2019
-2020
State
of
Mozilla

Our impact

Mozilla exists to ensure the internet is open and accessible to all. We’ve always taken our commitment to this mission seriously, but it took on greater meaning in 2020 — a year which showed us in technicolor why the internet is such an essential resource.

Every year in the spirit of openness upon which Mozilla was founded, we share publicly the ways we have protected, fought for and helped advance the internet in service of the people who rely on it every day. We outline how our organization is meeting the challenges of online life through an annual report: the State of Mozilla.

This year we’ve changed the format of our report to focus on how we are using our organization’s strength and resources on two fronts: Fighting for People and Building for the Future. This report highlights the impact of our work in 2020 and is accompanied by our most recently filed financials which cover 2019.

As the State of Mozilla outlines, Mozilla works to make the promise of a better internet a reality. We can’t and we don’t do it alone. There are myriad ways anyone can join this effort through actions big and small, starting with getting better educated on what’s at stake; pushing companies to operate more transparently and in the interest of communities and people, not just profits; testing new products; and choosing technology made by companies who share your vision for a healthier internet. We invite anyone interested in contributing to building a better internet to download Firefox, to volunteer with us or to make a donation that will support the work of internet health leaders around the world.

A word from our leadership

Mitchell Baker

Chief Executive Officer, Chairwoman of Mozilla Foundation

2020 has been an unprecedented year. The global pandemic has made it clear how central the internet has become to all aspects of life. Work, school, connection, family, holidays, elections, protest — everything — has been mediated through the internet. And those without connection are left further behind.

This vastly increased reliance on the internet reinforces Mozilla’s view that we need a better internet, and that we need technologists involved in creating a better internet. This requires new products and technologies built in greater alignment with the values that Mozilla represents. In 2020 we restructured Mozilla Corporation to align our organizational resources and financial investments with this focus on innovation.

For Mozilla this means growing the impact of Firefox, while also finding new terrain, and doing this exploration in concert with other technologists and builders who share our commitment to an online future that is more open and humane. So in 2020 we made some hard, but deliberate choices to end our investment in some areas in order to support growth for the future in others. The redirection and investments we made in 2020 will continue to provide the guidance and emphasis for Mozilla’s work going into 2021. The results of our efforts this year were threefold:

1. A renewed focus on expanding the impact of our core Firefox browser.

With more people tethered to the internet as a lifeline this unique year has shown that web browsers and the infrastructure that support them are more important than ever. It’s vital that a trusted and independent organization like Mozilla is able to continue its focus on creating a reliable and privacy-respecting browser like Firefox that empowers people to access the internet securely. To that end in 2020 Mozilla continued to lead in the adoption of web standards and protocols that enhance internet security with the expansion of our trusted resolver program to include Comcast in the rollout of DNS over HTTPS in Firefox for users in the United States. As the last independent browser, we continued our long-standing push for diversity in how the web is expressed with the launch of a new Firefox Android browser powered by our Gecko engine.

2. Optimizing Mozilla for new product development and expanded investment in existing products beyond Firefox.

With more people around the world working and learning from home than ever before, people were in search of new ways to bring the online security solutions long associated with the workplace to their private networks. In 2020 we launched a paid VPN service to meet this need. Our mixed reality exploration, Hubs, became a testing ground for people looking for alternatives to Zoom and other video conferencing platforms for online collaboration in lieu of face-to-face meetings. This year Hubs was used by a diverse array of individuals and organizations trying to capture the 3-D quality of previously in-person only experiences from Halloween gatherings to album launch parties to board meetings and museum tours. We also made significant advances with Pocket — creating new functional capabilities for sharing content, and growing Pocket’s user base and publishing partnerships to access more of the rich and worthwhile content available online. With its people-powered approach to content curation, through Pocket, Mozilla made headway this year in our continued exploration of ways to help people discover worthwhile, relevant content in a more ethical and privacy-respecting manner. In doing so we also sought to protect people from the misinformation and data collection that are intertwined with the algorithms that recommend content on social networks.

