A new Firefox add-on limits Facebook tracking
It’s safe to say that Facebook’s treatment of its users’ personal data is front and center, with the recent revelations about Cambridge Analytica. Many users are going as far as to stop using the social network altogether. But Mozilla has another option: It’s created an add-on called Facebook Container for its Firefox browser that isolates Facebook from the rest of your browsing activity. That way, the social network can’t track what you’re doing elsewhere on the internet.
It’s a great option for people who still want to use Facebook to keep in touch with their friends and loved ones, but also want to maintain some control over their data. “This Add-On offers a solution that doesn’t tell users to simply stop using a service that they get value from,” the release says. “Instead, it gives users tools that help them protect themselves from the unexpected side effects of their usage.”
The add-on works by opening Facebook into a separate container from the rest of you browsing. When you click on an outside link within Facebook, the page will load in your regular browser container. But clicking Facebook Share buttons in your regular browser will open these links within the Facebook container. It’s important to note that Facebook comments and Like buttons that are embedded into other websites won’t work, so if you regularly visit websites that use these features, this may not be the solution for you. You may also encounter trouble logging into other websites using your Facebook account.
It’s important to note that Mozilla isn’t singling out Facebook here. Many different companies have disturbing practices on tracking your internet use. However, Mozilla notes that their team wanted to “start with a well-defined problem that we can solve quickly.” It makes sense; after all, Facebook has been in the headlines nonstop recently for poor privacy practices, and this offers a tangible way for users to regain some control over what data they share with the social network.