Mozilla’s Monica Chew along with George Kontaxi have submitted a paper on ‘Tracking Protection in Firefox for Privacy Performance‘ to ‘Web 2.0 Security and Privacy 2015 workshop’, for which they’ve received the best award two days back.
They’ve carried out performance evaluations for the Alexa top 200 News sites after enabling tracking protection in Firefox browser and found decrease in page load time by 44%.
Monica shared this information in her blog: “My paper with Georgios Kontaxis got best paper award at the Web 2.0 Security and Privacy workshop today! Georgios re-ran the performance evaluations on top news sites and the decrease in page load time with tracking protection enabled is even higher (44%!) than in our Air Mozilla talk last August, due to prevalence of embedded third party content on news sites. You can read the paper here.”
Enabling Tracking Protection in Firefox
Tracking Protection is available since Firefox 34, but not enabled by default, here is how you can
1. Visit about:config
2. Find and change privacy.trackingprotection.enabled value to ‘true’.
After activating the tracking protection feature, you’ll find a shield in the location bar whenever Firefox blocks either tracking domains or mixed content (check the screenshot below).
When the shield icon appears, user will be offered the option to disable protection for that site.
Note: Firefox’s initial tracking protection block list is based on Disconnect’s.
If you’re interested in knowing which resources are blocked from loading, open the Web Console (use Ctrl+Shift +K on Windows) and see the messages.
Here is the abstract from the paper:
Abstract—We present Tracking Protection in the Mozilla Firefox web browser. Tracking Protection is a new privacy technology to mitigate invasive tracking of users’ online activity by blocking requests to tracking domains. We evaluate our approach and demonstrate a 67.5% reduction in the number of HTTP cookies set during a crawl of the Alexa top 200 news sites. Since Firefox does not download and render content from tracking domains, Tracking Protection also enjoys performance benefits of a 44% median reduction in page load time and 39% reduction in data usage in the Alexa top 200 news sites.
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