Release Notes for the Privacy Suite Plugin

What's new and improved in PrivacySuite BETA version 0.746?

  • This version of PrivacySuite introduces our beta. You should see a welcoming beta message upon installing. You can choose to opt-out by clicking "No thanks" on the window. If you choose to join, your addon will anonymously report usage information to us. You can see the details of this information by going to Preferences >> Beta Program in PrivacySuite.
  • Increased compatibility up to Firefox 15.0a1
  • Ability to switch between New and Old UI
  • Lots of bug fixes, including a data corruption issue
  • Better blocking against tracking, lots of updated rules

What's new and improved in PrivacySuite version 0.738?

  • Added new social buttons feature. Control what "social" like buttons are active on any site. Turn them on here and turn them off there to keep your browsing private. These "like" buttons often send tracking information to social websites even if you don't click them!
  • We've also:

  • Reduced add-on size by over 100KB
  • Speeded up cookie deletion on FireFox close.
  • Added more opt-outs
  • Increased compatibility up to FireFox v. 9.0 (changes may occur)

What's new and improved in PrivacySuite version 0.730?

  • Smaller and Faster. We keep making the PrivacySuite more efficient. The add-on is now both smaller and faster. Over 70% faster!
  • Improved Privacy Alert window
  • See total tracking attempts blocked
  • Handy on-off toggle to easily delete (or keep) tracking cookies at sites
  • See tracker counts at each website in the toolbar
  • Auto-updating rules to keep your tracker list up-to-date

What's new and improved in PrivacySuite version 0.720?

  • Better ways to send us feedback. If you see something that looks like a bug, or just can't fill out a form as you'd expect to - you'll find easier, more intuitive ways to tell us about it. And when you do tell us, you'll be helping everyone who uses it as well. So, please, keep giving us feedback and we'll keep making it better for everyone. Thanks!
  • Enhanced icon with tracker indicator. See the total number of Web trackers on a page you visit right in the icon, and marking these GREEN if blocked, and GREY if not. By clicking on the icon, you'll pull up the more detailed view in the small privacy alert window We're continuing to improve how we show you your privacy on a web site "at a glance" without being too intrusive, but still being informative - let us know what you think.
  • Enhanced privacy alert window - Including an easier way to turn Abine on or off completely on any site. The window is also easier to use and even less intrusive, fading out automatically after a few seconds of viewing by default. You'll also see a statistic called "total tracking attempts blocked" which should give you a rough idea of how many web trackers, widgets, and analytics calls you've stopped since using Abine. As always, even this information remains on your computer and is NOT sent to us.
  • New Web trackers and Opt-Out Cookies added. We're continuing to add more and more new Web tracking companies and ad networks which track your online behavior – since Google rolled out its +1 feature which is similar to Facebook's "Like" button, we've included that among others to keep current.
  • More bug fixes including some fixes including fixing some bugs for Macintosh users (only the outline of the screens would show up in certain situations), some form-handling bugs, and more.

PrivacySuite version 0.715

  • Beta launch of Autopiilot, our new service for making it super-simple to sign up anonymously anywhere on the Web. Autpiilot (the PII is for Personally Identifiable Information) automatically creates private and secure usernames, passwords, and email addresses for every site you visit.
    Control who can send you email, stop sites from sharing or selling or data-mining your personal information, and protect your identity across any of your online accounts.
    Bonus: Autopiilot comes with optional Apps for your Blackberry, iPhone, or Android to help you remember any of your more anonymous, more private accounts so you can login easily when you're on the go.
  • Enhanced privacy alert and tracker indicator.Easily see how many Web tracking technologies are watching you on every page by simply looking at the icon. One click lets you dive into the details and see what’s blocked and what you’re opting out of on every page. Easier to use, and less intrusive.
  • New Web trackers and Opt-Out Cookies added. We're continuing to add more and more new Web tracking companies and ad networks which track your online behavior.
  • More Bug fixes including better handling of sites that have conflicts when being blocked.

PrivacySuite version 0.710

  • New DeleteMe Service!
    • Sign up for our new Privacy service called DeleteMe that searches the Web to find, monitor, & control what's publicly available about you. See more about this here: https://abine.com/deletemedetail.php
  • Easier to try a Safe Web phone number: Keep your cell phone private online
    • When you want to protect you phone but sign up for different Web sites and still let them call – go to the Safe Email and Phone tab, and try signing up now.
  • Still more Opt-Out Cookies and Trackers added
    • We're continuing to add more and more new companies and ad networks that are springing up which track your behavior.
  • Bug fixes including better handling of sites that have conflictswhen being blocked.

