The browser wars (opens in new tab) could soon heat up again following a bold declaration from Firefox (opens in new tab).
The Mozilla-owned platform has declared itself to be the most private and secure browser (opens in new tab) available across Windows and Mac following the rollout of an upgraded privacy tool that provides its “strongest privacy protection to date.”
The company’s Total Cookie Protection tool, which locks cookies only to the site where they were created rather than following a user around the web, will now be available as a default for Firefox users.
Total Cookie Protection
“Whether it’s applying for a student loan, seeking treatment or advice through a health site, or browsing an online dating app, massive amounts of your personal information is online — and this data is leaking all over the web,” the company wrote in a blog post (opens in new tab) announcing the news.
“It’s an alarming reality — the possibility that your every move online is being watched, tracked and shared — and one that’s antithetical to the open web we at Mozilla have strived to build. That’s why we developed Total Cookie Protection to help keep you safe online.”
Total Cookie Protection had been introduced back in 2021 (opens in new tab), but users had to toggle it on – although it was activated whenever a user switched on Firefox privacy mode.
Mozilla went on to outline how the system works – essentially by creating a separate “cookie jar” for each website you visit, which stays in the jar. This should mean that website trackers are no longer able to link up your behavior on multiple sites, instead just seeing behavior on individual sites.
“No other websites can reach into the cookie jars that don’t belong to them and find out what the other websites’ cookies know about you — giving you freedom from invasive ads and reducing the amount of information companies gather about you.”
Mozilla says this approach allows third-party cookies to fulfill some of their less invasive use cases (e.g. to provide accurate analytics) but also eliminating the worst privacy properties – namely, tracking users around the web.
“With Total Cookie Protection in Firefox, people can enjoy better privacy and have the great browsing experience they’ve come to expect,” the company said.
Mozilla will hope that the addition helps boost its share of the global browser market, which has struggled in recent months.
Recent Statcounter data showed Firefox in fourth place with a 3.41% market share, behind fierce rival Microsoft Edge (4.05%) and far away from long-time leaders Google Chrome (64.34%) and Apple’s Safari (19.16%).