How well does Safari’s anti-fingerprinting work?

Shouldn’t Safari be able to blend in with other Safari users because they all use very similar devices? Safari should be able to outperform Mullvad Browser or Tor Browser in areas like performance based fingerprinting.

Apple mention about this in their whitepaper:

Together, these anti-fingerprinting protections make a user’s device look much more like other devices, providing “herd immunity” that dramatically reduces data companies’ ability to identify a single device uniquely—and all without compromising the web-browsing experience.

While I like to see Apple trying to improve privacy in Safari, it doesn’t really come close to the protections that Firefox’s Resist Fingerprinting offers. You can look at how they compare here. Of course I’d love to see them improve, maybe part of lockdown mode could be enabling things like letterboxing that RFP has.

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Firefox’s Resist Fingerprinting seems to break lot of sites. It is tough to preserve privacy without compromising a seamless web-browsing experience.

Lockdown mode prioritizes security over privacy, so it is unlikely to be implemented unless it also has security benefits.

Both Safari and Firefox mention fingerprinting in their tracking prevention policy, so it’s likely that they will continue to enhance their fingerprint protection.

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It’s worth noting that this is one of the reasons we do recommend using Safari already on iPhone, especially because the limited screen sizes and Safari running in full screen can reduce the need for things like letterboxing.

Of course, iPhone features do bring their own issues:

It could be worth noting on the site that Safari should ideally be run in private mode if it works for you…

Anyways, I think that Safari’s privacy protections are very good for regular users, but if I needed to rely on not being fingerprinted I would not trust it over a dedicated tool like Mullvad Browser or Tor Browser. It’s all about your threat model.


Safari 17 will add support for advanced fingerprinting and tracking protection.

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Very excited for this!

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