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Spring has sprung and with it an updated version of Ghostery (v 7.2) is ready for the masses! This release includes a number of number of big improvements and changes, so continue on to learn more.
First and foremost, Ghostery 7.2 includes our first official unveiling of the Human Web. The Human Web is a revolutionary technology developed by Cliqz, our new parent company, that uses the wisdom of the crowd to power a sophisticated suite of browsing tools, including private search and heuristic anti-tracking. The Human Web does this by aggregating anonymous statistical data from our users to determine the relevance and safety of trackers, websites, and search queries. This data is thoroughly scrubbed of any personally identifiable information and is passed through a series of peer-to-peer proxies, making the data virtually unidentifiable by anyone, including ourselves, so that even if our security were breached by a hacker or outside organization, there would be practically no way to tie this information to individuals. The Human Web, which is open source (check out the code), is implemented in all new installations of Ghostery, though users can easily opt out of it at any time. This implementation of the Human Web is the first step towards bringing heuristic anti-tracking - that is, an anti-tracking feature that uses machine learning to improve itself - to Ghostery in addition to our traditional block-list model, a move that will greatly increase the privacy firepower of our product.
Beyond implementing the Human Web, Ghostery also features a handful of new features and improvements. Chiefly, we have made all advanced features - including slow and non-secure alerts and URL patterns - available to all users, even those without accounts. This is our first step in making as much of the Ghostery experience available to users without needing to share an email address or create a password. Additionally, we have added a page speed indicator to the main panel, which shows the load time for the page. This indicator is a great way to see the impact that blocking or not blocking trackers with Ghostery has on how quickly websites load. Further, we have not only made a myriad of bug fixes as we always do but we have also made a number of improvements to our back-end processes that speed up the performance of Ghostery while reducing the CPU usage.
Finally, we are building a rigorous A/B testing back-end into our product which will allow us to more quickly and aggressively test new features in the product. This means that users like you are more likely to see experimental new features live and in the wild, giving us a greater opportunity to test big ideas and get immediate feedback on them from real users like you. This will be especially true for our beta user group, which has access to early builds that we will be using more and more frequently to test some pretty ambitious ideas. Per usual, if you want to join this group, feel free to do so by following this link and signing up.
The Ghostery Team
Summary Change Log
- Human Web implementation
- Page Speed Indicator
- A/B testing capabilities
- Click-2-Play button for Hubspot forms
- Changed URL for "Map these Trackers"
- Updated copy translations
- Removed account requirement for advanced features
- Improved performance and reduced CPU usage
- Fixed weird symbols mixed in with copy
- Fixed link to the proper blog post for the update notification
- Fixed version number in Ghostery control center
- Fixed issue causing FF version 52 to feeze
This hotfix addresses a critical defect across all browsers that has been logging users out of their accounts. This release also addresses some additional minor defects as well as a Firefox-specific defect that was causing a blank panel when users disabled third-party cookies.
This is a general maintenance hotfix with a few user-facing improvements and updates. First and foremost, we made performance improvements across all browsers by updating how we handle internationalization, which should reduce load time when a user first opens his browser. Second, we removed the ability to collapse the main panel, as this feature was proving to be buggy and problematic. Third, we resolved a number of backend defects and added some broken-page fixes.
This is a hotfix intended to fix a number of issues we discovered in the Ghostery 7 release, including upgrade issues in certain languages on Firefox, a CSS conflict with Ghostery's site notice, and other back-end defects.
Fixed Defect Summary:
+ Fixed scroll bar for upgrade modal on Firefox to prevent primary CTA from being pushed off the screen.
+ Fixed some broken links in the Help panel
+ Back-end defect fixes
First and foremost, the Ghostery 7 user interface feaures a bigger panel that is divided into an information view, featuring a more compact version of our granular tracker list, and a summary view, featuring high-level information and functionality. The summary view is collapsable and includes a tracker category donut wheel that also doubles as a click-to-select filter for the tracker list as well as the Trust Site (unblock all on page), Restrict Site (block all on page), and Pause Ghostery (disable all blocking) functions. Ghostery 7 also features new alerts for trackers that are slow, non-secure, or break pages, features that help users figure out what to block and when. The slow- and non-secure trackers are available only to account holders, as well as other advanced features, such as account syncing, tracker URLs, and a sneek peek of Trackermap. Finally, we have also enhanced the purplebox so that it has a new collapsed state that includes alert indicators.
Beyond the extesion itself, we have also consdensed the setup flow to make it easier for users to quickly and intuitively set up Ghostery. Additionally, the tour, which used to be required for all new users, is now an optional call-to-action that allows users to explore it if they are interested but otherwise easily dismiss it if they are not.
