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Firefox boosts privacy by giving ‘total cookie protection’ to all users by default - The Verge

Firefox boosts privacy by giving ‘total cookie protection’ to all users by default - The Verge

Mozilla’s Firefox browser is increasing its privacy protections with a feature called "Total Cookie Protection," which limits cookie access to the website or service that deposited the cookie, preventing websites from tracking users across the web with third-party cookies.

The Firefox browser, already known for its privacy protections, is about to become even more private thanks to a new cookie-restricting feature announced by Mozilla on Tuesday.

The design change, labeled “Total Cookie Protection,” aims to give enhanced protection against online tracking by limiting the ability of websites to read cookies created by third-party services. According to a blog post from Mozilla, access to any given cookie will be restricted to the website that deposited the cookie in a user’s browser, so a cookie created by one website or service will not be readable by other websites that a user visits.

Mozilla’s blog post describes the new feature in terms of a separate “cookie jar” for each website, preventing trackers from linking up user behavior across multiple sites. The post explains:

Any time a website, or third-party content embedded in a website, deposits a cookie in your browser, that cookie is confined to the cookie jar assigned to only that website. No other websites can reach into the cookie jars that don’t belong to them and find out what the other websites’ cookies know about you ... This approach strikes the 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 less invasive use cases (e.g. to provide accurate analytics).

The cookie protection feature is part of an ongoing privacy-focused development strategy from Mozilla that has also seen Firefox continue to support the most sophisticated forms of ad blocking, in contrast with Google Chrome. In regard to cookies, Google previously announced in 2020 that it would phase out third-party cookies within two years but later pushed back the target date to 2023.

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