Facebook is everywhere. Even if you don’t open Facebook in your browser, almost every website you visit uses a Facebook plugin. Nothing you do online is hidden from the social network, not on your desktop and certainly not on your phone. Just a few days ago I looked up what Fortnite was and since then, I’ve been getting ads for games on Facebook, nonstop. Users are weary of Facebook collecting their data with impunity but are still on the fence about deleting Facebook, or just restricting its permissions. In that vein, Mozilla has released an add-on for Firefox that can stop Facebook tracking your web activity.
The add-on is called Facebook Container and it’s modeled after Mozilla’s Firefox Multi-Account Containers that lets you keep certain parts of your online identity separate from others. It does this by isolating cookies that various services use. The Facebook Container likewise limits cookie tracking by Facebook so that your online activity is kept as isolated as possible from the social network.
Stop Facebook Tracking
Install Facebook Container and then visit Facebook. You can sign into the social network, and view your newsfeed, like what your friends are sharing, and leave comments. With the add-on installed, you will see a blue line at the top and along the bottom of the tab that you have Facebook open in. You will also see a padlock icon in the address bar with Facebook written next to it.
Both these visual indicators mean that your Facebook session is contained within this one tab.
This will have side effects. Facebook has grown beyond its identity of a social network. It’s more of an online identity. Apps and services give their users the option to use them by authenticating their identity via Facebook. With this add-on installed, you won’t be able to use the commenting system on most websites, and you won’t be able to sign in to services using your Facebook account.
It’s best to sign up directly to the service, or maybe use your Google account if there’s support for it. It’s possible that some apps and services simply don’t have the mentioned options in which case you’re going to have to disable the add-on or use the service in a different session.
Facebook may be getting a serious backlash for its privacy violations but it’s not going to be easy pulling the plug for most people. Facebook has made certain that is permeates every aspect of our lives it possibly can. Anyone remember the Facebook phone?
As for Chrome users, there’s nothing similar available yet. We doubt Mozilla will develop a Chrome extension that does the same thing, and Google is probably going to want to stay out of the whole mess too. It’s really up to third-party developers to replicate this add-on for Chrome.