3. Engaging with people outside of Mozilla.

New products have power to change internet experiences. Is there a hunger among entrepreneurs, technologists, designers, activists, dreamers to build products intentionally aimed at something different than today’s internet? In 2020 we launched a pilot initiative called Mozilla Builders to explore this topic. The signal from this pilot is positive and encouraging. The experiment drew 1,500 participants. Mozilla provided mentorship and financial support. The result is over one hundred projects that are now underway at varying stages of development from early exploration to initial start-up.

Our purpose, power and impact as an organization are enhanced because of Mozilla’s unique mix of operating in the marketplace by offering consumer products and services while also driving internet policy, and advocating for tech ecosystem change. As Mozilla Foundation Executive Director Mark Surman makes clear in greater detail in 2020 we worked on all these fronts. We engaged our peers in the tech sector and regulators in the European Union, United Kingdom, the United States, Kenya, Australia and India in key discussions about internet policy that will shape online life for decades to come,and we deepened our commitments to racial justice through our products and operations.

We do not have all the answers for improving the internet, or for competing with the tech giants as we do so. Mozilla takes on these challenges because they are important, not because they are easy. We have made progress this year, and I’m very proud we’ve managed to do so in the middle of such a challenging year. There is far more work to be done. Mozilla’s product development work must go faster. Mozilla’s connections to the nascent community of builders who want to create new products for a better internet must expand. Mozilla’s connection to consumers, citizens and activists who live online must deepen dramatically. The pervasiveness of the internet in 2020 has shown how important it is to improve internet life. It’s shown that Mozilla can bring a laser focus to products. It’s shown the possibility of a rich and varied community of people building a better internet.

This year’s State of Mozilla outlines how we’ve fought on behalf of people and the web, while making the smart and sometimes hard choices needed to ensure we can also build for whatever online life will hold tomorrow. It’s clear that now more than ever Mozilla’s independent voice is needed.

A word from our leadership

Mark Surman

President and Executive Director

In 2020, more and more people realized that the internet isn’t just about technology. It’s also about society. It’s about what kind of world we want to live in.

All year long we asked ourselves and each other: How quickly can we move our work and schools online? Who has Wi-Fi at home, and who doesn’t? How much of the news we see online is real, and how much is misinformation? Are the people delivering my takeout and my groceries safe? Are the big tech platforms helping, or hurting our democracy?

As questions like these occupied headlines and dinner table conversations, it became even more clear that we need to double down on both the technical and social sides of Mozilla's mission, which is to keep the internet open and accessible to all.

As Mitchell Baker outlined, the Mozilla Corporation made a number of deliberate choices in 2020 to shore up Mozilla’s ability to advance this mission by putting new and better products into market. This included strengthening Firefox as the only remaining independent browser, and working with internal teams and a broader network of ‘builders’ to create new ways to safely collaborate, chat, build and share content online.

As a complement to this work, the Mozilla Foundation continued to fuel the movement of people committed to building a healthier digital world. As with the early days of open source, a growing number of technologists, researchers, policymakers, lawyers and activists are seeking ways to make the internet better for all of us. These people have long seen how the social and technical aspects of the internet are tied together. Mozilla counts itself among them, and is committed to helping the movement they represent grow and succeed.

Amid the pandemic, calls for racial justice and difficult elections in many parts of the world, Mozilla’s movement building work — and our public voice on internet health issues — felt more urgent than ever. Three particular areas to call out:

1. Promoting ‘trustworthy AI’ in the technologies we all use everyday.

Whether it is the content in your social media feed or an application for a new bank loan, data and AI are increasingly making key decisions about our lives. In 2020, Mozilla released a roadmap for making AI more trustworthy, a goal just as important as our original efforts to create a free and open web 20 years ago. A growing percentage of our research, grantmaking and advocacy work is focused on this goal, including funding and fellowships for people who are: adding ethics into undergraduate computer science curriculum; putting up bounties to root out bias in AI; and inventing new ways to put people in charge of their data and online destiny.

