After initial release as an optional Firefox feature, Mozilla has now rolled out its ‘Total Cookie Protection” feature by default.
Mozilla Firefox Total Cookie Protection
Announcing the move in a recent post, Mozilla confirms rolling out the “Total Cookie Protection” feature to its Firefox browsers globally.
It isn’t a recent move, though. Instead, Mozilla first introduced this feature in 2021 with Firefox 86, elaborating on how it will reduce website tracking.
In short, this feature restricts the websites in how they use cookie tracking. Cookies technically facilitate websites in tracking users across other sites as well. But the restrict Total Cookie Protection feature hinders this functionality, limiting the sites’ tracking to their own URLs only. In this way, the technique significantly reduces the risks of cross-site tracking, a largely privacy-breaching feature for the users.
After testing the feature with gradual privacy improvements over the years, Mozilla has now rolled it out globally as a default feature. As stated in its blog post,
Today’s release of Total Cookie Protection is the result of experimentation and feature testing, first in ETP Strict Mode and Private Browsing windows, then in Firefox Focus earlier this year. We’re now making it a default feature for all Firefox desktop users worldwide.
Mozilla previously released “Enhanced Tracking Protection” (ETP) with its Firefox browsers. That feature intended to prevent browser fingerprinting by blocking the relevant third-party cookies. However, it remained possible for online trackers to evade ETP in many cases. For example, an adversary not on the specified cookie list for ETP could still track users.
Thus, with Total Cookie Protection, the browser overcomes this lacking by isolating all cookies in their respective “cookie jars.” Since there won’t be a defined list requirement, no tracking cookies would seemingly evade this feature.
Hence, with this step, Mozilla expects further improvements in users’ overall browsing privacy worldwide.