Firefox: let us tell websites what you're interested in

Mozilla proposes that Firefox harvests users interests so that websites don't have to suck up your web history

Barry Collins
26 Jul 2013

Mozilla is proposing that the Firefox browser collects data on users' interests to pass on to websites.

The proposal is designed to allow websites to personalise content to visitors' tastes, without sites having to suck up a user's browsing history, as they do currently.

"Let’s say Firefox recognises within the browser client, without any browsing history leaving my computer, that I’m interested in gadgets, comedy films, hockey and cooking," says Justin Scott, a product manager from Mozilla Labs. "As I browse around the web, I could choose when to share those interests with specific websites for a personalised experience."

"Those websites could then prioritise articles on the latest gadgets and make hockey scores more visible. Destinations like the Firefox Marketplace could recommend recipe and movie apps, even if it’s my first time visiting that site. And, as a user, I would have complete control over which of my interests are shared, and with which websites."

Scott describes the proposal as a "a win-win" for Firefox users and companies. "Users find relevant content easier while publishers enjoy increased engagement, fewer bounces, and stronger loyalty," he claims.

Mozilla has long fought to protect Firefox users' privacy. It has been one of the strongest advocates of the Do Not Track scheme, and rose to prominence in the first place partly because of browser extensions such as Adblock Plus.

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