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Mozilla Firefox 72 to Require User Interaction on All Browser Notification Prompts

Firefox 72 is due for release in January.

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Mozilla Firefox 72 to Require User Interaction on All Browser Notification Prompts

Mozilla has emerged as the first browser maker to restrict annoying notification prompts

Highlights
  • Mozilla Firefox 72 will include a small icon in the URL bar
  • This will help the browser by default block notification prompts
  • Mozilla has sent a letter to US Congress to bolster encrypted DNS move

In a bid to reduce the amount of annoying permission notification prompts on desktops, Mozilla has announced that Firefox will require user interaction to enable pop-up notifications. The change, which will come in place through Firefox 72, comes as a result of a series of studies and experiments around restricting notification prompts. One such development the organisation announced back in April this year under which it noted that 97 percent of the time, users denied the permission for pop-up notifications.

Mozilla through a blog post emphasised its take to restrict notifications prompts. The organisation is set to provide a small permission icon in the URL bar instead of popping up notifications that users will need to click to view the notification request. This change will be a part of Firefox 72 that is arriving in January.

In Firefox 70 that was released last month, Mozilla replaced the default "Not Now" option with "Never" to effectively hide notification prompts on webpages.

Many webmasters use browser notifications to enhance user engagement and reduce bounce rate on their websites. However, the pop-up nature of notifications makes them annoying for the masses.

In the blog post, Mozilla mentioned that about 99 percent of notification prompts go unaccepted, with 48 percent being actively denied by the user. It also highlighted that users aren't likely to accept a notification prompt when it is shown more than once on the same site.

As noted by ZDNet, some attackers even use notification pop-ups to trick visitors to download malware.

Mozilla has indeed emerged as the first browser maker to restrict notification prompts. However, Google is also experimenting a similar move. Chrome engineer Alex Russell in a series of tweets back in April indicated that Chrome may deal with notification prompts in the future.

Separately, Mozilla, while supporting DNS over HTTPS (DoH), has urged US Congress to reject broadband players lobbying campaign against the development.

Google and Mozilla are planning to support encrypted DNS in their Web browsers to enhance user privacy. However, the broadband industry stakeholders in the US are opposing the move by saying that it "could interfere on a mass scale."

However, Mozilla has now requested Congress to ignore the ongoing protests by ISPs and other third parties who sent a letter requesting to block the move.

"Unsurprisingly, our work on DoH has prompted a campaign to forestall these privacy and security protections, as demonstrated by the recent letter to Congress from major telecommunications associations. That letter contained a number of factual inaccuracies," Mozilla Senior Director of Trust and Security Marshall Erwin wrote in the letter sent to chairs and ranking members of three House of Representatives committees, as quoted by Ars Technica.

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Jagmeet Singh Tech journalist by profession, tech explorer by passion. Budding philomath. More
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