In association with heise online

03 June 2010, 17:43

Comment: Mozilla does it their way

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Thank you Mozilla!

In recent years we have become used to selling our soul for access to useful online services, usually in the form of intimate data. For example, Google's Chrome browser offers me the ability to synchronise my bookmarks across multiple computers, but the price I have to pay is that I share my surfing habits with a company that earns its money analysing such data.

The new Firefox Sync synchronisation platform from the Mozilla team however, will ensure that the server operators have no access to my data. The bookmarks, form data and other information that is stored is encrypted with a pass phrase, so all that the Mozilla servers see is encrypted gibberish. Because this pass phrase – which is different from my user name and password for my Mozilla account – stays on my local computer, Mozilla has no way to get at the plain text data.

Mozilla has shown that there is an alternative way to the Google way and we have a choice. It's up to us as users to show that this kind of privacy matters and that we appreciate the choice. So, again, thank you Mozilla. Hopefully in the future there will be more online services that work with a Mozilla-style privacy respecting interface instead of a Google-style information hoarding interface.

Bye, ju

Juergen Schmidt
Editor in Chief - heise Security


Dj Walker-Morgan
Editor in Chief - The H


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