CyberTech

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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.
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