We wrote recently about how difficult it is to understand the data companies collect from you, and what they’re doing with it. These companies determine how your data is used and who benefits. Cutting people out of decisions about their data is an inequity that harms not only individuals, but also society and the internet. We believe that you should determine who benefits from your data. Today, we’re taking a step in that direction with the alpha release of Mozilla Rally. Rally is now available for desktop Firefox users age 19 and older in the USA.
Rally is aimed at rebuilding your equity in your data. We allow you to choose how to contribute your data and for what purpose. We’re building a community to help understand some of the biggest problems of the internet, and we want you to join us.
How Rally Works
When you join Rally, you have the opportunity to participate in data crowdsourcing projects — we call them “studies” — focused on understanding and finding solutions for social problems caused by the data economy. You will always see a simple explanation of a study’s purpose, the data it collects, how the data will be used, and who will have access to your data. All your data is stored in Mozilla’s restricted servers, and access to the analysis environment is tightly controlled. For those who really want to dig deep, you can read our detailed disclosures and even inspect our code.
Our First Study
Major tech and ad companies track you and others like you online. They can even predict what you’re likely to do next. This information isn’t available to you. Our first study seeks to remedy this imbalance by exploring the time we spend online. We will publish our findings to give you a first look at the data you help create as part of our Rally community.
This first study also creates a foundation for communities to share data in equitable ways. Rally aims to improve our collective understanding of the value of personal data, so we will share public reports and updates with our community at key milestones.
Change starts with exploration
We started Rally as an innovation program, building on earlier experiments with trusted research institutions. In the coming months, we are exploring new products and public interest projects that return equity to communities. We are data optimists and want to change the way the data economy works for both people and day-to-day business. We are committed to putting our users first every step of the way, and building a community together.