This is Firefox’s New Privacy Button

Although there’s nothing really “new” about what the Privacy Button does (clearing history, cookies and etc.,) this feature will definitely come in handy for less experienced users, who haven’t had the time to familiarize themselves with Firefox’s previously existing privacy features

Firefox is probably the number one browser when it comes to putting users in charge. It is for instance possible to customize the user interface to your liking or disable or change most features that you don’t like. Firefox turns 10 years in November 2014 and Mozilla plans to celebrate that in several ways.

The organization plans to release a new Privacy Button in Firefox 33 and newer as part of that month’s focus on privacy in the browser.

The button, displayed in the interface, provides Firefox users with options to perform the following operation:

  • Forget the last five minutes, two hours or all day of browsing.

Once selected, Firefox will delete cookies and the browsing history that fall into the selected range, close all tabs and windows, and open a new window in the end.

firefox forget button

It should be clear from the description that the button is not useful to all users of the browser. If you still require access to open tabs or browser windows you cannot really make use of it at all.

I cannot say yet if Firefox will honor the startup setting or not. If it does, it may load the open tabs again if session restore has been enabled.

Firefox already ships with privacy options to clear browsing data. Hit Ctrl-Shift-Del for example to open the clear all history button.

firefox forget history

While it does not offer 5 minute cleaning and no tab or window closing, it is without doubt the advanced option when it comes to deleting browsing data in Firefox.

It seems that the new Privacy Button has been designed to give users of the browser who don’t know about the clear all history feature with an option to delete data in Firefox.

As is the case with the majority of feature additions, it is possible to remove the button from the interface so that it does not take up space.

The clear all history button is not the only option that Firefox users have. It is furthermore possible to open a new private browsing window for example to avoid that data gets recorded during that session.

This separates the core browser window from it so that users can return to it once they have closed the private browsing window in Firefox.

Closing Words

The new Privacy Button may help inexperienced users who don’t know enough about the browser’s private browsing mode or clear history feature as it highlights a privacy related option to users.

With that said, advanced users won’t have any need for that feature. (via Sören)

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