By Matthew Shanbom, Editor-in-Chief
If you are reading this article, odds are you are reading this on Google Chrome. Chrome in fact has about 66% of the browser market share. The next highest browser, Safari, only has about 17% of the market share. This dominance of Chrome started in May 2012 as Chrome overtook Internet Explorer(IE) as the highest used browser. Many people migrated to Chrome for its improved feature set over IE, including a password manager and extensions. Over time though, other browsers have caught up in terms of features mostly going unnoticed. Microsoft Edge recently received a rework that changes it completely to run off Chromium, the open source version of Google Chrome. Meanwhile Firefox, a long time player in the browser field, has slowly been updating their browser to compete with and eventually beat Chrome.
Firefox is owned and developed by Mozilla, a company whose only purpose is to maintain Firefox. Therefore, all of Firefox’s revenue comes from search royalties and donations not selling your data for ads like Google does. Firefox is using this to market itself as the browser for privacy.
While some people may not understand what I am talking about in this section, I will try to do my best to explain this. Any website you visit can set a “cookie” in the web browser which is designed to store data such as accounts or save data for a game. Unfortunately, some websites have leveraged cookies to track users between websites building a profile on all of its users. The amount of data that can be harvested by each website is immense with this website tracking your approximate location, how you got to the website and what articles you read. Firefox’s enhanced tracking protection blocks cross site tracking cookies and fingerprinters. Both of these protections prevent sites from gaining extra analytics on you, further protecting your privacy.
While Firefox blocks cross-site tracking cookies, sometimes you need cookies between sites for certain sites to function correctly. This is where an addon, Firefox’s equivalent to Chrome’s extensions, comes in. Mozilla themselves have made a few extensions including containers. Containers allow a user to separate their accounts and cookies into separate labeled containers such as “work” or “personal.” Cookies can not talk outside of these containers and tabs within a container can easily be opened. Firefox even premade a container for Facebook trackers that automatically blocks most Facebook elements from communicating with other sites.
Firefox has positioned itself as the browser of privacy with no sign of any browser coming close. It is unlikely that Google would create such a feature in Chrome as Google’s main business is advertising which heavily relies on tracking. This entire article also does not go into the fact that Chrome is a heavy user of Random Access Memory (RAM). Firefox has all the features of Chrome along with more and deserves more market share than it has.