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"The Big Lie" & I Don't Mean Politics

  • 3 replies
  • 1 has this problem
  • Last reply by TyDraniu

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Mozilla has no true feedback page any more, so I chose to post here. I kept the "Allow Firefox to install and run studies" box unchecked since I began to use the Firefox browser (years ago). While I was researching a different issue, I found other users' posts about app.normandy. They all said that it allowed Mozilla to do what Mozilla promised not to do: run studies in violation of users' preference to opt out. Based on what I learned from those posts, I found where app.normandy was in my computer's about:config and toggled it to false. I want to thank those other users for their posts. Mozilla's explanation, also according to those posts, is that "Normandy is a collection of servers, workflows, and Firefox components that enables Mozilla to remote control Firefox clients in the wild based on precise criteria." Aside from whether or not Mozilla should be remote-controlling clients in this way, does it really consider all the diverse places in the world where its users live to be "in the wild?"

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Normandy distributes both studies and hotfixes. If you disabled studies, you shouldn't have received any studies. Did you find studies listed on the about:studies page?

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I can't see what I can't see. A post about printing problems, which writers attributed to app.normandy and not just to an issue with an update, led me to find app.normandy in about:config. (I had the same printing problem and was able to reverse the update change.) Some app.normandy preferences in about.config refer to shield studies. It looks as though even if the study participation preference is unchecked on the user's preferences page, Firefox could still run shield studies unless the about:config shield studies opt-out preference is also set to true. I think, based on the other writers' posts, that the shield studies might not appear on users' about:studies pages. If the purpose of app.normandy is to quickly send hotfixes, why didn't Mozilla name it something that users could understand, such as "app.hotfixes?" And what does Mozilla mean by referring to all the diverse places where Firefox users live and work as "in the wild?"

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1&Done said

I think, based on the other writers' posts, that the shield studies might not appear on users' about:studies pages.

All studies (experiments) appear on about:studies. If Allow Firefox to install and run studies is turned off, you don't receive any studies.