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Mozilla shares Firefox user data for research and public use

Its new report includes information on active use, add-ons and tracker blocking.
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In 2016, Mozilla launched its Hardware Report, which shares information about what type of hardware Firefox clients are using, and now the company is introducing its Public Data Report. Based on non-sensitive data collected from Firefox desktop browsers' Telemetry system, the new report shows info on how folks around the world are using Firefox and the internet. "Similar to the hardware report for developers, we hope the report can be a resource for journalists, researchers and the public for understanding not only the state of desktop browsing but also how data is used at Mozilla," the company said in a blog post. "We try to be open by design and users should know how data is collected, what data is collected and how that data is used."

The report breaks down 10 different metrics by either worldwide data or stats from the top 10 countries. You can see information on the number of yearly and monthly active Firefox desktop users, average daily use, how many users are running the latest version of the browser, top language settings, how many people are using Tracking Protection and the top add-ons. Mozilla notes that it uses this sort of data to track crash rates, answer specific product questions and measure the impact of its experiments. And for those interested in web usage trends, they can observe interesting tidbits like internet usage goes down in China during the Spring Festival and at upwards of six hours per day, the US averages the most browser use per person.

"Firefox is an open source project and we think the data generated should be useful to the public as well," Mozilla said. "Code contributors should be able to see how many users their work impacted last month (256 million), researchers should be able to know how browser usage is changing in developing nations and the general public should be able to see how we use data. After all, it's your data."

Currently the report only includes data on desktop browser use but it notes that mobile data is coming soon.

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