Mozilla this week launched an extension for its Firefox browser that makes it harder for Facebook to track users’ Web activity. The Facebook Container extension essentially hides users’ Facebook identity when they browse other websites. It creates a blue-coloured browser tab that isolates a Facebook session from the rest of the user’s activity on the browser. Due to this new feature, Facebook will be unable to collect data from the sites that you visit, and target you with related ads.
The decision follows the Cambridge Analytica controversy where the political consultancy allegedly gained inappropriate access to data on 50 million Facebook users to potentially benefit the Trump presidential campaign. As a result, Mozilla had suspended advertising on Facebook’s platform on concerns of data privacy. Meanwhile, with the new Container extension, Mozilla says that it “does not collect data from your use of the Facebook Container extension. We only know the number of times the extension is installed or removed.”
Once you install the Facebook Container extension, it deletes your Facebook cookies and logs you out of the platform. Now, when you visit Facebook, the website opens in a new Blue-coloured browser tab or “container” tab. Here you can login to Facebook normally. Once you click on a non-Facebook link or navigate to a non-Facebook website in the URL bar, the pages load in another tab. However, if you click on a Facebook Share button in another tab it will load them within the Facebook container tab.
Notably, if you use your Facebook accounts to log in, like posts, or comment on external websites, you will not be able to do so if you install the Facebook Container extension. Mozilla says in a blog post, “This prevents Facebook from associating information about your activity on websites outside of Facebook to your Facebook identity.” It added, “So it may look different than what you are used to seeing.”