As we reported back in February, Mozilla had plans to introduce cookie-blocking by default in version 22 of its Firefox Web browser. Well, it seems that the company has realized that it might have been a bit hasty in wanting to implement the change so quickly, so now, it's decided to hold off as it needs more time to analyze the outcome of making such a move.
Cookies are a fairly integral part of our Web-surfing, although they do expose us to certain risks. The best use for cookies is to save certain information for a given website; such as whether or not you're logged in, to keep track of what content you've read, and other niceties. But then there are the darker uses: advertisers can utilize cookies to track you. Have you ever looked up a product at Newegg and then saw an ad for it on another website? Thank cookies.
Apologies to anyone made hungry by this image. The editor is an evil person.
It's clear, then, that some might have a problem with that, and not want cookies to be enabled by default, or at least by default for every single website. Ideally, I think people should have the option to enable cookies on the sites they need or want to (eg: if they trust said website).
The fact of the matter is, cookies are an important part of the Web, and they can increase convenience. Imagine a Web forum where you must log in on every visit. That'd be rather frustrating, wouldn't it? Well, as has been proven over the years, most computer users are not going to understand what it means to have cookies enabled or disabled, and they aren't even likely to read a notice if Firefox presents them with one (I base this off of my extended family). That will result in users everywhere dealing with issues caused by the lack of cookies and then not knowing how to fix it.
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.
What are your thoughts on this? Should Mozilla go ahead and just disable cookies by default, or keep things as they are?