Over the weekend, Mozilla was caught short when add-ons for its Firefox browser suddenly stopped working, leaving many users unable to leverage important tools such as password managers and content blockers. While Mozilla worked on a permanent fix, eventually released in the form of Firefox 66.0.4 and 66.0.5 two days after, it managed to deploy an interim solution to users that had opted into "Studies" - a telemetry function built into the browser to help test emerging settings and features.
However, taking advantage of Studies as a deployment channel for such fixes also saw telemetry sent from browsers back to Mozilla for the duration of the study. While this may be cause for concern for the privacy concerned out there, Joe Hildebrand has outlined Mozilla's plans to discard collected data in an announcement on its blog:
"In order to respect our users’ potential intentions as much as possible, based on our current set up, we will be deleting all of our source Telemetry and Studies data for our entire user population collected between 2019-05-04T11:00:00Z and 2019-05-11T11:00:00Z."
Hildebrand also encouraged users to "please check that your settings match your personal preferences before we re-enable Studies" which is set to take place in roughly three days.
Of course, the incident has left some Firefox users a bit worse for wear in terms of their confidence in Mozilla, with the company "[hoping] that you’ll give us a chance to earn it back". In the meantime, Mozilla is continuing to work on its full post-mortem analysis which will be shared publicly once it has been completed.