PrivacySuite version 0.705

  • Stop sites from collecting information about where you've been using "referrers"
    • We've added a new "Recommended Referrer" setting which automatically stops 3rd party sites from collecting the full path of where you camefrom
    • Since referrers often include a lot of detailed info that you don't necessarily ever see about what you were doing on the site you just left - like the exact search terms you used on Google or the things you were shopping for or places you were searching on a travel site, this protects other sites from scooping up that information and building it into their profile of you.
    • The sites you're already on, a.k.a "First party sites" will still get all the regular info they need so it should be pretty painless.
    • To turn this feature on go to PREFERENCES > Surf Anonymously and check the checkbox titled Use "recommended referer blocking". Easy
  • More Opt-Out Cookies and Trackers
    • We're continuing to add more and more new companies and ad networks that are springing up (like weeds) which track your behavior. A major new batch will go out in our next big update.
  • Lots of bug fixes including better better handling of sites that have conflicts when being blocked.

PrivacySuite Release 0.695

What's new and improved in Privacy Suite version 0.695?
  • Simplified Cookie Manager – cookies are now easier to manage and you can decide which sites you trust to store cookies for you and which ones you want to delete regularly – including all cookie types like Flash, DOM and Silverlight.
  • Easier Subscriptions – it’s now a bit easier to subscribe to our most popular services: safe phones – which gives you a new phone # that forwards to your real # and fast proxy - which hides your IP address and geographic location from sites who track it.
  • New Chrome Version “ChomeBlock”: We’ve upgraded our early version of Opt-Out and Block features for Google Chrome, now called ChromeBlock. Check it out here: http://chromeblock.com/
  • More DeleteMe services. More ways to delete unwanted Internet accounts and remove personal information are available with our DeleteMe services which let you pay us to try and delete personal information you don't want made public online.
  • Lots of bug fixes including better “Disable on this site” functionality / better handling of sites that have conflicts when being blocked.

Privacy Suite Release 0.685 (11/23/10)

What's new and improved in Privacy Suite version 0.685 / TACO version 3.50?
  • Faster: we’ve improved speeds significantly in this release by reducing database loading, doing "just-in-time" initialization of some data, using native IO for third-party cookie detection, and of course, removing old code.
  • Faster speeds for page loading: did it finish loading yet? we’ve improved page load times significantly in this release; up to 250-300ms on some complex sites.
  • Firefox 4.0 b7 compatibility: Now compatible with the latest Firefox 4 beta release.
  • TACO for Chrome: We’ve added a very basic version of just the TACO part of the Privacy Suite for Google Chrome. Check it out here:
  • More DeleteMe services. More ways to delete unwanted Internet accounts and remove personal information are available with our DeleteMe services which let you pay a standard fee to have us remove accounts and info you don't want online.
  • Lots of bug fixes including fixing startup error handling, improved logout form detection and top-level domain handling ("improved" in terms of "same result, just faster.

Privacy Suite Release 0.680

What's new and improved in Privacy Suite version 0.680?
  • More browsing privacy: The trail or "fingerprint" your browser leaves online can be better hidden automatically now with optional privacy enhancing masking features for masking both the browser "user agent" and the "http referrer". If you're a technical type, you can read more about our implementation that gives you great control over referrers and more. If you're not so into the details, we'll continue to help set your defaults so you automatically browse leaving less of a trail behind you.
  • New tour and setup wizard: We've added a friendly walk-through of the main features of the Privacy Suite and a way for you to get back and change the key settings easily.
  • Less pop-ups, more choices: If you're annoyed by the pop-up alerts, we've made it easier to remove them, or control exactly when they're shown.
  • Improved login and password settings: We've added capabilities you asked us for to control exactly when and how you want the Logins and Passwords privacy app to save your information. As always, it's totally under your control.
  • Better notification on sites we don't work with. You want to use Privacy Suite to help login to your bank or investment site but something doesn't work? We'll do a better job of letting you know beforehand so it's less confusing.
  • More DeleteMe services. More ways to delete unwanted Internet accounts and remove personal information are available with our DeleteMe services which let you pay a standard fee to have us remove accounts and info you don't want online.
  • Lots of bug fixes including fixing the window size for editing and deleting individual cookies, form-filling pop-ups, and more.

