A new patch developed by Mozilla for its Firefox web browser will block third-party advertising cookies by default, which will greatly hinder the ability of third-parties to track Firefox users’ online activities. Prior versions of the Firefox browser enabled users to manually turn-off cookies, but the new patch automatically blocks cookies. A “cookie” is a piece of data that a website may store on an end-user’s hard drive containing non-personally identifiable information about that end-user and which enables the website operators to track that end-user’s web browsing behavior.
The Firefox patch does allow cookies from websites that users visit, but blocks cookies from third-party websites that have not been visited by users. Firefox would not be the first web browser to create such a default setting, as Apple’s Safari browser already blocks third-party cookies.