update makes it easier to understand and act upon these trackers for the high percentage of users, including myself, that do not understand the subject of tracking. For example, the author of the article explains how he visited FoxNews.com on Firefox, and the software in the browser reported finding 64 cookies and six social media trackers. Every website is loaded with dozens of cookers and trackers and if we, the users, can identify and understand this private information, we can have a better chance of keeping our history and files secure.

  12. As a daily user of Google Chrome, it scares me of seeing that I am consistently a target of ad-targeting profiles which I ignore on the daily, but also seemingly wonder as to how they know what I look up. This article opened my eyes into the world of Firefox, which has become more reputable over the years, as well as more well known. Firefox has now started to implement a blocking tracker system which as proved wonderous down the line as opposed to other different types of browsers. Firefox has been blocking of up to 450 billion tracking attempts which is truly amazing and proves to the user that they are proven. In addition, Firefox has proved that it has a built-in ad blocker which is perfect for anyone that uses daily sites such as Fox news or even ESPN. For me personally I love using different streaming services to watch my favorite DC sports teams that aren’t available through the regular New York channels. Using these streaming services comes with a ton of ads that nobody in the right mind wants to go through just to watch a sports game. I feel that implementing Firefox may be one of the best decisions for using these types of services. Switching to a new browser may be one of the best things to happen to the technological aspect of the present-day society. Everyone seems to be concerned with their privacy as well as their data and people tracking them. Instead of complaining and creating more issues amongst companies and getting other individuals concerned, one can seemingly find out that there are many options to explore. Finally, after finding out all the different features of Firefox it finally blew me out of the water due to the fact that it has so many features hidden within it that will protect the privacy of many for years to come and could prove to be the browser that everyone will take notice in the future. The real problem now is pulling the hardcore users of the other browsers onto the Firefox train which shouldn’t be hard after doing a quick comparison of both browsers.

  13. While it is widespread knowledge that everything you do on the internet is monitored and tracked, it is a little more unsettling to hear that some companies protect your information more than others, especially Google. In addition, it’s sad that users must constantly be vigilant in protecting themselves from something as simple as search engines. I was unaware of the sheer volume of third-party cookies that report back to marketers with your information and reside within your browsers. I am sure I speak for a majority of people who can say that they have googled something once and then randomly see ads for it across all of their social media platforms. The marketers’ standpoint may be that its harmless and it actually tailors ads to your wants and needs, but at what cost? What other information are they able to track and store?

    I am happy to hear that there are some companies, like Firefox, who are keeping your best interests in mind. I am also a fan that, “with Firefox 70, you can look under the hood to see how it blocks all these trackers in real time.” (Fast Company, Captain) This functionality appeals to myself and others who want access to see what companies are tracking me and what is being done to prevent such monitoring. People should not have to go out of there way in order to ensure their privacy is secure. It’s sad to think that not all companies offer services like Firefox, where your privacy is respected and a focal point in the companies’ pursuit going forward.

  14. I have solely been using Google Chrome for many years, but after reading this article I am considering switching to Mozilla Firefox. I have installed many add-ons to my chrome browser to stop sites from tracking my data. Google Chrome is the biggest web browser but it still does not block cookies by default to protect the consumer’s privacy. Firefox is seeking to change online privacy protection coming default with the browser. In Firefox’s September update they released software they blocked all trackers. Since the release Firefox has blocked “450 billion tracking attempts,” says the senior director of Firefox. Not only has Firefox increased it’s security it has also made it easier for the average user to understand. Google Chrome is against the third-party cookie blocking created by Firefox and Apple Safari. Google believes that blocking cookies will encourage marketers to use other ways to track users such as fingerprinting. However, Firefox’s new privacy and security update also contains security settings to enable fingerprinter blocking. I believe Google is not understanding that a majority of users value their privacy when they are browsing the web. If Google sees how many users are deciding to swap over to the Firefox browser for the added security then they may also begin implementing cookie blockers. I believe a competition between Mozilla, Apple, and Google over web browser security is very beneficial to consumers. Constantly improving default security in these web browsers help more and more to protect consumers’ data.

