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Who tracks the trackers? Firefox to monitor ad cookies

Publication Date: 
June 19, 2013
NBC News
Devin Coldewey


"Cookie Clearinghouse" a new online privacy initiative launched by the Center for Internet and Society is featured in this NBC News article, which discusses how it will help centralize the "cookie-management process."

Browser-tracking Internet "cookies" can be useful, unnecessary, or malicious depending on where they come from — but how are users supposed to know which is which? Mozilla plans to integrate a central list into its Firefox Web browser that takes the guesswork away and makes better privacy automatic.

"Cookies" are tiny files deposited on your computer by websites that allow them to store small amounts of information, such as where you visited on the site, your username and other data.

It's useful to not have to type your login name again to the site you just left 10 minutes ago, but not every site uses this power responsibly. Blocking cookies altogether can make browsing inconvenient, but letting them all in is a privacy risk — and asking about every cookie generated can be tedious and difficult for the user.


The Cookie Clearinghouse, created by Stanford's Center for Internet and Society, aims to centralize the cookie-management process by keeping a list of which cookie creators are and aren't to be trusted. Mozilla, which makes the popular Firefox browser, said Wednesday it plans to integrate the system, although which upcoming version will include it has not been announced.