Technology has boxes, too. Smartphones? Only two of significance– iPhone and Android. Mac and Windows, too. What about browsers? There are a hundred, right? Nope.
For most of the past two decades, popular web browsers have engaged in wholesale theft of user information. That’s what most websites do. They track you and browsers are complicit with built-in tracker mechanisms.
OK, back to divvying up the world and putting the pieces into boxes.
How many major browser platforms are there? A hundred? More? Less? Let’s go with less. Three. Apple’s Safari, Mozilla’s Firefox, and Google’s Chromium. The latter is the platform that makes up the basis of Google’s Chrome browser– the most popular, most used, least privacy-respecting browser.
Yet, Chrome has Chromium competition. That is, browsers based on Chromium which throw Google’s Chrome to the curb with better built-in privacy protections. Ed Bott did some tests with Microsoft’s Chromium-based Edge browser and figured out that one in four items blocked when using tracker prevention features, block Google.
The new Edge browser, built on the same open source code as Google Chrome, contains a new Tracking Prevention feature that blocks third-party trackers and, at the Strict setting, many ads. My tests show that one in four items blocked are from Google.
That says Edge is better for you than Google’s own Chromium-based browser, Chrome.
That may not be sufficient to get Apple customers to switch to Edge– there is a beta Edge version for Mac, iPhone, and iPad– partly because Firefox is faster and more private, but also because Chromium is the back end engine for Vivaldi, Brave, Opera, and many other popular web browsers that take user privacy more seriously.
I like browsers who turn on tracking protection by default. Google doesn’t do that. Safari does it partially. Brave and Firefox– and Microsoft Edge in the beta version– do it completely.
Bott went to a lot of work to see how Edge works and even Microsoft’s customers will be impressed. Yeah, it’s the Chromium browser under the skin, but it’s tweaked and tuned for privacy, and not to emulate Chrome.