  15. Funnily enough, Firefox blocked a bunch of trackers on the article itself. One complaint I’ve seen about chrome, as well as in my own experience, is that it uses up most of a computers memory, slowing down the rest of the computer/device. This was a primary reason for me switching to Firefox. Now taking into account everything in this article, I just find it hard to believe people have not switched to Firefox yet. My sisters all use Google Chrome and I have not been able to convince them to switch. To me Google Chrome is an example of a very large company that lags behind its competition in quality of product, but still has an audience due to its name alone. Google doesn’t have to add features to keep people from using the product, whether its because it comes preinstalled on android devices, or because people see it as a great alternative to Microsoft Edge on PC (which in fairness it is), people keep the app because they don’t know a better alternative exist, (or don’t think it matters so they stick with the big name). There is no pressure on Google to change the way chrome works, because they still hold the market firmly. According to Statcounter, google chrome accounts for 63.69% of all browser usage, despite being behind on security features, as well as the aforementioned memory issue. Firefox does account 4.64% or 8.72% when counting PC alone, which is impressive considering it is not “built in” to any devices.
    I really hope Firefox can continue to grow, because there isn’t anything it does worse than Chrome (though I guess I would just like to see Chrome decline in use, as safari is also a good browser for Apple users).

  16. I have always been a Chrome user and always believed that Chrome was the superior browser. While most browsers tend to function almost the same way with the efficiency now, it brings to light other more important aspects of choosing a browser. Privacy, in this case, is a huge topic of discussion in browser usage now, and rightfully so.
    While talking in class, Professor Shannon stated that Firefox is much more user friendly in the privacy sector than Chrome, so I did some research. The points that this article makes all align with what I found in my research: Firefox is less intrusive in collecting data than Chrome. While so many data breaches and other hacking issues are coming to light, privacy and data collection are becoming extremely important to many people who are aware of it as an issue facing modern society.
    Because of this, I took the painstaking time and effort (just kidding, it really was not hard) to switch all of my bookmarks and information over to Firefox. While my data will not be leaving Chrome’s databases, at least from now on they will not be able to collect my data.

  17. I believe that tracking clicks and things for marketing purposes is ok. That is my opinion. I am doing nothing on the internet that would concern me to change browsers. There are people out there who don’t feel the way I do. In that case, there are many different ways to protect yourself. Within Chrome, there are cookie blockers and other settings that you can manually turn on. Now in my situation, I don’t care enough. If business want to track my clicks to see what ads they want to put on my screen more ower to them. It’ll be easier for me to find the products I want because ads will be all over my social media.
    On the other hand, if businesses are tracking more than just my clicks and they are taking the personal information that I am putting into browsers, I am not ok with that. In that case, I would change browsers because that is something that could potentially hurt me in the the future. It is interesting to me that Apple was the first to investigate the third party cookies. Apple is exploring a lot more than just advancing their technology. Apple in developing more and more softwares and technology to advance their customers experience with their products.
    I think people are naive to think that there are other ways that people are tracked besides third party cookies. I also find it people may be overly paranoid about what the uses are for. Some people think that data is only collected for malicious purposes.

  18. In my journey of using internet browsers over the years, I first started with Internet Explorer on my family’s Dell Desktop PC, then Safari when I got an iPod Touch for Christmas one year, and finally I now use Chrome on my laptop. But after reading this article I will be switching to Firefox because of their Privacy Protections dashboard. After gaining further understanding of all of the trackers and breaches of privacy that can be faced by unprotected browsers such as chrome, I feel that it is important to make the switch.

    The example that they gave for visiting the Fox News’ website was one of the most shocking pieces of this article to me. To learn that over 40 cookies and 3 social media trackers were being used to follow Sean Captain’s browsing on their website was a scary thought to me because I am a private person. The article also made it clear that Chrome is a lot less aggressive with its online blockers with the argument that marketers would try to find more intensive ways to track a user’s moves. One other perk that I think Firefox Monitor could help with is their Firefox Monitor data breach section of the Privacy Protections dashboard. It seems interesting to me that much like a computer virus system would scan a PC, it could scan all of the privacy issues that have been breached on my browser with specific data on which email addresses are being monitored, how many known data breaches have exposed my information, and how many passwords have been exposed across the breaches. I will definitely be switching over to Firefox.

  19. Reading this article about Firefox updating its users about how marketing agencies track them by using cookies and explaining to users how Firefox is actively trying to block these marketers from accessing and selling information of the user helped me find comfort in knowing that a company is advocating for the user. For years now, companies have used “the fine print” and requiring a use of cookies to access websites in order to sell a user’s information and track their searches without them even realizing it. In my opinion, such actions are an infringement on the privacy of an individual as a company is not legally allowed to observe what a person does in their home. This analogy, although not the strongest, is one that most users can agree with. Internet usage is an extension of the home as the devices on which a person searches are not always shared by everybody (similar to how a car is an extension of a person’s home), and a person is not required to tell others every location that he/she goes in that car. There is an ethical issue in selling a user’s information without the user knowing.

