Mozilla has just announced a 'major privacy advance' for its Firefox browser

Firefox (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • Mozilla has announced a new privacy measure for Firefox called 'Total Cookie Protection'.
  • It will store cookies generated whilst browsing in a "jar" that stops them from being shared with other websites.

Mozilla Firefox has announced a brand new privacy feature called 'Total Cookie Protection' that will stop cookies from being shared between websites whilst you browse on macOS.

From Mozilla:

Today we are pleased to announce Total Cookie Protection, a major privacy advance in Firefox built into ETP Strict Mode. Total Cookie Protection confines cookies to the site where they were created, which prevents tracking companies from using these cookies to track your browsing from site to site.

Our new feature, Total Cookie Protection, works by maintaining a separate "cookie jar" for each website you visit. Any time a website, or third-party content embedded in a website, deposits a cookie in your browser, that cookie is confined to the cookie jar assigned to that website, such that it is not allowed to be shared with any other website.

Cookie Mozilla

Cookie Mozilla (Image credit: Mozilla)

Mozilla says cookies are a "serious privacy vulnerability" because they are shared between websites, allowing for users to be tracked. Whilst Mozilla has already introduced measures to stop companies identified as trackers from seeing your cookies, this new feature goes one step further by preventing cookies from being shared across websites.

Furthermore, Total Cookie Protection can distinguish between cookies that aren't used for tracking purposes, for example, third-party login providers. Using a provider will give permission for cross-site cookies but specifically to the site you're currently visiting:

Only when Total Cookie Protection detects that you intend to use a provider, will it give that provider permission to use a cross-site cookie specifically for the site you're currently visiting. Such momentary exceptions allow for strong privacy protection without affecting your browsing experience.

Mozilla says the new feature, along with recently announced 'Supercookie Protections' will stop websites "tagging" your browser and eliminating the "most pervasive cross-site tracking technique."

The news comes as Apple branches out into its own war against tracking and anti-privacy measures. Much to the chagrin of Facebook it has recently introduced a new opt-in policy for IDFA tracking that Facebook says could destroy its advertising business. Mozilla has previously stated that Apple's changes are "a huge win for consumers".

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design. Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9