back to article Mozilla slams post-cookie ad tech proposals SWAN and UID2 - needs much more work

Mozilla on Wednesday published an assessment of two proposed ad tracking mechanisms intended to fill the void left by third-party cookies and found that both make web privacy worse. Third-party cookies – files deposited by code on websites to track people online and serve them targeted ads – are on their way out, eventually. …

  1. elsergiovolador Silver badge


    Firefox should bundle the browser with Ad Blocker turned on by default.

    They should also reject all this tracking nonsense.

    These things should be opt-in only with a big red warning.

    1. HildyJ Silver badge

      Re: Ban

      No. uBlock Origin is a lighter, faster, and more customizable ad blocker.

      But your sentiment is right. And as I understand Mozilla's position, they are rejecting this tracking nonsense.

    2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Re: Ban

      You mean, like what Brave does ?

      It also has an integrated JS blocker, but since that is less user-friendly than NoScript, I don't use Brave's implementation.

  2. b0llchit Silver badge

    Replacements for cookie-based tracking still pose privacy problems

    Using the words privacy and tracking in the same sentence is, well, a contradiction. How the hell do you track a person with that person's privacy intact? Privacy means that you do not know about the person, hence you cannot track.

    All these discussions about "intact" privacy while being tracked is a distraction. It is an impossibility; a contradiction. It is a sham of a discussion as long as the discussion cannot be honest about the meaning of both privacy and tracking. It is either/or; you cannot have both. In other words, you cannot have and eat the cake at the same time.

    1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

      Politicians successfully legalised corruption by simply renaming it to lobbying. I think Ad companies are aiming at using the same trick.

      I am sure many people will be fooled by this logic: "As long as they don't know it is me, I am fine being tracked."

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Some of the cake, some of the time.

      Yeah, though it's not binary. What they want is to be able to eat MOST of the cake(and for free), instead of none of the cake or all of the cake.

      As usual it's a misdirection, just like the useless "do not track flag" that Mozilla already sold it's users out for. Don't implement real tracking protection for a decade and we'll agree to a voluntary flag that is off by default and there are zero penalties for ignoring. That worked out well.

      The real terms should be, if you want my browsing history, stop stealing it, bloody pay ME for it, at the rate I set, or get buggered. Mozilla could broker that and actually have a revenue stream, as well as submitting alternate payments to websites for an add free browsing experience, but it seems they'd rather keep playing Pocket pool with themselves instead.

      Good to see Mozilla stopped buying magic beans though. It's too late sadly, their share of the browser market is a rounding error at this point, but at least they can bark at Google right?

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'd like to float a new proposal

    SCUM, the Sneaky Cache for User Manipulators. It pretends not to track you, while actually just tracking you. There is a premium version which reverses that, and pretends to track you, and feeds fake info to advertisers. Next year will see the release of the Platinum tier which will reverse the reversal.

    The first 100 platinum subscribers will also get a free trace buster buster plus, a hand exerciser, and a signed poster of Avery Brooks.

  4. Cybersaber

    Why are we allowing these companies a place at the table?

    They start with the premise that they need a way to serve targeted advertising. I say this is a false premise. This is their want, and not my problem. I don't want to stop targeted advertisements, I want to stop _all_ advertisements, and opt into any agreement where I provide my data in lieu of payment. Then they can track me to their heart's content but not share my data with anyone.

    The advertisement companies have somehow moved the goalposts of the conversation such that the assertion that ads must happen is viewed as a given, and merely the terms of _how_ it happens are up for negotiation.

    I reject that soundly.

    1. ThatOne Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Why are we allowing these companies a place at the table?

      Hear! hear!

  5. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "a pseudonymous identifier that ad companies can use for tracking and targeting"

    Your tracking is effing useless anyway.

    Two weeks ago I bought a LED flashlight on Amazon. Guess what ads Amazon is flinging my way ? Of course, a different model of flashlight.

    I see absolutely zero reason to give up my privacy for that kind of targeting.

    Ad companies : go screw yourselves. Just serve up normal ads without any code attached and the public might begin to tolerate you again.

    1. Alumoi Silver badge

      Re: "a pseudonymous identifier that ad companies can use for tracking and targeting"

      Are there ads on Amazon? Funny, my pihole & uBlock say otherwise.

    2. ThatOne Silver badge

      Re: "a pseudonymous identifier that ad companies can use for tracking and targeting"

      > Just serve up normal ads without any code attached

      Problem is, ad pushers won't be able to ask as much money for those simple, old-fashioned ads. Even if they might be more efficient, they aren't "shiny" enough, and don't sound like proprietary know-how only a given ad pusher might have. The ad pushers' clients, marketing departments worldwide, want bells and whistles, they want to be scammed, to be told their ad campaigns will be surgical strikes only reaching people almost about to buy, every ad dollar generates a flurry of guaranteed sales. Because "targeted", you know, infallible.

      That been said, I agree entirely with what you said. A pity common sense is so uncommon.

  6. James 47

    Wait, what?

    > But he asked that we commit to running his remarks unedited or with any edit subject to his approval – not something The Register does

    Why not? It's not unreasonable for someone to expect a reporter to report what they actually said.

    1. Cybersaber

      Re: Wait, what?

      I second the question.

      Vulture Central seems to be a group of shady hacks, but at least they do the ethical things, as far as we know. (Read that last as tongue-in-cheek teasing of El Reg.)

      Seriously though. Even though our beloved Vultures seem to be upstanding journalists (don't let them hear you say that) others may not be, and James Rosewell may not be familiar with the publication or the journalist enough to trust them.

      Thus, it's actually not clear to me why that request is unreasonable - i.e. quote me unedited. It seems to require a trust-fall that is unwarranted by the overall industry's reputation for 'spin.'

      I'm genuinely curious why El Reg has a policy against it.

    2. Old Used Programmer Silver badge

      Re: Wait, what?

      I suspect the problem is that The Register might just quote him verbatim, and there is a serious risk that he'd say something that, in 20/20 hindsight, he might wish he had not.

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