November 23, 2004

German Firefox Privacy Issues

I was reading on CNET about how Firefox's German-language version was causing a bit of a privacy ruckus thanks to eBay searches being passed through a Swiss data provider. While the Mozilla Foundation claims innocense, in the same article they talk about trying to set up revenue sharing deals for their integrated search.

The fact of the matter is that the moment money enters any equation, innocense is lost. You wanted to measure how your plugin was utilized so you could use those figures to negotiate profit-sharing deals? That's fine. Now explain to me why when you do it, it's an honest mistake, but when Microsoft does it, it's necessary to have congressional hearings on browser privacy.

Being a nonprofit entity that releases software does not make you inherently better than a for-profit entity that releases software. If you want to be better than Microsoft, prove it through your actions rather than through your rhetoric.

No comments: