Mozilla investigates bypassing tracker protection with telemetry Firefox users

Mozilla has developed a service called Firefox Origin Telemetry that is used to investigate how trackers respond to Firefox’s tracker security. This allows the organization to discover abuse more quickly.

Mozilla will initially start a test with users of Firefox Nightly 69, the test version of the browser. In addition, the organization reports that it would be sufficient to collect telemetry data from 1 percent of those users.

In the Firefox Origin Telemetry test, Mozilla looks at how many of the visited sites had a tracker block list activated, and how many sites had this protection inactive based on exception options. Monitoring this gives Mozilla more insight into how trackers respond to Tracking Protection in Firefox.

This week, Mozilla enabled that tracking protection by default with the release of the stable version of Firefox 67.0.1. Mozilla also wants to enable security for existing Firefox users. Tracking Protection is based on block lists for known trackers. From now on, Firefox will not only use these lists by default for private windows, but also for regular browser windows.

Firefox Origin Telemetry is based on Prio, a system developed by Stanford University to collect large amounts of data in a privacy-friendly way without access to individual user data.