Types of Information
As with most Internet web browsers, Firefox sends certain information to the websites that you visit. This information falls into the following categories:
“Personal Information” is information that you provide to us that personally identifies you, such as your name, phone number, or email address. Except as described below, Mozilla does not collect or require end-users of Firefox to provide Personal Information.
“Non-Personal Information” is information that cannot be directly associated with a specific person or entity. Non-Personal Information includes but is not limited to your computer’s configuration and the version of Firefox you use.
“Potentially Personal Information” is information that is Non-Personal Information in and of itself but that could be used in conjunction with other information to personally identify you. For example, Uniform Resource Locators (“URLs”) (the addresses of web pages) or Internet Protocol (“IP”) addresses (the addresses of computers on the Internet), which are Non-Personal Information in and of themselves, could be Personal Information when combined with Internet service provider (“ISP”) records.
“Aggregate Data” is information that is recorded about users and collected into groups so that it no longer reflects or references an individually identifiable user.
Information Firefox Sends to Websites
Like most web browsers, Firefox sends information to the websites you visit, including Non-Personal Information of the type that web browsers typically make available, such as the type of browser you are using, your language preference, the referring site. This information may be logged by the websites you visit. What information is logged and how that information is used depends on the policies of each of the websites you visit.
Interactive Product Features
One thing that makes Firefox so flexible is the ability for you to add various add-ons, extensions, and themes to Firefox, thereby creating a custom browser that fits your needs. The following features show how Firefox 3.x provides both the ability to obtain additional add-ons easily and to protect against potentially harmful add-ons.
Get Add-ons Feature and Add-ons Update.
Firefox 3.x offers a Get Add-ons Feature and update service. The Get Add-ons Feature creates a list of recommended add-ons and extensions to try. You access this recommended list by clicking on the “Get Add-ons” tab from the Firefox Add-ons Manager. To display the recommended list, Firefox sends certain information to Mozilla, including the type of computer and version of Firefox you are using as well as your IP address and any cookies set bythe Add-ons webpage, but Firefox 3.x does not collect any Personal Information as part of a download from the Firefox Add-ons Manager. Add-Ons Update collects the same information.
Automated Update Service
Firefox’s automatic update feature periodically checks to see if an updated version of Firefox and installed add-ons are available from Mozilla.
This feature sends Non-Personal Information to Mozilla, including the version of Firefox you are using, build ID and target, update channel, your operating system, and your language preference. This feature also sends Potentially Personal Information to Mozilla in the form of your IP address and a cookie that contains a unique numeric value to distinguish individual Firefox installs. Mozilla uses this information to provide you with updated versions of Firefox and to understand the usage patterns of Firefox users. We use this information to improve our products and services and to support decision making regarding feature and capacity planning.
Firefox 3.x does not collect or track any Personal Information or any information about the websites you visit, and Mozilla does not release the raw information we obtain from these Firefox 3.x features to the public. We may release reports containing Aggregate Data so that our global community can make better product and design decisions. To prevent Mozilla from obtaining this information, you can turn this feature off in Firefox’s preferences. An article in our Firefox Knowledge Base gives you information about changing your preferences.
Firefox 3.x also offers a Blocklist feature. With this feature, once a day Firefox does a regularly scheduled, automatic check to see if you have any harmful add-ons or plug-ins installed. If so, this feature disables add-ons or plug-ins that Mozilla has determined contain known vulnerabilities or major user facing issues or fatal bugs (e.g., client crashes on startup or something causing an endless loop of unusability). You may view the current list of Blocklisted items. This feature sends Non-Personal Information to Mozilla, including the version of Firefox you are using, operating system version, build ID and target, update channel, and your language preference. This feature also sends Potentially Personal Information to Mozilla in the form of your IP address and a cookie. In addition, Mozilla also uses this feature to analyze Firefox usage patterns so we may improve our products and services, including planning features and capacity. Currently there is no basic user interface to disable the Blocklist feature. An article in our Firefox Knowledge Base explains how you may disable the Blocklist feature. Disabling the Blocklist feature is not recommended as it may result in using extensions know to be untrustworthy.
