Mozilla adds privacy mode to Firefox 3.1 plans

Pressured by rivals, Mozilla hopes once-yanked privacy tools ship with 3.1 beta

Mozilla will respond to rivals Google and Microsoft with a private-browsing mode in Firefox, according to notes posted on its Web site, and is on track to deliver one in 3.1, the version that will likely go beta next month.

Sometimes pegged with the catchy moniker of "porn mode" in a nod to the most obvious use, browser privacy modes limit or entirely eliminate what the application records of its travels across the Internet. Typically, URLs are not recorded in the browser history, cookies are not saved, and other evidence is purged from the computer at the end of the session.

In a note from a Firefox 3.1 status update meeting held Tuesday, Mozilla said: "Private Browsing Mode: Ehsan [Akhgari] went and implemented Connor's functional spec bug 248970 -- way to go! Now back on track for beta date."

The reference to 248970 was to an entry in Bugzilla, Mozilla's bug and feature tracking system, where Mike Connor, Firefox's lead developer, spelled out what the browser's privacy mode would encompass.

"[It should] ensure that users can't be tracked when doing 'private' things," said Conner in an e-mail to another Mozilla developer. Specifically, the mode would:

  • Discard all cookies acquired during the private session.

  • Not record sites visited to the browser's history.

  • Not auto-fill passwords, and not prompt the user to save passwords.

  • Remove all downloads done during the session from the browser's download manager.
Google's Chrome was clearly on the minds of some Mozilla developers when discussing the private browsing mode addition to Firefox. "Recent development with Chrome will likely make finally getting private browsing mode shipped a priority for 3.1," said Alex Faaborg, a Mozilla user experience designer, two days after Chrome debuted.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags firefox 3.1

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Gregg Keizer

Gregg Keizer

Computerworld
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?