Firefox 72 will let users delete data the browser collects about them
As we entered 2020, the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) came into force, giving residents of California GDPR-like rights and protection. One of the rights afforded to people by the new law is to request that companies delete their user-specific data.
To comply with CCPA, Mozilla has announced that Firefox 72 -- due for release next week -- will include a new option that enables users to request the deletion of desktop telemetry. Although CCPA is only applicable in California, the new setting will be made available to Firefox users around the world.
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Mozilla points out that Firefox "collects very little of your data", stressing that anything that is collected is used to improve security and performance, and does not reveal anything about internet usage. It is something that will be welcomed by privacy advocates around the globe, but from an administrative point of view it just makes sense for the same options to be made available to all users rather than just a subset of them.
In a blog post about the upcoming change, Mozilla's Alan Davidson says:
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.
The move is in line with the decision taken by Mozilla to extend GDPR rights to users globally rather than just in Europe.