Abine release 0.670

What's new and improved in Privacy Suite version 0.670?
  • Make new accounts with more privacy at the top 50 sites. The identities privacy form filling that fills forms with unique disposable usernames, emails, phone #’s and passwords and then relays that to your real info works better than ever.
  • Remember more of your logins and passwords. The “Logins and Forms” feature that remembers your passwords and logins is now working nearly perfectly on the top 50 Web sites. This is especially useful if you are also using the identities form-filler to create new accounts. Give it a try.
  • Easier master passwords to protect your data. We don't have your master password so if you forget it, you have to “start over” – it can be painful, but doing this is now much easier.
  • Removed free anonymous proxies temporarily. Users complained about not being able to access free proxy servers and we’ve removed this and are looking for a better solution. Paid proxy services are still available.
  • Opt-out of even more ad networks. Added nearly a dozen new ad networks that have decided to allow opt-outs + blockers for new tracking services that don't.
  • New DeleteMe services are available online. These services let you pay a standard fee to have us remove accounts and info you don't want online. Try it out.
  • Lots of bug fixes including encryption versioning bugs, form-filling pop-ups, and more.

Abine release 0.665

What's new and improved in Privacy Suite version 0.665?
  • New "don't show" feature. You can turn off our pop-ups on a given site while allowing them to appear on specific pages where they should show up. This is useful for sites that have lots of forms, such as news sites, where you don't want form help except for specific pages such as registration or login.
  • Rollback cookie settings. Stores users' cookie settings during installations and upgrades and allows the user to rollback to their old settings when they uninstall
  • Web tracker exception managementYou can now clear all tracker exceptions or clear all exceptions at a specific website with one click.
  • New statusbar notifications.Gives users an alternative to the privacy alert window by displaying a summary of the information compactly in the statusbar
  • Delete me app. Added the Abine DeleteMe service to privacy apps for easy access to removing personal information online.
  • Bug fixes including Bug 728: If the user's geographic position can't be determined, the Surf Anonymously preferences screen does not say "they know you're close to null, null".

Abine/TACO release 0.660/3.20

What's new and improved in TACO version 3.20?
  • Compatible with FireFox version 4.0 up to Beta3 release
  • Runs faster & more natively in Firefox
  • New automatic suggestions for improved privacy and compatibility with specific web sites (all per-site checks are done locally no browsing data is ever transmitted)
  • Control exactly which windows are displayed on any site for privacy alerts and all Abine helper windows
  • Ability to show privacy alerts ONLY at sites with advertising trackers that are not yet blocked
  • Improved ability to "Disable Abine" on any sites causing problems due to cookie or web tracker blocking
  • Better automatic 3rd party cookie detection and blocking (without the need to block all 3rd party cookies globally)
  • Fix for smoother uninstall / reinstall process
  • Fix for more consistent display of windows on blank tabs
  • Fix for master password encryption bug after set / reset
  • Fix for Toolbar display resizing bug

Abine/TACO release 0.652/3.11

What's new and improved in TACO version 3.11?
  • Updated over-aggressive cookie blocking for all users with 3rd party cookies blocked (you may log in to sites with cross-site authentication)
  • Fixed Firefox buttons and history conflicting for users of Yahoo! toolbar
  • Fixed Jquery styles issues
  • Updated site by site 3rd party cookie blocking behavior
  • Enhanced ability to disable sites
  • Fixed Linux Ubuntu dialog box focus issue

Abine/TACO release 0.65/3.1

What's new and improved in TACO version 3.1?
  • Slimmer and trimmer: 2x size reduction (to 1.6mb)
  • Improved performance (on pages, encryption, features)
  • New important feature for blocking 3rd party cookies at specific web sites to improve privacy without interfering with web browsing
  • SSL Fix for sites giving broken SSL warning messages
  • Easily disable at sites that don't work well with cookies blocked,
  • Block or allow javascript advertising tracking at specific web sites
  • 10 new ad opt-out and javascript trackers included
  • Auto-scales display if using FF 3.5+
  • Compatible with FF 4.0 beta
  • More native FF windowing (xul) for better responsiveness
  • Better compatibility with Spybot, Norton, Avira / Symantec / other anti-virus suites
  • Easy revert options for web trackers, and disable other features at sites
  • Easier controls for Flash Cookies and Dom Cookies and HTTP Cookies

