Internet Advertising Bureau Turns to Full-Page Ads in Mozilla Kerfuffle

by Ostatic Staff - Aug. 13, 2013

The Internet Advertising Bureau is not letting up as it fires off screed after screed against Mozilla for its plans to block advertising cookies in the Firefox browser. If you're like most of us, you get annoyed by how advertising cookies in your browser seem to know what your interests are and serve up creepy ads that hit a little too close to home. That's why Mozilla has worked with Stanford’s Center for Internet Society which has a new Cookie Clearinghouse that will oversee easy-to-use “allow lists” and “block lists” to help Internet users protect their privacy. Mozilla has worked on its own on methods for suppressing cookies, too.

These plans have already prompted the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) to condemn Mozilla's "Kangaroo Cookie Court."   Now, the IAB has taken full page ads out in newspapers with the headline "Stop Mozila from Hijacking the Internet."

This brouhaha goes back to a release from the IAB that noted the following:

"The Interactive Advertising Bureau today accused the Mozilla Corporation, the technology giant whose Firefox web browser controls how a fifth of users worldwide access the internet, of undermining American small businesses and consumers’ ability to manage their own privacy, through planned changes to Firefox that would re-architect the way data flows between web sites and internet users."

"Joining a chorus of complaints from companies and industry groups around the world, the IAB, which represents 500 major U.S. internet companies and more than 1,000 small digital publishers, focused on Mozilla’s plans to block third-party cookies by default in the next version of the Firefox browser. The IAB pointed specifically to the impact the ban would have on small internet publishers, which depend on such cookie technology to sell advertising to niche audience segments."

It's interesting to note that Apple's Safari browser already blocks third-party cookies. The idea is not new and subversive.

"Finding stuff you’re interested in on the Internet is easy these days," say the IAB's new full-page ads. "That’s because advertisers can tailor ads to specific interests through the responsible and transparent use of cookies."

If advertisers can tailor ads to interests, why can't browser users tailor their privacy preferences to deliver just the content that they want?

You can expect to hear more objections from the IAB on all of this, but Mozilla seems to be ignoring most of the nasty missives.