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Discussion on: Firefox sends data to Google by default. Here's how to prevent it

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turnerj profile image
James Turner

Ummm, it doesn't look like the safe browsing logic is done via sending URLs to Google as you visit websites. What it looks like instead is that Google is queried for a "threat list" every 30 minutes (based on the timestamps I'm seeing in my about:config) where this list is checked directly for corresponding URLs. Only when new URLs are reported by you could Google be aware what you visited.

It does mean that Google would know your IP address and maybe User-Agent (if Firefox sends it for such a background request) but shouldn't know any specific website you visit. So Google might be able to infer general information about your system (if the User-Agent is sent) and the fact that you use Firefox (I assume the API key that it is using is a single one tied to Mozilla) - this is far less than Google being told every website you visit from a privacy point-of-view.

If you are especially concerned with privacy, I'd suggest going as far to enable privacy.resistFingerprinting rather than disabling half the options you have.

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mvoloskov profile image
Miloslav Voloskov Author

Thanks! But I’m still concerned that Firefox visits a Google service every 30 minutes by default and it’s not an opt-in feature. I bet if it was opt-in, its adoption would be like 2%.