Mozillaâ€™s announcement that it will block third-party cookies stirred controversy in the adware industry, raising complaints that halting the practice commonly used to target individual users with tailored ads is â€œdangerous and highly disturbingâ€.
The decision will result in internet users being spammed by irrelevant ads instead of highly targeted ones, said Dan Jaffe, vice president of government relations at the Interactive Advertising Bureau. He said internet service providers will be forced to go out of business.
“Any group that stands between consumers and advertisers is misguided and unnecessary,” said Jaffe. “We have made many statements making that clear. This isn’t a fight between the industry and any specific entity, but a philosophical fight. â€œ
Providing targeted ads based on user tracking is a defining characteristic of online marketing. Mozillaâ€™s decision to join Safari â€“ which has been blocking third-party cookies since 2003 â€“ raises serious concerns for IAB.
While opinions on the matter differ from one organization to another, the Online Publishers Association believes Mozillaâ€™s upcoming feature is not groundbreaking and will only serve to aid online tracking services.
“In spite of the doom-saying, Mozilla’s move to block third-party cookies in the newest version of Firefox does not spell disaster for the advertising and publishing businesses,” said the OPA. “If anything, it sheds more light on the need for an ecosystem-wide solution.”
With no specific deadline as to when the change in Mozilla will take place, Brendan Eich, Mozilla’s CTO, said it will take a long time for the feature to be thoroughly tested and analyzed before rolling it out.