, May 03, 15

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The New Firefox Cookie Policy

This MediaPost Story

Here’s the Mozilla Bug Report Discussing the Measure

Jonathan Mayer, a developer at Firefox, has announced that from v22 of its open-source browser, Firefox will begin blocking all third-party cookies. What’s a third party cookie?

“Roughly: Only websites that you actually visit can use cookies to track you across the web.”

Who does that exclude? Ad networks. Which means that, if this goes ahead, retargeting on the exchanges is nixed for 23% of the non-mobile browser market share.

What’s causing this? Two possibilities.

1) Slating this measure for release in June might be brinkmanship: a bluff response to disrespect for Do Not Track measures already in use in Firefox and other browsers. Part of this is problem about how to interpret default Do Not Track settings and the notion of consent.

2) Cookie tracking still has the “creepy factor.” No matter how much the industry kicks and screams about the harmlessness of cookie targeting, users still do not like to be tracked. Firefox, being part of the Open Web Foundation, is responding to this dislike to capture market share.

One upshot of this measure would be reduced revenues for many websites, especially those websites that cater more heavily to Firefox’s biggest market segment: tech-savvy (post-)college graduates. A page impression with cookie data associated tends to command a higher price because of the greater predictability of the user’s behavior.

With that in mind, how should players in the ecosystem respond?

1) Publishers might start dropping first-party cookies on their users and selling this data either through DMPs or to select partners. They would do this with Grapeshot, as several of our publisher partners already have, by dropping keywords for context-specific data to retarget later, either to extend their audience on other sites, or to sell as behavioral data.

2) Everyone gets more interested in contextual.

Here’s a screenshot of the new Firefox cookie setting:


Some Data on Browser Usage Share

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