All Firefox versions ship with reporting and telemetry functionality. If enabled, these feature submit reports to Mozilla which help the organization get a better understanding of the Firefox browser.
There are three core features built-in Firefox currently that collect data and submit reports when enabled: health report, telemetry and crash reporter.
Health Report is being used in two ways. First, the data is analyzed by Mozilla to identify and correct issues such as high crash rates or slow startup times. The data is then used to address these issues and sometimes also inform Firefox users about them directly in the browser.
Telemetry provides Mozilla with real-world data. It helps understand how Firefox is used in the "real-world" and collects information about performance, hardware, usage or customizations.
The Crash Reporter finally sends reports about crashes of the browser to Firefox.
A fourth option has just been added to the most recent Beta version of Firefox.
The Heartbeat user rating system is a rating widget that is randomly displayed to a subset of all Beta users of the browser.
It is designed to get "real-user" feedback as opposed to raw data in order to add user perception of features to the technical information that Mozilla collects already.
The primary goal of the user rating system is to identify issues and user frustration early on to reduce the number of repair releases by identifying and fixing bugs early.
A five-star rating widget is displayed to Firefox users who have been selected on that day randomly. Once you have rated the individual feature or experiment displayed to you, you are taken to a second engagement screen displaying various options to support Mozilla (for instance by liking on Facebook or following on Twitter).
Mozilla notes that the rating widget is offered to a "random subset of users" every day.
To disable Hearbeat in the browser, do the following:
To restore it at any later point in time, perform the operation outlined above again. Instead of double-clicking the preference, right-click on it and select reset from the context menu.
The feature is included in all versions of the Firefox web browser.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.