Advertisements based on browsing habits come to Firefox beta

In 2014, Mozilla began testing what they call Directory Tiles, which are randomly selected ads that appear when you open a new tab.  They also started tests on Enhanced Tiles, which are derived from your browsing history.  Yes, you have that correctly, the Firefox program keeps track of your browsing habits and serves up advertising based on the sites you visit.  But these were just first steps.  Mozilla has now announced a new name for the enhanced type of ad, calling them Suggested Tiles, and these will be coming to beta builds of Firefox next week.

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Here is Mozilla’s description of Suggested Tiles:

Suggested Tiles is an advertising experience that delivers content recommendations that are relevant for the user in a transparent way while at the same time respecting their privacy, and giving them complete control over the experience.  As a tester, you should be able to identify clearly what is promoted or sponsored content, understand why you’re seeing it, interact with it and be able to change your settings with ease.  If you want to opt out entirely of Tiles, you may do that effectively and easily.

The number of Firefox users has been spiraling downward for several years now.  How injecting ads will help that situation is beyond understanding.  I do not know of a single person who has asked for a program to spy on them and serve ads based on their browsing habits.  The single saving grace of this colossal mess is the fact that it can still be turned off.  But for most people, it is just more bloat added to the program.  If it were an opt-in addition, perhaps it might be more acceptable, but I suspect the number of people opting in would be miniscule.

You can read the announcement from Mozilla at the Mozilla Blog.