Firefox Data Collection Practices - How to Collect Data
benjamin at smedbergs.us
Wed Jun 10 20:55:06 UTC 2015
I'd like to point Firefox and platform developers at this doc:
Several times recently I've discovered that developers are unsure what
the rules are for collecting data. Last year, I worked with Marshall
Erwin to clarify decision-making about data collection and we came up
with these guidelines and policies.
The scope of my role as Firefox data steward includes understanding and
reviewing the data the Firefox client sends back to Mozilla. This
includes things like AUS pings, add blocklist pings, Firefox features
that are delivered as a service (Hello, Accounts, Sync), as well as the
actual data-collection features including telemetry, FHR,
crash-reporting, heartbeat, etc. As necessary I will work with Marshall
and Geoff from the legal team if there are legal concerns about any
data, and to keep the Firefox privacy notice up to date.
One of our biggest goals when doing data collection review is to ensure
that the data collection is properly documented. For telemetry probes
this may be self-documenting within Histograms.json itself, but for many
other pieces of data, we will ask you to update the in-tree .rst docs to
describe the data that is being collected. I have been listing out our
existing data collection mechanism, many of which are not
well-documented currently. You may see an email from me in the next few
months asking for better docs for the existing data collection mechanisms.
The data steward and data collection review replaces the older "privacy
review" mechanism. Our goal is to review the data we collect not just
privacy concerns, but to make sure that the data will be able to answer
the questions you want to ask and that there is somebody responsible for
monitoring the data after it has been collected.
I would like to review all changes to data collection, including new
telemetry probes, crash-stats annotations, etc. Vladan Djeric and Ally
Naaktgeboren are my peers to help expedite data collection reviews: feel
free to request review from any of us. Please let me know if you ever
feel stuck or blocked on data review: my goal is to get simple requests
approved very quickly, and make sure more complex requests don't ever
get stuck or have a clear owner.
My role as Firefox data steward does not extend to Firefox OS: the data
steward for Firefox OS is Jonas Sicking. Also, my role does not extend
to the servers which store data after it has been collected: the Firefox
cloud services data steward is Travis Blow.
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