Archive for September 21st, 2012

Firefox Health Report

September 21st, 2012

Have you ever sat down with someone else’s computer and wondered why a particular piece of software seems to perform so much better (or worse)?  Ever wonder what people do to tune the performance of their software?  Ever wish you had more information to understand your specific experience — why something stopped working, why something got slower, what you did to make a piece of software feel new and fast again?

Firefox Health Report will be a new feature of Firefox that enables much better answers to these sorts of questions.   Firefox Health Report will allow each one of us to understand our own experiences.  It will also allow Mozilla to understand these experiences in the aggregate for our users. 

Firefox Health Report will use data to do this.  It will use data in a privacy-centric way.  This is really important.  We’re living in the middle of a data explosion.  The Internet world must figure out new ways to benefit from the richness of the data explosion without treating people like objects to be manipulated.

We’ve designed Firefox Health Report to treat people well and to start the process of putting us back in control of the data that shapes our online experience. We’ve designed it to provide useful information to you about your experience. For example: is a particular add-on causing performance to degrade? Will starting a new Firefox profile help improve performance?

Second, we’ve designed the Firefox Health Report to not gather personal information. This will allow Mozilla to develop aggregate data in a privacy-sensitive way. You can see all the details about how we’ve done this here.  

Third, we will also make it easy for people to disable this feature.  This may be an excess of caution for many users. However, we know that there are some people who prefer a world of no data, even if it means less understanding of personal circumstances.  We want this group to be comfortable as well, and so we will make the process for disabling this feature clear and conspicuous. 

Mozilla has an intense focus on building products that use data in privacy-centric way.   We’re organized as a non-profit organization precisely so we can focus on the principle of User Sovereignty rather than business models.  Indeed, the Mozilla Manifesto drives us to help people live well in a data-centric world. 

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