The latest Firefox Quantum version comes with lots of changes and improvements such as new Photon UI, redesigned new tab page and preferences page, etc. Apart from these changes, Firefox Quantum also comes with privacy changes and improvements. Mozilla has provided few options on Preferences page to select what kind of data do you want to share with Mozilla and want to send to Mozilla servers.
You usually can turn off all the given options but there is a small problem doing it – even after you disable these options, Firefox still collects and sends data to servers. In this tutorial, I’ll tell you how to completely disable telemetry and data collection in Mozilla Firefox Quantum version.
1. Open Mozilla Firefox and type about:config in the addressbar and press Enter. It’ll show you a warning message, click on “I accept the risk!” button.
2. Now type telemetry in Search filter box and look for following preferences in the result:
browser.newtabpage.activity-stream.feeds.telemetry browser.newtabpage.activity-stream.telemetry browser.ping-centre.telemetry toolkit.telemetry.archive.enabled toolkit.telemetry.bhrPing.enabled toolkit.telemetry.enabled toolkit.telemetry.firstShutdownPing.enabled toolkit.telemetry.hybridContent.enabled toolkit.telemetry.newProfilePing.enabled toolkit.telemetry.reportingpolicy.firstRun toolkit.telemetry.server toolkit.telemetry.shutdownPingSender.enabled toolkit.telemetry.unified toolkit.telemetry.updatePing.enabled
Double-click on each above mentioned preference except “toolkit.telemetry.server” and change their values to false. Alternatively, you can right-click on the preference and select Toggle option.
Some projects like the ghacks-user.ks project also removing the URL’s which is nothing but nonsense because once you disable the main function, the URL/Domain never gets any ping or call because – as said the main function was already disabled. There is no benefit touching each entry unless you really know what you’re doing.
3. Now double-click on toolkit.telemetry.server preference and empty its value i.e. remove everything from the value text box.
That’s it. Now you can browse your favorite websites in Firefox without telemetry!
Telemetry can be useful in case you want to contribute & support the project, it’s not as all over the place wrongly advertised to collect only your private data, moreover in most cases, like in the Mozilla case, it’s to help solving crashes, testing new functions and to provide information to Mozilla to improve their product.
Personally I see telemetry not as a bad thing, it can help, especially I as a developer know that it’s hard to explain the user what data they should provide to help solving the problem and no one likes to fill out endless papers manually, so this is why we got Telemetry. The problem is the data transparency here, telemetry must be explained in as much as possible details and there must be toggles given, which Mozilla provides since the day one. The only problem I currently have is that most products by default enabling the telemetry by default (so is Firefox) which I not like or understand because unless there is a crash or issue there is not much reason to submit anything unless you’re really a opt-in beta-tester.