Privacy of Mobile Browsers

Is the privacy of browsers on mobile devices really that bad?

Since learning about browsers like Tor and Mullvad, I no longer dare to use Safari on my iPhone for general browsing and information retrieval (No need to log in), because I’m concerned that my internet footprint could be linked and analyzed by governments or advertisers.

(I always enable Advanced Tracking and Fingerprinting Protection and use Private Browsing.)

Is this necessary? Is a browser like Safari really that inadequate? If I’m being too paranoid, please tell me.

Personally, I don’t trust Apple at all, and given that all Iphone browsers are based on Safari’s Webkit, there’s not much point in changing (depending on whether you’re in Europe or elsewhere).

I’d tell you to use a VPN to hide your traffic from your ISP to start with


I use VPN 24/7.

I just want to know if browsers on mobile devices are really particularly insecure and can easily leak my information/associate with my online identity?

Because of this concern, I now almost only browse web pages on my computer, and I feel this seriously affects my pace of life and brings me more constraints rather than freedom.

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No in fact privacy of mobile browsers is superior in a lot of ways. There’s a much more limited set of potential hardware; an iPhone 14 is going to look like every other iPhone 14 for example (barring slight differences in each chip). They’re likely also running the same operating system. Also the browser is always full screen so that eliminates fingerprinting around screen size. You also can’t fingerprint based on mouse movement on mobile.

I’m not really sure why people are saying safari is so bad when it has many of the same privacy features as Firefox including fingerprint randomization.

All the browsers on iOS are complete trash because they all are basically the same. You can’t even get a proper Tor Browser on it like you can on Android.

When browsing on iOS, don’t expect to be anonymous, and don’t expect any reasonable fingerprinting protection.


On iOS, yes

On Android, you have options like Tor Browser, Mull, Brave, and Vanadium.

Safari does pretty well in terms of fingerprinting.


Compared to what? It’s pretty damn good if we compare it to Chrome.

What features is it missing? It beats damn near every fingerprinting test i can find. Like I said with mobile browsers the fingerprinting situation is a lot less bad. And if you have private relay it also hides your ip address with a bunch of other identical safari users. I’d say it fares as well or better than any other major browser including Firefox

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With Safari your fingerprinting protection is as good as it gets, as long as you don’t change fingerprintable settings, because there are about 100 million of users on the same iPhone+Safari combination. Where else do you get such a homogeneous hardware+software combination?

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Safari is fine, don’t worry.

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My Safari is not entirely default: I have installed an ad blocker, and I’m concerned this might make my fingerprint stand out. Also, is the lack of HTML5 Canvas fingerprinting protection in Safari a serious issue?

You’re right the ad blocker might make you more fingerprintable, this is a problem on all browsers. Safari does support canvas fingerprint randomization actually, check the settings under Advanced > Advanced Tracking and Fingerprinting Protection

privacyguides says gecko browsers are insecure

less secure

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“More insecure” might be more precise.

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It’s definitely not “more insecure”. It’s just less secure compared to Chromium

It’s not insecure, but it’s something that I would never recommend to anyone, except for Tor Browser.