Firefox expands anti-tracking features with browser fingerprint blocking

From The Verge: Firefox is testing a new anti-tracking feature that will prevent sites from being able to “fingerprint” your browser and track you, even after you’ve cleared your cookies. In addition, the browser will now explicitly block cryptocurrency mining scripts that attempt to hijack your computer’s resources in order to mine digital currency. Both features will initially be available in the browser’s nightly and beta builds for testing.

Fingerprinting describes the way sites and online advertisers are able to track you based on aggregating numerous tiny details about your system configuration, ranging from your operating system to your system fonts and even your screen size. Even if you have tracking turned off, services can use these tiny clues to build a unique fingerprint for you and use this to track you across sites.

Firefox is not the only browser to attempt to block this kind of tracking. At WWDC 2018, Apple announced that it plans to build anti-fingerprint tracking into its Safari browser.

In addition to blocking fingerprint tracking, Firefox will also soon explicitly block cryptomining scripts from using your computer’s resources. However, according to Bleeping Computer, the browser has technically been able to block many of these scripts since late 2017 as part of its existing blocks on abusive ad trackers. The change here is that the browser is now explicit about blocking these scripts, and you’ll be able to turn blocking off for just cryptominers if you so choose.

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