    Something that is very shocking to read is the number of cookies and other trackers found per user per day, averaging around 175 trackers per Firefox browser per day. This does not even begin to include other exceptionally popular browsers such as Google Chrome, which see significant amounts of traffic per user per day. In addition to this, major websites such as Fox News allow for this tracking to take place to sell information to marketers. There is an inherent problem in this in that the users are not aware of the amount of tracking and selling that goes on regarding their personal information and search history. Google’s argument against blocking third party cookies has to do with marketers finding more invasive and unethical means of collecting the data. However, this statement should be read very closely as Google is the world’s largest digital advertising platform. This means that if the third-party cookies are continually blocked, Google will lose significant amounts of revenue to do the fact that they are unable to sell ad space to corporations.

    Firefox has been very vigilant in its attempts to deter and prevent the tracking of users as well as explaining to them the methods in which they are deterring said tracking. Another important feature of the new browser that Mozilla is putting out has to do with their security-breach monitoring service, attempting to protect users further than in the past regarding leaked information online.

  20. Everyone now a days uses the internet, whether it be for research or entertainment, however, whenever there is a right way to do something, there is a wrong way to do something. Internet users have privacy concerns, they do not want people looking at what they do on their personnel computers. Many people consider it an invasion of privacy when web browsers have access to what they are doing because they consider what they are doing on their personal devices is considered personal information and should be kept private. Web browser do not just use trackers for this reason, the main reason they use trackers is to track trends in your research and modify what you see on your computer. This is how they know what advertisements you are most likely to open. People do not have a problem with this aspect of web browsers using trackers, many just don’t like it when the browsers store private information. Now, users do have the option to use a different browser, one which protects you from trackers.

  21. This article was a very interesting read to me, as a chrome user. I have used Google Chrome for the last couple of years thinking that it is the best browser. I use an extraordinary amount of google services from Google Maps to Google Translate and a lot in between. Through the last couple of years, the issue of people and marketing agencies following and tracking user data has become more and more prevalent. The article mentions hoe marketers embed dozens of trackers per website, in order to follow what we all do on the internet. This never seemed like a pressing issue to me because I always thought I had nothing to hide. As this issue is brought up more and more now, I am starting to contemplate whether my personal information on these sights is safe. I use the web to access my bank accounts, credit card accounts, and many different social media accounts. The article mentions how some other browsers are taking steps to minimize the use of these trackers. Also, they take steps to block them from being present while surfing the web. Firefox is very underrated in my opinion. When I was in middle school, this was our default browser and they were falling behind when trying to keep up with the features of other browsers such as chrome. The browser I think most people will start using is Safari. This is due to the increase in people using Apple computer products. I personally have an Apple computer where Safari is the default browser. I chose to switch to chrome because of the user personalization, but after reading this article, I am considering switching back to Safari.

  22. I’m a loyal Apple user and with that title, it means I use Safari for all of my online browsing. Just recently, however, I got a virus on my Safari that I still can’t seem to fix. My search bar will go to Yahoo instead of Google and my Google search bar will take me to Bing results. As annoying as this is, I was dealing with it until things just stopped loading all together on Safari. Because of all of this and my very little patience, I decided to open up my Google Chrome app that I downloaded once and never used. Since then, I’ve been able to use my computer without a problem and it’s been letting me search and use the Internet until I’m able to figure out how to get rid of this annoying virus on my Safari. I only started using Chrome recently but only a few days after my first time opening this app, I researched the data tracking and how Google uses our data for TID 3. I never considered using Firefox because honestly, I forget it exists sometimes but now I’m looking into downloading it and using that as my main browser.
    I try and use Chrome now for only my school work because I still can’t handle the slow loading and the viruses on Safari. I’m still hesitant to use Firefox because I really hate change and having to get used to another new web browser. After the semester ends and I can really take the time to fix my computer and the virus, hopefully I can keep using Safari because that one seems to be the safest when it comes to your privacy. I have the third-party cookies off on Chrome and I don’t agree to any other website cookies like I used to when I first used my computer but after all of this data, I’m considering doing all of my holiday shopping this year on Firefox so I can avoid those annoying sponsored ads and keep some data for myself.

