Firefox 96.0.3 and Firefox 91.5.1 ESR fix search Telemetry data sending issue
Mozilla will release Firefox 96.0.3 Stable and Firefox 91.5.1 ESR, Extended Support Release, later today. The new versions of Firefox address a Telemetry data sending issue in the browser.
The rollout of the new versions of Firefox begins on January 27, 2022. Firefox installations with automatic updates enabled will receive the new version of the browser automatically. Rollouts of updates happen over time, and users may speed up the process by running manual checks for updates once Mozilla unlocks the release on the server side.
Selecting Menu > Help > About Firefox displays the installed version of Firefox and runs a check for updates. Firefox will download and install updates that it finds automatically by default.
The official release notes are not published yet. They will contain one entry only (likely):
Fixed an issue that allowed unexpected data to be submitted in some of our search telemetry.
The information that is provided does not provide details, but it looks as if data was submitted by Firefox that was not supposed to be submitted. The data was submitted as part of the browser's search Telemetry feature.
The linked bug listing on Mozilla's bug tracking site, bug 1751746, is unhelpful as the bug is not publicly visible.
The term "unexpected data" could refer to any kind of data that the search Telemetry module is not designed to collect.
Firefox users who have disabled Telemetry in the browser were not affected by the issue. Users can turn off Telemetry in the following way:
- Load about:preferences#privacy in the web browser's address bar.
- Scroll down to the Firefox Data Collection and Use section on the page that opens.
- Uncheck all options of the group, including:
- Allow Firefox to send technical and interaction data to Mozilla.
- Allow Firefox to make personalized extension recommendations.
- Allow Firefox to install and run studies.
- Allow Firefox to send backlogged crash reports on your behalf.
The new versions of Firefox address the issue. We will update the article if Mozilla reveals additional information about the data that was submitted erroneously.
Update: you can check out this bug listing for details. Mozilla's investigation found that the issue was very rare, a maximum of 0.0013% of recorded events on desktop and even less on mobile. Some instances involved the editing of search codes, which Firefox uses for attribution purposes. EndAdvertisement