Cookie-Blocking: What's the Real Reason?

MozillaI hope you’ve had a chance to add your voice to the “Stop Mozilla” campaign that the Direct Advertising Alliance launched last month in response to Mozilla’s plan to block third-party cookies by default in its Firefox browser. (Read about it and take action here.)

Although the flurry of headlines and press coverage has died down in the last few weeks, DMA has not relaxed its objections to this plan, which takes advertising choice out of the hands of consumers, the very people Mozilla claims to protect.  Make no mistake: DMA recognizes and endorses consumers’ rights to choose what they want to view on the web and the kinds of advertisements they see, as well as the right to opt out of ads as they see fit.

“Choose” is the operative word here. And consumers already have the tools they need to custom-tailor web advertising to their preferences through the DAA’s own Ad Choices program and through browser settings and add-ons already available in Firefox and other browsers.   More, consumers use the tools they have to make choices – millions participate in DAA’s Advertising Options program every month.

We’re also concerned that Mozilla’s push to block third-party cookies automatically isn’t, as claimed, just an altruistic move to protect consumers against unwanted tracking.  Google’s Chrome is nipping at Firefox’s heels for browser share, according to stats from Net Applications. In fact, Chrome, which does not block cookies by default, was the Web’s biggest gainer in browser share in July (16% at present, compared with 57% for IE, 18.8% for Firefox and 5.6% for Safari).   This move by Mozilla may sound like they care about consumer protection, but the market economics speak loudly, too.

With all the focus on Internet privacy today, I’m pleased to report that we have made tremendous progress toward data transparency through self-regulation and collaboration, with consumer choice as a paramount concern.

Consumers should get to choose what kinds of web content they see, whether editorial content or advertising – not the government, not DMA and certainly not Mozilla, Microsoft, Google, Apple or any other browser owner. That is the heart of our position and our objection to Mozilla’s plans.

Please take a moment to send a message to StopMozilla@aboutads.info telling Mozilla not to proceed with automatic cookie blocking and to share your examples of how it would do nothing to help consumers, and would in fact harm the digital advertising ecosystem.

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