Firefox 3.1 private mode following IE, Safari & Chrome

From the “privacy is an illusion” files:

Firefox 3.1 will be getting the so-called private mode (aka Porn mode). Mozilla competitors, Microsoft IE 8, Apple Safari and even Google Chrome already all have private mode – which is a browser window that will not store history or cookie beyond the session in which the window is open.

Private Browsing mode was originally part of the design spec for Firefox 3. While it may seem like Firefox in some way is playing catch-up to its competitors (because it is) – frankly Private Browsing mode altogether really is a misnomer in my opinion.

The reality is that no private browsing mode on any of the major browsers can actually stop a gateway or network admin from tracking visited URLs from users within a network. Web sites will still know who you are (via IP and cookie though they are temporary). All it really does is give the user an illusion of privacy because the session information isn’t retained locally.

Of course you could always just delete cookies and history after every session – but I suppose suspicious spouses could have asked their partners -‘ Why did you delete the history?’

Firefox 3.1 is still in its Alpha 2 release with a Beta expected within the next few weeks.

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