TL;DR: “We have added a feature to block fingerprinting and cryptomining in Firefox Nightly as an option for users to turn on,” developer Arthur Edelstein wrote. Describing them as “threats and annoyances,” and one “of the three key initiatives we listed was mitigating harmful practices,” Mozilla now allows users to block such scripts.
Mozilla Adds Protection Against Cryptomining
“A variety of popular ‘fingerprinting’ scripts are invisibly embedded on many web pages,” Edelstein explained, “harvesting a snapshot of your computer’s configuration to build a digital fingerprint that can be used to track you across the web, even if you clear your cookies. Fingerprinting violates Firefox’s anti-tracking policy,” he reminded.
On roughly the same level, then, so-called cryptomining scripts “run costly operations on your web browser without your knowledge or consent, using the power of your computer’s CPU to generate cryptocurrency for someone else’s benefit. These scripts slow down your computer, drain your battery and rack up your electric bill,” the developer claimed.
Firefox is collaborating with privacy solution outfit Disconnect, compiling “lists of domains that serve finger printing and cryptomining scripts,” Edelstein noted. “Now in the latest Firefox Nightly and Beta versions, we give users the option to block both kinds of scripts as part of our Content Blocking suite of protections.” In versions of 68 and 67 respectively, such protections are default settings.
“In the coming months, we will start testing these protections with small groups of users,” he stressed, “and will continue to work with Disconnect to improve and expand the set of domains blocked by Firefox. We plan to enable these protections by default for all Firefox users in a future release.”
DISCLOSURE: The author holds cryptocurrency as part of his financial portfolio, including BCH.
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