Mozilla Is Experimenting With an Email Alias Feature to Help Keep Spammers Out of Your Inbox

Illustration for article titled Mozilla Is Experimenting With an Email Alias Feature to Help Keep Spammers Out of Your Inbox
Image: Firefox

Mozilla is currently testing a feature that can generate an email alias with just a single click to help protect users from hackers as well as keep their actual email address off those dreaded spam lists.

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Gizmodo confirmed that the feature, called Private Relay, is currently in an experimental phase. According to a landing page for the tool—which is being offered as a Firefox add-on—if an online form asks for a user’s email, that user can click the Private Relay button in their browser to populate a “unique, random, anonymous” email address. Firefox will then forward emails from that address to their inbox.

If that alias email starts getting spammed or the user no longer wants to receive those emails—which is so often the case when signing up for things like apps or newsletters—the user can simply delete that alias rather than having to jump through unsubscribe or spam filter hoops, which doesn’t always work to keep spammers at bay.

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“Private relay is in a very early experimental phase at this time,” a Mozilla spokesperson told Gizmodo by email. “We’ll make sure to share more information when it’s ready to test with consumer audiences.”

The spokesperson did not immediately return a request for comment about when the feature entered testing. However, according to ZDNet, which first reported the feature, Private Relay entered testing last month and could get a public beta later in 2020.

Currently, the feature appears to be available on an invite-only basis, according to its extension page. Firefox does note that it will add a waitlist for the feature soon, so keep an eye on the Private Relay homepage to opt in when it does become available to wider audiences.

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DISCUSSION

eyebreakthings
EyeBreakThings

Not a bad idea, but I wonder what kinds of checks shitty sites will put in to make sure you are using a legitimate address. I assume they won’t set up the address so that the MX records all point to the same bank of mail servers, since that would make it pretty easy to identify.