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Mozilla recently announced that from October, Firefox will start blocking 3rd Party Web Trackers by Default

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We’ve covered the issue of 3rd party plugins and scripts numerous times before on this site - and particularly the surreptitious activities of many a site script in sticking invisible trackers on you which track your movements across wholly unrelated sites, and even persist to track after you’ve terminated a particular service.

 

You may notice that if you have your cookie preferences settings screen active and have only one tab open on your browser - that it’s a little like whack-a-mole in trying to shut down cookie trackers as they re-start-up as soon as you try to shut them down - and usually they have nothing to do with the actual one tab you have active!

 

The number, scale and scope of these trackers is so great nowadays that not only are these causing danger for web-users, but also significantly degrading the overall Internet experience by overly slowing down sites / page load times. You can see how much quicker 3rd party cookie-blocked sites load - meaning you have to keep your Ghostery browser plugin fully applied and up-to-date.

 

Mozilla has decided that even those available tools are not sufficient, and with Firefox version 63 slated to arrive sometime in October - it will have default built-in screening algorithms which scan for and block slow-loading trackers by default - which will be a real threat to sites using 3rd party advertising solutions in particular, as they are always susceptible to this sort of behaviour.

In other recent blog posts - about Facebook, Fortnum & Mason and British Airways, we have highlighted the danger of using 3rd party plugins and scripts on your websites. The number of cookies loaded up by some sites (50+) is getting way out of hand. And the end result is a much poorer overall experience for the typical browsing customer.

 

It is thus wholly understandable that Browser-makers would be bringing in their own methods to tackle this epidemic. There are several things that are sort of out of control on the Internet at the moment - and there is way to much surreptitious and still unsolicited tracking and data skimming going on. Too many companies are barely paying lip-service to GDPR and wrongly abusing ’Legitimate Interest’ claims to contravene GDPR legislation - and ’Explicit Consent’. There are so many out there egregiously and openly flouting the rules, that the ICO really needs to start doing some proper enforcement soon or GDPR will become a mockery of what it’s supposed to be.

 

Even as GDPR enforcement remains somewhat absent at the moment, it is heartening to see that browser companies though are taking up the challenge of better protecting consumers from unscrupulous and ethically turpitudinous operators. We all need the Internet to settle down a touch once more as with all the recent updates in technology and processing speeds it should all be a lot quicker and smoother than it currently is.

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