Mozilla has recently released its anti-tracking policy, which outlines the tracking protection controls Firefox 65 will block by default going forward. Last year, Mozilla revealed plans to push Tracking Protection in Firefox and the anti-policy is a big step forward. Firefox 65 has a number of improvements but its enhanced tracking protection through simplified content blocking settings is what caught our attention.
Mozilla wants users to be able to choose what information they share with what companies and understand the tradeoff’s they’re making when they do, so certain tracking practices will be blocked. Users can choose between the ‘standard setting’, which makes it so that known trackers and their cookies are blocked only in Private Browsing mode; ‘strict setting,’ which blocks the likes of third-party trackers and tracking cookies in all Firefox windows; and ‘custom setting,’ which allows users to choose whether trackers will be blocked only in private browsing mode or all Firefox windows, and whether to block cookies from third-party trackers, unvisited websites, or all possible cookies.
Cookie-based cross-site tracking, which may be used by third-parties to track users on the internet is outlined in the new policy, and URL parameter-based cross-site tracking, which relies on URLs instead of cookies to pass on user identities, will also be blocked.
The company launched Tracking Protection in 2014, a feature to block or restrict certain connections, and in 2015 it was revealed that it would reduce page load times by 44% on average.
Whilst Mozilla isn’t blocking the likes of fingerprinting and supercookies tracking currently, these tracking techniques may well be blocked in the future.
Tracking a major talking point
With both Mozilla and Apple deciding to block third-party tracking, there are several debates within the affiliate industry on the impact it would have on affiliate sales with networks installing first-party tracking solutions and ensuring merchants are fully compliant with the latest tracking mechanism to mediate the browser updates. Last month saw a number of networks and platforms voice their concerns on the current tracking climate and urging advertisers to act now to ensure the viability and sustainability of their tracking by identifying solutions that are not impaired by these browser practices.