Mozilla apparently plans to enable the HTML-tagged “ping” tag by default in a future release of Firefox. This is reported by the US magazine Bleeping Computer and states that Mozilla has written these plans in writing.
The attribute can be placed in any HTML link. For the site operator, it provides a way to tell if a link has been clicked.
The browser performs two actions: It opens the page and performs a POST request in the background on “example.org/counter”. Transmitted according to the standard destination and source of the call. The counter could count the call. So far, according to the web developer tool Caniuse.com Edge, Chrome and Safari support this feature by default. In Firefox it must be activated in the settings.
Mozilla argued to Bleeping Computer that the parameter is the more transparent and clean alternative to other methods developers would use without it. In fact, clicking on links can be seen in several ways. It is common to put a link on the tracking service and pass the original link as a GET parameter in the URL. After the click has been counted, the browser receives an instruction via HTML header 301 or 302 to redirect to the actual destination. This process takes a little longer for the visitor. Google uses this method, for example, in its search results. Anyone who copies the link out and forwards gets an unnecessarily long string. For laymen can not see which side of the link shows.
Whether the function in Firefox can be switched off in the future, is not yet clear. In the mail to Bleeping Computer Mozilla considers the privacy gain but low – after all, developers can incorporate fallback solutions.