Mozilla buys an ad metrics company

It’s all about ‘privacy-centric advertising’

Essentially, Moz has bought an outfit, founded in 2022 by former Meta executives, that among other things helps advertisers and ad networks measure how well online adverts are performing and that they are being seen by the right audiences, in a way that ideally preserves people’s privacy.

Article: Mozilla buys Anonym, betting privacy is compatible with ads • The Register


Mozilla blog: Mozilla Welcomes Anonym: Privacy Preserving Digital Advertising

Laura Chambers:

By combining Mozilla’s scale and trusted reputation…
(…both plummeting by the minute…)

…with Anonym’s cutting-edge technology…
(…an apt metaphor…)

…we can enhance user privacy…
(Say what?!)

…and advertising effectiveness…
(I wouldn’t count on that.)

…leveling the playing field for all stakeholders.
(…except us users.)



I don’t really know if Mozilla does good things. They make Firefox, which apparently keeps an always-open connection to a Mozilla-funded Google cloud node as mentioned in other threads, and is supposedly funded mostly by Google donating money to control the default browser to link back to themselves. They also host the AWS service that Librem 5’s report your location history to, sometimes, maybe, decided based on some software decision that most users probably aren’t tracking or seeing.

But the internet is broken, and Firefox is the sponsored opposition to Chromium in order to pretend that Google doesn’t have dominion over how most people access the internet, apparently. So, I mean, I guess a sponsored opposition might be better than no opposition at all…


We all want and need them to survive, sure. I could maybe tolerate an ad model that doesn’t involve analytics and tracking of personal browsing, however “anonymized” that might be. (I would still block ads and trackers on my devices, however.)

Hopefully there will continue to be forks of Firefox that are more private, and that can negate all that crap.


Competition is good enough.

I have no toleration for legally “ethical” advertisements. That would only open up arguments for whitelisting them to financially support certified/compliant/GDPR ${BUSINESSES}.


The only other thread that I could find about “open connection to a Mozilla-funded Google cloud node” was your thread.

I personally didn’t observe such a behavior either in my DNS firewall logs or on a local app firewall.

I can guess the behavior you’re seeing could be due to one of the following settings in Firefox:

  • “Block dangerous and deceptive content” checkbox in “Settings/Privacy/Security” which may utilize Google services as outlined here
  • various checkboxes in “Settings/Privacy/Firefox Data Collection and Use” which in one way or another may utilize Google services.

In the end it’s simply a matter of unmarking those checkboxes which I do every time for a new install.


You can learn about how to stop Firefox from making connections using this resource from Mozilla:

Mozilla often appends Urchin Tracking Module parameters at the end of their URLs, so if you want to remove them, along with other URL parameters, here is a guide I wrote for doing so with uBlock Origin:

about:preferences does not contain every modifiable configuration value. Nearly all of them are visible in about:config, with some described in about:policies, which are specific to Firefox ESR. You can save yourself the trouble of manually configuring any of these every new install by using a user.js and policies.json (Firefox ESR only) instead, with the former within your Firefox profile’s root directory (Firefox ESR on PureOS: /home/purism/.mozilla/firefox/${PROFILE}.default-esr), and the latter within Firefox’s installation directory (PureOS: /usr/lib/firefox-esr/distribution), which will act as persistent configuration files. If you want multiple Firefox profiles for various use cases, you can access about:profiles to manage them.


Sounds as fishy as Google’s privacy-washing crap…
Furthermore, “privacy-centric advertising” is an oxymoron.


Your firefox does not interact with and keep an always-open connection even when idle with no page open? In about:config what value do you have in dom.push.serverURL ?


No, I think I would prefer if Mozilla failed and died. Then they would no longer be fulfilling their purpose, which is to protect Google from antitrust suits. I would prefer that Google did not have that protection.

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I wonder where Mozilla will place on their own Annual Consumer Creep-O-Meter this year.


Mozilla has not reviewed any of their own products or services for *Privacy Not Included, likely due to conflict of interest.

There is no need to give their reviews any credibility even if they do end up reviewing themselves, as multiple Firefox forks exist that are more focused on freedom/security/privacy/anonymity:



Actually it does! I was looking at google-related stuff but skipped mozilla entirely. Anyhow, Franky posted a fine link that explains it all.

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Here is another perspective from AdGuard’s blog:

Relevant quote:


Firefox 128 was just released, and it has a new “privacy” setting, conveniently opted in for you by default:

Firefox-ESR will be updated in the near future, too.

Not as well as we can.


Could you provide the “Learn more” link without the Urchin Tracking Module URL parameters?

Here ya go: Privacy-Preserving Attribution | Firefox Help


Damn! They did it. Wrong way! Giving up on ethics. They are lost!

Let’s hope it doesn’t trickle down to Tor browser…


I’m sure they will remove it.


I read the entire page, and this quote stuck out the most:

That last sentence makes it clear whom Mozilla truly caters to with this PPA implementation.


And these quotes:

Attribution is how advertisers learn whether their advertising works. Attribution measures how many people saw an ad on a website and then later visited the advertiser’s website to do something the advertiser cared about. For example, maybe someone sees an ad for a sale on a product, then buys that product. Attribution counts how many people do that.

The thing is, ads largely don’t exist on my devices. So there’s nothing for advertisers to learn from my browsers.

Websites that show you ads can ask Firefox to remember these ads. When this happens, Firefox stores an “impression” which contains a little bit of information about the ad, including a destination website.

Firefox creates a report based on what the website asks, but does not give the result to the website.

Your results are combined with many similar reports by the aggregation service. The destination website periodically receives a summary of the reports.

I have to ask myself:

  1. How is this different from Google’s so-called Privacy Sandbox?
  2. Is this just Google’s Privacy Sandbox in disguise?