There's a new "experimental feature" being tested in Firefox 83: sponsored sites in the URL bar.
"Mozilla works with advertising partners to place sponsored tiles on the Firefox home page (or New Tab) that would be useful to Firefox users. Mozilla is paid when users click on sponsored tiles."
You can disable this by setting `browser.newtabpage.activity-stream.showSponsoredTopSites` to `false`.
"When you click on a sponsored tile, Firefox sends anonymized technical data to our partner (https://www.admarketplace.com) through a Mozilla-owned proxy service (https://github.com/mozilla-services/topsites-proxy). This data does not include any personally identifying information and is only shared when you click on a Sponsored Top Site."
@andreas I don't get this. Isn't what ad tech companies want and promise to provide "personalised" data and ads? Why would they want anonymised data? What do they make of "someone somewhere clicked a link"? Don't they want to know your PII specifically?
They are also obscuring what data is shared, intentionally or not. There's no info in that repo regarding what they share but https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/sponsor-privacy links to it suggesting that's where that info is found. But apparently it just relays data.
@andreas I don't see anything about the ULR bar; did I just miss it?
"Mozilla works with advertising partners to place sponsored tiles on the Firefox home page (or New Tab) that would be useful to Firefox users. Mozilla is paid when users click on sponsored tiles. "
It says ads on the new tab page, which I'm pretty sure they already have?
@ari yeah, confusingly the URL bar was only called out in that Reddit thread but not in the support page.
@boud I believe the “showSponsoredTopSites” is a new rule in 83 in addition to the older “showSponsored” rule.
@andreas You might have misunderstood the post but it was about the start page not the URL bar. Those are dramatically different things. I was pretty freaked out until I read the article.
@mnw yeah, confusingly the support page doesn’t mention the URL bar but the Reddit author shows sponsored sites do appear there 🤔
@andreas Welp, I think each day I'm getting more convinced to either move to Brave or to ungoogled chromium (which is most likely)
@andreas Why not?If that makes Mozilla a bit more independent from Googles millions for default search,I think this is a good thing.
@andreas not that I don’t believe this, but I am dumbfounded. If this is true, then Firefox is already dead, and we are just waiting for its corpse to cool completely.
Personal instance of nitrohorse (nitrohorse.com).