Mozilla wants to let browsers go incognito

Mozilla wants to let browsers go incognito
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Mozilla, the company behind popular Web browser Firefox, is testing a private-browsing mode that would block websites' efforts to track users across the Web.  

Most major browsers, including Google’s Chrome and Apple’s Safari, offer “private" modes.

“But this is typically intended to solve the ‘local’ privacy case, namely preventing others on a shared computer from seeing traces of your online activity,” Mozilla said in a Friday blog post. “Our hypothesis is that when you open a Private Browsing window in Firefox, you’re sending a signal that you want more control over your privacy than current private browsing experiences actually provide.”

The company’s new private mode would block websites from tracking a user's information across different sites.

“This includes elements like content, analytics, social and other services that might be collecting data without your knowledge,” Mozilla said.

Much of this data is collected to keep websites functioning, a factor Mozilla acknowledged. Without such collection, pictures, videos and other features might not display properly.

“In some cases, websites might appear broken when elements that track behavior are blocked, but you can always unblock these if you want to view the website normally,” it said.

Mozilla’s move is another step in the tech community's efforts to give customers control over who has access to their personal data.

The popularity of privacy-focused digital products has grown dramatically since former government contractor Edward Snowden revealed a number of clandestine government surveillance programs.  

Mozilla said it is also working on similar features that will “help parents get added control of their children’s online experience,” another major component in the push for digital privacy, both in the private sector and on Capitol Hill.