Google doesn't believe in privacy and they don't want you to be able to block tracking. Just look at the Android permissions system for an example.
Also, Firefox is generally faster than Chrome from a user's perspective, because Chrome is optimized to send you to the Google Search results pages where you're supposed to click cleverly-disguised ads on your way to your destination. In contrast, Firefox is designed to send you directly to where you want to go. Try it for a while to see what I mean.
(I hope that someone will write a script to compare the amount of time wasted by Chrome's pushing people to Google search results vs. the fast search experience on Firefox where ctrl-l gets you fast, accurate suggestions and ctrl-k gets you search suggestions.)
Also, Firefox for Android is the only mobile browser that lets you use add-ons, and adblockers can save over 70% of bandwidth. Self-destructing cookies works on the mobile version too.
Why are people who are concerned about privacy using a browser created by a company that doesn't believe in privacy? You have no privacy options with Chrome on Android (at all) either. Firefox offers a lot of privacy protection out of the box, and you can use add-ons on the mobile version.
But after just researching it, it appears things may have improved. Apple made the default for Safari to block third party cookies, so if you want to be Mac/iPhone compatible you de-facto have to not break.
But that’s it.
Authorities don't collect data on you to protect you, they are ostensibly doing it to protect other citizens from you.
One of the reasons that "smart" people object to this, is that it could also limit their ability to play a leadership role in civic life, if there are people in positions of authority with different political philosophies or, even worse, who are outright corrupt or dishonest.
Besides the obvious examples of abuse like the Nixon administration, I suspect there are very few counties in the country that don't have at least one case of someone in a sheriff department, school board, city council, etc that has been caught using their rather limited access to information about local citizens for the purpose of staying in power or for some form of personal gain.
More than a question of privacy, this is a question of next-generation user experience. If as an individual, my data from uber, google, facebook, visa, amazon is all in one place I can give selective anonymized access to it to different services that can leverage the collective data to provide better user experiences to me.
If a company abuses a peoples collected data they are likely just spamming them or something similar to sell me some product, and they can expect repercussions. If a government is abusing data there is likely nefarious activities happening challenging a countries democracy and little consequence to be easily had. Very different end results and motivations.
When the powers in charge decide to use your data against you because they don't like your political stances, who is going to protect you?
The real solution should be to use encryption so that only you as a consumer holds the keys to your data. The reason the tech industry will never implement something like this is because it will kill their profit machines - not because it is not possible to implement this.
It's a matter of power imbalance.
We can compare the issues between a marketing on Facebook re-targeting you and the government recording your text messages. In one scenario, your preferences are exposed and used to present you with an advertisment to buy a good. In the other scenario, you can be analyzed for whether or not you've committed a crime or are about to commit a crime.
The two scenarios have vastly different consequences with varying levels of mindshare for thr general public.
Why is one way of collecting evidence any better than the other. If you commit a crime, you should be convicted. Just because you are able to hide certain types of evidence today does not make the crime justified.
It is indeed very similar to the government hiring millions of police and placing them everywhere (but even worse!). This effects society negatively and restricts freedom of expression due to the very looming presence of law enforcement everywhere.
Also define "smart."
It is easy for tech guys to talk about this, they are already involved and understand what is going on.
Try temporarily disabling your ad blocker and trying again.
Edit - 3 of the 5 companies accepted my opt-out request.
Turning off NoScript and Random Agent Spoofer doesn't help. Still running: uBlock, HTTPS Everywhere, Disconnect, and BetterPrivacy.
Both computers have uBlock Origin, Privacy Badger, and the built-in Firefox tracking protection.
So I can assume Yahoo isn't the one watching this particular bit of my internet traffic...
uBlock origin prevented the site from loading anything interesting, and Self-Destructing Cookies means it isn't leaving anything behind.
I think I'm fine, but how can I know for sure?
To avoid tracking by ad companies use uBlock, Ghostery, Privacy Badger, etc.
This does not mean that you will not see ads from them it means that they should delete all profiling information that they have about you and serve you just shitty regular ads.