Out-Law News | 26 Feb 2013 | 10:38 am | 1 min. read
Stanford graduate Jonathan Mayer, who has been involved in implementing the update, said that the new policy would resemble the one adopted by Apple in its Safari browser.
Cookies are small text files that record internet users' online activity. Cookies come in a variety of forms and differing functions for tracking user behaviour on websites.
Websites can track user behaviour during individual visits to sites (session cookies) or over multiple visits (persistent cookies) and serve one or a number of different purposes (multipurpose cookies). They can also be served by the websites themselves (first-party cookies) or on behalf of other internet firms, such as advertising networks that use (third-party) cookies to track users' online activity in order to serve them with targeted ads they consider more relevant to those users.
Mayer said that third-parties would need to have individuals' consent in order to serve cookies if those users have not "intentionally interacted" with their content under the new Firefox policy.
"If a user does not seem to have intentionally interacted with your content, or if you’re uncertain, you should ask for permission before setting cookies," Mayer said. "Most analytics services, advertising networks, and unclicked social widgets would come within this category."
"Working around the policy’s technical limits may be reasonable in certain cases, but undermining the policy’s privacy purpose is never acceptable," he added.