2. Informing — and rallying — citizens around making technology better.

At a time where tech has so great an impact on our lives, staying informed and pushing tech companies to do better is critical. As the pandemic spread in April, Mozilla put out a special edition of its *Privacy Not Included guide to review the safety and security of leading video conferencing apps. It also worked with organizations and the public to successfully pressure Zoom to include full encryption in the free version of its product. And, during racial justice protests and elections around the world, Mozilla pushed social platforms to more effectively tackle misinformation, offering regular Monday misinfo updates and urging Facebook and Twitter to turn off features that spread viral misinformation. We also worked with over 25,000 citizens around the world to collect misinformation on YouTube, which will feed into a study that will be released in early 2021.

3. Investing in people and organizations building a healthy internet.

The only way we can create a healthier digital world is to do it together. For that reason, Mozilla invests approximately $10M each year in grants and fellowships for people working on internet health issues. In 2020, this included: putting out a Creative Media Awards call to support Black artists working on topics related to AI; creating the new Tech and Society Fellowship with the Ford Foundation to place skilled technologists in leading civil society organizations in the global south; and working with several other funders to launch the European AI Fund, a €4.6M effort to develop AI expertise in civil society organizations.

All of this work — both by Mozilla teams and by our collaborators around the world — puts us on a strong footing as we move into 2021, which will no doubt be another challenging year. We already have plans in motion to put a stronger emphasis on AI transparency and bias. And we are working on a new initiative with other foundations to dramatically accelerate the development of data trusts, data co-ops and similar initiatives. We need alternatives to the current approach of ceding control of data to a few big tech platforms. We will also increase our focus on tech policy in 2021, working both with other mid-size tech companies and with philanthropy to ensure that the growing trend of tech regulation heads in a good direction.

A number of years ago, we realized Mozilla is most powerful when it tries to shape the market through its products — and when it helps to grow the movement for a better digital world. Whether you are an individual citizen, a small tech company, a non-profit or a government agency — if you see yourself as part of this movement, we want to get to know you and work with you in the years ahead. Volunteer to be part of Mozilla, donate to support the work of internet health leaders around the world or simply use Firefox.

A word from our leadership

Angela Plohman

Executive Vice President

Roxi Wen

Chief Financial Officer

In a technology industry beholden to profit at all costs, Mozilla stands apart.

Money isn’t our end goal, but rather a means to an end — a healthy internet, open and accessible to all.

Mozilla also stands apart for its novel governance structure. Founded as a community open-source project in 1998, Mozilla consists of two primary organizations: the Mozilla Corporation, a social enterprise, and its parent the Mozilla Foundation, a non-profit 501(c)3. The two organizations pool their separate strengths — building exceptional consumer technology and fueling a global movement, respectively — to pursue a singular mission.

This report provides a window into how these two organizations operate. The Mozilla Corporation earns revenue in the consumer technology marketplace — and then invests it back into products and ideas that further shape the marketplace for the public good. The Foundation earns revenue from both the Corporation and donations and grants — and then invests it in research, advocacy, people, and projects that complement our consumer technology work. This hybrid model allows the two organizations to operate as something greater than the sum of their parts.

This report also accompanies the audited 2019 financials for both organizations, which provides further insight into Mozilla operations. Note: Each organization is governed by a separate board of directors.

The Mozilla Corporation’s domain is the marketplace.

As outlined in our manifesto, we believe commercial involvement in the development of the internet brings many benefits. To that end, we build products, explore new technologies, and shape a tech environment to give people more choice and control in their online lives. Our flagship product, Firefox, is used by hundreds of millions of people around the world and provides an alternative to other data-hungry browsers in the market. Our other products also provide millions of internet users with choice and control: Pocket offers a simple, trustworthy way to access worthwhile content from across the internet and Mozilla VPN provides affordable, private and easily accessible security on any device. And through our early exploration and engagement other creators and technologists who share our vision for a better internet as part of the Mozilla Builders experiment, we have been able to see where there are opportunities to invest in and amplify the work of new businesses, products and services that will contribute to a better internet in the future.