Firefox 3.0 to present
For the current versions of Firefox, “Firefox Crash Reporter” is Firefox’s crash reporting feature. With this feature, you have the option to include Personal Information (including your email address), Potentially Personal Information (including your IP address and the URL of the site you were visiting when Firefox crashed), and a comment. Firefox Crash Reporter also sends a list of all add-ons that you were using at the time of the crash, the time since (i) the last crash, (ii) the last install, and (iii) the start-up of the program. For Firefox 3.0.0 – 3.0.5, Firefox Crash Reporter also collects Potentially Personal Information to Mozilla in the form of a unique alphanumeric value to distinguish individual Firefox installs. This value is not assigned to users of Firefox 3.0.6 and subsequent versions. Mozilla only makes Non-Personal Information (i.e., generic information about your computer, the stack trace, and any comment given by the user) available in the public reports available online at http://crash-stats.mozilla.com/.
To safeguard your privacy, Mozilla’s policy is to make Personal Information, such as your name and email address, and Potentially Personal Information, such are the URL of the site you last visited, only available to its employees, contractors, and selected contributors who signed confidentiality agreements that prohibit them from using or disclosing such information other than for approved Mozilla purposes.
You Elect to Use the Location-Aware Feature.
This feature remains inoperative until you visit a website that requests your location and you choose to opt in to the feature. If you elect not to, nothing happens. Each time you visit such a website, Firefox asks you if you want it to provide the site with your current location. Additionally, you may elect to have Firefox remember your choice to allow or not allow the feature for each site. Any such election is domain specific. You are able to opt out at any time of having Firefox remember your choice, just like any other preference setting.
What Information Firefox Collects.
If you choose to allow it, the Firefox Location-Aware Feature first collects one or more of the following relevant location markers: (i) location provided by a GPS device built into or attached to your computer or device and/or geolocation services provided by the operating system; (ii) the wifi routers closest to you; (iii) cell ids of the cell towers closest to you; (iv) the signal strength of nearby wireless access points and/or cellular phone towers; and/or (v) your computer or device’s IP address. Next, it attempts to determine your location using these location markers. Any information Firefox uses, receives or sends as part of this Location-Aware Feature is not received by any Mozilla servers or by Mozilla. Firefox does not track or remember your location. Firefox does remember a random client identifier, the temporary ID assigned by our third party provider to process your request, for two weeks.
What Information Third Parties Receive & Provide.
How Third Parties Providers Use the Information Received.
Our policy is to require third-party providers to enter licensing agreements with Mozilla, which prohibit them from releasing Personal or Potentially Personal Information to the public. We only permit our third party providers to use this information in conjunction with the service(s) they are providing to us. They are required to ensure that any information collected on our behalf is anonymized and aggregated before they are permitted to use such information to develop new features or products and services, or to improve the overall quality of any of their products and services. For example, this means that they are required to ensure that your IP address and unique identifier of your client will be stripped out before being used by any of our third party provider’s other products or features. For more information, please see our third-party service providers
Third Party Websites.
Please carefully consider any website's privacy practices before agreeing to share your location with that website.
- ISP and Mobile Carrier. All requests for your location must be sent through your Internet service provider or mobile carrier network and your service provider or carrier may have access to the request. For information regarding your service provider's or carrier's treatment of your information, please consult their privacy policies.
Firefox’s Personas feature is a theme that lets you personalize the look of your browser.
When you apply a Personas to your browser, Mozilla collects your IP address, the date and time you applied the Personas design to your browser, and the url you used to make the application as well as the url you were visiting immediately before that (known as the “referrer” url).
Creating a Custom Persona.
If you are creating a Custom Persona for your own use, Mozilla does not collect any Personal Information.
Contributing a Design to the Personas Gallery.
The Personas gallery is where you can browse all the available designs. If you contribute a design or image (each a “Persona Design”) to the Personas gallery, Mozilla collects the following Personal Information: (1) your user name and (2) your email address. Your user name will be used to attribute your Persona Design to you and will be publicly available on the Personas gallery. You do not have to provide your real name; you can use a nickname or avatar. Mozilla will not make your email address publicly available or share it with any third parties other than Mozilla’s service providers. Mozilla will use your email address only to contact you regarding your design or to provide any additional information that you elect or opt in to receive.
Personas’ Interactive Product Features
After you have selected your Personas Design, it is stored on your computer. Once per day Personas checks to see if your selected Persona Design has been updated. This feature sends the same information that web browsers typically transfer with any HTTP requests including user agent and your IP address.
We use this information to improve our products and services and to support decision making regarding feature and capacity planning. Mozilla is an open organization that believes in sharing as much information as possible about its products, its operations, and its associations. Accordingly, we may release public reports containing Aggregate Data so that our global community and Personas partners may make better product and design decisions. For example, we think it is good for users of Personas to know which are the most popular Persona Designs and Personas designers to know how many times their Persona Design was downloaded.
