Firefox has been known as a privacy-focused browser, but a recent update (Firefox Quantum) has come with a telemetry feature that allows Firefox to send technical and interaction data back to Mozilla. Well, it’s a privacy issue. No problem here’s how you can disable Firefox telemetry.
Image Courtesy – Mozilla
The earlier version of Firefox was far better than the new one. Mozilla keeps updating Firefox to improve and enhance the user interface, security & privacy, and web experience. The new update is introduced as Firefox Quantum that includes Photon UI, Redesigned New Tab Page, Preferences, and many more.
The new update has included some hidden settings which allow Firefox to send the data back to Mozilla. The feature is known as Telemetry. Mozilla has said that it’s up to users whether they want to share the data or not, however, this feature has been set to on by default.
Mozilla’s intention is not to play with the user’s data that’s why they have made available all the data Firefox collects about you and your device. Users can view what data it has collected using a hidden page under the setting option.
How to See The Data Collected By Firefox Telemetry?
Telemetry data can be accessed from settings and it’s a very easy job. Here’s how you can do it by your self. Follow each below mentioned steps.
1. Open a new tab in your Firefox browser and type “about:telemetry”.
2. A new page will appear as soon as you hit enter. This opened page shows the types of information collected by Telemetry. It includes a huge list of technical and user interaction data such as performance, hardware, usage, customizations, and additional installed add-on.
However, Mozilla claims that these pieces of information are used to improve and enhance Firefox and none of the data is shared by anyone. The information remains anonymous and aggregated to ensure the user’s privacy. So, users don’t have to worry about anything.
3. If you are from a technical background, then it will be easy for you to understand what data are being collected just by seeing it. Click on any of the menus to expand it for further details as shown in the screenshot. For example, I clicked on “General Data” and it shows some data related to browsers specification and some related to my device.
Visit Mozilla’s Telemetry Portal to know how the collected data is processed and used. Here you will get to know everything related to Firefox’s performance. Graphs and charts are for clear understanding. Also, read documentation to know what data is available and how to use it.
How to Disable Firefox Telemetry?
Though Mozilla said that data collected by Firefox Telemetry remains anonymous and we never share it with any other. And this is used only for improving Firefox and providing a better web experience. In fact, this data is not related to users’ online activity and browsing. It’s a good thing to help service providers if they are asking for any charges.
However, some users may feel disappointed with this feature due to privacy concerns. If you think that none of your data should go to Mozilla, then you should disable Firefox Telemetry data collection.
Here’s how to disable the Firefox Telemetry feature.
Open Firefox and click on the “Options” menu. Now click on the “Privacy & Security” submenu. Move down and find the “Firefox Data Collection and Use” section.
As you can see in the screenshot, there are three options regarding data collection. Mozilla again mentions here that we always ask permission before receiving personal information.
Uncheck all three options to disallow Firefox from sending the pieces of information. The three options are “Allow Firefox to send technical and interaction data to Mozilla”, “Allow Firefox to install and run studies” and “Allow Firefox to send backlogged crash reports on behalf”.
Disallowing Firefox from these options will only help a little bit because Firefox still collects and sends data back to Mozilla. For a normal user, this setting is ok. However, if you still want to disable Firefox Telemetry completely, follow the advanced step.
Remember this is the advanced step, so before making any changes be sure what are you doing otherwise it will make Firefox un-stable and will cause security issues in your system.
1. Open a new tab in Firefox and type “about:config”, for your suggestion, it will show you a warning message “Accept the Risk and Continue”.
2. In the search bar type following preferences and set their value to false or toggle it to make false. The preferences are:
3. For “toolkit.telemetry.server” preference, clear or remove its default value and click on the check option to save it. By default, its value is set to “https://incoming.telemetry.mozilla.org”.
4. Search for the following “Experiments Preferences” in the search box. Disable or set their values to the false.
All settings have been saved and close all the tabs. Finally, we have disabled all Firefox Telemetry and Data Collection preferences. Afterward, Firefox must not send any technical and user interaction data back to Mozilla. You must feel now that your privacy is secure and Mozilla is not receiving any of your data.