Mozilla adds 'telemetry' feature to Firefox 7

Mozilla adds 'telemetry' feature to Firefox 7

Summary: Will you help make future versions of Firefox smarter by enabling this new feature?

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TOPICS: Browser
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Mozilla has added a new feature to Firefox 7 that will help make future versions smarter - telemetry.

Telemetry, or usage statistics to you and me, is a new Firefox 7 feature that allows the browser to report back to Mozilla HQ on how Firefox works for you on your system.

Four data points are collected:

  • Memory usage
  • CPU core count
  • Cycle collection times
  • Startup speed

But what about privacy? Mozilla's got that covered.

The only Potentially Personal Information sent to Mozilla when this functionality has been enabled is IP addresses. Usage statistics are transmitted using SSL (a method of protecting data in transit) and help us improve future versions of Firefox. Once sent to Mozilla, usage statistics are stored in an aggregate form and made available to a broad range of developers, including both Mozilla employees and public contributors.

So don't worry ... that site you visited to order that special 'birthday gift' won't be made public!

You get the option to switch on this feature when you first install Firefox 7.

You can also control the feature from the Advanced tab in Options:

You can aslo find information on browser performance using about:telemetry.

Will you help make future versions of Firefox smarter by enabling this new feature?

Topic: Browser

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15 comments
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  • I will

    Why not help it improve?
    Michael Alan Goff
  • RE: Mozilla adds 'telemetry' feature to Firefox 7

    Downloaded it a few hours ago and have been using it exclusively. I can't notice that much of a difference in speed here as compared to FF6, maybe a bit.
    I like that they removed the need for http on the Awesome Bar. Overall, no problems so far, no hangs.
    Wasn't Memshrink going to be a part of FF7? I don't notice any particular reduction in RAM usage.
    regsrini
    • RE: Mozilla adds 'telemetry' feature to Firefox 7

      @regsrini <br>"<i>I like that they removed the need for http on the Awesome Bar.</i>"<br><br>That <b>should be an option</b> that can be turned on/off.<br>I <b>want</b> to see http or https when I look at an address.<br><br>I "love" the way that software companies think that I don't need to know things.<br>Remember how Mozilla was going to remove the URL info that appeared when you hovered over a link?
      lehnerus2000
      • RE: Mozilla adds 'telemetry' feature to Firefox 7

        [i]That should be an option that can be turned on/off.
        I want to see http or https when I look at an address.[/i]

        @lehnerus2000

        + 1
        ScorpioBlue
      • If it's https...

        @lehnerus2000 :
        It shows so in the awesome bar. It just removes the http and not https.
        Zorched
      • RE: Mozilla adds 'telemetry' feature to Firefox 7

        @Zorched
        Thanks. :)

        I just checked on my PC (I'm using FF8).
        FF8 works the same way as FF7 does.
        It doesn't show http and it does show https.
        lehnerus2000
      • RE: Mozilla adds 'telemetry' feature to Firefox 7

        @lehnerus2000
        Mine doesn't either. Is there a way to enable it in about:config?
        ScorpioBlue
      • Restore http in FF Address bar

        @ScorpioBlue<br>I found this article.<br><b>Show <a href="http://" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><a href="http://" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><a href="http://" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><a href="http://" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://</a></a></a></a> protocol in URL bar for Firefox 7+</b><br><a href="http://jj.isgeek.net/2011/08/show-http-protocol-in-url-bar-for-firefox-7/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><a href="http://jj.isgeek.net/2011/08/show-http-protocol-in-url-bar-for-firefox-7/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><a href="http://jj.isgeek.net/2011/08/show-http-protocol-in-url-bar-for-firefox-7/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><a href="http://jj.isgeek.net/2011/08/show-http-protocol-in-url-bar-for-firefox-7/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://jj.isgeek.net/2011/08/show-http-protocol-in-url-bar-for-firefox-7/</a></a></a></a><br><br>about:config<br>browser.urlbar.trimURLs<br>Change value to <b>false</b><br><br>It worked for me. :)
        lehnerus2000
      • RE: Mozilla adds 'telemetry' feature to Firefox 7

        @lehnerus2000

        Thanks. Personally I think that was a boneheaded move on Mozilla's part. :(
        ScorpioBlue
  • RE: Mozilla adds 'telemetry' feature to Firefox 7

    Anyone else getting "The URL is not valid and cannot be loaded." when trying to go to about:telemetry?
    PB_z
    • RE: Mozilla adds 'telemetry' feature to Firefox 7

      @PB_z
      Same here, can't seem to load the telemetry page
      regsrini
  • RE: Mozilla adds 'telemetry' feature to Firefox 7

    At least you have the option of disabling it.
    ScorpioBlue
    • RE: Mozilla adds 'telemetry' feature to Firefox 7

      @ScorpioBlue
      It is always an important feature having the ability to "disable" it. There is so much bloatware out there, under the guise of being an "improvement," that being able to disable it is sorely welcome. Maybe Microsoft will remember this very important lesson with its Metro interface in Windows-8.
      TsarNikky
  • RE: Mozilla adds 'telemetry' feature to Firefox 7

    Before Mozilla punishes us with another version of Firefox, I would like very much for them to fix the current version. One of the most glaring problems for me, is that Moonlight does not work with 6. I need it to view/listen to, among other things, sporting events. I have already been forced to miss a number of games and webcasts that require the Moomlight software. Also, there are a number of websites that it is needed to view their video. Maybe Mozilla can stop acting like Microsoft and fix the problems instead of banging over head with crapware that is non-functional.
    rwk006@...
  • having static IPs

    I not enable those. I would like to help but prefer not to divulge browsing information. If I had dynamics or routed through proxies, it would be different. These kind of functions are fine as long as one can turn them on or off as desired. My question is, will it really help? What else is there to know about the browser's performance, generically, other than it is eating too much memory like anything else. The memory eating and CPU-binding is not the browser's fault, I think. It is the fault of webmasters who shove 20x the volume into a visitor's computer than necessary by way of excessive scripts, tracking, flash, etc. The trend towards this has happened so slowly that it has gone un-noticed for the most part aided by increasing bandwidth.

    If the rest of my post is trash, consider only this; selecting the important items, the text, on this very web page, yielded a simple 8K text file. the HTML was 110K but that included a lot of code not used for formatting and displaying text. Images (41 of them) were 179K, and the scripts that were downloaded are 316K (not including the 5 ads and their scripts I blocked from download). So there is 608K of data sent to display 8K of text. Sure it is a bulletin board but I believe we can do much better by half with little loss of eye-bling. The point is that problem is not really the browser, it is the bloated web content.
    opcom