Firefox rolls out full cookie protection by default for all users

Take back your privacy

Starting today, Firefox is rolling out Total Cookie Protection by default to all Firefox users worldwide, making Firefox the most private and secure major browser available on Windows, Mac, and Linux. Total Cookie Protection is Firefox’s strongest privacy protection yet, confining cookies to the site where they were created, preventing tracking companies from using those cookies to track your site-to-site navigation. other.

Whether it be apply for a student loan, seek treatment or advice through a health siteWhere browse an online dating app, massive amounts of your personal information is online – and that data is leaking all over the web. The hyper-specific advertisements you see so often online are made possible by cookies which are used to track your behavior on the sites and create an extremely sophisticated profile of who you are.

Recent stories (including an excellent Last week tonight episode) showed how robust, yet discreet, the economics of selling data are, and how easy it is for anyone to buy your data, combine it with more data about you, and use it at various purposes, even beyond advertising.

It’s an alarming reality – the possibility that your every move online will be monitored, tracked, and shared – and one that’s antithetical to the open web that Mozilla has strived to build. That’s why we developed Total Cookie Protection to help you stay safe online.

What is Total Cookie Protection?

Total Cookie Protection offers strong tracking protections without affecting your browsing experience.

Total Cookie Protection creates a separate cookie box for each website you visit. (Illustration: Meghan Newell)

Total Cookie Protection works by creating a separate “cookie box” for each website you visit. Instead of allowing trackers to link your behavior across multiple sites, they can simply see behavior across individual sites. Whenever a website or third-party content embedded in a website, drops a cookie in your browser, this cookie is confined to the cookie box assigned to only this website. No other website can access cookie boxes that don’t belong to them and find out what other websites’ cookies know about you, freeing you from invasive ads and reducing the amount of information companies collect about you. topic.

This approach strikes a balance between eliminating the worst privacy properties of third-party cookies – in particular the ability to track you – and allowing those cookies to fulfill their least invasive use cases (for example, to provide analytics precise). With Total Cookie Protection in Firefox, people can enjoy better privacy and have the exceptional browsing experience they expect.

Total Cookie Protection provides additional privacy protections beyond those provided by our existing anti-tracking features. Enhanced Tracking Protection (ETP), which we launched in 2018, works by blocking trackers based on a maintained list. If a party is on this list, it loses the ability to use third-party cookies. ETP has been a huge privacy win for Firefox users, but we know this approach has some shortcomings. If a tracker is not on this list for some reason, it can still track users and violate their privacy. And if an attacker wants to thwart ETP, they can set up a new tracking domain that isn’t on the list. Total Cookie Protection avoids these problems by limiting the functionality for everything cookies, not only for those on a defined list.

The culmination of years of anti-tracking work

Total Cookie Protection is the culmination of years of work to combat the privacy disaster that stems from online trackers. We started blocking tracking in 2015 with the release of Tracking Protection, a feature that people could turn on by switching to private browsing mode. We recognized back then that browser makers couldn’t just sit back and let their users be abused. In 2018, we introduced Enhanced Tracking Protection and enabled it by default for all Firefox users in 2019, reflecting our commitment to actively protecting our users rather than expecting them to protect themselves. Since then, we have continued to make progress towards blocking trackers and ending cross-site tracking by introducing protections against fingerprinting and great cookies.

Today’s release of Total Cookie Protection is the result of experimentation and feature testing, first in the ETP Strict Mode and Private Browsing windows, then in Firefox Focus earlier this year. We are now making it a default feature for everything Firefox desktop users worldwide.

Our long history of fighting online tracking is evident in our advocacy with policy makers and other technology businesses to strengthen their own privacy protections. We also strive to make privacy an industry priority through our industry efforts standards body to shape the future of online advertising. Additionally, we have created Privacy guide not included to simplify the highly complex privacy landscape and help consumers make smarter and more secure purchases of products that connect to the Internet.

For more than a decade, Mozilla has proudly led the fight to build a more private Internet. Bringing Total Cookie Protection to all Firefox users is our next step in creating a better Internet, where your privacy is not optional.

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