Firefox to get its own "health report" by collecting user data

In the near future, Firefox users will be asked to participate in a newly revealed program that its creators at Mozilla hope will improve the web browser. The program will be called the Firefox Health Report and it will appear in a forthcoming Nightly build of the browser.

In a post on the official Mozilla blog, the company said that at the moment it is "quite limited" with what is terms is its "ability to deliver excellence to our Firefox users." Mozilla claims that they need more data from their users to create a better web browser but "acquired in a very carefully considered manner and with full disclosure of our motivations."

The Firefox Health Report will collect information such as PC hardware configurations, the operating system, the number and type of browser add-ons, performance data and more.  The FAQ page for this new feature offers more information, including word that users can opt out from sending this kind of data to Mozilla:

We believe in giving users power over data, even data like this that isn’t personally identifiable or linkable to our users. FHR will give Firefox users control over data submitted by their browser as a result of this feature. Users can use FHR data to better understand their browser’s performance or stability by comparing it to that of aggregate data from other browser configurations. At any time users can disable the feature or delete data associated with their browser.

Source: Official Mozilla blog | Image via Mozilla

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37 Comments

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I don't mind firefox or any other browsers collect information like which website I visited/ How long I stay on a website this kind of information.
It's good to offer us an option to help improve firefox.
Firefox is always one of my favorite browsers apart from chrome and Avant browser.

elfsun said,
I don't mind firefox or any other browsers collect information like which website I visited/ How long I stay on a website this kind of information.
It's good to offer us an option to help improve firefox.
Firefox is always one of my favorite browsers apart from chrome and Avant browser.

Avant still uses the trident rendering engine. That alone is reason enough for me to avoid it.
IE based clones are still vulnerable because they use parts of the underlying problem. You can't fix that. Only the creators can do that.

I thought their "send report" feature that is triggered by the often and usual Windows-7 64-bit crash did the job. Obviously, not. Another company wanting to get personal information on those who use the Internet. If Mozilla can't fix this problem with their automated error reporting feature, how is gaining personal information going to be any better?

TsarNikky said,
I thought their "send report" feature that is triggered by the often and usual Windows-7 64-bit crash did the job. Obviously, not. Another company wanting to get personal information on those who use the Internet. If Mozilla can't fix this problem with their automated error reporting feature, how is gaining personal information going to be any better?

If you'd like, you can actually try disabling whatever addons of yours are buggy to see that Firefox actually works really well. Or I can create and upload a video of my screen browsing the Internet with Firefox on Windows 7 64-bit for well over an hour without any hiccups. And in the process show you that I have nearly 30 addons, which goes to prove it's not even a problem with a majority of addons.

As if this thing doesn't do enough phoning home with all the those bookmarks I would have absolutely no use for. This/that is EXACTLY why I've NEVER used Firefox.

As far as trusting Mozilla, or anyone, with my personal data that I have no idea on what they're collecting, yeah, right!! Ain't happening!!

Use Palemoon or Waterfox instead. MUCH better browsers anyway!!

Mike Frett said,
Sorry to burst all your precious bubbles, but Microsoft, Google, Mozilla, Apple and all the other big corps, ALL collect your data.

You are not getting more privacy by switching to one or the other.

Exactly why I DO NOT use Google or Chrome or Apple crap also. They all collect way more than anyone else!!

Pluto is a Planet said,

This is exactly the reason why Mozilla's so awesome: because they actually would tell you specifics about what they're collecting. Look at this lengthy blog post for info on what they're using: https://blog.mozilla.org/metri...9/21/firefox-health-report/

I'm not really a Chrome user, so I haven't delved very deeply into it (I do, however, use open source variants on some devices), but I know that Apple gives you access to all of the information that is being sent to them. Just go into diagnostics, and you can look at the reports - it's basically the same kind of stuff that Windows collects, nothing identifiable, just enough to help squash bugs and see which features people like best.

cork1958 said,
As if this thing doesn't do enough phoning home with all the those bookmarks I would have absolutely no use for. This/that is EXACTLY why I've NEVER used Firefox.

As far as trusting Mozilla, or anyone, with my personal data that I have no idea on what they're collecting, yeah, right!! Ain't happening!!

Use Palemoon or Waterfox instead. MUCH better browsers anyway!!

Exactly why I DO NOT use Google or Chrome or Apple crap also. They all collect way more than anyone else!!

Their telling you whats being sent and if you want to opt in or not. are you that damn paranoid? Sorry but Palemoon and Waterfox are not that better. continue on with your Firefox rant.

cork1958 said,

Use Palemoon or Waterfox instead. MUCH better browsers anyway!!

Funny thing about that is, they're both still Firefox. Just with different branding. So you're not really using a different browser.

Well they need it. I just had Firefox open for 2 minutes with just two tabs open and it crashed. Chrome and IE10 never do this.

I keep my Firefox open all day, often with 15 tabs, and it never crashes. I only occasionally close and reopen about twice a day to reclaim memory.

NoClipMode said,
Well they need it. I just had Firefox open for 2 minutes with just two tabs open and it crashed. Chrome and IE10 never do this.

NoClipMode said,
Well they need it. I just had Firefox open for 2 minutes with just two tabs open and it crashed. Chrome and IE10 never do this.

You must be one of many other Windows-7 64-bit users with the usual crashing problem, which Mozilla seems powerless to fix. 32-bit works fine.

TsarNikky said,

You must be one of many other Windows-7 64-bit users with the usual crashing problem, which Mozilla seems powerless to fix. 32-bit works fine.

Except even my browser never crashes and I'm using Windows 7 64-bit. It's more likely a problem with a specific addon. Originally I used to crash every time I visited Google+ for example, and it turned out that a buggy addon was all it was. You can easily check if this is the case by going to Firefox > Help > Restart with Add-ons Disabled...

