Focusing on privacy in a world of data

There are many ways to explain that Mozilla is different by nature from other browser vendors, when it comes to protecting user data and privacy. The new Firefox Health report is a very good illustration of Mozilla’s unique approach. But let’s first address what Firefox Health Report is about. In short, in order to improve Firefox, Mozilla needs to gather statistical data to better understand how Firefox is used by people over the world. Which kind of hardware, what add-ons, performance while being used, length of session. I won’t get into further details, but those who want to know more can refer to the FAQ.

As I wrote above, Mozilla goes a really long way to use data in a privacy-centric way. Let me list of ways this is done:

  • Directly beneficial to the user, with the ability to compare the performance of your Firefox instance with others
  • No personal information is gathered. No Search keywords, no browsing history.
  • Ability to easily disable the feature, for those who don’t want it.

As it’s increasing clear that accessing user data is key in improving products, Mozilla is leading the way in showing that it’s something that can be done in ways that are respectful of the users.

I’ll leave the conclusion to Mitchell Baker:

Mozilla has an intense focus on building products that use data in privacy-centric way. We’re organized as a non-profit organization precisely so we can focus on the principle of User Sovereignty rather than business models. Indeed, the Mozilla Manifesto drives us to help people live well in a data-centric world.