Here is why the user count dropped for nearly all Firefox add-ons - gHacks Tech News

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Here is why the user count dropped for nearly all Firefox add-ons

If you have been to Mozilla AMO recently, the main and official repository for Firefox add-ons and themes, you may have noticed that the "users" count of extensions that you checked out there has dropped. Take the popular content blocker uBlock Origin for example. The extension's current count is 3.94 million users according to Mozilla AMO; some days ago, the count was 5.5 million users.

Mozilla published a blog post on the official Mozilla Add-ons blog that highlights why there is a drop across the board on Mozilla AMO in regards to the number of users.

Mozilla employee Jorge Villalobos reveals there that Mozilla revamped the statistics that it makes available to add-on developers.

The old system used stats aggregated from add-on update logs. Firefox checks Mozilla AMO daily for updates for installed extensions that are hosted on the site. The aggregated data was provided to developers and some of the information could also be accessed publicly; developers would get general information about users such as adoption or demographics.

He notes that the system was "costly to run" and that data glitches happened from time to time.

The new system drops the use of the daily add-on update check and rely on Telemetry data instead. The data is aggregated and no personally identifiable user data is shared with developers just like before according to Mozilla.

firefox add-ons users

The drop in users is caused by the switch to the new system. It appears that, in the case of uBlock Origin, about 1.6 million users of the add-on have Telemetry data disabled in Firefox. Privacy, security and advanced extensions will likely see a larger drop in users than other extensions as users of these type of extensions are more likely to turn off Telemetry.

One of the benefits of using Telemetry data is that data can be shown for add-ons that are not listed on AMO. Developers will get access to all add-on usage stats regardless of where the add-on is hosted or how it is distributed. Mozilla plans to add usage by country as well in the future.

Two features that were available previously are not available anymore, however. Developers won't see a breakdown of usage by add-on status anymore, and the ability to display the statistics dashboard publicly is no longer available.

Villalobos notes that while the numbers are "generally" lower, they do "track very well with the update numbers in terms of change through time and how languages, platforms, versions, etc., compare with one another".

 

 

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Here is why the user count dropped for nearly all Firefox add-ons
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Here is why the user count dropped for nearly all Firefox add-ons
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If you have been to Mozilla AMO recently, the main and official repository for Firefox add-ons and themes, you may have noticed that the "users" count of extensions that you checked out there has dropped.
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Comments

  1. Kincaid said on June 26, 2020 at 3:35 pm
    Reply

    Why was the existing system “costly to run”? What does “costly” mean in real numbers?

    Wasn’t the existing system already coded and running for years?

    I guess the good part is that now Mozilla is (hopefully) not recording extension usage of systems with telemetry turned off. Not that it really mattered much, because the existing system was supposed to be anonymous.

    1. Gilean said on June 30, 2020 at 3:00 pm
      Reply
  2. Alex said on June 26, 2020 at 4:00 pm
    Reply

    Yet another stupid decision by Mozilla.

  3. Iron Heart said on June 26, 2020 at 4:13 pm
    Reply

    > The new system drops the use of the daily add-on update check and rely on Telemetry data instead.

    I would have expected no different from Mozilla. That being said, their stats are probably false if they solely rely on telemetry now, because users who bother to install browser extensions usually overlap with those who disable telemetry.

  4. Doom said on June 26, 2020 at 4:55 pm
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    Of course some of the lower numbers is nothing to do with the system to count installs but down to fewer and fewer people using ff. As usual they lost more market share last month.

    1. Diego said on July 5, 2020 at 4:06 pm
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      This drop should also be because, as they say in the same blog post, before they counted by unique IP address, and now they are counting by Firefox profile.

  5. Nebulus said on June 26, 2020 at 5:49 pm
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    This means that if everyone disables telemetry, Mozilla will come to the conclusion that nobody uses add-ons anymore :)

  6. Anonymous said on June 26, 2020 at 6:48 pm
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    From Firefox marketing: “Tracking has become an epidemic online: companies follow every move, click and purchase, collecting data to predict and influence what you’ll do next. We think that’s a gross invasion of your privacy. That’s why Firefox mobile and desktop browsers have Enhanced Tracking Protection on by default.”

    So now we find that a lot of Firefox users prefer to turn off telemetry within Firefox. What a shocker!

  7. MartinFan said on June 26, 2020 at 7:09 pm
    Reply

    I use no-script and do allow the first option under telemetry, I don’t want recommendations, studies or crash reports though. I really do hope telemetry does have an Impact on Mozilla making a better browser.

    Only time will tell.

    1. Mystique said on June 29, 2020 at 8:48 pm
      Reply

      Why would Mozilla improve anything in the manner of which you as a power user expect them to do when all they have done is pander to the average slob downloading a browser to check their facebook, look up stupid viral videos of no hopers and buy the lastest junk fad on amazon.
      Telemtry will do two things… further push away the actual core userbase in which they should be thankful and supportive of and the other thing it will do is give them further ammo to go down the pathetic path they have been for at least the past 5 years as they will only be gathering data from the very crowd that has had a hand in ruining this browser.

      If time has told us anything its that once great browsers get toppled all the time once they have lost their way. Mozilla has sustained themselves on one reason and one reason only and that is that their only competition is google and that in itself speaks volumes. There is no real viable alternative at this point… vivaldi?? yeah right.
      Brave is gathering steam and could fill the gap for the next boneheaded audience but that’s about it. The power users have no real home anymore which is why the quality of extensions have dropped and become malware in some cases.

      At this point the only way Mozilla could redeem themselves is if they branch off and build another browser in the same way in which phoenix was developed. Phoenix which later become firefox was created to break away from the bloated behemoth that was Mozilla browser and become wildly popular and was carried forward on the shoulders of its community with a wide array of extensions that were unheard of at the time in other browsers as it forged ahead as a power users browser to configure in the exact manner of which they wanted it.

      Gone are those days now. All we have now are names left as an insult to a once great browser.

      Pity.

  8. avid fan said on June 26, 2020 at 8:26 pm
    Reply

    I used to get upset over mozilla’s constant changes and spying, then I stopped using it.

  9. Michael said on June 26, 2020 at 10:21 pm
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    Yuliya, that doesn’t make a lot of sense, as the data was publicly available until recently, and the numbers showed a consistent level of users, for example for ublock Origin.

    But to fuel your assertion, the user activity data on data.firefox.com indeed hasn’t been updated for over half a year: https://data.firefox.com/dashboard/user-activity

    Although I think this is just laziness on mozilla’s part.

    In general I think mozilla is currently optimizing their workflows to reduce overhead and expenses to keep up with the competition: Safari introducing new privacy features, Edge pushing aggressively on Windows 10, 8.1 and 7, Brave almost exponential growth – it doesn’t look good.

  10. MikeO said on June 27, 2020 at 1:37 am
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    Glad to be counted as on of the 1.6M with disabled telemetry. I don’t believe for a minute “disabled” actually means disabled but nice to see admission they can’t count peps if this function is disabled.

  11. Anonymous said on June 27, 2020 at 1:50 am
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    It’s actually because Mozilla has been losing users at an alarming rate, and they had been using an old system of data which was very out of date, thus showing an incorrect count. If you check data.firefox.com you see it hasn’t been updated since Dec 2019 for the same reason, hemorrhaging users so badly they “broke” the dashboard.

    1. The Equestrian said on June 27, 2020 at 7:39 am
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      That’s what I think too – they have become very arrogant and hypocritical. Firefox has been changing in a way that it makes even the most loyal users disappointed and leaving.

      Not only that, but in terms of performance and web-compatibility, Firefox hasn’t been able to compete with Chrome for years now, it’s only a matter of time for Firefox to shut down or be left as an OSS afterthought for the community to maintain it if they want.

      Chrome + Blink is the future of the web, the rendering engine is superior to Gecko in every way, the only chance of survival for Firefox is if they transfer to Blink for a rendering engine.

