Mozilla

With the launch of a new feature aimed at stopping user monitoring from site to site, Mozilla this week revealed enhanced user protection in Firefox 86.

The new functionality, named Complete Cookie Security and built into Enhanced Tracking Protection (ETP) Tight Mode, was intended to limit cookies to the websites they generated and compliment the Supercookie Protections implemented last month by Mozilla in Firefox 85.

‘Cookies, those well-known pieces of data stored by web browsers on behalf of a website, are a valuable technology, but still a significant vulnerability to privacy. That’s since web browsers’ dominant behaviour enables cookies to be exchanged between websites, states Mozilla.

The browser maker stresses that tracking companies can tag a user’s browser and follow their browsing activity with cookies shared between sites. Such cookie-based tracking is used for mass commercial tracking, enabling the production of comprehensive personal user profiles by advertisement agencies.

Firefox has been banning cookies from organizations known as trackers for more than two years, courtesy of ETP, but the new functionality is designed to push encryption to the next level and ensure that no cookie can be used to track a user from site to site.

For that reason, Absolute Cookie Security identifies cookies from the pages that have created them. Thus, when a cookie is stored in a browser by a webpage or third-party content on the site, it is submitted to a “cookie jar” assigned to that site and never shared with other websites.

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However, for cross-site cookies used for non-tracking purposes, such as cookies used by third-party login providers, exceptions are made.

It will only give that provider permission to use a cross-site cookie specifically for the site you are currently visiting if Total Cookie Protection detects that you intend to use the provider. Without disrupting the browsing experience, such momentary exceptions allow for good privacy protection, says Mozilla.

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Mark Funk is an experienced information security specialist who works with enterprises to mature and improve their enterprise security programs. Previously, he worked as a security news reporter.