  23. Privacy is easily the greatest issue in today’s digital age. Whether that may be Facebook pixels embedded on websites to target your ads better, the latest video app TikTok which tracks its users, or that our search engines know absolutely everything about us, privacy is a fleeting concept these days. Firefox 70 and other softwares like it that are currently making strides to improve privacy and not abuse stands out to me. It seems that with each adjustment of the Instagram user agreement or apps that require full time microphone access for usage, more and more of our privacy is being taken away each time, so that being said, Firefox 70 came as a pleasant surprise to me.

    Firefox 70 automatically blocks cookies and other trackers during the user’s browsing. I find this extremely beneficial because it is an automatic feature that does not require the user to install any additional plugin or extension on Chrome. Installing plugins or extensions from third parties like MineBlocker or others of that nature present privacy issues of their own. As we have learned in BLAW, these online third-party companies often times prove to have malicious intent. I prefer to give minimal access when possible, so the idea of being able to have my privacy managed by the same software in which I am doing the actual searching on is a huge plus. The concept of being tracked and traced on the internet has increasingly become such a large part of society that a lot of people choose to overlook, or rather, believe that people have nothing to worry about. However, there comes a point where privacy should be privacy.

    Many people view internet privacy as a lost cause and choose to just give in, as the benefits of using the technology seem to outweigh the invasion of privacy. However, as aforementioned, most lay people have no idea what personal data technology companies are actually taking from us and where that data goes. So, seeing a large browser company like Firefox making an effort to change that persuades me to make a switch to using Firefox. A search engine that helps to block and filter the cookies and the tracking may sound small to others, but it is the start of gaining back some form of privacy in today’s world. It will be interesting to see if other companies of this nature follow in suit. I personally hope that Google Chrome considers default tracking protection. Maybe when Firefox’s software becomes more well known, Chrome will consider.

  24. Despite Professor Shannon and even my own mother has mentioned switching my primary browser to Firefox, I have yet to make the switch myself. In high school Google Chrome was always easier for me because I would exclusively use Google Docs and Slides for all of my assignments which were submitted through Google Classroom. Google has always been my primary search engine other than the days of MSN that I barely remember. Using Google Chrome in line with other Google applications was comfortable and cohesive, it felt similarly like the universally of having an iPhone, Mac, and Apple Music. However, there is no need to prioritize a comfortable aesthetic over privacy and security.
    Personally, I am very ignorant in regards to my internet information being tracked or not, if I heard about it I was always rather indifferent to what would happen. Now, although this is not the case and I have changed my mindset, if I can avoid being tracked (less) there is no reason for me to not take advantage of Firefox’s very accessible circumstances. There is comfort and hope in the statement “In the last four months, the browser has blocked 450 billion trackers by default” this is promising for the future that Firefox will not stop here and the fact that this is ‘by default,’ and not something a consumer will have to go out of their way to do like in most cases. I found it appalling that Google Chrome straight up openly came out against the third-party cookie blocking that both Firefox and Apple Safari have been developing. I do not understand why this is such a top priority for Google. Although, I was unaware that Google is the largest digital advertising platform in the world, even though now it seems rather obvious. Unless someone is overly grateful for targeted advertising and things of the sort there is no reason they should sacrifice their internet security for using Google, and I will no longer do this. Google and Apple are two of the main technological brands that I use in my life therefore I find comfort in the fact that Apple is pioneering these practices, Google Chrome on the other hand will not be joining me in 2020, unless they change their systems.

  25. “You open your browser to look at the web. Do you know who is looking back at you?” Geoffrey A. Fowler
    It’s time to start reading the terms and conditions on our smartphones, because most of the world is unaware that they are being followed on a day-to-day basis. Not only are your online activities being tracked and recorded, but it even goes as far as your ordinary iPhone analyzing your whereabouts. It is mind boggling to know that just by peeking into my settings app, I can discover that my phone has been keeping an updated record on where I’ve been for the past three months, and the amount of time spent at each location. And just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse, you come to realize that your laptop is doing the same thing- and its just as easy. A simple google search or amazon order will modify your future ads and searches, ultimately creating a miniature profile on you without you knowing.
    For this exact reason is why I will never buy an Alexa, nor will I use any browser but Firefox now. To begin with, not many people realize that Alexa is listening all the time regardless of whether you use the “wake” word (Alexa) or not. In addition, Firefox makes a conscious effort to block trackers and cookies from their browser. They respect the privacy and security of their users and offer simple explanations as to how the billions of trackers used around the world work.
    To think that I used to, as do many people, use browsers such as Google chrome is implausible. The little bit of knowledge I possessed on tracking allowed for these browsers to easily assess my everyday internet searches and utilize my GPS tracking. Online privacy issues are a real thing, and I feel as though Mozilla’s mission is applicable to all internet browsers, but it is mistrustful that not all of them are attempting to pursue it. After reading this article my opinion has not changed, it has only enhanced greatly. Until the rest of the internet decides to introduce the same, if not better, tracking and cookie-blocking tactics, Firefox will do just fine for me.