      1. John said on June 28, 2020 at 9:57 pm
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        I’d probably stop using Firefox if they switched to Blink. Gecko (Regardless of iteration) is what sets them apart in many ways. Some people don’t want to be swallowed whole by the Google Chromium/Blink machine, and Gecko (Via Firefox) is a way out (Partially, that is.). Losing Gecko would be a huge blow to the idea of an open standards based Internet that isn’t controlled by a single company. It’s important as much as an idea given form as it is as implemented in the specifics.

        Firefox/Gecko is also really the last significant reason for web developers not to code to Chrome exclusively unless legacy Internet Explorer installs still have significant marketshare (If they do, it’s got to be seriously waning- that’s not an active project. Microsoft has moved on.). Safari’s Webkit is another alternative web engine, but just barely- it’s what Blink was forked from, and I would imagine that pretty much anything you code for Blink works with Webkit, perhaps with rare exceptions (and Safari is very platform limited- it can’t be installed on the most popular PC operating system or the most popular phone operating system, just Apple products).

        Another selling point for Firefox is their powerful extension APIs. I know WebExtensions are in some ways more limited than XUL extensions, but they still allow more than Chrome extensions- UBlock Origin has been able to enable features in Firefox it can’t enable in Chrome, one because they don’t have the API for it, and another because it violates Chrome store policy to have the feature they were going to add in the same extension as what they were already doing. The workaround for the latter, is to install an extra extension called “UBlock Origin Extra” with “UBlock Origin” in your Chromium-based browser, but there is no workaround for the former.

        Eventually, Chromium will discontinue support for Manifest v2 version extensions in favor of Manifest v3 extensions, and with that will go some of what most content/ad-blockers use. Sure, you’ll be able to use something called a content-blocker or ad-blocker after that, but it won’t do what it is capable of doing today. Mozilla has said it will not adopt the changes in Manifest v3 that hinder the functionality of ad and content blockers in it’s own WebExtensions extension format (It left open the possibility of porting some other extensions related changes, but those are not really all that controversial, for the most part).

        A switch to Blink, and probably basing on Chromium in addition to that (Which is what every browser that switches to Blink seems to do, even though you don’t necessarily have to do the latter if you do the former), and I wonder if they’ll even have the long-term ability to guarantee control over extension formats (Eventually, Chromium may start to ignore or even work against that kind compatibility, and then browsers based on it would have to make a decision between hiring more people and spending more funds on something closer to a real fork, negating what browsers like Edge and in this hypothetical, Firefox, gained by adopting it in terms of time, money, and compatibility, or of throwing up their hands and saying there is nothing they can do. Some “small shop” browsers would almost be forced to do the latter because they don’t have the resources to do a “hard” fork.).

        I’d also wonder what would happen to Firefox for Android, which supports extensions created for Android. If they started using a Chromium/Blink base for that browser, the most they would likely be able to do is allow it to use desktop Chromium extensions with the mobile browser as there are no created and maintained for mobile Chromium extensions.

        Another reason I like Firefox is the ability to get something somewhat close to a classic browser user interface and other things I simply prefer with customization through both the GUI and about:config. If they were to start basing the browser on Chromium, there would likely be no about:config, unless they are just renaming chrome://flags for the sake of nostalgia and continuity of naming.

        Firefox could of course do what Vivaldi has done and put a layer of GUI options over top the Chromium base that allow me to do most of what I can do with Firefox, but I get the feeling that Firefox is really just keeping around stuff that’s already there in that department because the work is done and it’s not that hard to support. I doubt they’d do it from scratch for a new Chromium-based Firefox.

        If Firefox gives up and bases itself on Chromium, that’s really it for Mozilla as we know it, probably. I can’t see it coming back from that. I’d personally probably either switch to a fork of the Gecko Firefox, or Vivaldi, probably, unless the change was executed so perfectly (For someone with my preferences) as to be unrealistic. I don’t even know what the point of a Chromium-based Firefox would be.

