Telemetry was added to create an aggregate count of searches by category to broadly inform search feature development. These categories are based on 20 high-level content types, such as "sports,” “business,” and “travel”. This data will not be associated with specific users and will be collected using OHTTP to remove IP addresses as potentially identifying metadata. No profiling will be performed, and no data will be shared with third parties. (read more)

The Copy Without Site Tracking option can now remove parameters from nested URLs. It also includes expanded support for blocking over 300 tracking parameters from copied links, including those from major shopping websites. Keep those trackers away when sharing links!

Release Notes

  • @cley_faye
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    97 days ago

    A few months ago, I had trouble with Firefox on Android, so I started looking again in the settings; something you really rarely do in a browser. Finding a few things like data collection, usage data, marketing data, and “occasional studies” being all enabled by default sure reminded me that Mozilla isn’t what it used to be.

    • @[email protected]
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      47 days ago

      For the love of Darwin, really?

      Any product manager needs data about how a product is used to make the product better. Of course they need to test if moving a button to a different place leads to an easier to understand setting screen; or if moving extensions into a separate menu means fewer people find the malicious extension and turn it off.

      I’ll be the first person to say that Mozilla is bigger than it needs to be and their org size isn’t justified by their results. But to think collecting data automatically makes them suspect seems to me lazy. It’s what they do with the data that counts.

      • @cley_faye
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        86 days ago

        You’re conveniently missing the point that there is an actually labeled telemarketing partner that is opt-out. That’s not user habit collection. You’re also missing that “random future studies” should not be auto-enabled by default either. Finally, the topic of this particular post is about categorizing search queries, which as far as they describe it isn’t something your browser should care about.

        The only thing that may be legitimate is, as you say, actual UX and feature usage. But for that to be done properly, you have to ask and make it opt-in, as with any data collection scheme. It’s actually a requirement in some places.

        The point is, people give shit to chrome because “evil google collects your habits data and monetize them”, while people like you are a-ok with Firefox openly sending data to a third-party marketing partner on opt-out conditions and, as demonstrated by today’s post, adding more collection that have absolutely nothing to do with the behavior of the browser and all to do with user habits.

        • @[email protected]
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          26 days ago

          If you go through my comment history you’ll find me saying, multiple times, that Mozilla has worked itself into this problem, by adding far more people than they need. The browser would be healthier, I suspect, if there was a 50-strong, open-collective backed, dev team working on just the browser. At the minute the org is enormous and they now need to find a way to pay for that enormous org.

      • @Static_Rocket
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        5 days ago

        Search telemetry in a web browser is absolutely insane. I can understand more usage statistics but search telemetry just makes it sound like they want data on who to make an offer to for the next default search provider slot.

        Or worse yet, another half-assed partnership with some sketchy 3rd party with a completely fucked moral compass and a privacy policy to match.

      • @barsquid
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        06 days ago

        The conversion metric is not whether or not a screen is easier to understand and malicious extensions are off. The conversion metric is whether or not you subscribe to one of their services.

    • cum
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      26 days ago

      That’s all essential in modern development and to see how to target what people are actually using. Though I don’t like it either and it should be a simple single button opt out, or even an opt in.

  • @SomeGuy69
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    67 days ago

    I was surprised yesterday telemetry was enabled. I don’t remember enabling it.

    • @[email protected]
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      87 days ago

      I’m fine with some basic telemetry about how fast the browser runs, but tracking my searches is creepy.

    • @[email protected]
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      7 days ago

      So, is it disabled via

      • toolkit.telemetry.enabled
      • datareporting.policy.dataSubmissionEnabled
      • datareporting.healthreport.service.enabled
      • datareporting.healthreport.upload.enabled
      • app.shield.optoutstudies.enabled
      • app.normandy.enabled
      • app.normandy.optoutstudies.enabled

      Or all of them?

      Edit: the app.* settings are for “studies”, unrelated.

    • @Quetzalcutlass
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      7 days ago

      For anyone wondering, it’s controlled by the existing top-level Send Technical And Interaction Data toggle in the privacy menu that’s been there for ages, so most users who care about privacy have probably already opted out.

      • @cley_faye
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        97 days ago

        Collecting usage data and “running some occasional studies” should never be “opt out”, always “opt in”.

    • southsamurai
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      367 days ago

      I hate to be that guy, but it’s an optional thing. Voluntary analytics are fine. You opt in/out, and that’s the way it should be.

      Seriously, it’s about choice. It’s not about there never, ever being any information sent back.

      • @tyrant
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        297 days ago

        If it’s optional it should be disabled by default. 99% of people aren’t going to even know this is a setting or something that’s going on behind the scenes

        • southsamurai
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          -87 days ago

          Being real here? Anyone that can’t see the damn button for it during initial setup isn’t going to give a damn.

          Best practices? No. Opt in only should be the default. But that’s still about choice, not whether or not telemetry is inherently a bad thing. But if someone is too damn lazy to look at the settings of a program when they first use it, that’s pretty damn stupid. But, hey, people in general are stupid.

          • @cley_faye
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            57 days ago

            There’s no “initial button”. Installing Firefox on mobile you’ll have technical data collection, marketing (with a third party) data collection, and “random studies” enabled without a clue. As someone that is very wary of this, I can assure you that at no point I was asked anything about sending data to “Adjust” (marketing partner), Mozilla, or allowing random, unknown at the time, studies.

  • @Admax
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    347 days ago

    Can anyone enlighten me as to what the hell Mozilla is going to do with that kind of telemetry as it’s not even tied to anyone ?

    • @[email protected]
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      6 days ago

      Click on “read more” in the article:

      To improve Firefox based on your needs, understanding how users interact with essential functions like search is key. We’re ramping up our efforts to enhance search experience by developing new features like Firefox Suggest, which provides recommended online content that corresponds to queries. To make sure that features like this work well, we need better insights on overall search activity – all without trading off on our commitment to user privacy. Our goal is to understand what types of searches are happening so that we can prioritize the correct features by use case.

      More info here: https://blog.mozilla.org/products/firefox/firefox-search-update/

    • @[email protected]
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      47 days ago

      You can measure how well your ads are working on a category level and work on improving revenue from each industry vertical.

    • @[email protected]
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      -67 days ago

      Lets say you live in a tribe. Everyone eats the same shit. Everyone does the same work. Everyone feels the same way. Why is it necessary to pinpoint an individual?
      Any specimen from the batch is going to tell you what you what you want to know.
      #deanonymity

    • @[email protected]
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      517 days ago

      To know what features people are using, how fast it’s running, know what hardware and where it’s being used, and to try to investigate crashing issues? Telemetry doesn’t only mean knowing where you live or who you’re banging.

      • mox
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        167 days ago

        To know what features people are using, how fast it’s running, know what hardware and where it’s being used, and to try to investigate crashing issues?

        None of those things are what’s being discussed here, or what GP asked about. As stated in the article, this is about categorizing people’s searches.

        • @[email protected]
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          16 days ago

          Because that allows them to sell the default search engine spot for more; the more you know about an audience the more it’s worth, even this high up the food chain.

    • @[email protected]
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      167 days ago

      Why would they need to tie that telemetry to people in order to use it to inform their own development (as it states as the purpose, and is the purpose of all their telemetry as far as I know).

  • paraphrand
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    137 days ago

    That tracking removal feature is awesome. Anyone know of versions of that for Safari on macOS?

    I hate cleaning those out on YouTube links. They started adding it this year 😞

  • @hummingbird
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    117 days ago

    This sadly is in line with Mozilla’s increasingly bad privacy defaults. Users who care have moved on to more reasonable configurd forks at this point (e.g. Librewolf).