Mozilla has introduced SmartBlock 2.0, the next version of its intelligent cross-site tracking blocking tech, with the release of Firefox 90.
The SmartBlock mechanism, introduced with Firefox 87 in March, works to ensure that the Tracking Protection feature and Strict Mode will not break websites when blocking tracking scripts.
“SmartBlock 2.0 combines a great web browsing experience with robust privacy protection, by ensuring that you can still use third-party Facebook login buttons to sign in to websites, while providing strong defenses against cross-site tracking,” as Mozilla explains.
The same treatment is applied to all sites where you want to sign in with your Facebook account: all scripts used by Facebook for tracking are automatically blocked, but the login script will be allowed to load so that the login process still works.
“Third-party Facebook scripts are blocked to prevent you from being tracked, but are now automatically loaded “just in time” if you decide to “Log in with Facebook” on any website,” Mozilla added.
“That’s right — you don’t have to choose between being protected from tracking or using Facebook to sign in. Thanks to Firefox SmartBlock, you can have your cake and eat it too.”
How private browsing protects your privacy
Mozilla also announced in June that Total Cookie Protection is enabled by default in Private Browsing windows starting with Firefox 89 to automatically protect users from cross-site tracking.
While browsing the web using Firefox’s private mode, your privacy is defended using several privacy protection technologies, all enabled by default:
In related news, the Site Isolation security feature designed to protect users from attacks launched via malicious websites is now also rolling out to all Firefox channels.
Other Firefox 90 new features and changes
Starting with this Firefox version, users can manage exceptions to HTTPS-Only mode enforcement by going to about:preferences#privacy.
Today’s Firefox release also adds support for background auto-updates while the web browser is not running.
The new release also includes the following changes and improvements:
- Firefox for Windows now offers a new page about:third-party to help identify compatibility issues caused by third-party applications
- Print to PDF now produces working hyperlinks
- The “Open Image in New Tab” context menu item now opens images and media in a background tab by default.
- Most users without hardware-accelerated WebRender will now be using software WebRender.
- Improved software WebRender performance
- FTP support has been removed