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Firefox Lacks Security Protections for PDF Files

Making moves

Firefox (at least for Mac) does not honor download, copy, print, and other security protections for PDF files.

Google Drive allows a user to prevent file downloads, but when a PDF file on Drive is opened in Firefox, the file can be downloaded in the usual way.

Likewise, Firefox allows text-copying and printing of all PDF files, even though those functions are password protected.

When it comes to PDF file security, the Firefox is guarding the hen house!


Making moves

This supplement my previous post:

I checked the Google Chrome, Opera, and Safari browsers, and they all honor PDF security protections. But security is only as strong as its weakest link, and Firefox breaks the chain.

Come on, Firefox, you can do better than that!


As you have discovered, with the exception of a password to open a PDF, the supposed PDF "security" features do not provide real security because they rely on the honor system.

There are some cases in which Mozilla applies "web standard" rules that take away user freedoms, such as the typical ability to select text on a web page (MDN). However, the PDF viewer does not honor those kinds of restrictions. Considering that it has been this way for years, I suspect that will not change.