The Web We Want is Private: Building a global community of Privacy Contributors and Advocates through Mozilla

lshapiro

I’ve never actually been that good at keeping things private. I’m a talker. I’m not usually the one to keep your secret. I learned the hard way why one should be careful with passwords and privacy via a few embarrassing linkedin and twitter incidents. Despite having learned my first system administration in college in 1993 or so, I have been pretty hopeless at staying private. But. I’m learning all the time. And, increasingly, I see that privacy is about a lot more than my learning to use Last Pass correctly, or the settings on my facebook (though those are important things).  It’s actually central to all that we do online. And if I can learn the value of privacy, well, anyone can.
When we started the Community Building Team this year we chose teams to work with as partners, to help them build Mozillian community. One of the teams I chose was Privacy, and I was privileged to be partnered to work with Stacy Martin to grow the project we’ve come to call PriMo – or Privacy Mozillians. Working with the newly established Contribution Lifecycle, we brainstormed projects we’d like Mozillians to do around privacy, and we listened to people around the project’s existing ideas and needs for privacy community.Stacy: “Larissa has been a great connector for us.  She is aware of what other teams are doing and helps point us in the direction of content and ideas we can leverage.  She suggests ways to include Foundation projects, such as Webmaker and Open Badges.”We started out with a call for privacy advocates to rally around Data Privacy Day and started to collect a few contributors.  Following on his assessment of the needs of community in Utah, Mozilla L10N engineer and Rep Jeff Beatty started a program around TACMA screenings – which has been very successful and will be expanding soon to include screenings in more Mozilla spaces and in communities as far apart as Utah to Zimbabwe.
Outside organizations also have been reaching out to us for support in privacy – the National Network To End Domestic Violence asked us to develop best practices for browser privacy for survivors, and a community project is evolving. Please check out the NNEDV Browser guidelines project to learn how you can support this effort.
Throughout all our efforts, we’re also infusing educational opportunities to learn more about Privacy, and building community of privacy educators – that can be as simple as learning to teach family members how to use lightbeam over the kitchen table on a Saturday afternoon.The relevance of privacy work becomes more clear all the time. When we released Firefox 28, we did a global campaign to ask our community – the global network of Firefox Users – what kind of Web We Want. Resoundingly and around the world, they responded: the web we want is private. With the development of PriMo, and projects such as the TACMA screenings and NNEDV browser guide among many, we have the power to take that energy and enthusiasm and turn it into action – one privacy advocate at a time.I ask you to invite your privacy leaning friends and family to become privacy action takers- whether that means downloading lightbeam (or teaching someone else to),  signing our Net Neutrality petition, taking action to support our work with NNEDV, or attending (or hosting) a TACMA screening when it comes to your town…  there are many actions large and small that can add up to a strong global community of privacy advocates.

The web we want is respectful of each of our autonomy, our privacy, our data, our needs. The web we want is open to innovation and includes diverse voices. Building community for privacy means casting a wide net and calling many kinds of people together – people who have been involved with Mozilla a long time, and people who are just learning what we’re about. It will take many people together to change the culture of the web. What kind of web do you want?