Skip to comments.Firefox getting smarter about third-party cookies [blocks them]
Posted on 03/01/2013 2:55:09 PM PST by daniel1212
Mozilla has a long running interest in fostering greater transparency, trust and accountability related to privacy and the many cookie-based practices we see today.
fx nightly v22.0a1 privacy tabOn Friday, Mozilla released a Firefox patch into its Nightly channel that changes how cookies from third party companies function. Users of this build of Firefox must directly interact with a site or company for a cookie to be installed on their machine. The patch also provides an additional control setting under the Privacy tab in Firefoxs Preferences menu (see image).
Many years of observing Safaris approach to third party cookies, a rapidly expanding number of third party companies using cookies to track users, and strong user support for more control is driving our decision to move forward with this patch.
We have a responsibility to advance features and controls that bring users expectations in line with how the web functions for them. As our General Counsel, Harvey Anderson, wrote a few weeks ago in a post about Mozillas recognition as the Most Trusted Internet Company for Privacy in 2012:
We all have to continue our efforts both big and small to create a more trustworthy environment of online products that seamlessly integrate ease of use, transparency, and user choice.
In my own use of this release this morning, I followed one of my typical browsing paths, starting with a look at surfing conditions, then local news, a major national news site, and a popular site covering the tech industry. (Incidentally, all the great coverage of our launch of Firefox OS at Mobile World Congress is really exciting!)
Heres how the new patch changed the extent to which I was tracked: Current Default: Allow All Cookies
Proposed New Default: Allow Cookies Only From Visited Domains 4 web sites used 8 first party domains 4 web sites used 8 first party domains 81 cookies from first party domains 75 cookies from first party domains 117 third party domains 0 third party domains 304 cookies from third party domains 0 cookies from third party domains Total: 385 first & third party cookies Total: 75 first party cookies
I cleared all my cookies before visiting these sites and then re-performed this process several times, as I wanted to verify that in fact four sites did lead to over 300 cookies from more than 100 companies I had not visited. Display ads and sharing widgets on the sites worked fine, and as I clicked on them, the various parties involved were able to set cookies. The privacy policies on all four sites cover their cookie practices, including from third parties. Interestingly, they all pointed me to using settings in my browser to control the behavior of these cookies on their sites.
Mozilla is passionate about putting its users first and moving the web forward. That mission requires taking a leadership role on privacy, which we have repeatedly done (e.g., Do Not Track, Social API, Secure Search, Persona and Collusion).
Mozillas users frequently express concerns about web tracking, and weve been listening. We are constantly challenging ourselves to deliver a browser that conforms to user expectations while facilitating online innovation. We regularly review community and partner input, web standards, extensions, practices by other browsers, and much more. The new third party cookie patch in Firefox is just another example of those efforts.
The new default is currently only in this very early developer build of Firefox as it goes through Mozillas usual vetting process. As with other features we deploy, it will be several months of evaluating technical input from our users and the community before the new policy enters our Beta and General release versions of Firefox. The policy for how our current versions of Firefox handle cookies can be found here and here. Mozilla loves to hear from our users about how it can make Firefox even better. We encourage all those interested to provide feedback via the mozilla.dev.privacy discussion group.
..In this case, the patch will only allow cookies to be installed on a user's system if a user visits the actual site from which the cookie comes. In other words: No site; no cookie.
As one might expect, Internet advertisers are not exactly embracing the switch with open arms.
"This default setting would be a nuclear first strike against ad industry," tweeted Mike Zaneis, senior vice president and general counsel for the Interactive Advertising Bureau.
However, it's important to clarify that the Firefox update doesn't unlock the capability to block third-party cookies. Users can already do that using a setting found within the "Privacy" tab of Firefox's general Options menu. What the update does do, however, is flip the switch for accepting third-party cookies off by default. - http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2415810,00.asp
Firefox is my only browser right now.
BTW, Verizon sent a new wireless router and my Ubuntu Linux laptop would not work on it. The windows laptops in the house worked fine.
Firefox with Dark Orange Fox theme"
Linux forums are abound with such issues. Thank God for Firefox and OpenOffice/LibreOffice
My last Harddrive died.
I couldn’t really afford to pay for Windows
So Ubuntu Linux has been awesome ever since and LibreOffice
Firefox wore me out by version 15 with their rapid release insanity. That was about the time Firefox and Adobe Flash were crashing each other.
The upgrades were taking more time to get Firefox and the various extensions to work right than they were worth. I finally got things to work with version 15. I dread thinking about upgrading and having to deal with the incompatibilities and crashes with version 20 or later.
Heres how the new patch changed the extent to which I was tracked:
Allow All Cookies
Proposed New Default:
Allow Cookies Only From Visited Domains
|4 web sites used 8 first party domains||4 web sites used 8 first party domains|
|81 cookies from first party domains||75 cookies from first party domains|
|117 third party domains||0 third party domains|
|304 cookies from third party domains||0 cookies from third party domains|
|Total: 385 first & third party cookies||Total: 75 first party cookies|
Thanks, my reading comprehension is poor today
I do sympathize. I upgraded to W/864 bit from XP on a 7 yr. old PC for 30.00, with the (waiting) 40.00 rebate card. I tried every major Linux distro, but i simply could not get the functionality i easily get under Windows, unless i became a coder.
Here are a couple threads which express some of my wants, plus there is the problem of not being able to legally play all media formats.
My experience since about then has been that there are far less incompatibilities with add ons than before.
Are your addons compatible with the next version of Firefox? Find out straight from the Addons window! https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/is-it-compatible/
That’s the only FR acceptable platform anyway, LOL.
Apple is run by a gay guy, and Gates/Ballmer were big donors to the Wash St gay marriage initiative.
The chart was not visible as such, as i should have copied the article and then copied from “view selection source” to paste the article.
I am a little confused by this. Since there is a check box in firefox 3 to disable 3rd party cookies. This feature has been around a long time.
Then how do I get rid of
I’ve been using Ghostery for several months now — ever since I learned about it on Free Republic. Highly recommended (and free!).
I hate IE. Trying to put Firefox/Mozilla on a WIN7 machine. I hate Win 7 so far. Download stuff and can’t apply it. Is there some setting I know nothing about? I have Norton startup for new comp but didn’t activate it. Want another virus program but I’ve heard Norton is hard to bypass. Any advice?
we still use the old router, nothing wrong with it
Next they should look at blocking Flash cookies.
To explain, there is a feature in Adobe Flash that is like a “cookie backup”, so if you delete the cookie in your browser, all the data is maintained in the invisible Flash cookie, and as soon as your browser cookie is remade, it is loaded with all the old data, with you none the wiser.
Fortunately, at this website, Adobe provides a Flash cookie manager. While this looks like a picture, it is actually a dynamic control panel, called “Website Storage Settings panel.”
It displays what Flash cookies are on your system, and allows you to manipulate them in several ways, including deleting them. Since they are the backup, it is probably best to delete them before you delete your browser cookies in the ordinary way.
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