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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