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IAB Opposes Mozilla’s Latest Attack on the Ad-Supported Internet

IAB strongly opposes Mozilla’s decision to block third-party advertising cookies by default.  Mozilla’s actions subvert consumer choice, undermine the value consumers receive from the interactive digital ecosystem, and strike the heart of the ad-supported internet by preventing publishers from monetizing their content. Mozilla has replaced the well-established and accepted use of cookies with opaque standards for cookie handling. We urge Mozilla to withhold from tampering with the free content and services that millions of consumers rely on.

Third-party cookies have existed since the beginning of the internet and play a central role in the internet supply chain. They have been part of the way internet advertising has been delivered, measured, analyzed, optimized, and secured for decades. This change to block third-party advertising cookies risks upending billions of dollars in internet advertising and the millions of jobs that rely on it, and distorting the internet experience consumers love and demand without providing meaningful protections.

Mozilla had announced a similar move in 2013 but quickly reversed course when they became aware of the important role that third-party cookies play in the internet ecosystem. This experience also revealed Mozilla’s inability to filter cookies without degrading users’ internet experience. Since 2013, the importance of internet cookies has only increased, and it is more important than ever that we have a consistent standard for managing cookies across browsers.

Mozilla’s inconsistent approach to third-party cookies risks creating consumer confusion. Instead of a blunt approach like Mozilla’s action, IAB and our member companies have continued to invest heavily in providing meaningful consumer choice to consumers, through programs such as the Digital Advertising Alliance, which has gone through numerous major revisions since Firefox last considered blocking third-party cookies. IAB has also been a founding member of the Coalition for Better Ads, which takes a consumer-centric approach to improving on the online-advertising experience through broad industry adoption. Both the DAA and Coalition for Better Ads are open to all industry participants.