Firefox 3.1 to Get Privacy Mode, After All

Faced with concerns that users might switch over to IE8 or Google's new Chrome so they can browse porn, er, we mean privately, Mozilla has reversed course on Privacy Mode, which had been out for Firefox 3.1.  The upcoming release will indeed support Privacy Mode, popularly known as "Porn Mode."

Both IE8 in its current Beta 2 form and Chrome in its (barely) beta form support Privacy Mode.

In a note from this week's weekly status meeting, Mozilla said:

"Private Browsing Mode: Ehsan [Akhgari] went and implemented Connor's functional spec bug 248970 -- way to go! Now back on track for beta date."

Cryptic, but it means that bug 248970 has been  addressed, and that entry in Bugzilla, Mozilla's bug tracking system, is about Private Browsing.  Interestingly, since the 9/9 weekly meeting, there have been 2 other entries to that bug, meaning that the feature isn't bug-free just yet.

The feature is supposed to:
  • Discard all cookies acquired during the private session.
  • Not record sites visited to the browser's history.
  • Not autofill passwords, and not prompt the user to save passwords.
  • Remove all downloads done during the session from the browser's download manager.
Besides the two beta browsers we mentioned earlier, Apple's Safari already supports Private Browsing.  These developments meant that among the major browsers, Firefox was the odd man out.
Tags:  Firefox, Fire, Privacy, mod, fox, vac, AC