Dave Camp, who is the Senior Vice President of Firefox at Mozilla, wrote a blog about multiple Firefox anti-tracking initiatives at the organization.
First up is Enhanced Tracking Protection. For new users, Firefox will now, by default, block known third-party tracking cookies as recognized by the Disconnect list. Existing users will need to enable it in Options -> Privacy & Security -> Custom. At some point, Mozilla will push this change to all existing users. I expect that the delay is to prevent catching some sites off guard with an abrupt drop in traffic. If you enable it now and find an issue with some website, then you can add them to your whitelist (if you trust them). You could also poke the site’s admin to let them know they rely upon a third-party tracking cookie that Mozilla will block by default “in the coming months”.
The second topic was Mozilla’s Facebook Container add-on for Firefox. Shots fired on this one.
Historically, Facebook gathered a ton of data from their users through Like and Share buttons that were placed all over the internet. The blog post linked to another post on The Conversation, which mentioned “Shadow Profiles” and how it came up during the US congressional hearing. The allegation is that Facebook assembles data collected from third-party websites to track people who do not use their service.
Mozilla’s add-on, Facebook Container, will block some of these hooks (such as the Like and Share buttons) from collecting data. The next time you log in to Facebook (because installing the extension will log you out and close all Facebook tabs) you will see that the tab has a blue color. This signifies that Facebook can see what you are doing within this tab, which makes sense, because you are attempting to access Facebook. If you access a non-Facebook site, such as clicking a non-Facebook link, it will open outside the container, not visible to Facebook (unless Facebook can figure out a workaround of course).
One disadvantage – this extension will break Facebook login for other sites. I don’t know if there are any workarounds (short of using a second browser for the third-party sites that you want Facebook to know about).
Mozilla says that they do not collect the information from this extension except how many times it’s been installed and uninstalled.
The blog post also discusses Firefox Monitor, which continually checks your email addresses against databases of known compromised accounts. This is a useful service that’s now provided by a trustworthy organization (Mozilla).
Lastly, Mozilla has also rebranded their password manager from Firefox Lockbox to Firefox Lockwise, and they have released a browser extension for it. I use another service so I, unfortunately, have not looked into Mozilla’s.