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Hold up, ace. Before you strap into Firefox

Hold up, ace. Before you strap into Firefox

You just can't keep up a good idea. At least that's what Mozilla will expect when you resurrect your Firefox Test Pilot program once again.

If you keep your account at home, this is the third time Test Pilot has been launched. First it was an add-on for the Firefox browser, then it became the name of a larger test program for possible Firefox features.

The third incarnation of Test Pilot is, well, more or less the same as the second: a collection of prototypes and test features, some of which will one day reach Mozilla's browser, and others that will be sent to the heap of failed Firefox ideas.

The new program will only be open to what Mozilla calls "our loyal and loyal users", that is, those who previously registered to obtain a Firefox account. If you want to participate, you can still do it. Simply create an account.

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READ MORE [19659008] Mozilla is to have a place to test ideas and concepts in legions of users before adding the successful Firefox itself. What has changed is that the Test Pilot experiments will feature "products and services outside the Firefox browser". So far, that means Mozilla is testing some experimental pairings with third-party services. This sounds alarmingly like the language that the browser manufacturer used when imposing Pocket bookmarking service to unsuspecting users through the toolbar button. At least in this case, the test subjects will be willing.

On the positive side, Mozilla also said that "Pilot" experiments "will be less beta software and" much more polished "than some of the add-ons that were sent as part of previous Test Pilot incarnations.

The focus of these experimental efforts will be Mozilla's favorite pastime in recent times, protecting user privacy.

The first of these experiments related to privacy is a kind of quasi-VPN service, which Mozilla claims will provide users with additional security and privacy when using public Wi-Fi.

  Activating the VPN-like feature of Test Pilot Firefox "title =" Activating the VPN-like feature of Test Pilot Firefox "height =" 364 "width =" 648

Activating the VPN-like feature of Test Pilot Firefox (click to enlarge)

Mozilla calls this service a "private network", which "will keep passwords, emails and credit card numbers safe from hackers." It also promises to hide your location, frustrating ad trackers that depend on your IP address to get your location. Sounds a bit like a VPN, and in fact, it's a bit like a VPN, it's just not very good, since behind the scenes your data is recorded.

Mozilla is not the first browser to connect The built-in VPN car. Opera Software offers a similar service. If you activate the Opera-like VPN service, your traffic is routed through the SurfEasy VPN provider API. This provides some degree of additional privacy, stopping, for example, someone spying on you in the cafeteria. However, in the case of Opera, users still transmit a Device_ID that could be used to track them.

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Firefox's private network is very similar, although it uses Cloudflare as a provider (a "partner of confidence "in the language of Mozilla). Like Opera, the Firefox private network service will transmit some data to the network provider, in this case Cloudflare. Interestingly, despite running through Cloudflare's servers, all your data is governed by Mozilla's privacy rules, not by Cloudflare's privacy policy. It is a good step in the right direction.

However, although Mozilla's intentions may be good, the reality is that Cloudflare will observe your IP address, the IP address of any site you connect to, a timestamp and a token provided by Mozilla that shows that you are a user of the private Firefox network. That is a lot of data to filter, trustworthy partner or not.

This data will be deleted in 24 hours, but during those 24 hours all bets are deactivated. Cloudflare's privacy notice for the service says that the company will only transfer your data as required by law, and that "it will not sell, license, sublicense or grant any rights to its [data] … without explicit written permission. of Mozilla. " That is quite repetitive, but it raises an important question: Do you trust Mozilla with your data?

That is a question I shouldn't have to answer. It highlights why building a VPN in the web browser is full of problems. The truth is that, especially with VPNs, you get what you pay for and, if you're not paying, you know what they say about being the product. It seems that Mozilla's intentions are good, but that's it: the best intentions in the world will not protect your privacy.

Reliable VPN providers do not keep any records. Keeping records for 24 hours continues to keep records. Log files have a way of accidentally walking.

Many VPN providers are also located outside the US UU. To ensure greater protection of the privacy of its users than that offered by US law. UU.

Firefox is a company based in the USA. UU. , which may have something to do with the fact that, at least for now, the new add-on and private network service is only available to US users. UU. ®

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