Feeds

Firefox.de in adware rumpus

Verboten

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Reducing security risks from open source software

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

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple ran off to IBM
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Nadella: Apps must run on ALL WINDOWS – PCs, slabs and mobes
Phone egg, meet desktop chicken - your mother
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US
Land of the (get off scot) free, when it's a foreign owner
Samsung threatens to cut ties with supplier over child labour allegations
Vows to uphold 'zero tolerance' policy on underage workers
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.