Since its creation in 2003, the Mozilla Foundation has been campaigning for data protection and privacy on the Internet. Find out everything you need to know about Mozilla and its fight for privacy.
You probably know Mozilla for its famous Firefox web browser. However.., Mozilla is also a non-profit foundation. which has been fighting for many years for a free and privacy-friendly internet. In this feature, learn how the Mozilla Foundation is fighting to protect your data…
Where does the name Mozilla come from?
The name Mozilla is actually an abbreviation of “Mosaic Killer.”. This is the nickname of the first web browser of Netscape Communication: Navigator. It is also the name of the open source public collaboration created specifically to develop Navigator.
In 1998, AOL acquires Netscape and will continue Mozilla’s browser support until 2008. Today, the Firefox browser and other Mozilla products and services are managed by the Mozilla Foundation.
History of the Mozilla Foundation
The Mozilla Foundation was created July 15, 2003 in Mountain View, California.The organization is a not-for-profit organization. It was partly funded by AOL (America Online) through a $2 million donation and transfers of intellectual property.
This foundation develops different Mozilla products such as Firefox, Thunderbird or Bugzilla. These products are all open access, and follow the principles of the Mozilla Manifesto written in 2007 by Mitchell Baker. The goal of the manifesto is to “preserve choice and innovation on the Internet.
Mozilla’s 10 Data Privacy Principles
Confidentiality is Mozilla’s hobbyhorse, and therefore his priority. In 2007, foundation president Mitchell Baker wrote and published the Mozilla Manifesto. The Manifesto sets out the principles on which the Mozilla Foundation and its community are based.
These principles govern the way it develops its products and servicesThe company manages user data, selects and interacts with its partners. The manifesto will be revised in 2016 with the addition of new principles.
The first principle defines the Internet as a key element of society. The second decrees that the Internet must remain an open public resource that is accessible worldwide, while the third believes that this resource must enrich the lives of everyone.
The fourth principle is that of basic security. As a fifth principle, Mozilla believes that everyone should be able to shape the Internet and how they use it.
Mozilla then calls for full interoperabilityand encourages the opening up of software to allow the Internet to remain a public resource. The foundation also wants full transparency.
The ninth principle is that of a balance between commercial benefits and the public interest. Finally, the last principle aims to extend and disseminate the benefits of the Internet for all.
Mozilla’s privacy products
Privacy is at the heart of all Mozilla’s different products. Thus, the Firefox browser is configured by default to block many data trackers. More than 2000 different trackers are automatically blocked. However, it is possible to configure this feature manually.
Another product developed by Mozilla is the Firefox Monitor. It allows you to check very quickly if your email address has been compromised during a leak. of known data. This way, you can quickly take steps to secure your data.
The third flagship product for privacy is the Lockwise Firefox password manager. It allows you to save usernames and passwords in encrypted form on all devices connected to a Mozilla account. You will be able to enter your login information automatically on the websites you visit, while ensuring their security.
A battle for the future of the internet
Since its inception, Mozilla has fought and campaigned for a free and confidential internet. In March 2018, for Mozilla’s 20th anniversaryCEO Mitchell Baker spoke on the official blog.
According to her, over the past decadeThe world has witnessed “the power of the Internet used to magnify division, incite violence, promote hatred and intentionally manipulate facts and reality”.
That’s why she added four new principles in the Mozilla Manifestoto call for equality and diversity on the Internet through an addendum entitled “Pledge for a Healthy Internet”.
It was also at this time, after the Cambridge Analytica scandal, that Mozilla launched a petition for default data protection on Facebook. This battle for the future is also being fought in courtwhere Mozilla is fighting for an accessible and fair internet. In particular, it faces Google, Facebook, Apple and the other GAFAMs.
In July 2018, the foundation will establish a partnership with Women Who Tech as part of the Women Startup Challenge Europe. President Mitchell Baker is a member of the jury and evaluates the startups according to their integration of the concepts of privacy, transparency and accountability.
The Observatory by Mozilla project
Through its Observatory by Mozilla projectMozilla, which has been freely available since 2016, aims to help developers, system administrators and security professionals securely configure and test their sites.
This project was born out of the realization that many security technologies available on the net were not being used. To exploit this tool, it is enough to enter a link to a site so that the Observatory analyzes it and gives it a score and suggests improvements.
How does Mozilla generate revenue?
With its Chrome browser, Google generates revenue from user data through ad targeting. Therefore, you may be wondering how Mozilla makes money without exploiting such data.
In 2018, Mozilla has nevertheless earned nearly $451 million. In reality, these massive revenues are generated at 95% by royalties linked to advertising revenues generated every time someone uses Firefox’s built-in search engine.
This is what keeps Mozilla profitable, even though its revenues are far from matching Google’s. In comparison, the California giant has earned $134.81 billion in 2019 thanks to advertising revenues. The rest of Mozilla’s revenues come from user donationsor new styles of sponsored tabs.
How Mozilla got emancipated from Google
From 2004 to 2014, Google was the default search engine on Firefox. This agreement has enabled Mozilla to generate 90% of its royalties, constituting the bulk of its revenues. However, this pact was not in line with the philosophy of the foundation.
She then decided to make several agreements with other search engines depending on the country: Yahoo! in the United States, Yandex in Russia, Baidu in China. However, Google will remain the default search engine for Firefox in Europe.
It is in 2016 that Mozilla signs agreement with search engine Qwant. The latter shares the same vision with regard to the protection of Internet users and respect for privacy.