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When will Support and Documentation for Sync stop DECIEVING by Omission and HURTING USERS BY UNANNOUNCED DATA DELETION?

  • 2 replies
  • 1 has this problem
  • Last reply by cor-el

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If a browser user goes looking for a browser that has cross-device sync options, they can find multiple Mozilla pages mentioning Firefox Sync. Mozilla has their own cheerleaders promoting this. When you install Firefox, it gives you a page that enthusiastically encourages users to use multiple features. As one looks into the Sync feature, one is given childlike descriptions that omit a critical fact EVERY Sync user should be warned about IMMEDIATELY before they consider using it: SYNCed tabs will EXPIRE in one week. That's it. Nowhere in all of the encouragement or top-level descriptions will a user see this. In fact, I don't know WHERE a user could even find this information except through a chance encounter with user comments in support forums, where I eventually found out.


The descriptions found on are considered by users to be authoritative. Users will invest in these pages a reasonable degree of trust, as Mozilla is supposed to exist for the benefit of the user base, not some selfish staff or support members trying to hide weaknesses and flaws. Some users have even given their own hard-earned money to Mozilla, so they expect at least of modicum of human decency when it comes to Mozilla not deceiving them through lies or blatant omission of facts. The latter, in fact, is a big (and hidden) problem for users trying Sync who don't expect expiration to occur.

Shame on you. Period. I am surely not the first person to point this out. Some people at Mozilla are clearly more interesting in defending their reputations or their feature's popularity than protecting the users they are supposed to be supporting.

When will Firefox users be given up front warnings about forced tab deletion, especially in the main forms of communication, like single-sentence or paragraph-length descriptions of Sync that are peppered all about the Mozilla website? If Mozilla describes Sync as anything other than a data expiration tool, they should still mention in the same breath that it IS a data expiration tool!

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Thanks for bringing this to everyone's attention.

Although I do use Firefox Sync, I don't use it to sync tabs, so I'm not comfortable enough with the topic to confirm that this is the way that the service was designed to function. I have opened a bug report (see bug 1646795) so that one of the people on there can shine some light on the situation.

If that is indeed the way that Firefox Sync is supposed to work, then I will look into adding more information about this to the Firefox Sync documentation.


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The lifetime for tabs has recently been extended from 21 days in Firefox 54 (before 54 it was 7 days) and later to 366 days in Firefox 76 and later, so it is no longer that short.

  • TABS_TTL = 31622400; // 366 days (1 leap year) [76]
  • TAB_ENTRIES_LIMIT = 5; // How many URLs to include in tab history.

(please do not comment in bug reports

Modified by cor-el


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