As part of its war on web tracking, Mozilla is adding a new tool to Firefox aimed at stopping cookies from keeping tabs on you across multiple sites. The “Total Cookie Protection” feature is included in the web browser’s latest release — alongside multiple picture-in-picture views (more on that below) — and essentially works by keeping cookies isolated between each site you visit. Or, in Mozilla’s words: “By creating a separate cookie jar for every website.”
Cookies, for the uninitiated, are text files containing small pieces of data that can be used to identify your computer. Though they were designed to improve your web browsing experience, they can also be used to monitor your online activity without your consent. Google is also working on a plan to kill off third-party cookie tracking on its Chrome web browser as part of its Privacy Sandbox project, an initiative that seeks to allow personalized ads while limiting individually identifying data.
Firefox’s new feature pares with last month’s network partitioning tool, which works by splitting the Firefox browser cache on a per-website basis to prevent tracking across the web, itself targeted at blocking more stubborn “supercookies.” According to Mozilla, these types of cookies are more difficult to delete and block as they are stored in obscure parts of the browser, including in Flash storage, ETags, and HSTS flags. Both tools are available as part of Firefox’s enhanced tracking protection suite in “strict mode” on desktop and Android.
Beyond privacy, the new release also builds on a fan favorite feature by offering multiple picture-in-picture views. As the name suggests, you’ll now be able to watch several videos at the same time, with the multi-view launch timed to coincide with the NCAA’s March Madness basketball tournament next month. The feature is available on Mac, Linux and Windows.