  26. Google chrome is kind of like an old boyfriend. By That I mean, even though you know there’s something better out there, you stick with it because your comfortable. However, after reading this post I am ready to break up with chrome for good. All bad similes aside, the idea of being watched by the internet is no joke. I find this material to be extremely important and relevant. Just reading through responses made my others I can see that most of us used Google Chrome as our primary web browser for all things educational and not up to this point. Based on light research it is easy to report that Chrome is the most used web browser, at least in the United States. We mass produce movies about hackers, advertise Netflix shows about serial stalkers, and release articles like this, yet still no one seems to be taking this heavily.

    I often find myself talking about something with family, a friend, or a classmate, and within two days there are ads about it on my phone. This is something that scares me because sometimes it’s not even stuff I look up on the internet but things I say when my phone is around. I used to think that “being listened to” was a long shot, but now I’m starting to believe my paranoia is validated.

    One day I was walking in my local mall and a woman approached me and asked if I’d like to make money to answer questions. I said yes. Looking back, probably not the best idea to follow a stranger to the back corner of the mall. Long story short, I ended up getting paid to watch trailers and share my reaction. I was told it would then be used to cut certain scenes or add statistics to the trailer in order to get fans to go see the movie in theaters. So, online tracking is just the same but way less work.

    I wonder if the negatives about privacy invasion aren’t all that bad. Hey, what’s the harm in playing devil’s advocate? I would like to point out something that I get ads for every single day without fail. “Take surveys, get paid”. This is one of the most popular marketing research schemes, which as I expressed I have fallen for. People take surveys and provide answers, that probably aren’t even accurate, which are then passed off as statistics. I even had first had experience with the survey process. Google might argue that tracking and cookies is all for the conscience of the user. I tell my friend I’ve been wanting new boots, and poof and add for boots appears – and they’re on sale. Only I fail to realize I bought from a 3rd party warehouse in China, my product will never come in and I will be out of money and arguing with people I can’t understand on the phone. Better yet, that 3rd part now has my credit card information. Yes this has happened to me. So I argue, based off of personal experience, that there really is no good side to online tracking.

    I googled “how to tell of my phone is being tracked” and found articles on ITP dating back to 2015. The more I read the more I realize how ignorant society, myself included.

  27. This article was very informative, and interesting. I did not know that Fire Fox had installed a tracker blocker in the browser without the use of extension. It’s incredible how over 450 billion trackers have been blocked, it brings up the point of how private can you really make the internet? I personally use Google Chrome everyday (Currently as well), but now i am considering switching to Firefox for having Ethics in their company. FireFox took the initiative to help everyday consumers have privacy while utilizing their platform. This a great step toward a more private browser but more importantly will create an environment for other businesses to follow suit to stay competitive. Soon all web browsers will have tracker blockers i believe due to the rise in privacy that we are demanding from tech companies to help protect our information.
    The one major problem i see is that the browsers may block trackers, but we do not fully know if the trackers did not collect any information already, or if the browser (Firefox, Chrome, Safari) is gonna use the data they collect in their databases to sell to third parties. Like the article said Google Chrome has not installed a built in blocker, i believe it’s due to Google being the biggest search engine, and the largest advertising platform in the world. If Google lost its ability to advertise to consumers so rapidly, due to third party trackers, it will lose a majority of its revenue it generates. With this loss only one way can they make their profit, by selling all their users info they have collected to these third parties. This is a very possible scenario that will rise if Google begins to lose revenue due to stricter privacy laws, or practices in the tech industry.
    When you realize how many companies want your data to build a profile of you, and then utilize it to advertise products that fit your profile is the future of advertising. Sooner or later i believe advertisements will be personalized from your profile, and sent directly to your email, phone, and TV. Tech has created a more interconnected world, but at the risk of privacy
    Firefox has taken a great step towards privacy, and i hope other companies will follow suit without other deviant ways for companies to collect our information to use against us for the name of consumerism (Same thing as being American). Switching browsers will take time to get used to, since I have been using Chrome for years. I don’t blame anyone who doesn’t switch due to it being a hassle and some don’t care about privacy. The next time you are on Social Media or on a website and see an ad remember that someone placed that ad strategically due to your data that they were able to collect.

