Mozilla is using your browsing history to serve targeted ads in Firefox

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It’s difficult to make money off a web browser when you don’t have any other services producing revenue. That’s the problem that Mozilla has had for a while now, and putting advertisements in Firefox is the only way the company has been able to survive this long, but it’s still not enough. Now the company is looking to make its ads more valuable by taking your browsing history and using it to create targeted ads for you, so long as you allow them to of course. 

In an attempt to sell advertising space in a user’s new tab page within the Firefox browser, Mozilla is launching a new platform called “Suggested Tiles” specifically for advertisers. Similar to Google using your Web search history to load related advertisements within Google Adsense placements, Mozilla will look through your visited sites within Firefox to suggest an advertiser site to visit and display it on the new tab page. However, there are user protections built into the new feature as detailed on Mozilla’s Advancing Content blog. Users will be able to flip off the Suggested Tiles function by toggling a check box within the browser’s settings. Users can also completly avoid site suggestions by opting for a blank page when opening up a new tab within Firefox. If a user does opt into the Suggested Tiles feature, personal data won’t be supplied to advertisers, only anonymized aggregate data. Mozilla won’t be using tracking cookies to keep tabs on users or building profiles based off a user’s URL history. Mozilla will have final approval over all sites that are entered into the Suggested Tiles program and will require visits to at least five similar sites before offering up a related suggestion through the feature.

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