Thursday, May 26, 2011

managing your relationship with sites

This post is co-written by Margaret Lebovic and Sid Stamm. This article is cross-posted on Margaret's blog

As the web becomes more and more complex (and AWESOME), it's important that you can manage your relationship with the variety of sites out there. Sure, Firefox 4 has a Page Info dialog that lets you control what a web page is allowed to do, including whether you want to let it store data on your computer, access your location information, open pop-up windows, and on and on. However, this dialog only lets you manage your relationship with the one page you're currently visiting, not the entire set of sites you visit on the web.

We think it's important to be able to manage your whole relationship with web sites in an intuitive way, and that's why we're exited to show you what we've started working on: a site-based permissions interface.


This feature is still experimental, but you can give it a shot. In the future, we'll be putting some polish on the UI, adding more controls like "always access securely" (HSTS), and hopefully giving you a better view of what a site knows about you. We also want to integrate this permissions manager with the site identity block in the location bar for quick and easy access.

Try it out! Grab a Firefox nightly build and try out the feature by typing about:permissions into the location bar.

(Credit: thanks to Jennifer Boriss, Medhi Mulani and Margaret for all the hard work on this project.)

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

Nice work! :-D

Anonymous said...

sounds good!

Anonymous said...

Very nice. I hope we'll have some discoverable link in the UI to open about:permissions. Perhaps somewhere in the Larry popup?

Sid Stamm said...

@Anonymous/3:27pm: That's one idea for down the road.

Here's the way I see it playing out: First, we want to get the UI working and tested heavily, second we'll make it easily discoverable, finally we'll tie the data and controls in elsewhere to provide in-flight controls for the way you interact with sites.

Nick Thomas said...

Cool feature, but the download link at the bottom doesn't get you an Aurora build including it. You can tell by the URLs with 5.0a2 in them.

Once QA finishes their checks the mozilla.com page will be updated to point to 6.0a2 builds.

Laura Forrest said...

Very cool. Thanks for writing!

Sid Stamm said...

@Nick Thomas: Thanks for the warning and, sorry 'bout that. Nightlies should have it (but will be a little fragile for many users). I've updated this article to point to nightlies and will revert to aurora links when it's ready.

Mook said...

Make sure to look at KaiRo's similar extension, might have useful ideas there too.

Anonymous said...

Will this new UI be able to answer questions like "to which sites have I given any special permissions?" or "to which sites have I given this special permission?"?

Arjan said...

Is there a list somewhere with all permissions going there?

I for one would like to control the Javascript settings from Options -> Content -> Advanced (Javascript) on a per site basis.

kairo said...

I just hope that https://addons.mozilla.org/addon/data-manager goes well with it ;-)

Erunno said...

Since you're redesigning the privacy options anyway this might be my chance to mention one of my pet peeves. :)

I want to automatically delete all cookies at the end of a session except for some selected domains. Problem is that if I add a domain exception this will allow the domain to receive its cookies also in a third-party context. This is exactly what I don't want.

For instance, I want YouTube/Facebook/Google/whatever to retain its cookies across sessions but I don't want them to receive their cookies (including the user IDs) whenever I encounter one of their almost ubiquitous widgets on other sites.

Anonymous said...

I also hope that it will be possible to disable JavaScript per site basis (like with other browsers).

Also it's possible to configure:
- Java
- Flash
- Silverlight (if one installed that)
- Frames (including IFRAME)
- HTML5 audio/video
- PDF plugins
- other plugins
- fonts via @font-face

but it's not implemented. I hope Mozilla enables the users to control that.

Good change. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Anonymous (above me).
It is certainly expandable, like Opera ;-)
And I wish a option to permit third-part-cookies per Page

Anonymous said...

Please add an option for 3rd party cookies. I have them off in options but some shops require them, it would be great if I did not have to open them in IE just to avoid letting every other tab installing cookies all over the place.

Anonymous said...

I wish this feature would have backup option. It would suck to lose all modifications after all the tinkering. At least please work together with FEBE people. I was able to back up permissions on Firefox 3.6 but could not restore them in Firefox 4.0.

Anonymous said...

[quote]Please add an option for 3rd party cookies. I have them off in options but some shops require them[quote]

Yes this is very important.
I hate 3rd-party-cookies!
But I must allow them, because some sites otherwise not work correctly.

Matthias said...

Is this really needed? Many users only surf with a browser, because they have not many knowlegde about computers and internet.

So I think, this is a nice feature, but only then, if there is a good public description what this feature do, how and why to use it.

Anonymous said...

I'm using (sigh)...NoScript, Cookie Monter, Ghostery, Taco (albine), BetterPrivacy, WorldIP and Anonmyizer to keep my internet life private and wathc who is watching me. It would be nice if some of these features were built into Mozilla.

"They may take our lives, but they'll never take our FREEDOM!!" Braveheart!

Anonymous said...

Will Mozilla address the EU cookie law at all?

jigarshah.net said...

Good one..Will it have someday.."never remember in history"....I don't want them to appear in awsomebar

Anonymous said...

I am excited to see this feature being worked on.

I would also second the request for per site javascript permissions.

Anonymous said...

Can we get better control over cookies so I can restrict when sites receive my cookies. For example, I don't mind Google leaving and receiving cookies but I do want to control when. So that they can cookie me when I visit google.com but never at any other time.