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Mozilla Raises Concerns Over Facebook’s Lack of Transparency

do, 31/01/2019 - 09:00

Today Denelle Dixon, Mozilla’s Chief Operating Officer, sent a letter to the European Commission surfacing concerns about the lack of publicly available data for political advertising on the Facebook platform.

It has come to our attention that Facebook has prevented third parties from conducting analysis of the ads on their platform. This impacts our ability to deliver transparency to EU citizens ahead of the EU elections. It also prevents any developer, researcher, or organization to develop tools, critical insights, and research designed to educate and empower users to understand and therefore resist targeted disinformation campaigns.

Mozilla strongly believes that transparency cannot just be on the terms with which the world’s largest, most powerful tech companies are most comfortable. To have true transparency in this space, the Ad Archive API needs to be publicly available to everyone. This is all the more critical now that third party transparency tools have been blocked. We appreciate the work that Facebook has already done to counter the spread of disinformation, and we hope that it will fulfill its promises made under the Commission’s Code of Practice and deliver transparency to EU citizens ahead of the EU Parliamentary elections.

Mozilla’s letter to European Commission on Facebook Transparency 31 01 19

The post Mozilla Raises Concerns Over Facebook’s Lack of Transparency appeared first on The Mozilla Blog.

Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

Today’s Firefox Gives Users More Control over their Privacy

di, 29/01/2019 - 15:00

Privacy. While it’s the buzzword for 2019, it has always been a core part of the Mozilla mission, and continues to be a driving force in how we create features for Firefox right from the start. For example, last year at this time we had just announced Firefox Quantum with Opt-in Tracking Protection.

We’ve always made privacy for our users a priority and we saw the appetite for more privacy-focused features that protect our users’ data and put them in control. So, we knew it was a no-brainer for us to meet this need. It’s one of the reasons we broadened our approach to anti-tracking.

One of the features we outlined in our approach to anti-tracking was Enhanced Tracking Protection, otherwise known as “removing cross-site tracking”. We initially announced in October that we would roll out Enhanced Tracking Protection off-by-default. This was just one of the many steps we took to help prepare users when we turn this on by default this year. We continue to experiment and share our journey to ensure we balance these new preferences with the experiences our users want and expect. Before we roll this feature out by default, we plan to run a few more experiments and users can expect to hear more from us about it.

As a result of some of our previous testing, we’re happy to announce a new set of redesigned controls for the Content Blocking section in today’s Firefox release where users can choose their desired level of privacy protection. Here’s a video that shows you how it works:

Firefox Enhanced Tracking Protection lets you see and control how websites track you on the web

Your Choice in How to Control your Privacy

When it comes to user privacy, choice and control are first and foremost. To see the new redesigned Content Blocking section, you can view it in two ways. Click on the small “i” icon in the address bar and under Content Blocking, click on the gear on the right side. The other way is to go to your Preferences. Click on Privacy & Security on the left hand side. From there, users will see Content Blocking listed at the top. There will be three distinct choices. They include:

  • Standard: For anyone who wants to “set it and forget it,” this is currently the default where we block known trackers in Private Browsing Mode. In the future, this setting will also block Third Party tracking cookies.

Block known trackers in Private Browsing Mode

  • Strict: For people who want a bit more protection and don’t mind if some sites break. This setting blocks known trackers by Firefox in all windows.

Block known trackers by Firefox in all windows

  • Custom: For those who want complete control to pick and choose what trackers and cookies they want to block. We talk more about tracking cookies here and about cross-site tracking on our Firefox Frontier blog post.
    • Trackers: You can choose to block in Private Windows or All Windows. You can also change your block list from two Disconnect lists: basic (recommended) or strict (blocks all known trackers).
    • Cookies:  You have the following four choices to block – Third-party trackers; Cookies from unvisited websites; All third-party cookies (may cause websites to break); and All cookies (will cause websites to break).

Pick and choose what trackers and cookies you want to block

Additional features in today’s Firefox release include:
  • AV1 Support – For Windows users, Firefox now supports the royalty-free video compression technology, AV1. Mozilla has contributed to this new open standard which keep high-quality video affordable for everyone. It can open up business opportunities, and remove barriers to entry for entrepreneurs, artists, and regular people.
  • Updated Performance Management – For anyone who likes to look under the hood and find out why a specific web page is taking too long to load, you can check our revamped Task Manager page when you type about:performance in the address bar. It reports memory usage for tabs and add-ons. From there you can see what (tab, ads in tabs, extension, etc) could be the possible cause, and find a solution either by refreshing/closing the tab, blocking tab, or uninstall the extension.

For the complete list of what’s new or what we’ve changed, you can check out today’s release notes.

Check out and download the latest version of Firefox Quantum, available here.

The post Today’s Firefox Gives Users More Control over their Privacy appeared first on The Mozilla Blog.

Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

Mozilla Fosters the Next Generation of Women in Emerging Technologies

vr, 25/01/2019 - 17:39

At Mozilla, we want to empower people to create technology that reflects the diversity of the world we live in. Today we’re excited to announce the release of the Inclusive Development Space toolkit. This is a way for anyone around the world to set up their own pop-up studio to support diverse creators.

The XR Studio was a first-of-its-kind pop-up at Mozilla’s San Francisco office in the Summer of 2018. It provided a deeply needed space for women and gender non-binary people to collaborate, learn and create projects using virtual reality, augmented reality, and artificial intelligence..

The XR Studio program was founded to offer a jump-start for women creators, providing access to mentors, equipment, ideas, and a community with others like them. Including a wide range of ages, technical abilities, and backgrounds was essential to the program experience.

