By early next year, Mozilla promises that cloaking your internet activity will become much easier. Technology that supports something like a "Do Not Track" button will be delivered soon. So what is this all about and doesn’t Firefox already keep people from tracking you?
What is Do Not Track?
The Federal Trade Commission, in early December, announced it would promote the addition of easier "do not track" mechanisms in web browsers out there but will not seek legislation that makes adding these controls to any web browser out there mandatory. So, like with most topics in the on going browser wars between Google, Mozilla and Microsoft everybody is claiming they are doing something first to help protect the users out there.
What About Private Browsing Mode?
Ah ha, I see you have been paying attention. Yes, Firefox does have the private browsing mode embedded into the browser. This feature simply prevents information about your browsing activity from being saved to the PC. It does not make you anonymous on the Web.
So, Are All Cookies Evil?
No, not all cookies are evil. To take a step back, browser cookies are tiny text files stored on your PC from browsing that are set to remember certain things about you. Cookies are most often used for website authentication, storing website preferences, link click tracking and more. The scare factor here has to do with cookies from third parties, such as advertisers, and their ability to track more information about you. Most browsers, such as Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer and Chrome, do allow third-party cookies by default, though they allow users to block them.
Here is how I have my own Firefox set up to clear browser cookies and history each time I start Firefox up:
So the good news is that more privacy protection is coming to Firefox and all other browsers in 2011. The question is do we really need protecting?