September 23, 2020

Bringing California’s Privacy Law to ALL Firefox Users in 2020 with User Specific Data Deletion

From Mozilla:

Here’s how we are bringing CCPA [California Consumer Privacy Act] to life for [all] Firefox users.

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When Europe passed its GDPR privacy law we made sure that all users, whether located in the EU or not, were afforded the same rights under the law.  As a company that believes privacy is fundamental to the online experience, we felt that everyone should benefit from the rights laid out in GDPR. That is why our new settings and privacy notice applied to all of our users.

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One of CCPA’s key new provisions is its expanded definition of “personal data” under CCPA. This expanded definition allows for users to request companies delete their user specific data.

As a rule, Firefox already collects very little of your data. In fact, most of what we receive is to help us improve the performance and security of Firefox. We call this telemetry data. This telemetry doesn’t tell us about the websites you visit or searches you do; we just know general information, like a Firefox user had a certain amount of tabs opened and how long their session was. We don’t collect telemetry in private browsing mode and we’ve always given people easy options to disable telemetry in Firefox. And because we’ve long believed that data should not be stored forever, we have strict limits on how long we keep telemetry data.

We’ve decided to go the extra mile and expand user deletion rights to include deleting this telemetry data stored in our systems. To date, the industry has not typically considered telemetry data “personal data” because it isn’t identifiable to a specific person, but we feel strongly that taking this step is the right one for people and the ecosystem.

In line with the work we’ve done this year to make privacy easier and more accessible to our users, the deletion control will be built into Firefox and will begin rolling out in the next version of the browser on January 7. This setting will provide users a way to request deletion for desktop telemetry directly from Firefox – and a way for us, at Mozilla, to perform that deletion.

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Gary Price About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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