Firefox 72 Released, blocking fingerprinting by default

January 7, Mozilla released Firefox 72.0, the latest version of the open-source web browser Firefox. There are notable feature enhancements. Now fingerprint blocking feature is there by default, and Picture-in-Picture feature works also on Linux and Mac.

Being the first release in 2020, Firefox 72 is the latest release following v71, which was released in December 2019.

Mozilla has been making continuous efforts on measures against user tracking, and now newly added is the fingerprint blocking feature enabled by default. Fingerprinting is a mechanism to track web browsers by using information about the users’ OS, browser, and device’s hardware settings, collected via JavaScript. It can track users’ browsing history even in environment where Cookies are blocked.

In order not to ruin users’ browsing experience, popups that ask whether to receive notification requests are now replaced by speech bubble that appear in address bar. When the speech bubble is clicked, it shows the notification request.

Now Picture-in-Picture feature, which makes a video embedded in a web page pops open to a floating window, is available on MacOS and Linux. This feature was already introduced in Firefox 71 but available only on Windows at the time.

Improvements are made on tools for developers (DevTools) such as Watchpoints, WebSockets inspector, and resource download times. Now it supports CSS Shadow Parts, CSS Motion Path, and more.

On the same day, Mozilla also released the Android version (v68.4.0). Its primary focus is on security fixes.

In the fall of 2019, Mozilla announced to shorten the release cycle. The major release cycle used to be between six and eight weeks, and now under the new policy, it is shortened to four weeks. Firefox 72 is the first release that was developed and released under the new release cycle.