September 26, 2022

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2022 10 browser privacy protection comparisons

5 min read

2022 10 browser privacy protection comparisons

 

10 browser privacy protection comparisons: Chrome and Edge make you “streaking”?


PrivacyTests.org is an open source initiative that conducts an automated suite of tests for popular web browsers.

These tests are designed to audit the privacy properties of web browsers in an unbiased manner.

The results of the tests are made public to help privacy-conscious users make more informed choices about which browser to use, and to encourage browser makers to improve the disclosure of these private data.

 

Recently PrivacyTests.org conducted another privacy protection test based on 10 mainstream browsers on the market. The browsers participating in the test and their corresponding versions are: Brave 1.34, Chrome 97, Edge 97, Firefox 95, Librewolf 95, Opera 82, Safari 15.1, Tor 11, Ungoogled 96, Vivaldi 5.

 

A common privacy flaw in web browsers is that they allow tracking companies to tag browsers with some “State” that identifies the user.

When third-party trackers are embedded on a website, they can see this identifying data as you browse different websites.

These kinds of leaks can be solved by splitting up all the data stored in the browser so that there is no data sharing between websites.

The first State Partitioning test is also carried out for this common situation.

 

 

State Partitioning test

 

2022 10 browser privacy protection comparisons2022 10 browser privacy protection comparisons

 

The State Partitioning test has a total of 22 sub-items, of which Librewolf and Tor performed the best, and only one of the 22 sub-items failed the test;

Librewolf failed the blob test (the blob URL is a local reference to some raw data, the tracker data can be shared between sites using blob URLs), while Tor fails the font cache test (web fonts are sometimes stored in their own cache, which can easily be abused for cross-site tracking);

they are followed by Brave (failed 4), Safari (failed 4), and Firefox (failed 8);

the worst performers were Chrome and Edge, passing only 6 out of 22 tests.

 

 

 

Navigation test

 

2022 10 browser privacy protection comparisons


Some browser APIs allow the first website to communicate with the second website when you click on a hyperlink to navigate the browser from one website to another.

This privacy hole can be addressed by introducing new restrictions on data transfers between websites.

 

This test session is divided into 3 sub-items. Librewolf still performed the best and passed two of them.

The document.referrer test that did not pass is essentially a kind of browser used by browsers to let the website know where the user is accessing from. mechanism.

 

Brave, Firefox, Safari, Tor and Ungoogled came in second, passing one test, while Chrome, Edge, Opera, and Vivaldi were the worst performers, failing all three tests.

 

 

 

HTTPS test

 

2022 10 browser privacy protection comparisons


HTTPS is the protocol used by web browsers to securely connect to websites.

When using HTTPS the connection is encrypted, so third parties on the network cannot read the content sent between the server and your browser.

 

The HTTPS test is divided into 5 sub-items. Librewolf has passed all the tests, followed by Tor, which has passed 3 tests.

The worst performers in this section are Firefox and Safari, which have always emphasized privacy protection.

Both only pass the Upgradable script, a project that checks that browsers try to upgrade scripts’ insecure addresses to HTTPS as much as possible.

 

 

 

Fingerprinting Intercept Test

 

2022 10 browser privacy protection comparisons


Fingerprinting is what we often call browser fingerprints, which is a user identification technology.

The fingerprinting script will measure several characteristics of your browser and combine these characteristic data to create a fingerprint that can accurately identify you among web users.

The browser can usually minimize the identification information disclosed by the network AP1 to achieve the purpose of protecting user privacy.

 

In this link, Librewolf and Tor passed all tests; Safari passed the System font detection test, which is a test that can detect whether a web page can obtain the existence of fonts installed on the user’s system.

The presence or absence of various fonts can also be used to identify users.

 

All but the three browsers mentioned above failed any of these tests.

 

 

 

Trace query parameter test

 


When you browse from one page to another, trackers usually append a tracking query parameter to the address of the second page.

This query parameter contains a unique identifier that tracks you individually as you browse the web.

And these query parameters are often synchronized with cookies, making it a powerful tracking vehicle.

Web browsers can protect you from known tracking query parameters by stripping them from URLs before your browser sends them.

 

There are a total of 24 test items in this link, and Brave passed 22 tests. All other browsers survived and failed to pass any tests.

 

 

 

Tracker content blocking test

 

 


When you visit a web page, the web page often has third-party embedded tracking content, such as scripts and tracking pixels.

This link checks whether the browser blocks the content of the 20 largest trackers.

 

Only Brave and Librewolf passed all the tests in this section, and the other browsers failed to block any of the 20 trackers.

 

 

 

Other tests

 


The main purpose of this test is to check the existence of various privacy features, one of which should be noted is Stream isolation, which is a privacy feature that uses the Tor Browser to use a different Tor Circuit for each top website, in all browsers participating in the test. Only Tor has this feature.

 

If you don’t consider the Tor “exclusive” function of Stream isolation, Brave and Tor perform best in this link, with two of the privacy functions; other than that, other browsers do not have the above privacy functions.

 

Looking at all the test sessions, it can be seen that Librewolf is the browser with the best overall performance among the 10 browsers.

Although it will encounter the embarrassing situation of all failures in the “tracking query parameter test”, it does not hide its shortcomings.

Chrome and Edge are the worst performing browsers.

They all fail in the “tracker content interception test”, “tracking query parameter test” and “Fingerprinting interception test”, and some test links can only be through a few small projects.

 

Many readers may not be very familiar with the Librewolf browser, here is a brief introduction to it. LibreWolf is an independent fork of Firefox whose main goals are privacy, security, and user freedom.

LibreWolf adds protection to tracking and fingerprinting technology on top of Firefox, and also includes some security improvements.

 

The full test report and more detailed data can be found on the PrivacyTests.org website.

 

 

 

 

2022 10 browser privacy protection comparisons


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