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New Firefox Feature Shows You How Many Online Trackers It's Blocked

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Mozilla released Firefox 70 today with a new feature that lets people know how many online trackers the browser's Enhanced Tracking Protection feature has blocked. The Privacy Protections report offers a glimpse into just how many sites collect information about their visitors.

The browser maker debuted Enhanced Tracking Protection in June and enabled it by default in July. It automatically blocks tracking cookies, tools that hijack system resources to mine cryptocurrency and fingerprinting scripts. Mozilla said in today's announcement that Firefox has blocked more than 450 billion tracking requests since July 2.

The new Privacy Protections report feature shows people how many things Enhanced Tracking Protection has defended them against in the last week. It also includes information gleaned from Firefox Monitor, which compiles lists of credentials affected by data breaches and shows passwords managed by Firefox Lockwise.

These features have been around for a while, but Mozilla introduced the Privacy Protections report to give people an idea of what exactly they're being protected from. Online tracking is mostly invisible, and as Mozilla explained in a separate blog post today, most people couldn't learn more about this for-profit surveillance if they tried:

"The sheer volume of tracker blocking that we see with Firefox’s Enhanced Tracking Protection (around 175 blocks per client per day) confirms that the average individual would never be able to make informed choices about whether or not individual companies can collect their data," it said. "This also highlights how tech companies need to do more if they are really serious about privacy, rather than push the burden onto their customers."

Firefox 70 also updates Lockwise with the ability to generate strong passwords, a new dashboard that makes it easier to manage stored passwords and syncing to mobile devices. Additionally, it automatically strips "path information from the HTTP referrer sent to third-party trackers," so it can offer even more private browsing.

More information is available in Firefox 70's release notes. Mozilla said it improved the browser's security, addressed a few bugs and made other tweaks meant to bolster Firefox's performance. 

The privacy updates are the real draw, though, and the Privacy Protections report should make it clearer than ever why that's the case.