Firefox Moves Forward with Plans For Do Not Track Blocking By Default

As we discussed last month, Mozilla postponed the introduction of automatic third-party cookie blocking in its Firefox Web browser, citing the obvious: it was too hasty in its decision. Well, that hastiness appears to have worn off, as now, the company has plans to rollout the do not track change to Firefox in the months ahead (exactly how many months isn't noted).

You might imagine that not everyone is happy about this move, and of them all, the vocal majority are advertisers. Advertisers can make use of cookies to track where the user visits in order to deliver more relevant advertising. Have you ever looked up a product at Amazon and then saw an ad for it on another site? Cookies are to thank. Google is likely the best--known advertiser to use these practices. I returned to playing Trion Worlds' Rift after it went free-to-play a couple of weeks ago, and ever since, I've seen ads for it on many different websites - essentially, any site that runs Google's ads.

It's clear that cookie use for this purpose is widespread, and though I hate functionality being taken away by default like this, I do love Mozilla's stance on customer safety and security. I do still stand by what I said last month, however:

"The best solution, to me, is to have cookies enabled by default, but present the user with information on the first browser boot about what cookies are, how they can be harmful, and then let them decide whether or not they should disable them. If they do disable them, let them enable them on a per-site basis."

Chances are that last point will happen anyway, similar to how the popular AdBlock plugin allows those who want to support certain websites to toss it onto the whitelist.

This move by Mozilla is an interesting one for a number of reasons; the main one: it's doesn't own an advertising network. By contrast, Google and Microsoft do, so it seems highly unlikely that either one of these companies will make the same move as Mozilla anytime soon for Chrome and Internet Explorer, respectively,, if ever.