Firefox wants to watch you browse

Mozilla is in early stages of planning to develop a tool to help itself grow by gathering data from Firefox users to help improve applications like Thunderbird and web functions. The add-on will collect demographic information like the user's technical level and geographic location.

The add-on is completely optional to participate and not required for all users to install. Information like browsing history and content viewed will not be collected, but the add-on might count and collect the amount of time a user reads the same site. Aza Raskin, head of the Mozilla Labs mentioned that privacy is a huge concern for both Mozilla and its users, and will not force the program on its users, but instead only wants to convince 1% of Firefox users to participate.

The information collected will be published in easy to read format for anyone to view on the Internet, depending on the level of participation users wish to join in on. With the program being opened source, users can view the source code to see just exactly what is watched, collected and shared with the rest of the Internet.

Plans for the first version of the program are set for the next few upcoming weeks, and will be published on Mozilla Labs web site.

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I can save them the trouble:

Crap....Porn for 15 minutes or so....Crap....Porn for 15 minutes or so...Crap... :P

It's about the same as other browsers for me.

With the same amount of tabs open, IE's using 1MB more memory than Firefox is. Then again I've got 2GB of memory so I don't care about an app using 1/20th of it.

Yeah, RAM isn't a problem for me either. I'm running 2GB of DDR RAM on an old AMD Athlon XP 2400+. World of Warcraft, foobar2000, Firefox with multiple tabs, and such runs just fine.

Firefox blows chunks anyway. It already has a built in security issue something like this with the fact that it's bookmarks (mozilla) phone home all the time.

You brain dead fanboys really need to get off the Firefox is out saviour trip!!

cork1958 said,
it's bookmarks (mozilla) phone home all the time.

What in the hell are you babbling about?

===============

I don't know where you got the impression that these people are fanboys, Chrome and IE share your personal info too, if you opt in. All these programs are Opt IN, which means that you only share data if you choose to.

Firefox is no saviour, its a web browser.

The only thing I could find on it was this:

While some users might question the reason to transmit some of the data, for example the number of active users, the reason for transmitting it is to make sure that no plugin or add-on is in use that is on the global ban list. This list contains only five plugins and add-ons currently but it seems to be a way to prevent harm to the products if the user decides to install malicious products.

The five plugins and add-ons that are currently on the blocklist are:

* Internet Download Manager, v2.1-3.3 for Firefox 3.0a1 and newer (see bug 382356).
* Free Download Manager, v1.0-1.3.1 for Firefox 3.0a1 and newer (see bug 408445).
* Yahoo Application State Plugin, v1.0.0.5 and older for Firefox 3.0a1 and newer (see bug 419127).
* Vietnamese Language Pack, v2.0 for all applications (see bug 432406).
* npLegitCheckPlugin.dll, for Firefox 3.0a1 and newer (see bug 423592).

It is possible to disable this feature by setting the extensions.blocklist.enabled to false in the about:config dialog. I would not advise to disable the feature though unless you are sure what you are doing. The Mozilla team may block plugins and add-ons that are installed on your system using that option. If it is disabled this is not possible.

That was a while back though. Also, I believe they get their anti-phishing list from Google. Still no reason to complain.

Now please, put your tinfoil hat down and quit trying to spout insults at people for no particular reason.

I really don't see what the big deal is.

Firefox knows I visited this site five times today! My privacy is being violated!
Wait, never mind. It doesn't keep track of browsing history.

Firefox knows I visited a site five times today! My privacy is being violated!
Wait, never mind. It doesn't keep any identifiable information.

Firefox knows someone visited a site five times today! My privacy is, err...
......

So what?

Firefox spying on users? Who didn't see that coming!

I'll stick to Chrome, the option's off for that browser

It is far from occuring right now. They are still planning it as indicated in the article above. If and when it happens then it will likely be an optional addon for those that wish to allow Mozilla to monitor their activities. I did this for Microsoft for like 6 months and never had an issue with it.

Even if they did make it a built in 'feature', Firefox is open source so you'd just get people compiling versions that don't have the info collecting functions in them.

Yeah, it is an add-on, so it isn't like Mozilla is breaching anybody's privacy. I'd say go for it. This is how things SHOULD be done in my opinion.

As for the person who mentioned paying people for their opinions, companies still do that. The idea is that Mozilla offers its software for free, so it is asking its users to participate in a currently voluntary survey program. If/When the add-on becomes a feature of the browser itself, that is when it will cause an uproar. Of course, it will probably be optional still. Hopefully it is turned off by default when that happens.

Back in my day companies used to PAY people for their opinions and marketing research. Now they expect people to give it up for free.

Yeah, a lot of people are going to be angry over this, but the program is optional, and whether or not it comes pre-installed on the next release of Firefox was not mentioned.

There will also be options from my understanding, that the add-on will come with a selected choice of information (in checkbox form?) of the information shared.

I for one, will not be using this, but might install to see the options

lylesback2 said,
Yeah, a lot of people are going to be angry over this, but the program is optional, and whether or not it comes pre-installed on the next release of Firefox was not mentioned.

There will also be options from my understanding, that the add-on will come with a selected choice of information (in checkbox form?) of the information shared.

I for one, will not be using this, but might install to see the options

I am understanding that it will be an optional download and will not be packaged into Firefox directly. On that note I don't really care if they watch me or not. It isn't like everyone else isn't doing it already.

Meh, it's optional, like the "customer experience program" or whatever it's called in Windows Media Player. No big deal. It may not even be bundled with the browser.