        I think Firefox should really start firm on on maintaining their own web rendering engine. That should sort of be the line in the sand. They can of course continue to improve it- making it better, faster, and more compatible- perhaps even coding it all in Rust, but it is important that they stick to maintaining their own web rendering engine IMO.

      2. Iron Heart said on June 29, 2020 at 6:43 am
        Reply

        @John

        > Losing Gecko would be a huge blow to the idea of an open standards based Internet that isn’t controlled by a single company.

        Chromium is open source (and it’s not controlled by a single company – take a look how many different entities actually contribute to it…), anyone can take the code and rewrite it as they see fit. If Google unilaterally does something monumentally bad to the codebase, a fork will appear, and most companies now supporting Chromium will start supporting that instead. Losing Gecko wouldn’t be a threat to the web as we know it.

        > Firefox/Gecko is also really the last significant reason for web developers not to code to Chrome exclusively

        That would save web developers quite some time, not having to work around Firefox’s quirks. Perhaps that is why Mozilla is aligning the behavior of Gecko more and more with Blink, they fear to further lose web developer support.

        > Safari’s Webkit is another alternative web engine, but just barely- it’s what Blink was forked from, and I would imagine that pretty much anything you code for Blink works with Webkit

        And you’d be wrong there, Blink forked away ages ago and WebKit has very specific quirks of its own.

        > Another selling point for Firefox is their powerful extension APIs.

        They are not significantly more powerful than Chrome extensions – after all, the reason why Mozilla switched to WebExtensions was specifically to maintain compatibility with Chromium’s extension APIs. Mozilla promised to implement very powerful APIs that could actually replace XUL, this never happened. The day Firefox Quantum was released was the day I stopped bothering with Firefox, the only significant reason to use it was gone.

        > UBlock Origin has been able to enable features in Firefox it can’t enable in Chrome,

        Ah, good ol’ CNAME uncloaking. I tell you something: If you actually do enable that, websites are guaranteed to break. And if I really wanted to, I could block this with my Pi-Hole network-wide. A HOSTS file within the OS can also achieve the same, OS-wide.

        > Eventually, Chromium will discontinue support for Manifest v2 version extensions in favor of Manifest v3 extensions, and with that will go some of what most content/ad-blockers use.

        Most Chromium-based browsers, aside from Chrome itself, will react to that by including adblockers natively. Some, like Brave, already have adblockers included that are not extensions and are thus not under the restrictions of the extension APIs. This move of Google won’t significantly hamper adblocking.

        > Mozilla has said it will not adopt the changes in Manifest v3 that hinder the functionality of ad and content blockers in it’s own WebExtensions extension format

        They will probably port it to Firefox 1:1, they will just lift the ruleset limit Google has artificially set. Chromium-based browsers could do the same, by the way.

        > I’d also wonder what would happen to Firefox for Android, which supports extensions created for Android.

        Nothing. Chromium-based mobile browsers like Kiwi can run extensions, Brave will also gain this ability in the summer. That is not Firefox-exclusive.

        > Another reason I like Firefox is the ability to get something somewhat close to a classic browser user interface and other things I simply prefer with customization through both the GUI and about:config.

        userChrome.css and about:config are both on the chopping block, Mozilla doesn’t want you to customize Firefox and they have moved to controlling it more tightly for years now. Deprecating classic extensions was the first step in this direction.

        > Firefox could of course do what Vivaldi has done and put a layer of GUI options over top the Chromium base

        Mozilla doesn’t want you to customize Firefox too much even now, I don’t see them mimicking Vivaldi at all.

        > If Firefox gives up and bases itself on Chromium, that’s really it for Mozilla as we know it, probably. I can’t see it coming back from that.

