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Mozilla omits CPU architecture information from Firefox’s user agent

Mozilla plans to omit CPU architecture information from Firefox’s user agent and several other supported APIs to scale back the digital fingerprint of Firefox customers.

Web browsers reveal information mechanically to web sites that customers open within the purposes. The user agent reveals information concerning the browser and browser model, working system, and, up till just lately, additionally the CPU architecture.

Fingerprinting scripts use user agent information and different information, e.g. language and placement, to create digital fingerprints. The accuracy of fingerprints will increase with the variety of distinctive information factors.

Firefox will not reveal one of many information bits to scripts and websites anymore going ahead. The change, carried out already in latest Firefox Nightly 69 builds, omits CPU architecture information from the user agent.

Firefox used to distinguish between the next CPU architectures:

  1. 32-bit Firefox on 32-bit working programs.
  2. 32-bit Firefox on 64-bit working programs.
  3. 64-bit Firefox on 64-bit working programs.

Firefox customers who run Firefox 69 will discover that scripts that return the user agent will not differentiate the information anymore. A merely Google seek for examine user agent reveals that as seen on the screenshot under.

firefox cpu architecture information user agent

The present Nightly model of Firefox run on a take a look at system returns the next user agent:

Mozilla/5.zero (Windows NT 10.zero; Win64; x64; rv:69.zero) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/69.zero

The change impacts 32-bit Firefox installations that run on 64-bit variations of a Windows or Linux working system. These variations will use the next user agent as of Firefox 69:

  • Linux: Linux x86_64 as a substitute Linux i686 on x86_64
  • Windows: Win64 as a substitute of WOW64

The change applies to the user agent and the APIs navigator.userAgent, navigator.platform, and navigator.oscpu.

Modifying the user agent information on this method is a low danger change in keeping with Mozilla that ought to not impression performance or compatibility.

Mozilla’s plugin finder service used the information supplied by the user agent to direct customers to the proper Flash Player obtain. Adobe Flash is the final plugin that Firefox helps however the installer is common so differentiation is now not vital. Flash, additionally, will be retired in late 2020.

The change is step one of a more in depth rewriting course of that may take away CPU architecture information completely from the Firefox user agent and related APIs. The main change requires in depth testing because it has a better chance of inflicting internet compatibility points on websites that implement user agent sniffing methods.

Closing Words

Firefox omits CPU architecture information going ahead and can even cover architecture information completely within the close to future; that is a great step in the correct route. It may result in incompatibilities, nevertheless on websites that sniff user brokers.

Now You: What is your tackle the change? (through Sören Hentzschel)

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