Abine/TACO release 0.636/3.03

  • Reduced add-on size by 50% with improvements to encryption library
  • SSL warning errors are now fixed (note: SSL was never compromised due to Abine/TACO see: ssl issue)
  • 'Disable this site' now instantly disables cookies, iframe/windows, and trackers automatically
  • Added complete site by site user-control of javascript trackers
  • Added dialog to confirm NoScript white-listing, and removes if uninstalled
  • Removed some experimental Apps from Privacy Labs for further development
  • Deleting all TACO opt-out cookies on browser exit
  • Improved but still imperfect handling of screen resolutions of x1024 and below in FF 3.5+
  • Changed "Block cookies" button to block 1st party cookies by default with optional blocking for 3rd parties (temporary fix for now done to reduce changes of breaking functionality for cookies that are used as both 1st and 3rd party cookies)

Known issues:

  • Blocking some trackers interferes with Flash videos, such as "Revenue Science"
  • Some other add-ons are still incompatible, see known issues

Abine/TACO release 0.632/3.02

TACO latest version is now 3.02

Update to TACO 3.0 contains several fixes suggested by users, including:

  • 1-click to remove the alert window instead of instead of 2
  • Adds easy options to unblock cookies for a site as well as to unblock all cookies.
  • Adds an easy way to disable TACO for a specific site
  • Remove key shortcut commands which were incompatible with some add-ons
  • Preferences tab always available in main UI

Abine Beta release 0.581: Spring Edition

Thanks for upgrading to the "spring edition" of the Abine BETA which includes 4 new or significantly upgraded capabilities as well as many small fixes and improvements.

  • Faster Core Speed. Our engineers have been busy improving core speed. You should notice that Abine is FASTER. We're testing how much faster and will post numbers for you soon.
  • New support service for making Abine work with the sites and accounts you care about and use frequently. Try submitting a "Fix Request" to us.
  • Improved integration of your private Web phone #'s and email aliases to use to protect your privacy proactively.
  • Simpler control over how and when Abine pops-up on pages so you can choose exactly the experience you want.
  • And a bonus 5th new feature is support for multiple users. If you have people who share your machine and want to keep your logins and passwords and other things separate, it's now easy for that to happen.
  • Just click "add new user" from the Abine Master Password window. In the next release, we'll be looking at some of the issues around revealing or hiding your IP address from different parties, because both Facebook and Twitter are about to start tracking where you are at all times: http://getabine.com/wordpress/?p=260. As always, let us know your thoughts and suggestions. We read EVERY communication you send us: email = support@getabine.com

Abine Beta release 0.567: Get easier online privacy

Abine's privacy form-filler now can protect your cell phone # as well as your email address so they never get stored online.

Share your computer? Any number of family members can now use Abine on a single machine with their own accounts. You're also now automatically opted-out of 17 new advertising networks that track your searches, purchases and behavior.

And ChangePass now lets you instantly change your password across over dozen sites. If you're on the more technical side, you can now edit cookies - in addition to deleting them or cleaning them off you computer on a scheduled basis. We've also streamlined the user interface to make controlling when and how the Abine windows pop-up easy.

  • Hushmail integration: Hushmail is a more secure private email service that you can now sign up to easily and use in conjunction with Abine. Hushmail basic is free and the premium service is less than $10 / month.

  • Phone protection: protect the privacy of your cell phone from online marketing spam with alias phone #'s that forward to your real phone. And, these new privacy phone aliases work exactly like the existing email shielding - see how easy it is to use both when you sign up for any new Web service or shop online. You can also upgrade to get a private phone service without extensions.

  • Simplified Proxy: You can set up one of your identities to automatically connect to a free proxy and hide your IP address / surf more anonymously.

  • Better form-fixing: Is a form not working well for you with Abine's login or registration form-fillers? Just tell us to fix it, and what didn't work. You'll now be updated on when the fix happens.

