I’m a dedicated user of Google Chrome. Google’s deep roots throughout so many aspects of my online life make using the browser more convenient for me, but not everyone would agree with me. For those who value privacy, unrelenting speed, and deep customization, Mozilla’s Firefox browser has been an extremely popular choice for millions of people. While it’s certainly a very powerful tool, something that’s been noticeably absent has been push notifications. However, in the Firefox 44 update that just landed today, push notifications are alive and well in Mozilla’s most popular product.
When you update to Firefox 44, you will be given the option to grant sites, such as Twitter, Gmail, and Facebook, the ability to send you notifications to your desktop as you receive them—even when the sites aren’t currently open in your browser. Thanks to these notifications, you will be able to clear up your cluttered tabs, which will also help you save precious processing power and battery life. Just like Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox has implemented the Web Push protocol for their notifications. The company has outlined very clearly that, just like geolocation and webcam access, the Web Push notifications require very explicit and revokable permissions.
While that’s all fine and dandy, this could still cause alarm bells to ring if you rely on Firefox to ensure maximum privacy with your personal information. In their blog post talking about the new Web Push notifications, Mozilla outlines the following:
- To prevent cross-site correlations, every website receives a different, anonymous Web Push identifier for your browser.
- To thwart eavesdropping, payloads are encrypted to a public / private keypair held only by your browser.
- Firefox only connects to the Push Service if you have an active Web Push subscription. This could be to a website, or to a browser feature like Firefox Hello or Firefox Sync.
If you haven’t yet committed to Firefox but want to give it another go, you can download it here and test out the new Web Push notifications for yourself.