Report Broken Website Feature
Firefox’s Report Broken Website feature lets you notify Mozilla when a website you visit improperly displays or incorrectly functions. The feature sends the URL of the broken website to Mozilla. You may also choose to send your email address and a description of the problem. This feature also sends a your IP address and a variety of Non-Personal Information to Mozilla, including but not limited to the version of Firefox you are using and your language preference. Except for your email and IP address, Mozilla makes all of this information public. This feature does not send information to Mozilla until you explicitly authorize Firefox to do so. To prevent this public release of Personal and Potentially Personal Information, don’t report a website if the website’s URL contains your Personal and Potentially Personal Information, and don’t include Personal Information in your description of the problem. To prevent the release of any information, don’t use this feature to report a broken website.
Report Web Forgery Feature
Mozilla is committed to protecting your personal information from unauthorized access, alteration, disclosure, or destruction. We undertake a range of security measures including physical access restraints, technical security monitoring, and internal security reviews of the environment. We also have polices in place to prohibit employees from viewing personal information without business justification. Additionally, it is our policy to ensure that Mozilla employees and contractors are bound by confidentiality obligations.
Beginning with Firefox 2.0, Mozilla has additional security features, some of which are provided by third-party service providers.
Firefox 3.0 to 3.x
Secure Website Certificate Verification
When you visit a secure website, Firefox will check with the certificate provider to validate that website’s certificate. Firefox sends only the certificate identification to the certificate provider, not the exact URL you are visiting. If the certificate is not valid, you will receive an error page that states the certificate was revoked and you will not be able to access that website. The technical name for this process is OCSP or On-line Certificate Status Protocol. You may completely turn off the secure website certificate verification feature in Firefox’s preferences under the encryption tab. If you do this, none of the information discussed here will be sent to any third party certificate provider. An article in our Firefox Knowledge Base gives you information about changing your preferences.
Protection Against Suspected Forgery and Attack Sites Features
The Firefox forgery and attack protection feature displays a warning if the website you are visiting is suspected of impersonating a legitimate website (commonly referred to as a phishing or forgery website) or a site that infiltrates or damages a computer system without your informed consent, including, without limitation, any computer viruses, worms, trojan horses, spyware, computer contaminant and/or other malicious and unwanted software (commonly called an attack site or malware). By default, Firefox checks the web pages that you visit against a blacklist that is downloaded to your hard drive at regularly scheduled intervals (e.g., approximately twice per hour), the rate of frequency may change from time to time. The blacklist does not include the full URL of each suspicious site. Instead, each URL is hashed (obscured so it can't be read) and then broken into portions. Only a portion of each hashed URL is included on the blacklist on your hard drive. If there is a match, Firefox will check with its third party provider to ensure that the website is still on the blacklist. The information sent between Firefox and its third party provider(s) are hashed URLs. In fact, multiple hashed URLs are sent with the real hash so that the third party provider(s) will not know what site you are visiting. If there is a match, Firefox displays either a “Reported Web Forgery” or “Reported Attack Site” alert, as applicable.
You may completely turn off the forgery and/or attack site protection features in Firefox’s preferences. If you do this, none of the information discussed here will be downloaded to your hard drive or sent to any third party service provider. An article in our Firefox Knowledge Base gives you information about changing your preferences.
Each time Firefox checks in with a third party provider to download a new blacklist, Non-Personal Information and Potentially Personal Information, such as the information that the browser sends every time you visit a website as well as the version number of the blacklist on your system, is sent to a third party provider. In order to safeguard your privacy, Firefox will not transmit the complete URL of web pages that you visit to anyone other than Mozilla and its service providers. While it is possible that a third party service provider may determine the actual URL from the hashed URL sent, Mozilla’s policy is to require its third party service providers to enter into a written agreement with Mozilla not to use any data or other information about or from users of Firefox for purposes other than to provide and maintain their service. In addition, Mozilla’s policy is to prohibit these third party service providers from correlating any Firefox user data with any other data collected through other products, services or web properties of that provider. These third party service providers may post about additional notices regarding their applicable privacy policies. (For example, see Google Safe Browsing Service in Mozilla Firefox Version 3.)
Please note that we’re not yelling at you in this paragraph. Our lawyers have advised us that we need to make sure this information is conspicuous so you’ll read it. The forgery and attack site protection feature is provided “as is” and for your information as advice and guidance only. Mozilla and its contributors, licensors and partners do not guarantee that these protection features will prevent you from being deceived by a malicious website and we strongly recommend that you continue to be vigilant while online, particularly when following links sent to you in e-mail.
