Mozilla will remove Leanplum tracking from Firefox for Android and iOS
Mozilla will remove the Leanplum integration of its mobile web browser Firefox for Android and iOS soon. Two new entries on the official GitHub project page highlight that Leanplum integration will be removed because Mozilla won't renew the contract with the company.
Mozilla has decided to not renew our Leanplum contract for 2021-22. The current contract will expire on May 31, 2021. We need to turn off any Leanplum integrations in our products by that date.
Mozilla describes Leanplum as a mobile-marketing vendor on a support page, which it uses to "test different features and experiences, as well as provide customized messages and recommendations to improve" user experiences. About 10% of Firefox mobile users from the United States with English set as the default language have Leanplum enabled currently according to this doc.
The organization has been criticized by privacy advocates for integration of Leanplum in some of its products. Core points focus on the use of a third-party for data collection and the transfer and storage of the data in the USA.
Leanplum collects telemetry data. Mozilla reveals that it assigns a unique ID per app, but does not get access to the "DeviceID, AdvertisingID or Firefox client ID". It tracks interaction data according to a support article:
Leanplum tracks events such as when a user loads bookmarks, opens a new tab, opens a Pocket trending story, clears data, saves a password and login, takes a screenshot, downloads media, interacts with a search URL or signs in to a Firefox Account.
Leanplum is also checking for the installation of Firefox Focus, Klar and Pocket, whether sync is enabled, whether Firefox is the default browser, and if Pocket recommendations for top sites is enabled. The full list of what is collected is accessible here.
The data is transferred to a Leanplum server in the United States.
Firefox users can disable the collection of marketing data, which means Leanplum, under Menu > Data collection > Marketing data.
Shares data about what features you use in Firefox with Leanplum, our mobile marketing vendor.
Mozilla plans to remove all Leanplum related code from Firefox before the end of May 2021, as the contract with the company ends on May 31, 2021.
The removal of Leanplum is a step in the right direction, as it is quite hard to argue that an organization that heralds privacy should make use of third-party platforms for telemetry.Advertisement