Browser privacy is at the forefront of many consumers’ concerns in a digitally advanced world, so it’s no surprise that companies like Apple and Firefox are expanding their browsing features to encompass more aggressive privacy options. According to Digiday, that push will happen early this fall.
A private browsing company called Neeva will also feature in this fall endeavor, encouraging a shift to their product (an ad-free, subscription-based browser) alongside Apple and Firefox. Neeva would theoretically charge a “minimum” of four dollars per month, allowing users to experience a much more private web browsing experience for far less than the abstract cost of more traditional options.
Neeva’s fundraising fervor can be, in part, attributed to the success of Brave, a similarly privacy-focused browser that makes use of Tor to protect unwitting users from unfriendly data inquiries.
Apple’s foray into more extreme privacy options comes in the form of “Apple Private Relay,” which is a feature that can prevent websites from viewing the identity of a visitor.
Firefox’s approach is a bit more platform-centered, with its initiatives including more active showcasing of its built-in VPN and safety features.
Digiday acknowledges that privacy-forward browsing has been available for years, but it tends to reside “mostly on the fringes of society,” with browsers like Tor succumbing to slow load times and stereotypes regarding things like criminal activity and a disproportionately high conspiracy theorist population.
But data privacy is extremely important, now more than ever – and dispelling those stereotypes in favor of education is crucial if the public is going to shift away from browsers and browsing habits that, respectively, look pretty and feel convenient while continuing to endanger and victimize consumers.
For a company like Apple to be moving toward an increase in privacy feels like a paradigm shift – if for no other reason than when Apple makes moves, everyone else tends to sit up and pay attention. Firefox’s push may be a little less surprising given the features built into the browser, but the timing isn’t a coincidence.
Private browsing, at least to those who know it best, has mainstream value, and it’s on its way.