Firefox starts blocking third-party cookies by default!
Mozilla has announced a slew of privacy improvements!The company has turned on Enhanced Tracking Protection, which blocks cookies from third-party trackers in Firefox, by default. Mozilla has also improved its Facebook Container extension, released a Firefox desktop extension for its re branded Lock-wise password keeper, and updated Firefox Monitor with a dashboard for multiple email addresses.
It has also added a tracking protection to Firefox 42’s privatizing mode in November 2015. The feature blocked website elements (ads, analytics trackers, and social share buttons) based on Disconnect‘s tracking protection rules. With the release of Firefox 57 in November 2017, Mozilla added an option to enable Tracking Protection outside of private browsing. (Tracking Protection was not turned on by default because it can break websites and cut off revenue streams for content creators who depend on third-party advertising.)
In August 2018, Mozilla announced Firefox would block trackers by default. But getting there was slow progress. Firefox 63 arrived in October with Enhanced Tracking Protection, blocking cookies and storage access from third-party trackers.
3 ways to control the blocking feature
The default, where Firefox blocks known trackers and third-party tracking cookies in general.
For people who want a bit more protection and don’t mind if some sites break. This setting means Firefox blocks known trackers in all windows.
For those who want complete control to pick and choose what trackers and cookies they want to block.
Enhanced Tracking Protection
If you download a fresh copy of Firefox today, Enhanced Tracking Protection will be on by default as part of the Standard setting. That means third-party tracking cookies are blocked without users having to change a thing. You will notice Enhanced Tracking Protection working if there is a shield icon in the address bar. If you click on the shield icon and open the Content Blocking section and then Cookies, you’ll see a Blocking Tracking Cookies section. There you can see the companies listed as third-party cookies and trackers that Firefox has blocked. You can also turn off blocking for a specific site.
A Firefox user, Mozilla will be rolling out Enhanced Tracking Protection by default “in the coming months.” You can turn it on yourself sooner by clicking on the small “i” icon in the address bar and clicking on the gear on the right side under Content Blocking. Or you can go to Preferences, Privacy & Security, and then Content Blocking. Choose Custom, mark the Cookies checkbox, and select “Third-party trackers.”
Firefox's Enhanced Tracking Protection is on by default
The feature focuses on third-party trackers (the ad industry) while allowing first-party cookies (logins, where you last left off, and so on). Mozilla says it is enabling Enhanced Tracking Protection by default because most users don’t change their browser settings.
Enhanced Tracking Protection will block third-party cookies from over 2,500 tracking domains to start. Mozilla plans to grow that list over time.
Mozilla made a point of comparing Firefox’s Enhanced Tracking Protection to offerings from Google’s Chrome and Apple’s Safari. Does it mean that the Firefox wins? What do you think?
Firefox’s Enhanced Tracking Protection blocks pervasive tracking and data collection by ad networks and tech companies. Chrome offers no equivalent to Enhanced Tracking Protection today other than if a user manually disables all third-party cookies in settings.
Apple’s intelligent tracking protection differs from Firefox’s Enhanced Tracking Protection because it relies on an algorithm and there is burly evidence that add tracking companies are circumventing that algorithm. In addition, the security that Apple’s intelligent tracking protection provides does not extend beyond the apple hardware ecosystem.
Google and Apple are likely to keep iterating, however, just like Mozilla.