Firefox to Track User Data?

By | May 14, 2008 | 8 Comments


How does it sound? I’ll start with a quote from John’s Blog which should explain everything:

So we asked ourselves what we can do to help unlock some of this latent potential — and started thinking about whether there’s a project we can do at Mozilla that does a few things:
Collects & shares data in a way that embodies the user control & privacy options which are at Mozilla’s core.
Enables everyone — from individual researchers and entrepreneurs (both the social and capitalist types) to the largest organizations in the world — to take usage data, mix it up, mash it up, derive insight, and hopefully share some of that insight with others.
Helps move the conversation around data collection and web usage forward, to help consumers make more informed decisions.

It seems obvious to us that there’s lots to be done here, and lots that we can do, if we can work with our broad community to figure it out.

If that’s not enough, TechCrunch also wrote an article about that. Check “Mozilla Stealth Data Project Could Be Just What The Internet Needs”.

While it’s too early to get into any deep details, some users don’t like the idea already. Here are some comments from John’s Blog for example:

Rüdiger Hof
Go to hell with tracking data – we will stop this in Germany, if necessary, we will stop firefox.

Tom
So basically Firefox will be spyware .. great move!

Of course, they won’t force you to share the data and it’s not a spyware. But is this a good idea at all? Maybe, it depends on our view. What do you think? Would you allow to track your data?


About (Author Profile)


Vygantas is a former web designer whose projects are used by companies such as AMD, NVIDIA and departed Westood Studios. Being passionate about software, Vygantas began his journalism career back in 2007 when he founded FavBrowser.com. Having said that, he is also an adrenaline junkie who enjoys good books, fitness activities and Forex trading.

  • http://myopera.com/fatal FataL

    “Would you allow to track your data?”
    No, I would not!

    But it’s seems Ok, if they will ask users if they want participate in such a program.

    BTW, I would shure allow to collect some statistics from browser usage if it is not connected to collecting data about content which I browse. It should be completly anonymous data such as number of bookmarks, number of tabs opened, number of plug-ins, number of add-ons, number of searches, etc. ( like Opera did to improve user experience: http://operawatch.com/news/2007/01/opera-spyware-edition-released.html ).
    But something says me that Mozilla just want to collect commercial statistics…

  • andresruiz

    Wow, they’ll collect data from users !! I wont use Firefox animore starting from next Firefox 2 update and/or Firefox 3 release. Go to hell mozilla, I thougth it was safe software.

  • http://megascore.biz Morbus

    This is the beauty of open source. If you don’t like how it’s done, you redo it.

    And since they don’t force anything, I’m ok with it.

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  • http://www.studioj.net.au James

    So long as it’s opt-in and stays that way. Not that I have a problem with anonymous data anyway. The Mozilla team have proven themselves enough that I’m not about to start screaming accusations at them over something like this.

  • Alex K

    [quote comment="10704"]So long as it’s opt-in and stays that way. Not that I have a problem with anonymous data anyway. The Mozilla team have proven themselves enough that I’m not about to start screaming accusations at them over something like this.[/quote]

    Agree with you there. But I don’t want this anyway

  • http://www.metatrontech.com Chris Travers

    I am opposed to this project because I don’t think it can be successful as opt-in. Hence one has to choose between modes of failure. You basically have all of the issues with self-selecting surveys with the additional considerations of privacy and abuses of this by other parties. This suggests that any data collected will be relatively useless. If they make it opt-out, the backlash will be severe and probably permanent.

    I hope they don’t waste everyone’s time with this plan.

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