        Damned if they do, damned if they don’t, I’d say. Gecko becomes more and more irrelevant, switching to Blink would automatically restore previously lost web developer support to them. On the other hand, such a move would alienate a big chunk of their vocal fanbase, although I do think that most people using Firefox, who don’t even know what a browser engine is, wouldn’t care at all. Mozilla is currently pursuing a middle ground by making their engine work more like Blink (ask Moonchild from the Pale Moon project for more info regarding that, he is monitoring Firefox development progress).

        > I think Firefox should really start firm on on maintaining their own web rendering engine.

        There is no real point in working against an open source project like Chromium, if you don’t like the direction it is taking, fork it and move on. No point in Gecko if it cannot compete in terms of security and performance, and even less point in Gecko if it is mimicking Blink’s behavior more and more anyway.

        > They can of course continue to improve it- making it better, faster, and more compatible

        It’s hard to rewrite something that contains so much cruft. That’s also why important security improvements like Project Fission, aimed to bring Firefox on par with Chromium, keep rotting away in the Nightly channel – Mozilla is either incapable of getting it done or is setting other priorities for some reason.

      3. nnm said on July 3, 2020 at 6:51 pm
        Reply

        “not controlled by a single company” Are you kidding? Its’ an oligopoly, an alliance of big companies all having the same goal. It is no coincidence that Google, Microsoft and Apple are all working on the same browser. They have a well-defined market share, and they have the same goal, reducing user choices and ability for customization. This means less space for user mistakes, less choices, resulting in fewer and simpler tickets, lower costs for support, higher predictability of user behavior, and so on. It is an illusion that you have a choice on the browser market, all major browsers are based on chrome, while firefox puppets all chrome movements.
        In the name of usability this malefic alliance managed to destroy all UI standards that worked very well for years. Today’s UI “standard” means as few options as possible, scattered in as many places and contexts as possible, and changed every release to prevent kiddies from being bored. In spite of fact that this kind of UI is practically unusable for power users, while still too difficult for dumb users, they managed to impose it. Their ideal is not an improved usability, people are coping very well with a variety of interfaces during decades of computing, from command line, to VIM or Emacs like, up to Windows. The only things that matter about an UI are the stability and continuity. Everything else is bullshit. But their goal is a dumber and dumber user that swallows anything without questioning, a user captive to the Product. And they are about to succeed.

      4. Iron Heart said on July 4, 2020 at 5:53 am
        Reply

        @nnm

        > Google, Microsoft and Apple are all working on the same browser.

        WebKit (Safari) and Blink (Chromium) have diverged so far from each other that I wouldn’t say that Apple is working on the same browser as Google and Microsoft. As for all the rest, agreed.

    2. ULBoom said on June 28, 2020 at 2:52 am
      Reply

      You may be looking too deeply, Mozilla seems to drifting aimlessly just doing stuff with no one really at the helm. They and other browser companies are up against Google and without some sort of regulatory intervention, they’ll never win. The FF folks act like they’ve given up.

      All the data MS collects with Windows seems to be a similar situation, we tend to be suspicious about what is done with it while the evidence (years of broken updates, a store that few users visit, unreliable consumer hardware, proxy QA through users) points to them largely ignoring it.

      FF or ESR are bundled with all the “more complete” linux distros I’ve tried; that community is doing what’s needed to make FF compatible with their particular fork, not that fractional percentage market shares will help FF much.

      1. Anonymous said on June 28, 2020 at 9:23 am
        Reply

        “All the data MS collects with Windows seems to be a similar situation, we tend to be suspicious about what is done with it while the evidence (years of broken updates, a store that few users visit, unreliable consumer hardware, proxy QA through users) points to them largely ignoring it.”

      2. michael said on June 28, 2020 at 9:25 am
        Reply

        “All the data MS collects with Windows seems to be a similar situation, we tend to be suspicious about what is done with it while the evidence (years of broken updates, a store that few users visit, unreliable consumer hardware, proxy QA through users) points to them largely ignoring it.”

        Probably, collecting data is one thing, but analyzing it is another. One practical purpose of remote controlling the software is that MS can inject everything they want into the system (ads, games, new products) and actually measure the conversion rate.

