Mozilla: Ad Blocker in Google Chrome doesn’t protect your privacy and still allows trackers

Google Chrome has a built-in ad blocker since today, but it doesn’t protect the privacy of Chrome users, according to competing browser developer, Mozilla. The ad blocker of Chrome only blocks advertisements that don’t adhere to the standards of the Better Ads Coalition, such as popups or large advertisements.

Only these advertisements are blocked. “Google Chrome’s approach is focused on annoying ads. Its ad blocker blocks ads, but it does nothing against invisible trackers or tracking ads that comply with the standards of the Better Ads Coalition, in which Facebook and Google are key partners,” according to Mozilla’s Vice President of Firefox, Nick Nguyen, in a blog on the Mozilla website.

He goes on to write, “even Apple’s Intelligent Tracking Protection has a set of rules that favor trackers operated by sites that users visit at least once a day. Unsurprisingly, Google and Facebook are the sites most likely to fall into this category.”

Blocking of trackers is needed for internet users, so they can be curious, according to Nguyen, “in the physical world, we don’t wear our ID on our foreheads. This is convenient because we can walk around with a reasonable expectation of privacy and let our curiosity take us to interesting places.”

As an example Nguyen mentions a brick and mortar shoe store that someone visits because they had a pair that attracted attention. The store doesn’t have an employee to follow that someone if he/she leaves the store. It’s not only impractical, but everyone would also consider it not-done.

On the internet this is different, because it’s fairly easy to track users around the internet, without them even knowing it. And on the internet it’s not only about shoe stores, or products, but also on ideas that interest users, according to Nguyen.

And that is something Nguyen worries about, “another often overlooked inconvenience is how tracking impacts people’s ability to explore new areas of the web. Against the backdrop of growing online bubbles and polarized media, if all the content you get recommendations for is in the same line of thought, how much are you able to explore what’s across the political line?”

Obviously Nguyen also has a solution for users who want to better protect their privacy. He encourages those to try Firefox Quantum and make sure Tracking Protection is enabled, “with Tracking Protection turned on, you’ll get a web that lets you browse freely with fewer worries about pesky trackers, built by an independent organization that doesn’t run an ad network.”