Mozilla enraged advertisers earlier this year when it said it would block all third-party cookies in its popular Firefox browser. Those same advertisers breathed a collective sigh of relief when Mozilla put those plans on hold to fix a problem in its anti-cookie patch. Now Mozilla is back on the warpath again after finding a potential solution.
Mozilla’s Brendan Eich updated his blog today with news of a new cookie software system out of Stanford called Cookie Clearinghouse. According to its Web site, it will “publish block-lists and and allow-lists based on objective, predictable criteria.” In other words, it creates lists of good cookies and bad cookies that software vendors can then integrate into their own browsers.
- Naive visited-based blocking results in significant false negative and false positive errors.
- We need an exception management mechanism to refine the visited-based blocking verdicts.
- This exception mechanism cannot rely solely on the user in the loop, managing exceptions by hand. (When Safari users run into a false positive, they are advised to disable the block, and apparently many do so, permanently.)
- The only credible alternative is a centralized block-list (to cure false negatives) and allow-list (for false positives) service.
According to Eich, Mozilla will start to test Cookie Clearinghouse integration soon. In the meantime, the previous anti-cookie patch will remain active in Firefox Aurora.
[h/t: Washington Post]