Legally Required Disclosures
Mozilla may be required to disclose information to the government or others. This may happen if we receive a valid search warrant, subpoena, court order, or other legal mandate. For example, the DMCA framework (specifically in Section 512(h)) contains an expedited subpoena process for copyright holders to request and receive information service providers have regarding the identity of alleged copyright infringers.
In certain other limited situations, Mozilla may disclose your Personal Information, such as when necessary to protect our websites and operations (e.g., against attacks); to protect the rights, privacy, safety, or property of Mozilla or its users; to enforce our terms of service; and to pursue available legal remedies. Additionally, Mozilla may need to transfer Personal Information to an affiliate or successor in the event of a change of our corporate structure or status, such as in the event of a restructuring, sale, or bankruptcy.
We work with third parties who provide services (like companies that help us determine the number of users of Firefox and various features of Firefox) and content delivery networks and other services of an administrative nature. We may share Personal Information about you with such third parties for the purpose of enabling these third parties to provide such services.
Transfer of Data to the U.S.
Mozilla is a global organization and operates in different countries. Privacy laws and common practices vary from country to country. Some countries may provide for less legal protection of your personal data; others may provide more legal protection. By using Firefox, you consent to the transfer of the information collected, as outlined by this Policy, to Mozilla or its third party service providers in the United States, the Netherlands, and other places where our distributed, third party content delivery network exists (which is in several countries around the world), which countries may provide a lesser level of data security than in your country of residence.
We will retain any information collected for the period necessary to fulfill the purposes outlined in this Policy unless a longer retention period is required by law and/or regulations.
For More Information
You may request access, correction, or deletion of Personal Information or Potentially Personal Information, as permitted by law. We will seek to comply with such requests, provided that we have sufficient information to identify the Personal Information or Potentially Personal Information related to you.
Any such requests or other questions or concerns regarding this Policy and Mozilla's data protection practices should be addressed to:
Attn: Legal Notices - Privacy
2 Harrison St
San Francisco, CA 94105
Appendix for Pre-Firefox 3.0
Crash-Reporting Feature for Firefox 1.0-2.x.
For these earlier versions of Firefox, “Talkback” is Firefox’s crash reporting feature. Talkback also gives you the option to provide your Personal Information and Potentially Personal Information (including your name, email address, and the url you were visiting) and Potentially Personal Information (including your computer’s name, IP address, and the processes you were running at the time of the crash). You can selectively disable the sending of this information. Additionally, you have the option to include the URL of the site you were visiting when Firefox crashed, a comment, and your email address in the report. Mozilla only makes Non-Personal Information and Potentially Personal Information in the public reports available online at http://talkback-public.mozilla.org/.
Security for Firefox 2.0 to 2.x.
Protection Against Suspected Forgery Sites
The Firefox web forgery protection feature displays a warning if the website you are visiting is suspected of impersonating a legitimate website. Firefox lets you select various levels of protection, and different information is transmitted by Firefox depending on the level you choose.
By default, Firefox checks the web pages that you visit against a list of suspected web forgeries (a “blacklist”) that is downloaded to your hard drive at regularly scheduled intervals (e.g., approximately twice per hour), the rate of frequency may change from time to time. If there is a match, Firefox displays a “Suspected Web Forgery” alert. Each time Firefox checks in with the third party provider to download a new blacklist, Non-Personal Information and Potentially Personal Information, such as the information that the browser sends every time you visit a website as well as the version number of the blacklist on your system, is sent to the third party provider. In order to safeguard your privacy, Firefox will not transmit the URL of web pages that you visit in this default mode to anyone other than Mozilla and its service providers.
You may completely turn off the web forgery protection feature in Firefox’s preferences. If you do this, none of the information discussed here will be downloaded to your hard drive or sent to any third party service provider.
Each time Firefox checks in with the third party provider to download a new blacklist, Non-Personal Information and Potentially Personal Information, such as the information that the browser sends every time you visit a website as well as the version number of the blacklist on your system, is sent to the third party provider. In order to safeguard your privacy, Firefox will not transmit the complete URL of web pages that you visit to anyone other than Mozilla and its service providers. While it is possible that a third party service provider may determine the actual URL from the hashed URL sent, Mozilla’s policy is to require its third party service providers to enter into a written agreement with Mozilla not to use any data or other information about or from users of Firefox for purposes other than to provide and maintain their service. In addition, Mozilla’s policy is to prohibit its third party service providers from correlating any Firefox user data with any other data collected through other products, services or web properties of that provider. These third party service providers may inform you about additional notices regarding their applicable privacy policies.