Today, the majority of Mozilla Corporation revenue is generated from global browser search partnerships, including the deal renegotiated with Google in 2017 following Mozilla’s termination of its search agreement with Yahoo/Oath (which was the subject of litigation the parties resolved in a confidential settlement in 2019.) In 2020 Mozilla renewed its deal with Google and continues to generate revenue from other search partnerships with partners in the US and around the world. In CY 2019, Mozilla Corporation generated $465M from royalties, subscriptions and advertising revenue, excluding one-time litigation settlement revenue. Mozilla’s cash and investment portfolio at the end of 2019 was $785M). Our strong financial position enabled us to expand our focus on innovation in 2020 including the launch of Mozilla Builders initiative and the VPN service mentioned earlier, while continuing investment in Firefox and Pocket, which was acquired in 2017. In 2020, the Corporation was reorganized to put in place the organizational and cost structure to support these efforts. The new organization is over 775 employees strong worldwide.

As a social enterprise, Mozilla Corporation’s revenue is largely reinvested in the organization, allowing us to improve our existing products and innovate new ones. A portion of the Corporation’s annual revenue flows to its parent organization, the Mozilla Foundation (see below for details).

The Mozilla Foundation’s domain is growing the movement of technologists, researchers, activists, and artists who share our goals and ideals.

The Foundation identifies threats to and opportunities for a healthy internet, and then works to make these issues mainstream. In 2019, we published our annual Internet Health Report, using original reporting and data visualization to unpack issues like the harms of digital advertising and the bias embedded in algorithms. We also began examining the ways AI in consumer technology is intersecting with society. Last year, Mozilla spent $926,393 to support this agenda-setting work.

The Foundation also uses grassroots organizing and public education campaigns to mobilize tens of millions of internet users. In 2019, Mozilla’s advocacy work urged Facebook, Amazon, Apple, and other big tech companies to address issues like online privacy and the spread of disinformation. Last year, Mozilla spent $4,853,516 to support this advocacy work.

And the Foundation provides support to people and projects on the front lines of the internet health movement. We do so through fellowships and awards for technologists and researchers addressing issues like online privacy and digital inclusion. In 2019, Mozilla also held its 10th-annual Mozilla Festival, a week-long convening for the internet health movement. Last year, Mozilla spent $10,387,096 to support this leadership development work.

The Foundation’s revenue comes partially from the Mozilla Corporation. For 2019, the Mozilla Foundation received $15,858,258 per a trademark license agreement with Mozilla Corporation, allowing us to reinvest earnings from our products into advocacy and grant making that grow the internet health movement.

Individual donations and grants to Mozilla Foundation complement this revenue from our social enterprise work. In 2019, the Foundation raised $11.7M through these avenues. We view these contributions not as donations to Mozilla, but rather as a way to match Mozilla’s own investment in the broader movement for internet health. The majority of these resources are used to fund Fellows and other organizations within the movement.

Although two organizations exist beneath the Mozilla banner, they operate in tandem and with a shared mission.

By combining our expertise both in the market and as a nonprofit, we are strongly positioned to protect the internet as a global public resource, open and accessible to all.

Fighting for people

While 2020 has been an unprecedented year of change, Mozilla remains steadfast in our dedication to fighting for a healthy internet for everyone. People are clear in their demands that technology be more responsible, secure, accessible and trustworthy as it intersects increasingly with their daily lives at home, work, school and play. We powered our campaigns and products to represent and amplify those demands, and we’ll build on our successes to grow our influence in the years to come.

Victory has a Ring to it

At the beginning of 2020, it was widely reported that criminals were hijacking Ring cameras to spy on and harass people in the privacy of their own homes. Almost 10,000 people signed Mozilla’s petition calling on Amazon to protect Ring customers by requiring two-factor authentication (2FA). And it worked! By February, Ring updated its security and required 2FA, proving that even the mightiest tech companies will respond to consumer pressure.

