Update on Test Pilot Privacy Policy

Jinghua Zhang

Since the release of the first study last September, we have had quite a few user feedback to ask if they can save their own data after it has been submitted to us:

         I like the ‘Life of a browser’ test. Interesting stats. I hope much of the stats will stay forever.”

         Can I get my data somewhere? I also wanted to play with it and visualize it and learn processing.js during the process.”

Currently, all users test data are removed from their devices when it was submitted to us. Mozilla takes user privacy very seriously. Our intention is to provide ways to avoid any potential damage to users private data while we collecting meaningful data for product research. Meanwhile, Mozilla is also an open source community that aims to creates an open, participatory and transparent environment for the community members to grow knowledge. After a long discussion, we decide that if users wish to keep their own data for research interests or as a way to know themselves better, we should be gladly helping them make uses of their own data.

To accommodate this request, while not having data remain indefinitely, we have decided that we will support users to export their data after it is submitted. We will not delete your test data from your computer for 7 days after you submit it. For those who wish to keep your test data, please ensure you save it during this 7-day window.

If you decide not to save the test data after submission, it will be removed from your devices 7 days after the submission. This new “export my data” feature will be released with the Test Pilot 1.0 final version.

What’s New in the Privacy Policy

This change is also reflected in our privacy policy. Here is the new section on retention of data in the Privacy Policy:

“All Test Data will be made anonymous and aggregated, and made available to the general public in the form of aggregate data. These aggregate data do not personally identify any test participants. Test Pilot is designed to remove the Test Data from the local database in your Firefox browser when (1) when you choose to opt out of Test Pilot or the test; (2) 7 days after you choose to submit Test Data to Mozilla, or (3) when you choose not to submit the Test Data when requested at the end of the test. Some users have told us they want to keep their Test Data after submitting it to us. This is why we will not delete it from your browser for 7 days after you submit. For those who wish to keep their Test Data, please ensure you save it during this 7-day window.”

The Test Pilot program may change its policy from time to time upon user requests or the change of our research scope. All changes will always follow our guiding principles:

  • You Opt-In.
  • You Grant Permission.
  • You’re Anonymous.
  • You’re in Control.

In order to make people aware of the changes on privacy policy, we also update the session of Policy Changes:

“Mozilla may change this Policy from time to time. Any and all changes will be reflected on this page. When Mozilla changes this Policy in a material way, a notice will be posted on a Mozilla Labs webpage, such as on the TestPilot blog. Substantive changes may also be announced through the standard mechanisms by which Mozilla communicates with its users and community, including Mozilla’s “announce” mailing list and newsgroup. It is your responsibility to ensure that you understand the terms of this Policy. You should periodically check this page for any changes to the current policy.Data collected will be governed by the Policy in effect at the time the data was submitted to Mozilla”

We have also clarified this policy update in the Mozilla:Goverance forum .

Get Involved

As an organization dedicated to the public good, Mozilla treats user privacy and security with the utmost importance.

  1. Let us know your feedback on this policy update in our Test Pilot discussion forum.
  2. Let us know your general feedback about Test Pilot via Twitter.
  3. Download and try out the latest Test Pilot extension if you haven’t.