×

Firefox Wants to Help You Fool Ad Trackers With 100 Useless Browser Tabs

Advertisers are tracking you across the web to build profiles and personalize ads. Firefox maker Mozilla now wants to help consumers bury their tracks, and throw off advertisers, with a fun little hack.

The non-profit browser maker launched a new website called Track This Wednesday that opens 100 browser tabs to confuse ad trackers. Visitors simply choose 1 of 4 different generic consumer profiles, selecting whether they want to impersonate someone “filthy rich,” a “hypebeast” trend setter, a doomsday prepper or an influencer.

Upon selecting one of those fake profiles, users are warned one more time that opening 100 tabs may put significant strains on their computer. They may also have to allow pop-ups depending on their browser.

Then the madness begins, with 100 tabs opening in rapid succession. Anyone who selects the influencer profile will find these including sites like Warby Parker, Goop, Allure and more. “Advertisers will now think you obsess over skincare routines, holistic remedies, astrology and meditation apps, and of course, pushing the likes and subscribes on your vlog,” the site helpfully explains.

Selecting the prepper profile on the other hand leads to websites for survivalists and Vice stories about aliens, while the “filthy rich” option leads to the websites of Chanel, Rolex and Thestreet.com.

The idea: Each of these sites will use cookies to remember your visits, and most use tools from big advertising companies to build profiles across multiple web properties — which is why your Facebook ads often show you products you just researched on other websites. Throw in 100 false sites, and those profiles may be severely distorted, resulting in ads that may be less relevant, but also a lot less creepy.

“Eventually, if you just use the internet as you typically would day to day, you’ll start seeing ads again that align more closely to your normal browsing habits,” Mozilla explained in a blog post Wednesday. The browser maker was quick to remind users that Firefox can be used to block this type of tracking altogether.

More Digital

  • Asian Streamer Iflix Completes $50 Million

    Asian Streamer Iflix Completes $50 Million Fund Raising

    Asia-based streaming firm Iflix has completed its latest funding round by bringing in major institutional investor Fidelity. The company says it is now looking towards an IPO. Iflix, which has operations across 12 countries in Asia, says that the funding cycle brought in “well in excess of $50 million,” but provided few new details. Other [...]

  • Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

    ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’ Tops Studios’ TV Ad Spending

    In this week’s edition of the Variety Movie Commercial Tracker, powered by the always-on TV ad measurement and attribution company iSpot.tv, Columbia Pictures claims the top spot in spending with “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.” Ads placed for the drama had an estimated media value of $5.71 million through Sunday for 997 national ad [...]

  • Department of Justice

    DOJ Announces Antitrust Review of Tech Giants

    In a move that could potentially disrupt Silicon Valley’s biggest companies, the U.S. Justice Department announced that its antitrust division opened a review into “whether and how market-leading online platforms have achieved market power.” The DOJ, in its announcement Tuesday, didn’t identify which companies it is looking into as part of the investigation. Facebook, Amazon, Google [...]

  • Snap Inc

    Snap Stock Skyrockets as Company Adds 13 Million Daily Active Users in Q2

    Share prices for Snapchat’s corporate parent Snap Inc. shot up as much as 13% in after-hours trading Tuesday on news that Snapchat added 13 million daily active users in Q2 of 2019. The service ended the quarter with 203 million users, compared to 190 million at the end of Q1, and 188 million in Q2 [...]

  • jbl link bar

    JBL Finally Releases Its Android TV-powered Smart Sound Bar

    Over a year after first announcing it, Samsung subsidiary Harman is finally releasing its JBL Link Bar, a smart sound bar that comes with Android TV built-in. The new device effectively doubles as a smart speaker, and does away with the need for any additional streaming devices. Google and Harman / JBL first announced the [...]

  • Inverse-BDG

    Bustle Digital Buys Digital-Media Startup Inverse, Its Eighth Acquisition to Date

    Bustle Digital Group, continuing its strategy of snapping up smaller digital-media players, has acquired Inverse, geared toward an young-male audience with content about science, tech and culture. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed. BDG founder and CEO Bryan Goldberg is well-acquainted with Inverse, which was founded in 2015 by CEO Dave Nemetz — who previously [...]

  • Pandora voice mode

    Pandora Launches Voice Mode for Everyone

    After first launching a limited beta earlier this year, Pandora opened up its mobile voice control to all of its iOS and Android users Tuesday. The new feature allows users to ask for songs, albums, playlists, stations, and even soundtracks for activities or times of day, with simple voice commands. Pandora’s voice mode is similar [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content