Inclusive spaces are needed in the tech industry. In technology maker-spaces, eighty percent of makers are men. As technologies like VR and AI become more widespread, it’s crucial that a variety of viewpoints are represented to eliminate biases from lack of diversity.

The XR Studio cohort had round-the-clock access to high quality VR, AR, and mixed reality hardware, as well as mentorship from experts in the field. The group came together weekly to share experiences and connect with leading industry experts like Unity’s Timoni West, Fast.ai’s Rachel Thomas, and VR pioneer Brenda Laurel.

We received more than 100 applications in little over two weeks and accepted 32 participants. Many who applied cited a chance to experiment with futuristic tools as the most important reason for applying to the program, with career development a close second.

“I couldn’t imagine XR Studio being with any other organization. Don’t know if it would have had as much success if it wasn’t with Mozilla. That really accentuated the program.” – Tyler Musgrave, recently named Futurist in residence at ARVR Women.

Projects spanned from efforts to improve bias awareness in education, self defense training, criminal justice system education, identifying police surveillance and more. Participants felt the safe and supportive environment gave them a unique advantage in technology creation. “With Mozilla’s XR Studio, I am surrounded by women just as passionate and supportive about creating XR products as I am,” said Neilda Pacquing, Founder and CEO MindGlow, Inc., a company that focuses on safety training using immersive experiences. “There’s no other place like it and I feel I’ve gone further in creating my products than I would have without it.”

So what’s next?

The Mozilla XR Studio program offered an opportunity to learn and build confidence, overcome imposter syndrome, and make amazing projects. We learned lessons about architecting an inclusive space that we plan to use to create future Mozilla spaces that will support underrepresented groups in creating with emerging technologies.

Mozilla is also sponsoring the women in VR brunch at the Sundance Film Festival this Sunday. It will be a great opportunity to learn, collaborate, and fellowship with women from around the world. If you will be in the area, please reach out and say hello.

Want to create your own inclusive development space in your community, city or company? Check out our toolkit.

The post Mozilla Fosters the Next Generation of Women in Emerging Technologies appeared first on The Mozilla Blog.

Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

The Coral Project is Moving to Vox Media

di, 22/01/2019 - 15:27

Since 2015, the Mozilla Foundation has incubated The Coral Project to support journalism and improve online dialog around the world through privacy-centered, open source software. Originally founded as a two-year collaboration between Mozilla, The New York Times and the Washington Post, it became entirely a Mozilla project in 2017.

Over the past 3.5 years, The Coral Project has developed two software tools, a series of guides and best practices, and grown a community of journalism technologists around the world advancing privacy and better online conversation.

Coral’s first tool, Ask, has been used by journalists in several countries, including the Spotlight team at the Boston Globe, whose series on racism used Ask on seven different occasions, and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Local Reporting.

The Coral Project’s main tool, the Talk platform, now powers the comments for nearly 50 newsrooms in 11 countries, including The Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, The Intercept, and the Globe and Mail. The Coral Project has also collaborated with academics and technologists, running events and working with researchers to reduce online harassment and raise the quality of conversation on the decentralized web.

After 3.5 years at Mozilla, the time is right for Coral software to move further into the journalism space, and grow with the support of an organization grounded in that industry. And so, in January, the entire Coral Project team will join Vox Media, a leading media company with deep ties in online community engagement.

Under Vox Media’s stewardship, The Coral Project will receive the backing of a large company with an unrivaled collection of journalists as well as experience in the area of Software as a Service. This combination will help specifically to grow the adoption of Coral’s commenting platform Talk, while continuing as an open source project that respects user privacy.

The Coral Project has built a community of journalists and technologists who care deeply about improving the quality of online conversation. Mozilla will continue to support and highlight the work of this community as champions of a healthy, humane internet that is accessible to all.

We are excited for the new phase of The Coral Project at Vox Media, and hope you will join us in celebrating its success so far, and in supporting our shared vision for a better internet.

The post The Coral Project is Moving to Vox Media appeared first on The Mozilla Blog.

Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

Welcome Roxi Wen, our incoming Chief Financial Officer

di, 22/01/2019 - 09:00

I am excited to announce that Roxi Wen is joining Mozilla Corporation as our Chief Financial Officer (CFO) next month.

As a wholly-owned subsidiary of the non-profit Mozilla Foundation, the Mozilla Corporation, with over 1,000 full-time employees worldwide, creates products, advances public policy and explores new technology that give people more control over their lives online, and shapes the future of the global internet platform for the public good.

As our CFO Roxi will become a key member of our senior executive team with responsibility for leading financial operations and strategy as we scale our mission impact with new and existing products, technology and business models to better serve our users and advance our agenda for a healthier internet.

“I’m thrilled to join Mozilla at such a pivotal moment for the technology sector,” said Roxi Wen. “With consumers demanding more and better from the companies that supply the technology they rely upon, Mozilla is well-positioned to become their go-to choice and I am eager to lend my financial know-how to this effort.”

Roxi comes to Mozilla from Elo Touch Solutions, where she was CFO for the private equity-backed (The Gores Group) $400 million global manufacturer of touch screen computing systems. She brings to Mozilla experience across varying sectors from technology to healthcare to banking having held senior-level positions at GE Energy, Medtronic and Royal Bank of Canada.

Roxi is a CFA charterholder, earned a Bachelor of Economics from Xiamen University, China, a MBA in Finance and Strategy from the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota. When she assumes her role in mid-February, Roxi will be based in our Mountain View, California headquarters.

Please join me in welcoming Roxi to Mozilla.

The post Welcome Roxi Wen, our incoming Chief Financial Officer appeared first on The Mozilla Blog.

Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet