Feeds

Firefox.de in adware rumpus

Verboten

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Top three mobile application threats

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

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
Record labels sue Pandora over vintage song royalties
Companies want payout on recordings made before 1972
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Number crunching suggests Yahoo! US is worth less than nothing
China and Japan holdings worth more than entire company
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Apple DOMINATES the Valley, rakes in more profit than Google, HP, Intel, Cisco COMBINED
Cook & Co. also pay more taxes than those four worthies PLUS eBay and Oracle
prev story

Whitepapers

SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.