  28. The current internet age that society finds itself in has virtually thrown privacy out the window, with almost every time we go on the internet some private entity is tracking us. Since, like everything else in life, we as people want our internet surfing experience to be comfortable and convenient, we set ourselves up for this tracking. Mostly because the majority of people don’t take the time to download any privacy add-ons to the internet browser that they are using and that, the majority of people, including myself, use Google Chrome. Whether it is for the easy to understand interface or the fact that it is run by Google, so it makes accessing Google accounts easy, Chrome is the largest and most used internet browser; however, it is far from the safest. In the article, There’s another big reason why you should ditch Chrome for Firefox; the author routinely outlines the pros of using Firefox over Chrome for the average user of the internet. The article states how, ““Most people, they’re not going to take that step of installing an add-on that would protect their privacy,” says Deckelmann. “Some people do, and we think that’s great. But for everyone else, we think that they deserve privacy, too”’. Bringing up the point that the people who use Chrome can protect themselves from internet trackers as well by downloading some sort of safeguarding plugin; however, very few users take the time to do it. When using Firefox yet, those protections are already built-in so that the user doesn’t have to take the time to add them on and can enjoy safer internet browsing by just opening the browser and doing nothing to it. On top of this, the article references how this is not some gimmick protection add-on that Firefox has by describing how “Firefox first started blocking all trackers by default in its experimental browsers in July and in a wide release in September. Since then, Firefox has blocked 450 billion tracking attempts”. Showing that this protection is the real deal and for it to come already installed on the browser and for the browser to have an easy to understand interface that let’s one see their privacy statistics. Thus, it, in turn, makes switching from an internet browser that ensures no built-in protection to one that gives built-in security and then an easy way for the user to see what they are being protected from, seem like a given. Firefox also has a tool that lets you see how many cookies there are on a website, with a cookie being a tracking agent. The fact that the browser allows its users to see this is almost a learning experience itself by enabling the user to see how unsafe websites can be from what they initially thought was safe. How the article highlights the protections and features of Firefox almost makes it seem as if switching from Chrome to Firefox is a no brainier.

  29. Everybody should be concerned about their privacy and security nowadays in this age where technology and also its devices are getting more and more relevant. It’s no secret that marketers are embedding dozens of trackers on many websites through cookies and codes that are found in online ads as well as those in “share” social media buttons. I personally use Google Chrome just because I have done so for a long time and it is proven to be faster in terms of speed than other browsers such as Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, and Opera. But after I saw and read this article as well as knowing that Google tracks you and keeps a data profile of you and your online presence, I’m starting to ask myself and reconsider using Firefox or Safari with DuckDuckGo.
    Privacy isn’t even real anymore, every time you browse the internet, you are more than likely being watched, tracked and logged by a company which then they compile up your data and sells it to large companies such as Facebook (similar to how Facebook bought FitBit and it’s user database). It is unlikely however that data companies and companies who own your data will be using it for malicious purposes because I know that some are using it to improve customer experiences and further update and build on their existing software to secure the data as well as selling off your data to data brokers.
    With all the controversy of censorship and their aggressive intentions and capabilities in their use of technology, some trackers could be owned and managed by the Chinese government in which your data obtained by them can pose a threat to you more than if they were owned by data brokers. I believe the Chinese can use data obtained from people of other nationalities and engage in cyberwarfare with other countries, they could even threaten national security and disrupt military communication with your data by posing as a citizen.
    Even though I have been a user of Google Chrome for several years now, I am considering switching to Firefox just for the sake of my internet safety. This article proves and tells me that even though I have DuckDuckGo as a Chrome extension and I’m constantly connected on a VPN does not make me invulnerable to trackers and data collectors especially when Google is known for collecting data and my private information. In the end, I accept that speed between different web browsers does not matter as much as safety and privacy do.

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