Private browsing was added to the Firefox 3.1 pre-release code today, just hours before the scheduled code freeze on beta 2.
Private browsing is referred to as the “Don’t Leave A Trace” feature because it allows users to hide online activities and one’s surfing history.
Getting this feature into version 3.1 was especially critical since Google’s recently released Chrome browser, Microsoft Internet Explorer and Apple Safari have it. The feature was originally expected to be in Firefox 3.0 but wasn’t quite ready when that released in June.
Here’s what private browsing will and won’t do, as noted by its developer.
““Private Browsing aims to help you make sure that your web browsing activities don't leave any trace on your own computer,” wrote Ehsan Akhgari, the feature's developer. “It is very important to note that Private Browsing is not a tool to keep you anonymous from websites or your ISP, or for example protect you from all kinds of spyware applications which use sophisticated techniques to intercept your online traffic. Private Browsing is only about making sure that Firefox doesn't store any data which can be used to trace your online activities, no more, no less.”
Mozilla has stated that the Beta 2 code freeze is 11:59 pm EST on Nov. 4.