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Firefox increases privacy by default giving ‘total cookies protection’ to all users

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Firefox increases privacy by default giving ‘total cookies protection’ to all users

The Firefox browser is already well-known for its privacy protections and will now be even more private with a new cookie-restricting function announced by Mozilla on Tuesday.

The design change called “Total Cookie Protection” aims to provide enhanced protection against online trackers by restricting websites’ ability to read third-party cookies. A blog posting from Mozilla , states that access to any cookie will only be allowed to the website that placed it in the browser of the user. This means that cookies created by one service or website will not be accessible by other websites.

Mozilla describes the new feature via a blog post. It uses a separate cookie jar for each website to prevent trackers from linking user behavior across multiple websites.

Any time a website, or third-party content embedded in a website, deposits a cookie in your browser, that cookie is confined to the cookie jar assigned to only that website. Websites can’t access cookie jars not owned by them to find out what other websites know about you. This compromise strikes a balance between removing the worst privacy features of third-party cookies, such as the ability to track you, and allowing them to serve their more invasive purposes (e.g. To provide precise analytics

The cookie protection feature is part of an ongoing privacy-focused development strategy from Mozilla that has also seen Firefox continue to support the most sophisticated forms of ad blocking, in contrast with Google Chrome. In regard to cookies, Google previously announced in 2020 that it would phase out third-party cookies within two years but later pushed back the target date to 2023.

Describing the need for enhanced cookie protection, Mozilla cited various examples of the misuse of tracking, including Facebook’s digital tracking of student loan applicants and the selling of data on visitors to Planned Parenthood. The blog post also references a popular Last Week Tonight episode in which John Oliver took aim at data brokers.

Mozilla’s chief security officer Marshall Erwin told The Verge that the organization wanted to give users control over their own data and offer more defense against its misuse.

“Internet users today are stuck in a vicious cycle in which their data is collected without their knowledge, sold, and used to manipulate them,” Erwin said via email. “Total Cookie Protection breaks this cycle by putting people first and protecting their privacy. It also gives them the option to choose how they want to be treated. This Firefox feature is Firefox’s strongest privacy protection and the result of years of effort to combat online tracking .”

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It might take more than cookie protection to curb the major tech companies’ ferocious data intake, but blocking third-party tracking will certainly bring clear privacy gains.

The new cookie protection feature is available now in the latest version of Firefox desktop. Mozilla has a different timeline to roll out mobile technology, Erwin stated, but the technology is available in the privacy-centric Focus version of Firefox on Android. Erwin stated that the technology was not available for iOS due to App Store rules which favor Apple’s browser engine above other alternatives.

Despite objections from developers and accusations of anti-competitive practice, Apple continues to require all browsers for iOS be built on the WebKit browser engine, meaning it is difficult for any browser to distinguish itself significantly from Safari. Browser restrictions aside, Apple has won praise from privacy advocates for its aggressive measures to block tracking across iOS applications.

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USB logos finally make sense, thanks to a redesign

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USB logos finally make sense, thanks to a redesign


Author: Mark Hachman
, Senior Editor

As PCWorld’s senior editor, Mark focuses on Microsoft news and chip technology, among other beats. He has formerly written for PCMag, BYTE, Slashdot, eWEEK, and ReadWrite.

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Cheaper OLED monitors might be coming soon

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Cheaper OLED monitors might be coming soon


Author: Michael Crider
, Staff Writer

Michael is a former graphic designer who’s been building and tweaking desktop computers for longer than he cares to admit. His interests include folk music, football, science fiction, and salsa verde, in no particular order.

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New Pixel Watch leak reveals watch faces, strap styles and more

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New Pixel Watch leak reveals watch faces, strap styles and more
Google Pixel watch



The Google Pixel Watch is incoming
(Image credit: Google)

We’re expecting the Google Pixel Watch to make its full debut on Thursday, October 6 – alongside the Pixel 7 and the Pixel 7 Pro – but in the meantime a major leak has revealed much more about the upcoming smartwatch.

Seasoned tipster @OnLeaks (opens in new tab) has posted the haul, which shows off some of the color options and band styles that we can look forward to next week. We also get a few shots of the watch interface and a picture of it being synced with a smartphone.

Watch faces are included in the leak too, covering a variety of different approaches to displaying the time – both in analog and digital formats. Another image shows the watch being used to take an ECG reading to assess heartbeat rate.

Just got my hands on a bunch of #Google #PixelWatch promo material showing all color options and Watch Bands for the first time. Some details revealed as well…@Slashleaks 👉🏻 https://t.co/HzbWeGGSKP pic.twitter.com/N0uiKaKXo0October 1, 2022

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Full colors

If the leak is accurate, then we’ve got four silicone straps on the way: black, gray, white, and what seems to be a very pale green. Leather straps look to cover black, orange, green and white, while there’s also a fabric option in red, black and green.

We already know that the Pixel Watch is going to work in tandem with the Fitbit app for logging all your vital statistics, and included in the leaked pictures is an image of the Pixel Watch alongside the Fitbit app running on an Android phone.

There’s plenty of material to look through here if you can’t wait until the big day – and we will of course be bringing you all the news and announcements as the Google event unfolds. It gets underway at 7am PT / 10am ET / 3pm BST / 12am AEDT (October 7).


Analysis: a big moment for Google

It’s been a fair while since Google launched itself into a new hardware category, and you could argue that there’s more riding on the Pixel Watch than there is on the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro – as Google has been making phones for years at this point.

While Wear OS has been around for a considerable amount of time, Google has been leaving it to third-party manufacturers and partners to make the actual hardware. Samsung recently made the switch back to Wear OS for the Galaxy Watch 5 and the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro, for example.

Deciding to go through with its own smartwatch is therefore a big step, and it’s clear that Google is envious of the success of the Apple Watch. It’s the obvious choice for a wearable for anyone who owns an iPhone, and Google will be hoping that Pixel phones and Pixel Watches will have a similar sort of relationship.

What’s intriguing is how Fitbit fits in – the company is now run by Google, but so far we haven’t seen many signs of the Fitbit and the Pixel lines merging, even if the Pixel Watch is going to come with support for the Fitbit app.

Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you’ll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.

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