        So they have almost absolute control over the system to make more money, which is probably the primary purpose.

      3. Iron Heart said on June 28, 2020 at 11:00 am
        Reply

        @ULBoom

        > They and other browser companies are up against Google and without some sort of regulatory intervention, they’ll never win.

        Firefox isn’t meant to win. Mozilla receives over 80% of its annual income directly from Google, their “competitor”. They are the token opposition Google can point to, just in case antitrust investigations lead to inconvenient questions being raised. Firefox also enables Google’s spying via bad privacy defaults (defaults, i.e. the state in which most people use the browser). To Google, it matters little whether you use Firefox or Chrome.

  12. ULBoom said on June 27, 2020 at 3:25 am
    Reply

    Guess I don’t understand how a browser company wouldn’t know what extensions you have when they provide an update. FF updates tell you they’re checking add on compatibility while they’re installing.

  13. James said on June 27, 2020 at 10:49 am
    Reply

    Is it just me or does every time firefox updates it breaks something or leaves something useful behind?

  14. Xminator said on June 27, 2020 at 11:18 am
    Reply

    Since Firefox needs to check for WebExtension updates anyway, those update checks can be logged as before. Then it’s a matter a building a simple log monitoring tool that will parse the log data in near real time and put the data into in-memory structure that can be then queried by the AMO dashboards. Could be implemented with Redis and some scripting for example.

    So while there are lots of log lines, the actual in memory object is relatively small in size and if you keep it up-to-date all times (and take daily snapshot copies to disk), it’s a performant and simple solution.

  15. thebrowser said on June 27, 2020 at 1:24 pm
    Reply

    What exactly do you mean by:

    > “in terms of performance and web-compatibility, Firefox hasn’t been able to compete with Chrome for years now”

    I’ve been using Firefox for a long time without seeing these issues you mention.

    Many of the compatibility issues are due to developers supporting Chrome-based browsers only, a decision that I can understand due to the market share, even though there are tools that handle this for them.

  16. I pronounce Linux as Linux said on June 27, 2020 at 11:57 pm
    Reply

    = Firefox Telemetry Slice & Dice, in Linux (partial) 1/5/2020 #2 =
    https://pastebin.com/raw/anZCprac

    If you really want Telemetry disabled and make it impossible for Crash Logs, Telemetry Logs, and more to never be generated AT ALL.

  17. digital fun said on June 28, 2020 at 12:43 pm
    Reply

    Iron Heart *** [Editor: removed, please stay on-topic]

    What browser do you recommend?? Dont say Brave. Its been awhile since i used brave
    Brave
    1) Auto-updates that can be turned off only by workarounds.
    2) Google as default search engine.
    3) Analytics on Brave’s home page.
    4)Two other requests made at each start of Brave.
    5)Whitelisting spyware from Facebook and Twitter.
    6) List goes on, maybe some of it has changed

    The point is all modern browsers have telemetry and some form of privacy trade offs. Some worse then others like opera (own by china) and chrome

    [Editor: removed, please stay on-topic]

    1. Iron Heart said on June 28, 2020 at 2:02 pm
      Reply

      @digital fun

      > What browser do you recommend??

      First off, to get this out of the way: Ungoogled Chromium.

      https://chromium.woolyss.com/

      This one should match your strict requirements. That being said, I will quickly comment on the points you raised regarding Brave, I really think most of them do not hold much water.

      > Auto-updates that can be turned off only by workarounds.

      That’s a valid point, Brave should have an option included that allows you to block automatic updates directly within the browser. That being said:

      – Most browsers do not have an option to turn off automatic updates these days.
      – It’s not a good idea at all to block updates, since most browser updates are also security updates.

      Ungoogled Chromium doesn’t have an updater at all (updating it is your responsibility).

      > Google as default search engine.

      Depends on your region. I am living in Europe and DuckDuckGo was the default here. You can change that in the settings easily. Also, most browsers I am aware of use Google as the default, since that is what most people actually use (regardless of privacy concerns).

