The latest update to Privacy Badger brings a new onboarding process and other improvements. The new onboarding process will make Privacy Badger easier to use and understand. These latest changes are just some of the many improvements EFF has made to the project, with more to come!
Join EFF and millions of users in the fight to regain your privacy rights!
Privacy Badger was created with the objective of protecting users from third-party tracking across the web—all users. To do this, Privacy Badger needed a couple of key features:
- The ability to catch sneaky trackers without completely breaking your browsing experience when possible.
- Simple to use and understand.
Privacy Badger uses heuristics, meaning it observes and learns who is tracking you
For the first purpose, Privacy Badger uses heuristics, meaning it observes and learns who is tracking you rather than maintaining a manual list of trackers. Even if there is a third-party tracker that is rather unknown, or new, Privacy Badger will see that tracker. If your Privacy Badger sees the tracker three times, it will block that tracker so you don’t have to wait for someone to eventually update that list. It’s also a matter of trust—Privacy Badger blocks by behavior and not by a third-party controlled list that might be sold to advertisers.
Second, we try to make Privacy Badger simple and informative. Your Privacy Badger learns on its own and displays a badge showing how many trackers it has seen. If it breaks a website’s functionality, you can quickly disable Privacy Badger on that site.
When you install Privacy Badger, it doesn’t block anything immediately because it needs to learn. This is a unique functionality, so many users’ first reaction to Privacy Badger when they first install it is that it doesn’t work. We explained this in our FAQ and Onboarding pages, but we’ve improved those pages to make it clear for everyone.
To fix this, the new onboarding is simple and points out some essentials on how Privacy Badger works, what to do when something breaks, and what it means to join the team of millions of Badgers. It’s also easy to see on mobile if you are testing our Beta for Firefox on Android.
We hope that these changes will help us achieve a tracking-blocking extension that is dead-simple to use for anyone and for everyone. And soon we’ll have an improved site and FAQ to guide you through more advanced settings and functions of Privacy Badger
Why did we make this change and what other things changed?
We listen to our users a lot. We read all their feedback, check GitHub, and review error reports. We also observe how people interact with Privacy Badger and ask many questions directly to people on the street, the cab, at the cafe and anywhere.
We are focused on making Privacy Badger install-and-forget-simple
We’re looking to see if they have any issues installing our extension, if they understand how it works, and if they can fix something when it breaks.
Instead of focusing on shipping tons of features, we are focused on making Privacy Badger install-and-forget-simple, so when we install it on our relatives’ computer we don’t get a call saying we broke the Internet. All this while still protecting their privacy.
Sometimes it’s big visual changes like the onboarding process, and sometimes it’s simple things like moving an advanced option away some levels so only curious users will get there—users who will probably read in more detail our FAQ.
You might think this is not important, but we observed that when people open the options, they interpret the first thing they see as “I’m supposed to play with this.” If you have a complicated feature there, in an application where your target is every kind of user, you are asking for trouble and confusion.
We still have a lot of things to come, but we hope this update sheds some light on how to use Privacy Badger, and makes it easier to use. We are always listening to your feedback, and are really excited to work to protect your privacy online and that of your family and friends.