Feeds

Firefox.de in adware rumpus

Verboten

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

An "adware function" in the German version of Firefox has been dropped following user protests. Fans of the open source browser cried foul after they realised its eBay search function went through an affiliated site www.webtip.ch, run by Swiss firm Metaspinner, instead of calling up eBay Germany directly.

Firefox markets itself as free of adware or spyware but it agreed to an experiment that arguably undermines this stance. In a statement, Mozilla said the redirect was used only to collect anonymised statistics. It has dropped the feature and issued an update so that existing German installations of Mozilla Firefox will be referred via the search function on mozilla.europe.org directly to eBay.de.

The adware redirection was confined to the German version of Firefox. But it provoked debate about the meaning of the issue for the entire Firefox community. Mozilla's German statement indicated it is unlikely to repeat the experiment / money-making trial elsewhere, but a clearer statement of policy would still be appreciated. At time of writing, Mozilla had not responded to our requests for comment.

The strong feelings aroused show that open source fans hold Mozilla to higher standards than they would expect from other browser suppliers. Internet Explorer's tendency to "phone home" on the slightest pretext is well documented. And that's to say nothing of the security risks...

Separately, a OneStat.com survey out yesterday estimates that Mozilla now commands 7.35 per cent share of the browser market, up from 2.1 per cent at the end of May. Mozilla Firefox was used by around one in 20 surfers (4.58 per cent). The rise in Mozilla browsers has taken a bite out of Microsoft's market dominance, but Internet Explorer still rules the roost with a global usage share of 88.90 per cent. Opera's global usage share is 1.33 per cent and Safari has 0.91 per cent. ®

Related stories

Firefox 1.0 limbers up for launch
Mozilla updates browsers after bug hunt
IE accounts for 95% of browsers survey
CERT recommends anything but IE
US moves towards anti-spyware law

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
DOUBLE BONK: Testy fanbois catch Apple Pay picking pockets
Users wail as tapcash transactions are duplicated
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
In the next four weeks, 100 people will decide the future of the web
While America tucks into Thanksgiving turkey, the world will be taking over the net
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.