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Firefox can now automatically remove tracking queries from URLs

Firefox’s latest release (version 102) has a new privacy feature that can automatically remove trackers from URLs when you open them, whether by clicking them or copying and pasting them in the URL bar.

This new feature called “Query Parameter Stripping” can automatically detect and remove query parameters from a URL that you’re visiting to stop companies from tracking you on the internet. Currently, the following tracking parameters are supported.

  • Drip: __s=
  • Facebook: fbclid= and mc_eid=
  • HubSpot: _hsenc=
  • Marketo: mkt_tok=
  • Olytics: oly_enc_id= and oly_anon_id=
  • Vero: vero_id=

The new feature is a part of Firefox’s Enhanced Tracking Protection measures. Do remember, though, that it isn’t available as a standalone feature but instead grouped with other privacy features in the browser’s Strict privacy mode. To enable it, switch to the Strict privacy mode in Firefox settings. 

The feature is only available as part of the Strict privacy settings.

Another thing to look out for is that enabling this ‘strict’ privacy mode can cause problems with some websites, causing them to load incorrectly. To properly access such pages, you will have to either disable tracking protection for that particular page or switch back to the standard protection mode. 

However, the feature still falls short of the privacy-focussed Brave browser when identifying and removing trackers embedded in URLs you visit. Additionally, these tracking queries won’t be removed in Private Mode even with the Strict privacy mode enabled. 

To enable this protection in Private mode as well, you will have to visit Firefox’s config page by typing about:config in the URL bar and then enabling the privacy.query_stripping.enabled.pbmode option. 

Enable this setting to let Firefox remove trackers in Private mode.

The feature is still rolling out, so there’s a chance that you might not see the setting on the config page. If that’s the case, we recommend either reinstalling the browser from scratch or waiting until the update officially arrives. 

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