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Is Your Favorite Mozilla Add-On "Phoning Home" ?

(6 posts)
  • Started 1 year ago by Straspey
  • Latest reply from raphoenix
  • Topic Viewed 326 times

Straspey
Straspey
Posts: 556

Like many users of Firefox, I have customized my browser with a number of those handy little Add-Ons which can make your browsing more convenient and enjoyable.

We all enjoy those add-ons which are created and maintained by friendly developers of he Mozilla community - right ?

Well - not necessarily, as I have just learned.

Over at gHacks.com, Martin Brinkmann has posted an article about the dark side of Mozilla's add-on suppository and exposes how certain companies are buying add-ons directly from the developers and configuring them to send information about the user's browsing activities.

In my case, one of a my favorite add-ons - a handy utility called "Auto Copy" - was recently purchased by a company called Wips.com and, as a result, that add-on now keeps a record of every website I visit - and I found their name on a number of entries in the "about:config" menu - which I disabled.

Apparently Mozilla has no terms or conditions regrading the transfer of ownership of an add-on, does not participate in those transfers, and does not provide any notices or warnings when they occur.

I suggest you have a look at the article on gHacks - it's very informative.

"How companies take advantage of Mozilla’s Addon repository"

By Martin Brinkmann

http://www.ghacks.net/2013/01/.....epository/

Posted 1 year ago
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Lighthouse
Lighthouse
Posts: 13598

To be honest, I couldn't give a monkeys about who sees which sites I visit.

Posted 1 year ago
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vistual
vistual
Posts: 3135

very good info and appreciated. thanks Straspey.

Posted 1 year ago
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raphoenix
raphoenix
Posts: 14920

Why not just use IE 9 which natively goes with Windows 7 ??

Is simple and does Not require a lot of Non-MS Add-Ons and such to make it work correctly.

Thanks Straspey

Posted 1 year ago
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Straspey
Straspey
Posts: 556

@ raphoenix

While your question is absolutely valid, and makes perfect sense - it can be the catalyst for threads going on for days, if not weeks - which I've also seen turn in to flame wars, depending where you go on the internet.

In the end, unless there is a real and obvious reason - such as security - to use one browser over another, or a=even avoid a particular browser entirely, I would respectfully suggest that it's just a matter of tase.

I go back to Netscape 4, which I *personally* found to be preferable to the versions of IE which were available back then. While I have always updated to the latest versions of IE - and they have certainly taken many steps to add layers of security since then - I find Firefox provides me with the options which allow me to configure it to my own personal tastes.

I can download YouTube videos (or just the audio portion) directly with Firefox thanks to a couple of add-ons.

The "NoScript" add-on blocks all javascript activity by default for every website, which provides an important layer of security.

And yes - some of my add-ons are simply eye candy - a means to adjust the GUI to my liking - but, why not ?

Unlike Lighthouse, I am disturbed to learn that some of my add-ons could be tracking my browsing activity, and have already taken some steps to shut those holes.

I posted the link to Martin's article because I figured there are others here who also use Firefox as their browser of choice, who might be unaware of this development - just as I was.

Posted 1 year ago
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raphoenix
raphoenix
Posts: 14920

@Straspey,

Yes many on the forum do use FF and enjoy it.

I prefer to just use old IE as it is a part of the Windows 7 system that MS ships with in the US.

As you know, I never have computer problems which I can't fix by myself, so just call me lazy. (LOL) :)

Rick P.

Posted 1 year ago
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