The Mozilla Foundation announced the surprise yesterday: Firefox will soon block ad trackers by default. The payoff will be great for the end user who is interested in his privacy and browser performance. Of course Google will find it very difficult to do something similar in Chrome.
The Mozilla Foundation has started thinking about a Firefox that will block ad trackers by default for some time. It's been done since the company added Tracking Protection Firefox 42's private browsing feature in November of 2015.
With the release of Firefox 57 (Firefox Quantum) November of 2017, there was an option to enable Tracking Protection and beyond private browsing, but so far it is not yet enabled by default.
But it is in Firefox for iOS and Firefox for Android is expected to follow suit, as will Firefox for Desktops, where Tracking Protection exists but users will need to manually activate it.
Yesterday, we learned that the company is developing three new Firefox desktop firewall debugging features that target trackers that slow page loading, trackers that work on different sites, and distribute tracking cookies as well as fingerprint trackers and / mining.
So if one of the upcoming Firefox stops tracking end users between sites, Google will not be able to compete with it. It will completely change the browser game, as this version of Firefox will hit Chrome below the waist: in ads…
We are not talking about blocked ads, as Chrome has started to block some ads by default. Mozilla's blocking of trackers will not block ads immediately, but will significantly hinder the way advertisers can target users. Blocking tracking between webpages by default will be a huge win for users.
Chrome at this point will not be able to compete with Firefox if the company does not change philosophy. Alphabet, the parent company of Google, draws the bulk of its revenue from ads, and tracking between websites is vital to thousands of advertisers.
Google will continue to block "bad ads" in Chrome. This may sound good to users, but in terms of performance and privacy, Mozilla's new Firefox strategy will be much more effective. The Mozilla Foundation has nothing to do with advertisers.
So Chrome and Firefox bring back the browser war. Google tried to fool us with a selective ad blocking, but the Mozilla Foundation it hits exactly where it hurts.