Mozilla Wants to Monitor Firefox Use

January 24, 2009 – 10:38 AM

Mozilla Labs, the research arm of Mozilla Corp., wants 1% of Firefox users to allow it to watch how they use the browser — and the Web in general.

“We need to know how people are using our products and using the Web,” said Aza Raskin, the head of user experience at Mozilla Labs. “That’s where Test Pilot comes up. It will give us a view into what people are actually using, while protecting their privacy.”

Still in the planning stages — a complete roadmap has not yet been proposed, for example — Test Pilot will use a Firefox add-on to collect browsing and usage data, and provide tools to answer feedback questions. At the outset, users submit only a limited amount of demographic information, such as their technical level and geographic location, and as experiments and tests are offered, they can choose which ones to participate in.

The program will be completely optional to Firefox users, Raskin stressed, and privacy will be maintained. “Privacy is hugely important to us,” he said. “We will never record the actual Web sites that people go to, for example — we would do a hash on that — but instead we might count how many times people read the same site.”


You must be logged in to post a comment.