×

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.

Popular on Variety

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

  • Hulu Hopes to Make Ads Part

    Hulu Hopes to Make Ads Part of Your Binge Session

    If you just can’t keep yourself from watching another episode of “The Handmaid’s Tale” or “PEN15,” then Hulu has an ad for you. The streaming-video hub is starting a trial run of new commercials aimed specifically at binge-watchers, which the company defines as subscribers who watch three or more episodes of the same series consecutively. [...]

  • Facebook

    Facebook Pledges $130 Million to Fund Content Oversight Board as It Hits Delays

    Facebook announced an initial commitment of $130 million to launch its new Oversight Board, which is designed as a way for users to appeal the social giant’s content decisions, but the entity is behind schedule with initial board members to be announced in 2020. The new Oversight Board — which has been dubbed Facebook’s “Supreme [...]

  • Rey (Daisy Ridley) in STAR WARS:

    Amazon Releases Secret 'Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker' Exclusive Video

    Amazon released a special behind-the-scenes look at “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” in partnership with Disney and Lucasfilm, in order to — what else? — sell stuff to fans of the galaxy far, far away. The ecommerce giant debuted the Star Wars video Thursday (Dec. 12) exclusively on Amazon.com and Fire TV, with secret [...]

  • Jay-Z

    Tidal Gets Dolby Atmos Music, Jay-Z to Release Catalog in Immersive Audio Format

    Music streaming service Tidal has partnered with Dolby to bring Dolby Atmos Music tracks to its Tidal HiFi tier. This makes Tidal the second music service to support the high-end format. For now, support is limited to certain Android devices. Consumers may know Dolby Atmos as a surround-sound audio format for movies, which is being [...]

  • Netflix-logo-N-icon

    Netflix Tests Discounted Subscription Plans in India

    Netflix is testing discounted plans in India for some long-term subscribers. The plans are only available to selected new subscribers and not existing ones. While signing up, new users may be offered a 20% discount on a three-month subscription, a 30% discount on a six-month term and a 50% discount on a 12-month contract. These [...]

  • Editorial Use onlyMandatory Credit: Photo by

    YouTube Institutes Stricter Harassment Policy, Won't Exempt Public Figures

    YouTube has promised to ramp up its fight against hate and harassment: The Google-owned video service announced changes to its harassment policy Wednesday, which include a ban on implicit threats of violence and insults that target someone for their race, gender expression or sexual orientation. “We will not tolerate harassment,” said YouTube’s global head of [...]

  • Janko Roettgers, Jeremy Legg, Vicky Colf,

    Listen: Inside HBO Max's Streaming Strategy With WarnerMedia CTO Jeremy Legg

    HBO Max may not be streaming to consumers until May 2020, but for Jeremy Legg, the hard work has already begun. The WarnerMedia chief technology officer is deep into the development of parent company AT&T’s highest priority next year. While rival efforts from Disney and Apple are already in market, he envisions launching a product [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content