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Six stories to inspire better content moderation regulation

These six stories shine a light on the human cost of content moderation, revealing what is at stake when policymakers craft content regulation frameworks. While we acknowledge how difficult it is to strike a balance that works for people around the world, these stories help show what is possible if regulation is done right.

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Creative Media Awards demystify AI

Mozilla’s Creative Media Awards are part of our mission to realize more trustworthy AI in consumer technology. The awards fuel the people and projects on the front lines of the global internet health movement, who highlight the unintended consequences of artificial intelligence. 2020 awardees included TheirTube and In Event of Moon Disaster. The next round of Creative Media Awards will provide $245,000 in funding to Black artists, who are exploring the effects of AI on racial justice.

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Dialogues and Debates go virtual

With many people working, researching and networking from home, it was the perfect time for us to take our Dialogues and Debates speaker series online. Topics like misinformation, racial justice, trustworthy AI, Big Tech and digital privacy became exceedingly vital to the cultural conversation in 2020, and our hosts and panelists jumped in. By moving to an online streaming format, everyone was able to participate and watch safely from wherever they happened to be.

Photo Credit: ATLANTIC MEDIA

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Putting our products to work to amplify Black voices

Educating ourselves is how we can begin dismantling systemic racism, and we started with surfacing important content through a new Pocket feature called Collections. Collections of works by Black writers and thought leaders are being distributed through our Pocket product with companion promotion within Firefox. We will continue to explore how to leverage the functionality and reach of our products and services to advance change.

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Contact tracing, governments and data privacy

Contact tracing apps emerged as a technology solution for the COVID-19 public health crisis. Mozilla evaluated the different design approaches, offering keen insights into the potential risks and benefits. We ultimately recommended anyone working on contact tracing technology take a decentralized approach, in order to protect people from the potential abuse of data found in centralized systems. A decentralized approach leaves contact data on people’s devices and out of the reach of governments and companies.

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Transforming YouTube users into YouTube watchdogs

We launched the RegretsReporter extension to give people a way to report YouTube Regrets — videos recommended by YouTube that people end up wishing they had never watched. YouTube recommendations can be delightful, but they can also be dangerous. The platform has a history of recommending harmful content — from pandemic conspiracies to political disinformation — to its users. The consequences of this problem are real and growing. By contributing regret data to our research, people are helping us improve one of the most powerful recommendation engines on the planet.

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Building a roadmap for trustworthy AI

In May, we released a white paper that outlines our thinking and theory of change on trustworthy AI. AI has immense potential to improve our quality of lives, but integrating complex computation into the platforms and products we use everyday could compromise our security, safety and privacy. Unless critical steps are taken to make these systems more trustworthy, the development of AI runs the risk of deepening existing power inequalities.

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Our campaign urged Zoom to make the right call on encryption

Millions of people left offices and classrooms vacant in 2020, quickly making Zoom the tool du jour to get things done. And where good people went, bad actors followed, thrusting Zoom into the spotlight with a myriad of security issues. After Mozilla and other organizations spoke out and advocated, Zoom made the strongest possible security and privacy features available to all their users, a win for consumer security.

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Facebook: Stop Hate for Profit

In June, Mozilla joined a coalition of companies and civil society groups calling on Facebook to take strong action to limit hateful and divisive content on their platforms. We urged our supporters to join the global day of action to tell Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg: Enough is Enough. Together, we sent a clear message to Facebook’s leadership: this does not stand with our common values and society is no longer willing to tolerate your inaction and profiting from hate and misinformation.

In September we joined the “Real Facebook Oversight Board.” And it’s worth nothing that Pinterest saw an increase in advertising in Q3 by advertisers who had boycotted social media.

