Mozilla: Firefox 22 to Auto-Block Cookies by Default, Undertakes Online Privacy

By Daniel Brecht February 26, 2013

The free and open source Web browser from Mozilla, Firefox, which is widely used according to the latest Global Statcounter data and usage share of the market, has announced that it will, like Apple's Safari Web browser, block all unwanted third-party cookies by default.

At present, users are able to manually disable cookies in Firefox, but in version 22, which is due out for release this summer (in June) with a pre-beta version coming out this spring (in April), there will be a patch written by Jonathan Mayer, a graduate student at Stanford University, that will set the browser’s cookies to automatically turn off; it will be up to the user to enable cookies (turn them on), to reset the browser and set it to accept a cookie.

This new feature to be incorporated in Firefox 22 is designed to block cookies from third-party advertisers; consequently, it makes it possible to prevent users from being tracked online.

Mayer has provided insight on some of the recent questions and answers about the new Firefox cookie policy and the code change to automatically disable the browser’s Internet cookies.

Firefox 22 will be worth updating if users want to avoid having advertisers collect data about them when they navigate the Web. All it takes is one cookie set to give third-parties permission to serve up ads that are targeted to the users’ activities and interests; so to overcome this, one can configure Firefox not to accept cookies or set up which sites are allowed to set cookies. Version 22 has this upcoming change in the default cookie-handling policy, which will benefit those that look for online privacy and don’t want to worry about settings.

Brendan Eich, Mozilla's CTO, sees the change necessary, and Asa Dotzler, the Firefox desktop product manager, agrees that “[they] are trying to make tracking relationships more obvious to the user."

Mozilla’s new policy has created a war between advertisers and some browser makers. With no real big concerns addressed by Firefox users, as the cookie change can easily be undone within the browser’s privacy settings–on Firefox’s general Options menu, the only issue foreseen by Mozilla is if there will be a significant loss in the number of users who update to version 22 as a result of its ability to auto-block third-party ad cookies by default.  Unfortunately, only time will tell what will come of it.




Edited by Brooke Neuman

Contributing Writer

SHARE THIS ARTICLE
Related Articles

Oracle to Purchase NetSuite for $9.3 Billion

By: Paula Bernier    7/28/2016

Oracle this morning revealed plans to buy cloud company NetSuite for $9.3 billion. The deal is expected to close later this year.

Read More

Windows 10 Free Upgrade Ends This Week: Rethinking Microsoft's OS

By: Rob Enderle    7/26/2016

At the end of the week the free upgrade window for Windows 10 closes. This has been an interesting experience because Windows 10 for the most part ste…

Read More

Ericsson CEO Leaves the Company

By: Paula Bernier    7/26/2016

The move from hardware- to software-based networking solutions, along with the fact that our still recovering economy has kept many businesses cautiou…

Read More

3D Printing Helps Unlock Phone's Secrets

By: Alicia Young    7/25/2016

Recently, the police's ability to access someone's phone has been a hot topic in American news. I'm sure we all remember the ordeal involving Apple an…

Read More

Verizon Snaps Up Yahoo: A Yahoo! Or Yah Boo!

By: Peter Bernstein    7/25/2016

The sale of Yahoo's core assets to Verizon for a reported $4.83 billion, leaving Yahoo shareholders with roughly a $41 billion investment in Chinese I…

Read More