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Firefox will display ads based on your browsing history

Firefox will display ads based on your browsing history

by AshwinMay 22, 2015

Mozilla has announced its plan for a controversial feature, that could well hamper the popularity of its renown browser, Firefox.


The browser maker, reveals that it will soon start displaying ads based on a user’s browsing history.

This isn’t Mozilla Firefox’s first foray in to ads, last year, the browser began displaying sponsored content in the form of Directory Tiles and Enhanced Tiles. These tiles were added to the browser’s New Tab page.

Firefox will display ads based on your browsing history:

The new ads, which are called Suggested Tiles, will also display ads in Firefox’s New Tab page.  This brings two major issues to be considered: Privacy and Security. However Mozilla addresses them in a blog post.

Mozilla claims that most digital advertising methods, use the browsing habits of a user, to deliver ads. This involves considerable amount of data gathering and sharing amongst advertisers, and denies privacy for users. As a result of this, most users block ads completely, hampering advertisers altogether.

Only Firefox users will be able to edit their browsing history, and this impacts the ads that are displayed. Apparently, the ads are not delivered from a server, and are displayed directly from the browser, PCWorld reports.

Mozilla says that Suggested Tiles, is a way of delivering “relevant advertising and content recommendations while still respecting users’ privacy and giving them control over their data”. Mozilla assures that no user data, is shared to advertisers. It won’t use cookies to display ads either.

Suggested Tiles will be displayed early in a browsing session, and is more likely to attract users. Advertisers and content owners will benefit from this. The ads will be based on the user’s recent and most frequent browsing. This will deliver relevant ads.

Users will be able to opt-out of Suggested tiles easily, in just two-clicks. Click on the gear icon on the New Tab Page, and uncheck “Suggested Sites”,  and select a Blank Tab, or a Classic New Tab Page.


Another simple way to remove these ads, is to use an add-on like SpeedDial, which also enhances your browsing experience.

Data collection is not totally eliminated, and the only data collected by Suggested Tiles, include click activity and Tile Pins. But, as an added layer of security, even that data is anonymized, before it is shared with advertisers.

Suggested Tiles will be rolled out in a beta phase for U.S users, before being made available to all users, later this summer. Affiliate Tiles from Mozilla and Firefox products will be the first sponsored content to appear, before third party advertisements.

Will this make you abandon Firefox and jump ship to a different browser? What will be your choice? Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge, or another browser?