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Another win for privacy, this time with Apple

After several months of campaigning by Mozilla — and 20,000 supporter signatures — Apple boosted privacy online by giving consumers the choice to opt-out of tracking in each app installed on their devices. In doing so, Apple made a loud statement: mass data collection and invasive advertising don’t have to be the status quo online and consumer privacy should be a significant factor in the online advertising equation. It’s a refreshing take that we support.

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Pushing video call apps to be more private and secure

A record number of people used video call apps to conduct business, teach classes, meet with doctors, and stay in touch with friends this year. Mozilla expanded our *Privacy Not Included guide to help consumers evaluate the privacy and security features and flaws of popular video calling apps.

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Firefox gives redirect trackers the boot with ETP 2.0

Mozilla has been on a journey to protect people from online tracking methods since introducing ”Do Not Track“ in 2011. Despite people’s discomfort with being tracked, invasive tracking methods morph year after year.

Since Enhanced Tracking Protection (ETP) landed in Firefox in 2019, protecting people from billions of digital trackers, the ad industry has developed yet more techniques to track users, such as redirect tracking. This let companies get around Firefox’s built-in third-party cookie-blocking policy, by sending people through the tracker’s site before landing on their desired website, tracking their moves along the way. It’s sneaky, privacy-invading and just plain rude. And, we put an end to it with Firefox’s ETP 2.0, our latest step in providing the safe and private experience our users expect from Mozilla.

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Misinfo Mondays cut the crap and tell the truth

Our new series Misinfo Monday aimed to help people sift through the misleading information out there, from social media feeds, to suspicious articles, to deep fakes. The series proved to be some of our most popular content this year.

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An investigation: Political ads on popular streaming platforms

Video streaming platforms became prime targets for political advertising campaigns in the 2020 U.S. elections, posing a huge challenge to election watchdogs who track political campaign spending and ad targeting. We investigated and scored how six popular streaming platforms handled political ads.

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When Apple opened its walled garden, we met them at the gate

With iOS 14, Apple users had new power to choose any default browser on iPhones and iPads, and we met them with a fresh version of Firefox. By setting Firefox as their default browser, iOS users joined hundreds of millions of people who choose to protect their data, while supporting an independent tech company fighting for openness, transparency and control of life online.

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Mozilla urged Facebook and Twitter to halt dangerous recommendations

In October, Mozilla and more than 6,000 supporters published an open letter to Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook and Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter. Our demand: Turn off Facebook’s Group Recommendations and Twitter’s Trending Topics ahead of the U.S. election.

While both companies had taken important steps to prevent the spread of election disinformation on their platforms, such as labeling false information, rejecting misleading ads, and other critical steps, they each missed a critical vulnerability in the viral spread of disinformation — Group Recommendations and Trending Topics, respectively.

Facebook actually did turn off Group Recommendations ahead of the election, and we then urged them to give independent researchers the ability to asses the impact of that decision.

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The internet needs our love

As part of returning Firefox to growth, we have to speak to people’s concerns about online life with our marketing and communications. 2020 revealed more than ever just how fed up internet users are with how their data is used by big platforms, and what little they get in exchange for giving up privacy to them.

With this in mind we launched a campaign with some easy choices for people to make to unfck their own corner of the internet. We believe those taking part will help drive meaningful change and create a healthier online life for all.

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Taking on Big Tech

Victory has a Ring to it

Products

Firefox gives redirect trackers the boot with ETP 2.0

Campaigns

The internet needs our love

Building for the future

Mozilla is here to ensure that the tech of tomorrow is built in ways that respect people and their privacy, and gives them real independence and meaningful control. The foundational work over the last year has set Mozilla up to excel with ongoing efforts while innovating in the areas most likely to impact the state of the internet and internet life. From security and privacy network architecture to the surveillance economy, artificial intelligence, identity systems, control over our data, decentralized web and content discovery and disinformation — Mozilla has a critical role to play in helping to create product solutions that address the challenges in these spaces. We are ready for it.

