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Firefox Privacy Update Removes Tracking From URLs

The latest update to Mozilla Firefox, version 102, has added even more security parameters. This time, their latest feature strips parameters from website URLs that can be used to track you when browsing the web.

Firefox - Protect your life online with privacy-first products — Mozilla

These days when browsing the web, almost every website makes use of custom URL query parameters that track your clicks on different links. This can be used to create target adverts that are suggested to you based on what you are likely to prefer by analysing your online activity. An example of this is how Meta (previously Facebook) appends a query parameter to outbound links similar to this example:

https://www.example.com/?fbclid=IwAR4HesRZLT-fxhhh3nZ7WKsOpaiFzsg4nH0K4WLRHw1h467GdRjaLilWbLs

Firefox version 102 has added the new ‘Query Parameter Stripping’ feature to automatically strip numerous query parameters that are used to track URLs when you click on them, including clicking the link itself and pasting the URL into an address bar. When this is enabled, Firefox will strip these tracking parameters from all URLs that you interact with:

  • Olytics: oly_enc_id=, oly_anon_id=
  • Drip: __s=
  • Vero: vero_id=
  • HubSpot: _hsenc=
  • Marketo: mkt_tok=
  • Facebook: fbclid=, mc_eid=

How to enable Firefox’s new privacy feature:

This new feature is part of Firefox’s Enhanced Tracking Protection, to enable Query Parameter Stripping, go to Settings in Firefox and select Privacy & Security and change ‘Enhanced Tracking Protection’ to ‘Strict’.

These tracking parameters will not be stripped in Private Mode however even when Strict setting is enabled. In order to enable the feature in Private Mode, open a new tab in Firefox and type in “about:config” and search for strip, and set the ‘privacy.query_stripping.enabled.pbmode’ option to true.

 

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