The State of Mozilla 2017 report is out and contains information on areas where Mozilla has made an impact and its activities in 2017-18. We look at some of the important details from the report.
Towards building a healthier internet
In the last two years, there have been scandals and news around big tech companies relating to data misuse, privacy hindrances and more. Some of these include the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Google tracking, and many others. Public and political trust from large tech companies has eroded following the uncovering of how some of these companies operate and treat user data. The Mozilla report says that now the focus is on how to limit these tech platforms and encourage them to adopt data regulation protocols. Mozilla seeks to fill the void where there is a lack of people who can decide correctly towards building a better internet.
The State of Mozilla 2017 report reads: “When the United States Federal Communications Commission attacks net neutrality or the Indian government undermines privacy with Aadhaar, we see people around the world—including hundreds of thousands of members of the Mozilla community—stand up and say, Things should not work this way.”
The Mozilla Foundation and the Mozilla Corporation
Mozilla was founded in 1998 as an open source project back when open source was truly open source, free of things like the Commons Clause. Mozilla has two organizations. The Mozilla Foundation which supports emerging leaders and mobilizes citizens towards better health of the internet. Second, the Mozilla Corporation which is a wholly owned subsidiary of the former and creates Mozilla products and advances public policy.
The Mozilla Foundation
Mozilla invests in people and organizations with a common vision other than building products.
Another part of the State of Mozilla 2017 reads: “Our core program areas work together to bring the most effective ideas forward, quickly and where they have the most impact. As a result of our work, internet users see a change in the products they use and the policies that govern them.”
Every year Mozilla Foundation creates the open source Internet Health Report to shed light on what’s been happening on the internet, specifically on its wellbeing. Their research includes data from multiple sources on areas like privacy and security, open innovation, decentralization, web literacy, and digital inclusion. Per the health report, Mozilla spent close to a million in 2017 on their agenda-setting work. Mozilla has also mobilized conscious internet users with campaigns around net neutrality in the US, India’s Aadhaar biometric system, copyright reform in the EU, and more. Mozilla has also invested in connecting internet health leaders and worked on data and privacy issues across the globe. It also invested about $24M in 2017 in this work.
The Mozilla Corporation
Mozilla says that to take the charge in changing internet culture they need to do more than building products. Post Firefox Quantum’s success, their focus is to better enable people in taking control of their online life.
Another part of the State of Mozilla 2017 report highlights their vision stating that “Over the coming years, we will become the leading provider of user agency and online privacy by developing long-term trusted relationships with “conscious choosers” with a focus on helping people navigate their connected lives.”
Mozilla pulled its ads from Facebook after the Cambridge Analytica scandal
After learning about the Cambridge Analytica incident and guided by the Mozilla Manifesto, they decided to pull their ads from Facebook. Their Manifesto says “Individuals’ security and privacy on the Internet are fundamental and must not be treated as optional,”. After sending a message with this action, Mozilla also launched Facebook Container. It is a version of multi-account containers that prevent Facebook from tracking its users when they are not on the platform. They say that everyone has a right to keep their private information private and control their own web experiences.
You can view the full State of Mozilla 2017 report at the Mozilla website.