Firefox 59 www.mozilla.org/firefox
If you regularly visited the website of a medical company, would you be happy if it passed your personal details on to the next site you went to? That’s the kind of intrusion Mozilla says will no longer happen in Firefox when you use its private browsing mode.
As you browse the internet, websites – as well as the adverts and socialmedia buttons they feature – can see which web page you came from. This is called your ‘referrer value’. Sites find this useful for monitoring their web traffic, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But some adverts and social-media sites use this to gather data about you.
For example, rights campaigners at the Electronic Frontier Foundation found that www.healthcare.gov (a US Government health-insurance exchange site) passed on info on visitors’ age, address, income, and whether they smoked. It’s the kind of data advertisers love.
The latest version of Firefox will remove this personal data, known as ‘path information’, when you browse privately. To access private mode, click the top-right menu button (three horizontal lines) then New Private Window (see screenshot).