How Firefox Is Becoming the TiVo of Internet Browsing

Pity this era's ad men and women. Each day brings new ways that techies are limiting our exposure to their pitches. Witness Firefox, the Mozilla Foundation browser that now automatically blocks "cookies" from third-party websites.

For the uninitiated, cookies are small blocks of code uploaded to a browser upon visiting a site. Some are quite helpful, like the cookies that recognize you returning to a site you love and log you in automatically as a result. Others are like trackers that hope to understand you so well that targeted ads get through.

According to trade magazine Computerworld, the latest edition of Firefox (version 22) would only block cookies unrelated to the website you're viewing at the time. Code related to sites you've already visited, and approve of, would also be allowed. Mozilla plans to formally unveil the new browser in June. Expect more than the usual rhetoric in the interim.


Advertisers hate the idea. At least two industry trade groups -- the Interactive Advertising Bureau and the Association of National Advertisers -- strongly oppose the new setting, arguing that users of the browser will see more (and more irrelevant) ads as a result, Computerworld reports. Perhaps that's why AppleGoogle  , and Microsoft haven't taken similar steps with their own browsers?

Tim Beyers of Motley Fool Rule Breakers and Motley Fool Supernova isn't so sure, arguing in the following video that the pattern is eerily similar to the reaction TV advertisers had when TiVo first introduced time shifting and the ability to fast-forward through commercials. The industry has since adjusted, and it will here, too, Tim says.

Do you believe Mozilla is making the right move in blocking some cookies? Please watch and then leave a comment to let us know what you think of the plan and how you consume (or avoid) Internet advertising.

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The article How Firefox Is Becoming the TiVo of Internet Browsing originally appeared on Fool.com.

Fool contributor Tim Beyers is a member of the  Motley Fool Rule Breakers stock-picking team and the Motley Fool Supernova Odyssey I mission. He owned shares of Apple and Google at the time of publication. Check out Tim's web home and portfolio holdings or connect with him on Google+Tumblr, or Twitter, where he goes by @milehighfool. You can also get his insights delivered directly to your RSS reader.The Motley Fool recommends Apple and Google. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple, Google, and Microsoft. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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