New Feature Summary
Restructured extension panel that is larger and collapsible
Cleaner, simpler, easier-to-understand UI
More compact tracker list
Filterable tracker categories
Alerts for broken page, and slow or non-secure trackers
Collapsable purple box with refined UI
Local settings located in the extension itself
Sneak peek at Ghostery Trackermap
Condensed setup flow with
Opt-in & account modals
Start tour banner
This hotfix is intended to make the local settings compatible with the updated WebKit codebase that Ghostery will be transitioning to in future release.
This hotfix addresses some issues we were having with uninstall functionality, links in the user notification pop-ups, and some back-end errors we were experiencing.
Simplified and Improved Blocking UI (Ghostery Extension)
The blocking UI/UX in previous versions of the extension was, to put it bluntly, very confusing. Too much information was hidden by default and it took users too many clicks to get the information they wanted about the trackers they wanted to investigate. There were also too many rules and override states for the blocking logic itself, which further complicated the user’s experience. In 6.3.0, we simplified the blocking options interface by restoring a more traditional list view - though one that retains the categories - and made global blocking an easier two-choice check/uncheck interaction. Local blocking and unblocking remains in the product as “Trust on this site” and “Restrict on this site” tracker options, language that better parallels the establish site-level trust and restrict actions. We’ve also made these options only visible when a user hovers on the blocking options to help keep the UI simpler and less cluttered.
New Features Summary
Simplified and improved blocking UI (Extension & Web)
Refined purple box UI/UX
Improved Firefox for Android menu options
Fixed Defects Summary
Several broken page fixes (surrogates)
Firefox for Android menu settings clarification
Minor translation issues
Minor save state UI issues
GBE 6.3.0 Product Designs
There are a number of new features in Ghostery 6.2.0 for Firefox. The most notable new feature is the restoration of Firefox for Android compatibility, which wasn’t previously available in the most recent releases. We have also added a feature for desktop users that will make the Tracker Settings panel the the primary view if it was the last panel open when the user closed the extension. That means that users can make this their default view if they prefer this to the Tracker Summary view.
We have also added a couple new features that will make it easier for users to report broken pages and submit new trackers. These features are available in the Ghostery extension menu. Finally, there were a couple minor edits to copy as well as small improvements to Ghostery web and extension interface.
New Features Summary
Firefox for Android compatibility
Persistent Tracker Settings panel view
Submit new tracker menu button + form
Report broken page menu button + generated email
User signed-in indicator
Updated My Ghostery footer to include Support link
Improved timestamp for tracker library updates
Fixed Defects Summary
Fixed the blank panel issue when a user clicks on a 2nd monitor and clicks back
Fixed the translation issue that was occurring when the tracker library updates
Clicking on “Norsk” no longer defaults translations to English
Improvements to first-party exceptions for trackers that show up on their owners’ domains
In the days following the release of Ghostery 6.0, we heard one question again and again - what happened to the “Pause” button? This feature never actually went away - it was renamed “Ghostery On/Off” and it was included in Ghostery’s menu. What was clear from the feedback our users gave us, however, was that having an obvious one-click option to temporarily pause blocking was sorely missed. Well, the “Pause” button has been returned to Ghostery 6.1, the first of many iterative releases to come.
Ghostery 6.1 also features a handful of defect fixes and copy changes. The most notable minor update is the change the name of “Adult Content” to “Adult Advertising” to better reflect the purpose of the trackers in that category. Additionally, the License Agreement and Privacy Statements now point to consolidated versions of each document and the 404 pages now load in all 22 supported languages.
New Features Summary
Ghostery 6.1 for Firefox includes the following new major features:
- Pause button on Summary Panel - temporarily pause and resume blocking on any page.
- Updated the category “Adult Content” to “Adult Advertising” to more accurately reflect the trackers in this category.
- Copy and internationalization updates
Fixed Defects Summary
Ghostery 6.1 for Firefox includes the following major defect fixes:
- The Ghostery summary panel is no longer broken when you close and reopen Firefox with Ghostery paused.
- Tooltips for Trust Site & Restrict Site no longer persist when you hover away from them.
- Corrections and improvements to internal analytics.
The 6.0.3 hofix fixes an issue that our users have been seeing when trying to sync their settings with the new Firefox v45.0 as well as a minor issue related to fonts.
Fixed Defects Summary
Ghostery 6.0.3 for Firefox includes the following defect fixes:
- Syncing Ghostery Browser Extension settings in Firefox 45.0 no longer crashes the browser.
- Fixes an issue with the purplebox font to prevent a console error.
The 6.0.1 hotfix addresses several issues and defects that were discovered in the wake of the 6.0.0 release to Firefox. In particular, we have fixed the issue with email signin and registration from within the extension so that emails with multiple characters and periods are now allowed. Additionally, we have fixed several issues with the tracker alert bubble (e.g., the purple box); the menu button has been fixed so that it displays properly and the box itself now remembers whether or not you had it expanded or collapsed, even if you navigate to a new page. We’ve also made some adjustments to the setup UI/UX to better communicate to users upgrading from 5.4 to 6.0 that all their previous settings are being imported. Finally, we made improvements to other minor copy and UI issues as well as our ability to detect a user’s language upon install.
