On September 3rd, Mozilla officially released the latest version of its Enhanced Tracking Protection with the release of Firefox 69. The new version is Mozilla’s answer to Safari’s ITP (Intelligent Tracking Prevention) Updates.
With this new version, third-party tracking and cryptomining are now blocked by default for all Firefox users. Firefox’s ETP is nothing new in itself, since June 2019 the Tracking Protection was already launched for new users. With the new version this now also applies to existing Firefox users.
Digiday reports that only one month after the new update, German publishers are already seeing revenue declines of up to 15 %. According to the Ad Exchange Index Exchange, average bid rates in Germany have fallen by almost 40% compared to Firefox.
German Publisher report declining revenues of up to 15 procent
We can safely assume that not all Firefox users have already installed the new update. That’s why the full extent of the update will probably only become apparent in the next few months.
Mozilla’s Firefox: Especially popular in Germany
With a market share of 25%, Firefox is one of the most popular browsers in Germany.
In a way, it is not surprising that Germany has been affected by the Firefox changes to a greater extent than the US, for example. With a market share of 25%, the Firefox browser ranks second in Germany.
What is Enhanced Tracking Protection?
It all started a while back in November 2015, when Mozilla first integrated basic tracking protection into the private browser mode. This gave users the ability to block various elements such as commercials as well as certain trackers.
Two years later, in November 2017, users were given the option to enable tracking protection outside the private browser mode. With an emphasis on option, since the tracking protection was disabled by default and users had to adjust the settings themselves.
Shortly afterwards, in August 2018, Firefox announced that it would roll out the Tracking Protection by default for all it’s users. However, we had to be patient, so it took until October 2018 to finalize (we reported back then). With the release of Firefox 63, Enhanced Tracking Protection was introduced. From this point on Mozilla’s Firefox blocked cookies and memory access by third-party trackers.
In June 2019, Mozilla activated ETP (Enhanced Tracking Protection) as part of the default setting for new downloads of the browser. Third party tracking cookies from over 2,500 tracking domains were blocked without the user having to change anything. For those who already had Firefox installed, Mozilla planned to introduce Enhanced Tracking Protection as a new standard “in the upcoming months”. That time has now come.
Firefox blocks cryptomining and fingerprinting
As part of the new tracking protection, Mozilla also wanted to tackle cryptomining and fingeprinting, which basically creates a digital fingerprint that tracks users across the web. Mozilla began testing the blocking of cryptomining and fingerprinting as early as April 2019.
With Firefox 69, cryptomining is now blocked as part of the default setting. Firefox 69 also blocks fingerprinting and Mozilla plans to turn it on in a later version.
Crypto currencies are basically digital money. There are different ways to earn money with crypto currencies: Trading, Mining and Cloud Mining. Since cryptomining is the most popular way to earn money online, it is experiencing a real hype together with the current crypto currency boom.
Fingerprinting is a method used by websites to display individualized advertisements to users or to analyze their behavior on the Internet.