General Privacy Controls Comparison

All of the browsers provide a control that allows the user to clear some or all of the data that is collected by the browser and stored locally.  Many of these settings can be persisted so that specific types of information are automatically cleared at the end of each browsing session.  Some browsers also provide options that allow users to restrict information, such as the referring URL, that is sent to remote parties.

General Privacy Controls Chrome 7 Firefox 3.6 / 4.0 Beta 6 Internet Explorer 8 / 9 Beta Opera 10.6 Safari 5
Types of data clearable by the “clear private data now” option
  • Temporary files (cache)
  • Temporary files (cache)
  • Temporary files (cache)
  • Temporary files (cache)
  • Temporary files (cache)
  • All cookies (including DOM storage)
  • All cookies
  • All cookies
  • All cookies
  • Temporary cookies
  • All cookies
  • Browsing history
  • Browsing history
  • Browsing history
  • Browsing history
  • Browsing history
  • Download history
  • Download history
  • Download history
  • Download history
  • Download history
  • Form data
  • Form data
  • Form data
  • NA1
  • Form data
  • Saved passwords
  • Saved passwords2
  • Saved passwords
  • Saved passwords
  • Search history
  • Active logins
  • Site preferences
  • InPrivate Filtering data
  • Persistent storage
  • Bookmark visited time
  • Email account passwords
  • Top sites
  • Webpage preview images
  • Location warnings

 

General Privacy Controls Chrome 7 Firefox 3.6 / 4.0 Beta 6 Internet Explorer 8 / 9 Beta Opera 10.6 Safari 5
Time ranges for which private data can be cleared
  • Everything
  • Last 4 weeks
  • Last week
  • Last day
  • Last hour
  • Everything
  • Last 4 weeks
  • Last week
  • Last day
  • Last hour
  • Everything
  • Everything
  • Everything
Granular control to delete a specific site No Sub-domain level3 No No No
Persistent setting to delete browsing history when browser is closed or to not remember browsing history No Yes Yes Yes No
Persistent setting to delete download history when browser is closed No Yes Yes No Yes
Persistent setting to delete search history when browser is closed No Yes Yes No No
Persistent setting to delete form data when browser is closed or to disable auto-fill Yes Yes Yes Yes4 Yes
Persistent setting to delete saved passwords when browser is closed or to disable password saving Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Persistent setting to delete cookies when browser is closed Yes5 Yes Yes Yes Yes
Persistent setting to delete temporary cache when browser is closed No Yes Yes Yes No
Does not store files opened by other applications in the browser history Yes Yes No Yes Yes
Referring URL can be disabled No No No Yes No
Sources for address bar suggestions
  • History
  • Bookmarks
  • Online search service6
  • History
  • Bookmarks
  • History
  • Bookmarks
  • Online search service7
  • History
  • Bookmarks
  • History
  • Bookmarks
Address bar suggestions can be disabled Limited – can only disable online search service. Yes Yes Limited – can only disable history. No
Does not automatically send browsing history to an online service Yes Yes Yes.  The user must opt-in to the service. Yes Yes

1 The ability to clear form data is not applicable to Opera because Opera does not automatically store form data.

2 The “clear recent history” feature does not actually include the option to clear saved passwords, however the control is listed here because saved passwords can be managed by going to Options-> Security-> Passwords.

3 Each permutation of a website’s sub-domain needs to be removed separately (e.g. cdt.org, privacy.cdt.org, and content.cdt.org).

4 Opera does not provide auto-fill functionality for forms except for data specified by the user through the Preferences->Forms interface.

5 Chrome includes DOM storage deletion as part of cookie deletion.

6 As users navigate from one site to another, a referring URL is often passed along from the previous site, indicating the Web address that the user last visited.

7 Information typed in the address bar is automatically sent to an online search service to retrieve site suggestions based on the input.

8 Internet Explorer 9 Beta has an integrated search service in the address bar.  The user must opt-in to use this service.

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