Mitchell Baker named CEO

Mozilla’s Co-Founder Mitchell Baker returned to the role of CEO. She is refocusing Mozilla to build for the future — both the organization and the internet — with a new vision for how to create and build a better internet, at a time when people have never relied on it more heavily. Mitchell is also applying her experience as Chairwoman, in growing the community of people who want to find solutions for the challenges of online life.

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703M Pocket saves and counting

As of November, Pocket fans saved 703M items to Pocket and spent over 12M hours reading them. That’s good news for publishers and creators who saw new longer life for their content. Revenue generated by Pocket has been growing steadily alongside, which is great news for Mozilla’s income diversification objectives.

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Launched Mozilla VPN

In July, we launched Mozilla VPN, a service that people can trust to keep their connection to the internet safe and private on all their devices. While the VPN market is full of options for consumers, we saw two opportunities: 1) consumer demand for a truly trustworthy VPN and 2) our continued expansion into paid products.

We adhere to easy, no-nonsense Data Privacy Principles, which means we’re not sucking up user data ourselves, as some VPNs do. And since we are mission-driven, consumers can trust that the dollars spent for Mozilla VPN will not only ensure top-notch security, but will be put to work making the internet better for everyone.

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A new Firefox for Android, fast, private by design and independent to the core

Back in 2017, we overhauled our desktop browser with the launch of Firefox Quantum. Building on that success, we turned to our mobile browsers. In August of 2020, we proudly launched a completely overhauled Firefox for Android, a faster, more private and independent browser for Android fans.

Unlike other Android browsers, such as Chrome, Edge and Brave, this new Firefox is built from Mozilla’s own independent technology, giving us complete freedom to set standards, develop features and keep people safe on our own terms. People who want to break free from Big Tech’s consolidation need look no further. Firefox is the last truly independent browser, and it’s better than ever.

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Mozilla Builders are moving fast and fixing things

To build a better internet, we can’t go it alone. That’s why back in March, Mozilla put out a call for ideas to "fix-the-internet." Some 1,500 creators showed up, and well over a hundred projects are underway. Now we’re continuing our experimentation by launching our v2: the Mozilla Builders Incubator. We are investing in people, projects, and technologies that shape the internet and have a positive impact without having to only worry about the bottom line. It’s people like that who built Firefox, and who will write the next amazing chapter of the internet.

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Immersive social experiences delivered with a simple click

The need for better virtual collaboration has never been greater than in 2020. Many groups used Mozilla Hubs, our immersive 3D social space, to take all sorts of things virtual, like the Oregon Country Virtual Fair, a yacht showroom in the UK, NASA’s Hackathon, Kruder & Dorfmeister’s 1995 Digital Album Release Party and so much more. Hubs works directly in a browser without the need for a headset or special software, breaking down the equipment barrier to participation in 3D social spaces.

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Our racial justice commitments

Mozilla, like many companies, has set goals to improve diversity and inclusion within our organization. In May, George Floyd’s murder opened the floodgates of civil rights protests, exposing many people to the painful depth and breadth of systemic racism for the first time. This moment also gave us pause to consider: are we doing all that we can? What we saw is that Mozilla’s progress has come up short.

This set of commitments published in June provides a starting point for areas where we will tenaciously drive change across Mozilla going forward. Part of making sure we live up to these commitments is measuring and reporting. We know we have work to do, and we'll do it with transparency.

Photo Credit: Lorie Shaull

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Funds for Black artists exploring the effects of AI on racial justice

Artificial intelligence promises to deliver us from tedium and improve our lives. But we already know that AI can be designed with inherent biases that outweigh those benefits. This program is designed to fuel Black artistic explorations of this challenge.

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Comcast becomes first ISP to partner with Mozilla in evolving privacy solution

DNS over HTTPS helps to protect browsing activity from interception, manipulation, and collection in the middle of the network by encrypting the DNS data. Mozilla brought DNS over HTTPS to Firefox users in the United States as a default allowing them to choose from a list of trusted resolvers who have agreed to provide this critical encryption of internet traffic under a set of strict privacy respecting guidelines created by Mozilla. Comcast joined this group in 2020.