New Features Summary
- Ghostery 6.0 for Firefox includes the following new major features:
- Improved setup UI/UX for users setting up 6.0 with pre-existing settings.
- Updated copy.
- Updated FAQ link.
- Updated release notifications link.
- Improvements to the accuracy of our opt-in data sharing.
- Improvements to internal product analytics.
- Fixed Defects Summary
Ghostery 6.0 for Firefox includes the following major defect fixes:
- Fixes issue with email validation for account creation and login within the extension.
- Fixes issue with user sign in / sign out, ensuring that users can stay signed in without being prematurely signed out.
- Fixes issue with tracker alert bubble (purple box) so that it stays open when you open it and closed when - you close it, even when navigating from page to page.
- Fixes issues related to extension UI interface, including defects related to overlapping text misplaced - scroll bars, and missing dismiss “x” from upgrade notification.
- Fixes issues related to to language recognition upon install for our 22 supported languages.
- Fixes issues related to Facebook social share where the Ghostery image was cropped incorrectly.
- Improves the UI on the Tracker Settings Panel when a user goes to a site that can’t be scanned or that doesn’t have any trackers.
#### Release Summary
Ghostery 6.0 represents a redesigned version of the product that aspires to be easier to use, more visually engaging, and more accessible to mainstream audience. There have been major improvements to the extension’s user interface designed to more intuitively align it with user needs and behaviors. The product has also been implemented with a revamped web UI that places user education at its center. This includes recategorizing the trackers in the Ghostery database into new, easy-to-understand categories, which have been implemented prominently in a new visual tracker organization hierarchy.Finally, Ghostery 6.0 includes, for the first time, user accounts that enable users to sync their settings across multiple devices.
#### New Features Summary
+ Ghostery 6.0 for Firefox includes the following new major features:
+ Redesigned extension UI / UX
+ Redesigned web UI/UX
+ User accounts
+ Setting syncing
+ New product tour and setup
+ New trackers categories
+ Category allowing/blocking
+ Site-specific tracker allowing/blocking
+ Site-specific trusted and restricted sites
+ Redesigned collapsable purplebox tracker list
+ Redesigned social sharing
+ New customer support implementation (Zendesk)
+ Internationalization into 22 supported languages
#### Fixed Defects Summary
+ Ghostery 6.0 for Firefox includes the following major defect fixes:
+ Preliminary fixes on Macs for defects experienced with Electrolysis enabled in the Firefox Nightly build.
+ Fixes the issue experienced on sites with the Taboola tracker wherein tracker counts were inaccurate and the trust / restrict site functionality was disrupted.
+ Fixes issues where the options page is blank in the old Ghostery panel
+ Firefox E10S updates
+ Fixes trc.taboola.com tracker issue
+ Fixes conflict with AdBlockPlus in Firefox 43
- Fixed large icon issue happening on Firefox 40+
- Fixed feedly.com conflict
- Fixed FAQ link
- Updated initial walkthrough
- Fixed bugs.
- Updated copyright.
- Reimplemented button UI to solve several toolbar button related issues.
- Adobe Typekit surrogate
- Add SeaMonkey support
- INFOLine surrogate
- Redesigned surrogate method to improve success rate
- Settings not persisting related issues
- Old Panel in Firefox translation keys
- Fixed blocking HookLogic on Walmart.com
- Alert Bubble not displaying tracker name on some websites.
- Ghostery icon displays in the middle of the page on some websites on Firefox for Android.
- Ghosty size reduced when footer options present on Firefox for Android.
- Tag filter message does not close, blocks other tag filters on Firefox for Android.
- Rename Support and Feedback buttons
- Add Ghostery blocking toggles on the apps pages
- Add 9 more languages to Ghostery (Czech, Danish, Finnish, Greek, Hungarian, Norwegian, Portuguese Brazilian, Swedish, Turkish
- Replace parseUri lib with our own processUrl everywhere
- Changes links to gcache pages to HTTPS
- Update firefox code signing cert to reflect rebrand
- Ping server on install and upgrades
- Tag selector breaks after manual db update
- Tags do not update in browser on manual library update
- URL parsing fails when user:password@host is present
- Scrollbars are visible in the app browser
- Font size using 'em' causing display issues with accessibility
- Link to new trackers in options page does not work
New features and bug fixes in 5.3.1
- App tags are now part of the database
- Ghostery now supports cross-browser settings backup
- Better handling of first-party trackers on their "home" domains
- More text/content attributed for click-2-play overlays
- Databases update from CDN now
- Tweaking the purple box text colors for improved readability
- Improvements in Android rendering of icon and panel
- Panel bug fix to support Firefox 31+
- Miscellaneous changes and bug fixes