A recent Firefox Nightly update introduced native support for Pioneer v2, an updated version of Mozilla Firefox's voluntary data sharing feature. One of the core differences to version 1 is that version 2 is integrated in the browser whereas Pioneer v1 required the installation of a browser extensions.
Mozilla notes on the official Bugzilla listing:
Pioneer v2 will be integrated into Firefox, with the ability to have either built-in features or add-ons engage with the user for the actual data collection piece.
Firefox Nightly users who open about:pioneer in the browser's address bar see the introductory page and the option to join Pioneer.
Mozilla limits participants to users from the United States who are at least 19 years of age at the time of writing. To join Pioneer v2, users have to click on the "join pioneer" button in the desktop version of the Firefox web browser. They may answer a "few" demographic questions, and may join studies that Mozilla presents to them.
Users stay in control according to Mozilla which means that they may join or leave studies using the about:pioneer page or by using the Pioneer icon that Mozilla displays in Firefox.
You probably wonder what is happening to the data. The following, according to the page in Firefox:
Pioneer puts your data to work for a better internet. Our goal is to better understand topics like internet usage, online privacy, algorithmic bias, discrimination, and misinformation. This in turn can lead to new products that fundamentally change the tech landscape and hand more power and control back to users.
Mozilla promises that users "known the information" that it plans to collect before it is collected, that it prioritizes the securing of the data and protecting the privacy of participants, and that users may leave the program at any time and that Mozilla will stop collecting data when that happens.
A demo study is displayed on the page that highlights its purpose and what Mozilla will collect (in this case, the date and time). The Pioneer page links to a Mozilla Support page designed to provide additional information to users, but it is not available at the time of writing.
Firefox users who don't want to participate in automatic studies can open about:preferences#privacy to disable the "allow Firefox to install and run studies" option that is enabled by default.
Pioneer v2 is an opt-in program that is open to users from the United States only at the time of writing. It is very likely that the program will be expanded to other regions in the future. The described goals are very general in nature and it may come down to individual studies to better understand Mozilla's intentions with certain studies. Since users are in control, it is up to the user to join or leave studies. (via Techdows)Advertisement
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