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The future of web monetization starts now

How should the web be funded, if not with the model that’s made billionaires out of a handful of people while harvesting the data of millions of others?

That’s what Mozilla, Coil and Creative Commons are setting off to find out, by funding explorations into a more decentralized approach.

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COVID-19 Solutions Fund

We funded several open source technology projects that responded to the COVID-19 pandemic. Funded projects tackled electronic medical record systems, PPE design and distribution, emergency ventilator designs and more.

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A journey to environmental sustainability

"In addition to the impacts humans are having on climate change, the internet has a significant carbon footprint as well — data centers, offices, hardware and more require vast amounts of energy. The climate crisis will have lasting effects on infrastructure, connectivity and human migration. We are committed to addressing the role Mozilla plays.

We know our journey toward Environmental Sustainability won’t be easy. That’s why we plan to continuously share and be open about what we learn, how we make decisions, and where we see levers for change so that others can benefit from what we discover along the way.

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Virtu-All Hands

While many companies grappled with the idea of supporting a suddenly all-remote workplace, Mozilla made the transition relatively easily thanks to being a distributed, remote-friendly global organization for more than a decade. That said, our in-person gatherings have previously proved vital for growing collaboration, sparking creativity and personal connection. Our events team took on the challenge of capturing the magic and culture-building of our All Hands, but in a virtual environment.

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Restructuring to keep pace with the future

Across the world, 2020 was a year of great challenges. At Mozilla we saw an accelerated need to restructure and change the way we operate. This, unfortunately, meant saying goodbye to some amazing and talented Mozillians around whom the community has generously rallied. By tightening our focus today, we are strongly positioned to build the internet of tomorrow.

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Search partnerships continue to fuel Mozilla’s mission

With search being a core part of the online experience for everyone, Mozilla is meeting that need for our customers through relationships with a number of search providers. We have long been champions for choice, ensuring that Firefox users are free to decide how they search the web and to select or change their search preferences as they like. Search partnerships help fuel Mozilla’s mission and work to build a better internet.

Mozilla partners with African tech hubs to explore new technology ideas

Mozilla’s work with Afrilabs will develop more relevant, sustainable support for African innovators and entrepreneurs to build scalable resilient products while identifying mutual areas of common interest.

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Experimenting with open data

By volunteering for the Mozilla Ion project, Firefox users have an opportunity to help us create tools for better internet transparency and design products that give control back to the people who use them.

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Launched new Tech and Society fellowships

Critical civil society organizations fight inequality, protect the public, and partner with the public sector to serve its citizens. In an era of ubiquitous technology, we collaborated with the Ford Foundation to fund strategists through 2022, working across the Global South, to recognize, design and implement a strategy that brings together a specific regional issue and technology.

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Our vision for how EU Digital Services Act can build a better internet

In Europe, regulators are beginning the process of implementing what will become some of the most far-reaching legislation that affects tech companies. As this happens, Mozilla’s small but mighty policy team aims to make sure that accountability is paired with a commitment to openness and fundamental rights and that this process unfolds in a way where people are at the center.

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Data Futures Lab examines new models of data governance

Around the world, people are thinking about data sovereignty, autonomy, collective action and purpose. Many are trying to come up with stewardship models that shift power back to communities and the people from whom data is sourced. The Data Futures Lab will connect and fund people around the world who are building product and service prototypes using collective data governance models.

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Investing today to shape European AI tomorrow

Right now, we’re in the early stages of the next phase of computing: AI. Will the AI era be defined by individual privacy and transparency into how these systems work? Or, will the worst parts of our current internet ecosystem — invasive data collection, monopoly, opaque systems — continue to be the norm? We're helping fund projects to shape the direction of AI in Europe.

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Future Focus

Mitchell Baker named CEO

Trustworthy Content

703M Pocket saves and counting

Dependable Security

Launched Mozilla VPN