Are you a beta tester for the long awaited Firefox 4.0? Mozilla has just released yet another beta version of the next version of the Firefox browser earlier today. This would be the eleventh beta milestone of a browser that was originally scheduled to be released in late-2010.
The primary new feature of this release is the inclusion of anti-tracking privacy features. Many sites, especially those using ad networks, track user behavior on websites and use this data to display behavioral targeted advertising.
Of course, this type of tracking can often be seen as a privacy invasion and many users might not want their online behavior to be tracked by random third parties.
This feature basically adds “DNT” to the HTTP Header telling ad networks that you don’t want to be tracked. This is taking one step towards the proposed universal Do Not Track standard.
To enable this feature, simply update to Firefox 4.0 Beta 11 and head to Firefox Options > Advanced > General. Tick the box that is labeled Tell web sites I do not want to be tracked.
However, this feature is mostly just a placeholder for now until the advertisers agree to respond accordingly to the preference.
For now, if you’re concerned about privacy, I recommend using the Ghostery add-on, which can block specific web bugs, trackers, etc…
Another new feature of Beta 11 would be the disappearing status bar. Hovering over a URL would still show the link in the location bar, however, the connection status gets shown from a overlay bar that appears at the bottom. This is very similar to Google Chrome.
What are your thoughts about the implementation of proposed Do Not Track standard? Share with us in the comments.