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."

support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/s

You can disable this by setting `browser.newtabpage.activity-stream.showSponsoredTopSites` to `false`.

Found via old.reddit.com/r/firefox/comme

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"When you click on a sponsored tile, Firefox sends anonymized technical data to our partner (admarketplace.com) through a Mozilla-owned proxy service (github.com/mozilla-services/to). This data does not include any personally identifying information and is only shared when you click on a Sponsored Top Site."

@andreas wow, this is utter garbage. I don't understand why I'm shocked anymore but I am.

@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 support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/s links to it suggesting that's where that info is found. But apparently it just relays data.

@andreas surely there must be some way to monetize a browser without turning it into compete shit 🤦‍♂️
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