Mozilla’s latest Firefox browser release has a new feature that prevents sites like Facebook from tracking you across websites, Bleeping Computer has reported. Called Query Parameter Stripping, it automatically removes strings of characters added to the end of an URL that allow Facebook, Hubspot, Olytics and other companies to track your clicks and serve targeted ads.
You’ve likely noticed these queries when you click on a link that comes from Facebook, for example. Rather than showing “https://www.engadget.com/example.html,” it might show something like “https://www.engadget.com/example.html?fbclid=aa7-V4yb6Yfit_9_Pd” (not a real example).
That jumble of characters after the question mark is a query parameter that can tell a company you’ve clicked on a link, helping them profile you for ad targeting. If you enable the stripping feature in the latest version of Firefox, it’ll remove those characters before loading the URL, so Facebook will be none the wiser. It works via a blocklist and covers Olytics, Drip, Vero, HubSpot, Marketo and Facebook.
To enable the feature, you simply select “Strict” for “Enhanced Tracking Protection” in the Privacy & Security settings. That doesn’t work in Private Mode, but you can turn it on there too by typing “about:config” in the address bar, searching for strip and setting the ‘privacy.query_stripping.enabled.pbmode’ option to true, as Bleeping Computer points out.