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Mozilla pulls tracking trigger for Firefox 22, ignores ad industry attacks

Gregg Keizer | April 8, 2013
Mozilla has added automatic third-party cookie-blocking to a preview version of Firefox 22, a move that will put the feature in most users hands by late June and the company on a collision course with the online ad industry.

In reply to the ad industry's attacks last month, Mozilla's CTO, Brendan Eich, denied the cookie blocking was imminent. "There will be months of evaluating technical input from our users and the community before the new policy enters our Aurora, Beta and General release versions of Firefox," Eich said two weeks ago in an email. "This will stay in our Nightly build until we are satisfied with the user experience."

Apparently, Mozilla is now satisfied.

Unless Mozilla recants, pulls the feature for technical reasons or simply delays it -- the company has occasionally done the latter -- the blocking will appear on schedule.

Firefox users can disable the cookie blocking, but may have trouble finding the setting. Firefox has tucked it under the "Privacy" section. To negate the blocking, users must select "Use custom settings for history" under the "History" subsection, then change "Accept third-party cookies" from the default "From visited" to "Always."

It's reasonable to assume that few Firefox users will bother.

To try Firefox 22 Aurora, users must download it from Mozilla's website. The browser is available for Windows, OS X and Linux.


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