Mozilla Bringing California Privacy Protections To All Firefox Users

The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) went into effect on January 1, but Mozilla has vowed to apply its protections to all Firefox users in 2020. CCPA is a law California passed to protect user p...
Mozilla Bringing California Privacy Protections To All Firefox Users
Written by Matt Milano

The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) went into effect on January 1, but Mozilla has vowed to apply its protections to all Firefox users in 2020.

CCPA is a law California passed to protect user privacy and give people more control over how corporations can use their data. CCPA requires companies to be transparent about what data they collect and how they use it, as well as give users the ability to stop companies from selling their data.

Microsoft was one of the first companies to publicly commit to applying CCPA protection to all of its U.S. customers. Mozilla is taking it a step further, applying CCPA rights to all Firefox users around the world. This is not the first time Mozilla has taken this stand. When the EU passed its GDPR privacy legislation, Mozilla similarly extended those protections to all users.

Mozilla is also committing to extending these rules to so-called “telemetry data,” the anonymous technical information about browser usage that helps Mozilla improve security and performance.

“One of CCPA’s key new provisions is its expanded definition of ‘personal data’ under CCPA. This expanded definition allows for users to request companies delete their user specific data.

“As a rule, Firefox already collects very little of your data. In fact, most of what we receive is to help us improve the performance and security of Firefox. We call this telemetry data. This telemetry doesn’t tell us about the websites you visit or searches you do; we just know general information, like a Firefox user had a certain amount of tabs opened and how long their session was. We don’t collect telemetry in private browsing mode and we’ve always given people easy options to disable telemetry in Firefox. And because we’ve long believed that data should not be stored forever, we have strict limits on how long we keep telemetry data.

“We’ve decided to go the extra mile and expand user deletion rights to include deleting this telemetry data stored in our systems. To date, the industry has not typically considered telemetry data ‘personal data’ because it isn’t identifiable to a specific person, but we feel strongly that taking this step is the right one for people and the ecosystem.”

This is good news for all Firefox users and will likely help it continue to gain market share amongst privacy-minded individuals. Hopefully more companies will follow Mozilla and Microsoft’s example.

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