Mozilla announced last week that they will be collaborating on the Cookie Clearinghouse, or CCH, with Stamford Law School's Center for Internet and Society (CiS). However, this development will mean more delays to the launch of its cookie-blocking feature that was announced in February this year.
Mozilla's chief technology officer, Mr. Brendan Eich, wrote in his blog that the organization was committed to develop the CCH "...so that browsers can use its lists to manage exceptions to a visited-based third-party cookie block." CCH will make use of both blacklists and whitelists to manage third-party cookies. Not all cookies are detrimental as some of them, called first-party cookies, allow for identification so that users don't have to log onto their favorite sites repeatedly. However, third party cookies are placed in advertisements on first party sites, and are often used by advertisers to track the past activities of the users.
The Cookie Clearinghouse would make it easier for users to permit which website to deposit its third party cookies. The technology behind CCH is similar to Apple's Safari browser, which blocks all cookies from sites that users don’t intentionally visit. The CCH is headed by Ms. Aleecia McDonald who is the Director of Privacy at CiS. Earlier this year in February, Mozilla announced that its build 22 of Firefox will feature a patch that blocks third party cookies by default. Since the CCH proposal is still in its infancy, this patch will be withheld until CCH is brought up and properly integrated into the Firefox browser.