Today, I’m in Paris. I’m working with the Mozilla Europe team to prepare for the imminent launch of Firefox 4 and Firefox Mobile. And this prompts me to write here on the subject of privacy – a hot topic and one on which your organisation can lead, to your customers’ advantage and yours.
Mozilla is a global, non-profit organisation dedicated to making the Web better. It emphasises principle over profit, and believes that the Web is a shared public resource to be cared for, not a commodity to be sold.
This means that whilst Internet Explorer must justify its existence to Microsoft, Safari to Apple, and Chrome to Google, Firefox is only answerable to you. Many consider Mozilla to be the sole reason we’ve all moved on from the terrible browsing experience Internet Explorer 6 gave over 90% of Web users back in 2003. And now Firefox is the most popular browser in Europe.
Back to privacy. Do you know what information your browser is reporting about your browsing habits? Do you know that some high profile websites add as many as 100 tracking devices to your computer?
Now, lest you think this is some kind of hippy essay, I’m a capitalist. I believe the for-profit motive is the best mechanism we’ve found to date to improve life. But we’ve also seen in recent times that some free markets require a bit of intervention now and then; a spot of regulation. Indeed, a recent Business Week article identified how free-marketers are as fond of regulation as they are more widely reported to dislike it. Read more