As early as 2019, Firefox implemented extended cookie protection in which cookies from providers known to be particularly persistent and annoying trackers were blocked. With the latest version, to protect the privacy of Firefox users, storage locations for cookies that are integrated in the browser are blocked for third parties and treated in isolation.
The new Total Cookie Protection aims to further improve user privacy by significantly limiting third-party cookies’ access to information about the websites visited through decentralization.
What are third party cookies?
In order to shed some light on this, we take a practical approach to help. Let’s assume you visit example page-1 on which a Facebook pixel, a Like button or a Share button is implemented. As soon as example page 1 has been loaded completely, including such a Facebook element, Facebook stores a cookie with a unique ID in your browser’s memory. Based on this ID, you can now be clearly recognized later as a user.
In the next step we close the first example page and now open example page-2. This also contains one of the aforementioned Facebook elements. And again, a cookie from Facebook is stored in your browser. This cookie from example page 2 automatically recognizes the cookie already set by example page 1 and can recognize you using the ID that has already been uniquely assigned. In this application, Facebook is the third-party provider that sets cookies here. And although you may be one of the few who have never used Facebook, this company can track you on the Internet and thus create a user profile over time based on the visited websites that have a Facebook element such as Share Button / Like Button which is becoming more and more accurate. And now you can find the Like Buttons / Share Buttons on pretty much every website you can find on the Internet.
So Facebook is the third-party provider in this use case. But it’s just one of the many third-party providers out there.