DAA Bashes New Cookie-Blocking Initiative

The ad trade group Digital Advertising Alliance is criticizing Mozilla for inching forward with a plan to block third-party cookies.

“Neither Congress, nor law enforcement, nor any government agency have asked for the draconian measures that Mozilla is planning to implement,” the DAA stated Thursday.

DAA General Counsel Stuart Ingis added that browser developers like Mozilla “are enormously powerful, and as such, bear an enormous responsibility for upholding the future of the Internet.” Ingis said that cookie-blocking would amount to “stifling innovation,” which would have “direct, negative results on advertisers’ abilities to support diverse Internet content.”

The DAA was reacting to news that Mozilla representatives would serve on an advisory board of the new Cookie Clearinghouse -- an initiative of the Stanford Center for Internet and Society.

The Clearinghouse aims to enable browser manufacturers block third-party cookies -- which are set by ad networks -- without also inadvertently blocking cookies from companies that have relationships with Web users. The Clearinghouse's five-member advisory board includes representatives from Mozilla, as well as the browser manufacturer Opera. Privacy advocate Jonathan Mayer, who wrote code that would enable Mozilla to block third-party cookies by default, also serves on the board.

The Clearinghouse says on its Web site that a company's membership on the advisory board does not imply that the company has committed to automatically block third-party cookies. But many observers are interpreting Mozilla's participation in the project as a sign that the company eventually will move forward with cookie-blocking.

Mozilla said on Thursday that it believes advertising “is an important component to a healthy Internet ecosystem.” The company added that it encourages the DAA and other ad industry groups “to work with us to make that process more transparent.”

Earlier this year, Mozilla said it planned to incorporate Mayer's cookie-blocking software in the upcoming Firefox 22 browser. But the company held off after tests showed that the patch sometimes blocked first-party cookies -- set directly by publishers -- as well as the third-party cookies used by ad networks. Stanford's new Clearinghouse aims to fix that problem by developing criteria to determine whether cookies should be considered first-party or third-party.
3 comments about "DAA Bashes New Cookie-Blocking Initiative".
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  1. Mike Skladony from Semcasting, Inc., June 21, 2013 at 9:01 a.m.

    “stifling innovation,” -----Sorry Stuart, but blocking the already lacking and ineffective 3PC is actually promoting innovation in an industry that can thrive on something like this.....these just sound like lazy, it's good enough why be proactive comments.

  2. Louis Moynihan from Demandbase, June 21, 2013 at 4:12 p.m.

    In a world where big data is getting bigger we need to distinguish good data from bad data. While it may not all be black or white, creating different categories of cookie sources, has to benefit the consumer. If anything this will force more innovation, otherwise the larger publishers and tech players, (Facebook, MSFT, Google etc) will get bigger as their 1st party cookies give them more advantage. This will force the industry to target and prove ROI without using cookies, and that will eventually benefit everyone

  3. R.J. Lewis from e-Healthcare Solutions, LLC, June 23, 2013 at 12:41 p.m.

    Removing 3rd party cookies, will clearly impact advertising and publishers ability (particular the small and mid size publishers) to monetize their content offerings.

    Removing 3rd party cookies from the ecosystem is essentially like removing currency from capitalism.

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