Comparison with Ghostery and AdBlock?

(Mrpetkus) #1

I’m interested in how Tracking Protection differs from and overlaps with extensions such as Ghostery and AdBlock. Given the success of those two extensions, what was the objective when creating this and why would I use it instead? Is there a benefit in running it in conjunction with the aforementioned products? What unique problem does Tracking Protection solve?

I’d like to streamline and minimize my use of extensions in order to keep Firefox running sprightly.

Thanks in advance!


Over-simplification …

AdBlock Plus uses a regex heuristic to block ad elements, but does not (always/sometimes/ever) block the HTTP requests for those elements. So, while it may block the visible ads, it may still allow those ad servers/networks to track a user.

Ghostery uses a block-list to block HTTP requests from ever being sent to tracking domains. Their block-list has ~2,000 trackers.

Tracking Protection uses the same block-list as Disconnect, with ~5,000 domains. Both Tracking Protection and Disconnect block HTTP requests, like Ghostery. The Tracking Protection test pilot experiment add-on also gives users the ability to report broken websites, so that we can learn how to improve tracking protection AND reduce web breakage.

Finally, AdBlock Plus and Ghostery also have a commercial stake in the advertising/tracking industry. [1][2]


(Foobar) #3

What about uBlock Origin?


uBlock Origin uses a (configurable) combination of lists and regexes - many of which overlap with AdBlock Plus, Ghostery, and Disconnect.

uBlock Origin has no known commercial stake in advertising/tracking industry.

(Ron Wolf) #5

µMatrix is an even better example. It’s more comprehensive, since it all but drops the filter system that µBlock inherited from AdBlock. In its place is a neat matrix-based approach (with sites on the y-axis and content types on the x-axis) that maximizes flexibility and power while minimizing technical load. So for instance, I can block all third-party frames and then make an exception for YouTube embeds on a particular site. You can find an explanation with nice pictures here.

It’s very granular, so it might not be the best for the average user. Nevertheless, it would be fantastic as a developer switch for managing the behind-the-scenes workings of the Tracking Protection feature. One added benefit is that it might not be too hard to import the existing filters from Disconnect, as well as others from Ghostery (just the blacklists, since they have a commercial stake) and AdBlock (sans cosmetic filters).

(Leo McArdle) #6