Mozilla may start collecting anonymous Firefox browsing data

A few days ago, Mozilla's Georg Fritzsche published information that the company has a plan to collect extra data about your browsing pages. This data collection is supposed to be in a privacy-preserving way. According to the source, this data will help the Firefox product team improve the browser.

Currently, Mozilla already collects some information. There are a number of options in the browser's settings under Privacy. However, this data can be biased, Georg Fritzsche wrote, and only the data collected anonymously without opt-in can show the real state of things.

They are interested in learning which top sites Firefox users are visiting, which sites still use Adobe Flash, which sites give the user performance issues and so on.

This information should allow Mozilla engineers to work more efficiently.

To obtain it, Fritzsche suggests the following solution: differential privacy and RAPPOR, an open source project by Google.

Differential privacy is a special way of data processing which makes it impossible to identify any end user. It makes all data anonymous by randomizing the data set. Differential privacy is actively used in Google Chrome.

The implementation of this data collection is expected to be enabled this September for a select group of users to see how it works.

So, what do you think about this move? Do you find this upcoming change to data collection acceptable? Tell us in the comments.

13 thoughts on “Mozilla may start collecting anonymous Firefox browsing data

  1. OMC

    The solutions ?
    Pale Moon, Cyberfox, Waterfox etc.

    Reply
  2. JeniSkunk

    This is yet another reason to boot FF off a system and move to a browser that respects its users.
    FF said F*** U to its users with Australis.
    FF then again said F*** U to its users with nuking control of browser plugins.
    And now FF is doing it again by datamining users on behalf of its bank$ter owner$, Google.
    Enough is enough.
    It’s time to nuke FF from the desktop.

    Reply
    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      But what are alternatives?

      Reply
  3. Russ

    It doesn’t matter if it’s Firefox, or any other software or OS, I don’t think anyone should be collecting user data without the ability to 100% disable data collection if users so desire. We get enough spying as it is via invisible web trackers on websites.

    Reply
    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      I agree.
      BTW: NoScript and Self-Destroying Cookies addons for Firefox can help against web trackers.

      Reply
  4. Phil

    Oh hell now! :(

    Reply
  5. Phil

    I mean oh hell no! :(

    Reply
  6. Alan Schuh

    Next week… Microsoft announces its acquisition of Mozilla Firefox.

    Reply
    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      Yep. Quite similar behavior. That’s a pity.

      Reply
  7. Gecko Greco

    Hello to all Winaero visitors, its my first post here.
    FF is powering the Tor project, Tails and it is still the best option for anonymous browsing plus no data is being collected from the browser and will never be (in the TOR platform). FF is the best option out there, but collecting data for googlez company is not a good idea at all.. If you do not wanna switch your browsing behaviors then Tor or Tails is a one way road.

    Reply
  8. Alicia

    NOO!!!! NOO!!!! NOO!!!! NOO!!!! NOO!!!! NOO!!!! :( :( :(

    Reply
  9. MDJ

    People tend to always get mad after hearing that companies are collecting their data. Yet, for some reason Google over years has maintained its sweet spot in big amounts of various data collecting.

    Reply
  10. Toshik

    There are numerous tutorials how to disable telemetry and further tracking options in FF
    https://gist.github.com/haasn/69e19fc2fe0e25f3cff5

    Even more, extensive user.js files with several extensions will definitely block practically everything being transmitted.
    https://github.com/ghacksuserjs/ghacks-user.js

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *