Firefox 22 will block third-party cookies by default

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Mozilla will soon be taking a page from Apple’s book and implementing a feature in Firefox 22 that will allow the browser to block advertising cookies from third-parties by default. If you aren’t already aware, Cupertino’s Safari browser has shipped with this feature for some time now. The same technique is already possible with the current version of Firefox but users have to enable it manually in the Options menu.

Jonathan Mayer, the Stanford graduate that’s responsible for the new functionality, says the collateral impact should be limited due to the fact that Safari’s desktop and iOS browser has implemented a similar cookie policy for more than 10 years now. He said that a few websites may require a small code change to accommodate Firefox in the same way they do with Safari.

As you can imagine, advertising executives aren’t exactly thrilled about the news. Mike Zaneis, senior vice president and general counsel for the Interactive Advertising Bureau, published a response on Twitter saying the default setting would be a nuclear first strike against the ad industry.

It’s unclear at this point when exactly we can expect to see the feature arrive as a final release but given some basic math, we can narrow it down somewhat accurately. The current version of Firefox for desktops is 19 and we are told cookie blocking will first arrive in version 22.

What’s more, the update will spend roughly six weeks in pre-alpha, alpha and beta before it’s ready for the big show. Based on this information, we probably shouldn’t expect to see Firefox 22 for another 4-5 months at the earliest.

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