Mozilla has created an extension for its Firefox web browser which allows the activities of Facebook to be contained in one tab.
The Facebook Container extension allows users to keep logging into Facebook but limits what data the site can access as they move around the web.
The extension has been released in the wake of growing concerns about what data Facebook receives and how it is used.
In a blog post, Mozilla explains: “This extension helps you control more of your web activity from Facebook by isolating your identity into a separate container. This makes it harder for Facebook to track your activity on other websites via third-party cookies.
“Rather than stop using a service you find valuable and miss out on those adorable photos of your nephew, we think you should have tools to limit what data others can collect about you.”
For its part Mozilla says that it does not collect data from those using the Facebook Container extension. It only knows the number of times the extension is installed or removed.
Once installed, the extension deletes your Facebook cookies and will log you out of Facebook across all sites.
This is important because some third-party sites use Facebook for their log-in method or to post and read comments.
Next time you choose to access Facebook it will be in a blue browser tab – the container tab – and you can use the social network as you choose.
But links which take you out of Facebook will load outside of the container with no tracking.
Using Facebook like or share buttons on other tabs will load inside the container – but will create a data trail about which sites were shared from.
Because of how other sites interact with Facebook they may look slightly different when you are logged out of Facebook.
“If you use your Facebook credentials to create an account or log in using your Facebook credentials, it may not work properly and you may not be able to log in,” explains Mozilla.
“Also, because you’re logged into Facebook in the container tab, embedded Facebook comments and like buttons in tabs outside the Facebook container tab will not work.
“This prevents Facebook from associating information about your activity on websites outside of Facebook to your Facebook identity.”
Mozilla also has a Multi-Account Containers extension. It works in a similar way – cookies are restricted to each container/tab for different sorts of browsing.
Last week, Mozilla announced it was to pause its own advertising on Facebook after looking more closely at the privacy settings.
“While we believe there is still more to learn, we found that its current default settings leave access open to a lot of data – particularly with respect to settings for third-party apps,” the company said it a statement.