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Mozilla’s new tool limits Facebook from tracking user

Mozilla’s new tool lets you continue using Facebook without worrying about being tracked by the social media app.

tech Updated: Mar 28, 2018 17:44 IST
Kul Bhushan
Kul Bhushan
Hindustan Times
Paranoid about your online privacy?
Paranoid about your online privacy?(Mozilla)

Facebook is facing one of its worst PR nightmares after it was disclosed that a UK-based research firm Cambridge Analytica harvested profiles of 50 million users through a simple quiz application. Ever since the expose, people have started a #DeleteFacebook campaign and already bigwigs like Elon Musk have joined the initiative. Mozilla, a popular web browser company that rivals Google’s Chrome, has introduced a new tool that can help bring some peace of mind to internet users who can stop worrying about being tracked by the social media application.

Mozilla on Tuesday announced an add-on for Firefox called Facebook Container that helps users to continue using the social media application but isolates your Facebook identity from the rest of your web activity. This essentially means you can continue using Facebook without letting Facebook send you targeted ads and messages, which is based on your personal data.

Note that Facebook in its privacy policy asserts that it collects cookies, small text of information which generally stores and receives identifiers and other details stored on your device.

“We use cookies if you have a Facebook account, use the Facebook Services, including our website and apps (whether or not you are registered or logged in), or visit other websites and apps that use the Facebook Services (including the Like button or our advertising tools). This policy explains how we use cookies and the choices you have,” says Facebook on its privacy policy page.

“We use cookies to help us show ads for businesses and other organizations to people who may be interested in the products, services or causes they promote,” explains Facebook why it collects your cookies.

Facebook Container by Mozilla is aimed at delivering a “solution that doesn’t tell users to simply stop using a service that they get value from. Instead, it gives users tools that help them protect themselves from the unexpected side effects of their usage,” the company said in a blog post.

Mozilla, however, warns users that Facebook Container-like add ons could not have prevented the kind of data leak that happened with Cambridge Analytica but “troves of data are being collected on your behavior on the internet, and so giving users a choice to limit what they share in a way that is under their control is important.”

If you are using Firefox browser on your desktop or laptop, click here to download Facebook Container add on.

You can also consider downloading Vivaldi browser, which is a desktop-only browser and is aimed at power users. The browser has enabled DuckDuckGo as the default search engine for private browsing (similar to Google Chrome’s incognito mode). DuckDuckGo is a new search engine that is known for strict privacy policies, For instance, it doesn’t store your search history and block sites from tracking you, ultimately preventing sites and online advertisers from serving you targeted ads.