In the aftermath of the Facebook data scandal, Mozilla has launched a new tool for its Firefox web browser.
Mozilla has unveiled Facebook Container, a new add-on that helps to keep your data private.
The plugin is in response to claims that Cambridge Analytica gained access to data on 50 million Facebook users.
By using Facebook Container, Firefox users make it that bit harder for Mark Zuckerberg’s social network to you track your movements and know what sites you are visiting away from Facebook.
When you the add-on the first thing it does is delete all your Facebook cookies and logs you out of the social network.
The next time you login you will see a blue ‘container’ tab. Any links you click on will then open in the new browser tab and are not connected to that Facebook session.
It also blocks you from logging into third party apps with your Facebook account details and stops the embedded Facebook comments and Like buttons from working on other sites.
These measures prevent Facebook’s ad trackers from linking your online activity to your Facebook profile.
This should, for example, stop you seeing adverts in your News Feed for something you recently searched for online.
Announcing the Facebook Container add-on, Mozilla said: “The pages you visit on the web can say a lot about you. They can infer where you live, the hobbies you have, and your political persuasion.
This new extension isolates your Facebook identity from the rest of your web activity (which makes it a lot harder for them to use activity collected *off Facebook* to send you ads and other targeted messages). https://t.co/P9ix6oNH7F
— Firefox ? (@firefox) March 27, 2018
“There’s enormous value in tying this data to your social profile, and Facebook has a network of trackers on various websites.
“Facebook container isolates your Facebook identity from the rest of your web activity. When you install it, you will continue to be able to use Facebook normally. Facebook can continue to deliver their service to you and send you advertising.
“The difference is that it will be much harder for Facebook to use your activity collected off Facebook to send you ads and other targeted messages.”
Mozilla admits the add-on wouldn’t have prevented data being harvested by Cambridge Analytica but it should help users have more control over their online privacy and security.
The move comes after Mozilla announced it would stop advertising on Facebook due to privacy concerns.
“This news caused us to take a closer look at Facebook’s current default privacy settings given that we support the platform with our advertising dollars. While we believe there is still more to learn, we found that its current default settings leave access open to a lot of data – particularly with respect to settings for third party apps,” the company firm said in a blog post.
On Wednesday, Facebook said it was introducing new tools that will give users more control over their data.