back to article Mozilla ponders making telemetry opt-out, 'cos hardly anyone opted in

Mozilla may require users to opt-out of sending telemetry from its Firefox browser because so few have opted in that it's hard for developers to get a good sample of what causes problems. The idea of opt-out telemetry has sparked a pretty lively mailing-list debate (at the time of writing, 42 posts in just a couple of days, …

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  1. CFWhitman

    This Article is Pretty Misleading

    This article is pretty misleading considering that the idea of making the data involved opt-out was only a suggestion by a couple of software engineers and so far hasn't even been taken up for consideration by the committee.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: This Article is Pretty Misleading

      Now's the time to nip this in the bud. Something along the lines of "are you fucking high?" Their current data collection and privacy policies have removed them from consideration here some time ago. You see, or rather you likely don't, I read and keep reading their privacy policies, EULA, etc. on a regular basis. I do that for all my software, not just browsers. As we all know, I'm really, really weird in this regard.

      One minor point, if they go opt-out then the first thing that will happen is me opting out of recommending their browser to regular people. For some reason, people ask me these types of questions. Can't imagine why. Seriously. This isn't hard.

  2. fobobob

    Since nobody will do it willingly, let's change the wording a bit:

    Do you not not not not not not not not not not not not not not not not not not not not not not not not not not not not not not not not not not want to have your stuff tracked?

    And then take a page from the Microsoft playbook and basically ignore whatever choice the user made, or possibly just reset it on the next update.

  3. keithpeter Silver badge
    Childcatcher

    sigh...

    HN https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=15071492

    Reddit (!) https://www.reddit.com/r/firefox/comments/6vapu5/firefox_planning_to_anonymously_collect_browsing/

    Anyone got a cattle prod?

    Redux: Firefox has a small 'market' share. Apparently that demographic chooses not to share browsing habits. Just possibly the demographic has chosen Firefox as it is privacy friendly to some extent.

    Actionable content: I went as far as compiling midori on Slackware current after I read this. Not bad, still some rough edges.

    Icon: In Loco Parentis

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Cut the head off!!

    Mozilla suffers from a very common ailment these days. They have incompetent people in charge.

    //Places the picture of a fox with an orange toupee//

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Magnificient!

    "Mozilla is going to start with a user study before it takes any steps down the opt-out path"

    In true corporate fashion. I'm so proud of them!

    I used to think that they just pissed their (rather, someone else's) money hiring incompetent programmers¹, but I now look forward to the innumerable meetings and committees that will analyse this issue, and no doubt others of equal or greater irrelevance.

    ¹ Spent enough time in their bug tracker to have given up in despair.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Magnificient!

      Why would they need a user study? They've been only too happy to screw up the UI and extensions without one.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    On telemetry

    There are ways and ways of doing it.

    In Firefox, I have a large user.js that changes, blanks or disables hundreds of configuration options in order that my browsing can stay relatively private and secure. Needless to say, I would not dream of enabling anything with the faintest smell of telemetry.

    In Nextcloud, a product produced by a business run as a proper business and not trying to pass itself as a "foundation", I not only enable but actually take positive steps to submit telemetry.

    The main difference, other than trust in the intentions and competence of the respective developers, is that Nextcloud's telemetry consists of a relatively short JSON object which can be easily reviewed (and edited if needed) in less than a minute. It does send a presumably unique "installation id" and no other information that could be claimed to be obtrusive even by a paranoid like truly yours.

    I use Firefox, because that's the devil I know, but I have had zero (nay, negative) goodwill towards them for a very long time now.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Mozilla is going to start with a user study before it takes any steps down the opt-out path."

    Mozilla devs seem so out of touch with ordinary users! There are more important things to fix / tweak right now....

    Firefox has made it tricky for novices to toggle JavaScript / Images etc, while simultaneously adding useless nag screens like 'Refreshing Firefox' etc. But why??? Its the justification in threads by developers too, that says people working there are so out of touch with users and what's actually helpful. That wasn't always the case, so what changed?

    ~ I'd like to see 'about:config.javascript' etc shortcuts for toggling JavaScript etc. Having to Type 'pt.e' as a shortcut seems dumb. Same goes for toggling images etc. like having to set dom.image.srcset.enabled to FALSE after every install to block image loads, WTF???

    ~ I still use Firefox. What else is there? Sure there's Palemoon, but in many workplaces that's not an option. Lets not even dwell on Win10 browser slurp, never going there... Plus after finding Google secretly slurping bookmarks, history etc from local machines without even being signed into Gmail, I'm never going back to Chrome. That's a pity too, as it had had some nice 'per site' scripting / image / cookie blocking tools, which negated the need to always have separate Ad-Blockers etc.

  8. Chemical Bob

    I call bullshit

    Mozilla stopped caring about their users a long time ago.

  9. Munchausen's proxy
    Pint

    Optimize for specific websites?

    I know this is crazy talk these days, but why not optimize for the freaking Standards? If you want to go down a partnership / monetizing path with some sites, do that separately. Make your browser generally useful and maybe people would generally use it again.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wish Mozilla would fix important things instead

    Like default COOKIE handling... Why does every version default to:

    'Accept Cookies from Sites'

    ->

    'Accept Third-party Cookies'

    -

    - ALWAYS -

    -

    Why would Mozilla do that, what's wrong with NEVER as a default? Can't think of any website that insists on explicit 3rd-Party-Cookies anymore to work (if they do dump them immediately). Where's the advantage to the End-User here, unless Mass-Tracking & Slurp is the goal... WTF Mozilla?

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