Firefox users may receive a prompt on startup of the web browser that gives them an option to enable the browser’s Total Cookie Protection feature.
Total Cookie Protection separates cookies in the browser so that only the site that planted it in the browser has access to it. The protective feature limits cross-site tracking in the Firefox web browser. Some sites and services require third-party cookies to work properly; these providers get automatic permission to use cross-site cookies when Total Cookie Protection detects that a Firefox user intends to use that provider.
Mozilla describes Total Cookie Protection in the following way:
Total Cookie Protection builds a fence around cookies, limiting them to the site you’re on so third parties can’t use those same tracking beacons to follow you from one site to the next. For example, if you visit socialnetwork.example, the site won’t be able to view your activity on shopping.example, healthinsurance.example, or your cousin’s cooking blog later.
First introduced in Firefox 86 Stable, released in February 2021, Total Cookie Protection has been restricted to Firefox’s strict tracking protection feature. Mozilla enabled the feature in Firefox 89 for the browser’s private browsing mode.
The roll out in Firefox brings the feature to the default tracking protection configuration in the browser when enabled. Firefox users who get the prompt in the browser may activate the “turn on Total Cookie Protection” button to add the protective feature to the browser.
When they do that, a new checkbox appears in the privacy settings to toggle the functionality.
Total Cookie Protection is in early access currently according to Mozilla. No additional data is collected when the feature is enabled. Mozilla states that the rollout helps the organization improve the feature before it is enabled by default for all users of the web browser in a future version.
Firefox users may activate the Shield icon on sites with broken functionality, after enabling Total Cookie Protection, to turn off the feature for the site and optionally inform Mozilla about that.
Firefox users who do not get the prompt or the setting in the browser may set the preference browser.privacySegmentation.preferences.show to TRUE on about:config to display it in the browser. According to Mozilla, it may also be possible to enable this by setting network.cookie.cookieBehavior to 5 on about:config. Others may prefer to enable the Strict privacy setting, as it includes the new functionality already.
How does it differ from blocking third-party cookies outright? If you enable the setting, sites are blocked from setting third-party cookies; this may break some site functionality, unless exceptions are set. Total Cookie Protection allows the setting of third-party cookies, but it restricts access to these cookies.
Mozilla has yet to reveal when the feature will become available as a default for all users of the web browser.
Now You: what is your take on Total Cookie Protection?