  • Updated Web site, blog, and instant online support. So get in touch with us and tell us how we can make online privacy easier. PS: you can help us by chatting with us live, reporting bugs from inside Abine (preferences menu) or sending us an email at support@getabine.com




Abine Version 0.550

Abine adds new ways to protect your privacy, upgraded IE support and better account support.

  • Anonymous Browsing. The latest release of Abine brings several new capabilities for protecting your privacy online. Abine now makes it easy to switch and browse the Web more anonymously using proxy servers. Proxies let you choose not to expose your IP address to every Web site that might track you, for example, if you're worried about travel sites raising the price of a trip on you or if you're doing a sensitive medical search you don't want stored and associate with you, proxies are a nice tool to have accessible as you surf. Next, we've added disposable phone #'s that protect your real main phone #. Now, if you aren't already using Abine's disposable email features which help you a) protect your real email address and b) stop particular spammers FOREVER, you can try both. They're free.

  • Internet Explorer Upgrade. Internet Explorer Users and users of MULTIPLE-BROWSERS (anyone?) welcome to a major upgrade for IE. Abine now syncs your information and settings more instantly and seamlessly across Firefox and IE. And yes, we hear you, we'll be adding more supported browsers (and other devices) as part of our product roadmap. We'll communicate dates around these releases soon.

  • New "Accounts" features. For those of you that use Abine to manage your accounts, you can now easily see and sort by what passwords are re-used most and easily login and view any new privacy notices and alerts from the main accounts page.

  • New "Home" page. Abine now provides an easy to use home page which shows, a) the features and apps you're currently running to protect your privacy and b) easy ways to turn on and off each feature that you want running anytime you go online. All the features we provide today are free, and we plan to keep them that way. We will offer upgrades that will cost a few dollars a month to such things as faster proxy services and enhanced privacy protecting features soon. Send us an email if you're interested in beta-testing these free of charge (support@getabine.com)

  • Updated Web site, blog, and instant online support so get in touch with us and tell us how we can make basic online privacy even easier. PS: you can help us by reporting bugs from inside Abine (preferences menu) or sending us an email at support@getabine.com




Abine Version 0.521: See how sites are tracking you

  • Stop all cookies. The latest release of Abine now can find and show you most of the different cookies and files (also known as LSO's or locally-stored-objects) web sites store on your computer. This includes more sneaky and currently popular types of tracking files including FLASH cookies and DOM files. These new methods allow sites to track large amounts of information about you (cookies used to be limited to a very small file size) and keep it on your machine for long periods of time - or course, you now set Abine to help you see this stuff and clean it up.

  • Stop more ad networks. Added over 50 more ad-networks and 3rd party web trackers which you can see and block automatically.

  • Hide your IP Address. You can use a basic proxy to come from a different IP address. This function can be linked easily to the identities you have. For example, if you want to use the anonymous identity and have it automatically hide your IP address using a public proxy server. Create a new identity and choose whether you want it to expose your IP address or not by default. We'll be introducing more and more features you can user to customize your identities so they reflect your preferred choice of privacy options.

  • More privacy news and support. Updated Web site, blog, and live chat support: Get in touch with us if you're having problems or there are new features you would like to see.



Abine Version 0.516: New ad-blocking and privacy monitoring features

  • Browsing Privacy. The latest release of Abine incorporates new ways to help you see and understand the information being shared shared silently (and often without your knowledge) about where you go and what you search for and buy online.

  • See who's tracking you. Abine shows you which companies and ad-networks are inserting cookies to track your behaviors across the Web. Abine displays a simple summary of how the sites you visit are watching your behavior through these tracking, analyzing and targeting technologies.

  • Block ad networks, web tracking and even individual cookies with a single click. Brought together in one place for easy control, Abine now helps automatically block the most intrusive of these ad-trackers, and gives you visibility and control over the data being shared silently between your browser and the Web.

  • Data breach alerts. Companies you patronize are losing your personal info, getting hacked, and making mistakes with your data constantly. Because 44 states have now passed laws that they must notify customers of these mishaps called data breaches, it's now easier for us to track and alert you to these risks. Of course, Abine can help you change your passwords and email addresses and other info so that the riskiest companies don't ever store so much of your real information.

  • Backup: You are now automatically keeping a months worth of backups of your data on your computer, just in case something happens. You can also print out a list of your accounts and passwords "just in case" though obviously this isn't a good security practice.