      > Analytics on Brave’s home page.

      That is the website, the browser itself doesn’t contain any trackers – therefore I think that this point is totally invalid. Mozilla and Google websites also contain trackers, needless to say.

      > Two other requests made at each start of Brave.

      Brave checks for updates (see your first point), and it updates its adblock and HTTPS Everywhere rules.

      > Whitelisting spyware from Facebook and Twitter.

      This point is totally invalid, and you are obviously misinformed here. Yes, Brave doesn’t block some Twitter / Facebook cookies by default, however that’s because Twitter and Facebook misuse cookies for legitimate functionality – the Facebook login breaks if you block a certain cookie, for example. Brave used to block these by default, but complaints coming from the community led to some cookies being whitelisted by default, as Brave users would otherwise have been unable to use Twitter / Facebook within the browser. Brave also doesn’t whitelist ALL Twitter and Facebook cookies, just the ones absolutely required to make these websites work again.

      If you don’t care about Twitter and Facebook, you can disable the whitelist in the settings – but please do not pretend that this should be the default setting for everyone, you know yourself that this does not work out for normies. Moreover, not even well-respected privacy extensions like uBlock Origin block these cookies by default, for the same reasons Brave doesn’t block them (breaks core functionality on Facebook / Twitter), but uBlock Origin does not make it obvious that these cookies aren’t being blocked. Brave gets critcized for being TOO transparent here, I feel.

      > The point is all modern browsers have telemetry and some form of privacy trade offs.

      Ungoogled Chromium has no weaknesses that I am aware of. That being said, Brave is just fine as well, you haven’t raised any point against it except for the “automatic updates” one, which I personally consider to be minor.

  18. MartinFan said on June 28, 2020 at 9:30 pm
    Reply

    Thank you digital fun & Iron Heart nice to see a good debate over browsers! :) And one we all can learn something from.

    1. Iron Heart said on June 29, 2020 at 7:48 am
      Reply

      @MartinFan

      In case you are interested, here is a disclosure of my entire setup (parts of it might be useful no matter which browser you use): https://www.ghacks.net/2020/05/25/ebay-is-port-scanning-your-system-when-you-load-the-webpage/#comment-4463827

  19. Engineer Thom said on June 29, 2020 at 3:08 am
    Reply

    Iron Heart writes *** {Editor: please stay polite] this:

    “Moreover, not even well-respected privacy extensions like uBlock Origin block these cookies by default.”

    *** {Editor: please stay polite] uBlock Origin does not specifically block cookies. It blocks web requests and DOM elements. Some cookies do not get transmitted due to blocking web requests, but it is completely an artifact of blocking the web request. You need to use other tools if you want to block specific cookies.

    Anyone who cares even a little bit about their privacy or human rights blocked all Facebook content a long time ago. Here are the filters to add to uBlock Origin:

    ||facebook.com^$important
    ||facebook.net^$important
    ||fbcdn.net^$important
    ||fbcdn-profile-a.akamaihd.net^$important

    1. Iron Heart said on June 29, 2020 at 6:09 am
      Reply

      @Engineer Thom

      > Some cookies do not get transmitted due to blocking web requests, but it is completely an artifact of blocking the web request.

      That is correct and yes, I should have been more precise here. uBlock origin doesn’t block the web request that leads to the cookie being set, the reason is that it does not want to break Facebook and Twitter.

      > Anyone who cares even a little bit about their privacy or human rights blocked all Facebook content a long time ago.

      Yeah, and yet a great many people have Facebook and Twitter accounts, the default settings have to ensure that these websites keep working. I have disabled the whitelist – I do not use Facebook or Twitter myself.

      > Here are the filters to add to uBlock Origin:

      I know that you can block this stuff with uBO, I merely wanted to point out why uBlock Origin doesn’t do that by default – the reason are the normies using Facebook and Twitter, who would complain vocally if these websites do not work.

      PS: I saw that Martin had to remove parts of your post – I kindly ask you to keep the conversation civil, thank you.

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