Mozilla Unveils 2019 Privacy Not Included Gift Guide

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Mozilla announced its third annual 2019 *Privacy Not Included gift guide to highlight gadgets and toys that are secure, and ones that aren’t secure.

This year we found that many of the big tech companies like Apple and Google are doing pretty well at securing their products, and you’ll see that most products in the guide meet our Minimum Security Standards. But don’t let that fool you. Even though devices are secure, we found they are collecting more and more personal information on users, who often don’t have a whole lot of control over that data.

Google doing well at securing its products.

Firefox 70 Brings Enhanced Tracking Protection Today

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Mozilla released Firefox 70 today and one of the new features is Enhanced Tracking Protection turned on by default on all platforms.

More privacy protections from Enhanced Tracking Protection:

Social tracking protection, which blocks cross-site tracking cookies from sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, is now a standard feature of Enhanced Tracking Protection.

The Privacy Protections report shows an overview, with details, of the trackers Firefox has blocked. It provides consolidated reports from Monitor and Lockwise.

Mozilla VPN Launches Under Test Pilot Program

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Firefox Private Network is a Mozilla VPN launching under its old Test Pilot program. It’s available as a beta today for U.S. users with a Firefox account.

In a nutshell, the Firefox Private Network extension will provide a “secure, encrypted path to the web” to protect the user’s Wi-Fi connection and data contained within the Firefox browser. One of the scenarios Mozilla thinks Firefox Private Network will be useful for is when connecting to the internet through public Wi-Fi hotspots, as it will shield personal information and conceal what websites a user is visiting.

Next Firefox 70 Update Will Reduce macOS Power Usage

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Mozilla announced that the next Firefox 70 update will reduce power consumption on macOS by up to three times.

But according to Mozilla engineer Henrik Skupin, Firefox devs have finally made a breakthrough, and believe they fixed Firefox’s power consumption on macOS. Skupin said that a current fix for the battery drain issue has been deployed on Firefox Nightly, where it managed to reduce power usage by three times. The fix is expected to land in the stable version of Firefox in late October 2019, with the release of Firefox 70.

UK ISPA Hates Mozilla's DNS Over HTTPS Privacy Tool

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If you use your internet service provider’s default DNS, they can see everything you do on the web. It comes as no surprise that ISPs don’t like privacy tools like Mozilla’s DNS over HTTPS (DoH) technology in Firefox. The UK Internet Services Providers’ Association (ISPA) declared Mozilla a 2019 Villain, alongside President Trump.

ISPA Internet Villain

Mozilla – for their proposed approach to introduce DNS-over-HTTPS in such a way as to bypass UK filtering obligations and parental controls, undermining internet safety standards in the UK

For Years, Google Sabotaged Firefox

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In the latest news of anticompetitive corporate behavior, a former Mozilla executive said Google sabotaged Firefox for years.

“When Chrome launched things got complicated, but not in the way you might expect. They had a competing product now, but they didn’t cut ties, break our search deal – nothing like that. In fact, the story we kept hearing was, ‘We’re on the same side. We want the same things’,” the former Mozilla exec said.

I encourage everyone to read the Twitter thread.

Firefox Send Lets You Share Big Encrypted Files

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Firefox Send is a free tool that lets you send encrypted files up to 1GB in size, or 2.5GB if you sign in with a Firefox account.

What sets Send apart is its ease of use. It works in any browser; just go to send.firefox.com. Upload or drag and drop files, and Send will generate a link that you can set to expire after a certain number of downloads—up to 100—or a certain amount of time, ranging from five minutes to seven days.

Being able to use any browser is probably the best part about this tool.