  • Updated Web site, blog, and live chat support: Get in touch with us if you're having problems or there are new features you would like to see.




Abine Version 0.5: Faster and Better

  • Faster performance: 100X speed increases for the privacy and account dashboards. We've also run tests on page loads and Abine won't noticeably effect the speed of your browsing experience. If for any reason, you're convinced we're the culprit, let us know: support@getabine.com.

  • Better behavior: More useful help with less annoying pop-ups: Everywhere Abine's private form filler helps you out should now be optimized to work more smoothly - especially with the most popular sites on the Web. And if Abine pops up when you don't need it, just click close and it's gone.

  • New default look and feel: Adopted a sleeker look and more simple layout. Of course, if you prefer your old color scheme or want a custom one, visit the preferences Tab and click on Appearance.

  • Updating info: Abine now tries to learn when you have new info it should store and save in your identities for re-use later.

  • Easy Import / Export: Want to use Abine on multiple machines? Save your data file and open it on any other computer in a few clicks. Automatic sync is on the horizon.

  • New Web site, blog, and live chat support: Get in touch or find some interesting info on trends in online privacy on the blog - guest posters with an opinion . We're available to you!




Abine Version v0.461: Better Encryption

We have made significant improvements to our decryption speed. We know that you want your information strongly protected, now it doesn't have to slow you down! We've also made it easier to interact with forms, when you type into forms, Abine won't overwrite them. Here is the a list of some of the key improvements:

  • Speed improvements for FF and IE on all platforms but Linux
  • Crypto++ library use
  • Activation based on focus
  • Several IE8 fixes
  • Random user name generation if desired
  • Protections around master password changing
  • Auto-fill won't overwrite manually entered information



Abine v0.404: Improved Form Detection

We made several improvements to form detection and filling, including the ability to handle forms that are used for several purposes, such as both registering and logging in.

We have also made improvements to the checkout process and improved the checkout auto-fill window.

For FireFox we have also added the ChangePass feature, that lets you change your password at several sites automatically. You can change it to a randomly-generated strong password, or a PasswordMaker-style password. ChangePass is part of the accounts tab, right above your list of accounts. We'll be adding support for more sites as development continues.

We have also put performance improvements in place to make our form detection even zippier!




Abine Version v0.34: Improved Registration

Last release we added several features to make it even easier and safer to register at new sites, such as the ability to automatically generate strong* passwords and unique emails for every site.

Now we have expanded that shielding capability to create Shielded Phone Numbers. You can right-click and generate a shielded phone number in any phone number field. Right now these numbers have extensions, so they may not auto-fill everywhere. That will be next.

We are also working to make it simple and intuitive to use Abine. If you are on a page and want to fill a form, just click on the Abine icon in the toolbar. Simple and easy.

If you want to experiment with another method, you can enable auto-complete in the "Preferences" tab. Please try it out and give us feedback.



Generate Strong Passwords

When you register

You can set an identity in the Identity Manager to generate a strong password every time you register at a new site or service. Abine will automatically generate a ten character mixed case alphanumeric, based on your machines randomness. We'll remember this password and manage your account in Abine.

In a password field

You can right-click to generate a strong password whenever you want. If you are doing this as part of a registration we'll remember your account and help you login easily and safely next time.



Shield your email with Disposable Email Addresses

Once we confirm your email address you will be able to generate a new, unique, and blockable email address every time you register for a new website, or any other time you need to provide an email address, but want to stay in control and not get spammed.

Automatically Generate disposable emails when you register. You can set your identity to automatically generate a new disposable email each time you register a site. To do this open the Identity Manager and edit your Identity.

Right-click to generate disposable emails on demand You can fill any email address field by right-clicking and selecting Fill Email -> Generate Disposable Email, to shield your contact information in any form.

Block Unwanted Emails

At the top of every email will be a message from Abine that will let you block that email address, and stop them from contacting you. You can see all your disposable email addresses from the within the Abine Identity Manager. Note that this will block all mail sent to the shielded address.

"Abine projects the number of Internet users in North America using anti-tracking tools and services will be 28.1 million by the end of 2012." - USA Today

"I was very surprised to see pictures of my former places of residence in your report - it's amazing how much detail these sites are able to obtain. Thanks again for your help. I'm glad I found your service." - DeleteMe customer, Neil

Customer testimonials