TsarNikky said,

You must be one of many other Windows-7 64-bit users with the usual crashing problem, which Mozilla seems powerless to fix. 32-bit works fine.

I'm on Win 8 x64. But i cant see how either 64-Bit or 32-Bit Windows would make a difference, when i'm running the same 32-bit Firefox that 32-bit Windows users have. No other software has this sort of problem. They better fix it soon because who the hell uses 32-bit Windows any more.

Sub_Zero_Alchemist said,

Really? Are you that delusional. 32 bits not leaving anytime soon.

Win 7 has more 64-bit users and Win 8 will probably have over 90% on 64-bit. I'd expect all new Win 8 PC's to come with x64. And yeah theres always those cave men stuck on XP, but many of those people don't even update their software anyway (if they even can being as so many are dropping XP support now).

NoClipMode said,

I'm on Win 8 x64. But i cant see how either 64-Bit or 32-Bit Windows would make a difference, when i'm running the same 32-bit Firefox that 32-bit Windows users have. No other software has this sort of problem. They better fix it soon because who the hell uses 32-bit Windows any more.


I have a few systems, which are on 32-bit(My main one for instance and an old lappy), but others are on 64-bit. A few users i know still use 32-bit and have no plans on changing over anytime soon. I like to take my time so i get it right. Rushing will only cause issues.

Sorry to burst all your precious bubbles, but Microsoft, Google, Mozilla, Apple and all the other big corps, ALL collect your data.

You are not getting more privacy by switching to one or the other.

Mike Frett said,
Sorry to burst all your precious bubbles, but Microsoft, Google, Mozilla, Apple and all the other big corps, ALL collect your data.

You are not getting more privacy by switching to one or the other.

Sorry to burst your bubble, but Mozilla isn't a big corp. It isn't even a corporation. And have you ever noticed the "Tell websites I do not want to be tracked." option in your browser settings? Yeah that's the Do Not Track campaign Mozilla started which every other browser maker followed suit with: https://blog.lizardwrangler.co...ack-google-chrome-joins-in/

By the way, previously Firefox has had an option to submit performance and crash data, but that was disabled by default. Why even have the option there if they're collecting that information already? You have some pretty flawed logic here...

Believe me, I'm as careful as I can in relation to my internetic-privacy, but Mozilla is the only one I can trust about. I will opt-out of course, but I'm just saying

Sadly, I strongly believe the whole privacy issue these days on internet is a fiasco, completely uncontrollable.

Edited by PC EliTiST, Sep 23 2012, 5:17am :

Desperation is a stinky cologne, Mozilla. Maybe you should have spent Google's allowance on Firefox sooner instead of pointless side projects.

This scheme reminds me of the Dominos approach: "We're doing better! To prove it, we will remind you FOREVER (without changing anything)."

bjoswald said,
Desperation is a stinky cologne, Mozilla. Maybe you should have spent Google's allowance on Firefox sooner instead of pointless side projects.

This scheme reminds me of the Dominos approach: "We're doing better! To prove it, we will remind you FOREVER (without changing anything)."


What in the world are you on about??

bjoswald said,
Desperation is a stinky cologne, Mozilla. Maybe you should have spent Google's allowance on Firefox sooner instead of pointless side projects.

This scheme reminds me of the Dominos approach: "We're doing better! To prove it, we will remind you FOREVER (without changing anything)."

What are you blabbering about?

bjoswald said,
Desperation is a stinky cologne, Mozilla. Maybe you should have spent Google's allowance on Firefox sooner instead of pointless side projects.

This scheme reminds me of the Dominos approach: "We're doing better! To prove it, we will remind you FOREVER (without changing anything)."

Did you even read the article?

I don't get the big fuss about submitting this kind of feedback...i mean its not as if Mozilla is going to have people knocking down your door. I think giving some usage/tech data to allow for more appropriate advancements is good. If Mozilla finds certain types of addons are particularly popular/slow, and they make it faster in response...that's great with me =)

UseLess said,
I don't get the big fuss about submitting this kind of feedback...i mean its not as if Mozilla is going to have people knocking down your door. I think giving some usage/tech data to allow for more appropriate advancements is good. If Mozilla finds certain types of addons are particularly popular/slow, and they make it faster in response...that's great with me =)

I agree completely.

n_K said,
'including word that users can opt out'
Why is all this junk lately opt out, why isn't it opt in?

Just be glad you've got an option. But if it's anonymous (and I mean really anonymous - I want to be able to look at the reports and confirm this for myself before I say anything to that effect), I don't really have a bone with it. There's a lot of ways that it can help with a product.

n_K said,
'including word that users can opt out'
Why is all this junk lately opt out, why isn't it opt in?

There is a Testpilot extension for that purpose.

THolman said,

Just be glad you've got an option. But if it's anonymous (and I mean really anonymous - I want to be able to look at the reports and confirm this for myself before I say anything to that effect), I don't really have a bone with it. There's a lot of ways that it can help with a product.

We can see currently all Telemetry stuff they collected from their dashboard from us.

n_K said,
'including word that users can opt out'
Why is all this junk lately opt out, why isn't it opt in?

Because they really need all the user data to help improve the product. Plus, I'm fine with trusting a charity like Mozilla with my data.

They are taking advantage of apathy and lack of knowledge/interest. They know a large percentage of people will just take the defaults, and not have a clue what they are agreeing to.

You are quite correct - it should be illegal to sign anyone up for something without their EXPLICIT (opt in) consent.

n_K said,
'including word that users can opt out'
Why is all this junk lately opt out, why isn't it opt in?

When Firefox is updated they can just keep setting it to the default of Opt-in. People want to know why laws have to be created for companies, and this is one of the reasons.