Skip to Content

The author

Craig Jackson

Front End Web Developer

Firefox 14 has now been rolled out and in their quest to regain some of their market share, Mozilla are bringing us increased security by automatically encrypting all Google searches performed in Firefox. While you as the user will most likely not notice the change, Mozilla deemed it an important one.

Firefox 14 has now been rolled out and in their quest to regain some of their market share, Mozilla are bringing us increased security by automatically encrypting all Google searches performed in Firefox. While you as the user will most likely not notice the change, Mozilla deemed it an important one. Below is an extract from a recent Mozilla blog post:

"We automatically make your Google searches secure in Firefox to protect your data from potentially prying eyes, like network administrators when you use public or shared WiFi networks."

In addition to the above, if you take a look here you can see Mozilla’s explanation of how they’ve made it easier to see a website’s verified identity. It’s interesting to note that Google is currently the only search engine that allows Firefox to make your searches private, however Mozilla point out that they look forward to supporting additional search engines in the future. This increase in user privacy follows on from the recent change in cookie law. The cookie law came in to effect on May 26th this year and websites are now required to obtain informed consent from visitors before storing or retrieving any information from any web-connected device (smartphone, tablet, computer etc.). The aim of the cookie law is to ensure users are aware of how much information is being collected about them from websites and to allow them to choose whether or not they want the website to collect this information. A recent article from Computer World UK highlights consumer concern about online privacy. The article points out that 94 per cent of consumers are concerned about online privacy, with 54 per cent more concerned than they were a year ago. The TRUSTe 2012 UK Consumer Data Privacy Study also produced the following notable results: -          27 per cent of consumers are more concerned with mobile privacy than website privacy. -          Consumers engage less with companies they do not trust – leading to lower purchases (29 per cent), app downloads (68 per cent) and sharing of information (86 per cent). -          Consumers believe advertisers, publishers and ad networks are all responsible for safeguarding their privacy, but trust themselves most. -          TRUSTe’s research also shows that transparency is key if businesses are to address these concerns. For example, 79 per cent of consumers are aware of online behavioural advertising (OBA), 53 per cent do not like it, and 42 per cent believe that personally identifiable information (PII) is attached to tracking activity. When you combine the new Firefox features with the change in cookie law I’m sure a lot of users will be pleased with the recent focus on user privacy and will be interested to see if other browsers will follow Mozilla’s lead.