Mozilla makes changes to telemetry data collection of Firefox browser

Posted 06 November 2017 18:19 CET by Jan Willem Aldershoff

Firefox 58 will collect only basic telemetry data from users by default, according to Georg Fritzsche, engineer at Mozilla. Compared to previous versions of Firefox, there are two big changes made in Firefox 58 that affect how data is collected in future versions of the browser.

Previously Mozilla only offered 2 data collection controls. One was ‘opt-out’ or ‘base’ telemetry which was enabled by default on all Firefox releases. The other was ‘opt-in’ or ‘extended’, which was disabled by default on release versions of Firefox and enabled on beta versions.

In Firefox 58 these have been replaced by a single setting for sending telemetry data, which is enabled by default. Besides that, Firefox 58 also has a new setting for Shield Studies, which allows Mozilla to perform A/B tests on Firefox users.

By combining the settings, Mozilla hopes to streamline the data collection settings of Firefox. According to Fritzsche there doesn’t change much for Firefox users. Firefox 58 will respect previously made settings for data collection. Only the setting for sending extended telemetry data has been removed. Instead Mozilla collects less data in the release version of Firefox, according to Fritzsche.

Firefox 58 is scheduled for the 16th of January 2018.

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