Firefox 22 Will Block Third-Party Cookies by Default

Maximum PC Staff

New Firefox cookie policy described as "a nuclear first strike against the ad industry” by Internet Advertising Bureau's senior vice president Mike Zaneis

A 2012 Pew survey found that over two-thirds of Internet users had an unfavorable opinion of targeted or behavioral ads . Although an year has passed since results of the study were published, such ads, due to their obvious privacy implications, continue to be controversial. Blocking third-party cookies is one way of  preventing advertisers from stalking you online, but the onus to do so is mostly on the user, as the top three browsers all allow third-party cookies by default. Very soon, this will change as far as the hundreds of millions who use Firefox are concerned because Mozilla is all set to change its cookie policy .

Beginning with version 22, Firefox will, by default, only allow those websites that the user actually visits to use cookies to track them, with third-party content only being allowed cookie permissions if its origin site already has at least one cookie set. Since this is similar to what Safari has been doing for a very long time, the man behind the Firefox cookie patch is confident that the change won’t break websites.

“Collateral impact should be limited,” wrote Jonathan Mayer, the Stanford grad student behind the Firefox cookie patch. “Safari’s cookie policy has been in place for over a decade, and it is included in both the desktop and iOS versions of the browser.”

“Just to be sure, the Mozilla privacy team is closely monitoring the policy before final release. The patch will spend about 6 weeks each in the pre-alpha, alpha, and beta builds. If you spot any oddities, please report them to Mozilla support!”

The news of the upcoming policy change prompted a sharp reaction from Internet Advertising Bureau's senior vice president Mike Zaneis , who labeled it “a nuclear first strike against the ad industry” in a tweet Saturday.

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