Mozilla Cracks Down On Third Party Cookies Parties
Keeping Track Of The Cookie Ecosystem?
Every once and a while it is worth looking at the state of tracking cookies and what browsers are doing to keep them from becoming the predominant parasite on the interwebs. For the most part we have come to accept that first party cookies come with enough benefits that we can live with them in symbiosis; they ensure you don’t have to constantly enter in captchas to your favourite sites when logging and maybe even keep your username handy. In return they feed you somewhat pertinent adverts from the site you are visiting as well as from some apps running on the site, though often for things you just purchased and are no longer shopping for.
Third party cookies on the other hand are as attractive as an Oreo that already has a couple of bites out of it. For that reason most web browsers either automatically block these unenticing morsels or offer you the choice to manually. Of course, this is an arms race and so a workaround has been found which are called redirect trackers.
Redirect trackers force your browser to quickly visit one or more sites on your way from the site where you clicked a link and the destination of that link. When it works correctly, you never see any of those stopover sites rendered in your browser as you are redirected to your destination without even knowing about that detour.
Since you did technically visit those sites, they are free to dump whichever first party cookies they want onto your browser and as we have come to grudgingly accept that flavour of cookie your browser does not block them. These are where Mozilla is focusing their attentions, trying to find a way to ensure that redirect trackers don’t get to invite themselves into your browsing session.
ETP 2.0 will be rolled out to Firefox browsers in the next few weeks, which will automagically clearing any cookies or site data dumped on your machine by known tracker sites every 24 hours. It will leave your intentionally consumed cookies untouched but unfortunately will also leave the cookies from unknown tracker sites, which suggests how advertisers will attempt to evade this new technology. The Register offers links and more details if you are hungry for more.
A week after Firefox 79 debuted, Mozilla says that it plans to start rolling out version 2.0 of its Enhanced Tracking Protection (ETP) scheme to prevent redirect tracking on the web.