Home ยป Firefox Embraces New Protocol for Data Usage Statistics: A Holistic Approach to Retrospectively Unearthing Origins

Firefox Embraces New Protocol for Data Usage Statistics: A Holistic Approach to Retrospectively Unearthing Origins

ISRG, the provider of Let’s Encrypt, has announced its implementation of the Distributed Aggregation Protocol (DAP) in collaboration with Mozilla. This protocol has been in development for over a year and aims to collect statistical usage data from the Firefox web browser. DAP builds upon Prio, which Firefox has been utilizing since 2018. A key approach of DAP is reporting data through intermediaries that only have access to a limited portion of the information. Client-side reporting allows for data to be distributed to multiple servers for reporting, ensuring that the final statistics presented to readers provide an overview rather than granular insights.

It is important to note that DAP is solely a protocol. However, ISRG has also introduced Divvi Up, a service that caters to projects requiring statistical data. While currently only available for Let’s Encrypt usage, other projects can express their interest in utilizing the service.

The statistics observed by Firefox today offer a general overview without specific details, such as the webpages being accessed. As a result, there are instances where certain websites may experience slow performance on Firefox, but the development team cannot pinpoint which specific websites are causing the slowdown. Mozilla emphasizes that DAP will enable the Firefox team to gain more extensive data, while still ensuring the privacy of individual users’ information.

In addition to DAP, Firefox also employs Oblivious HTTP, a privacy-centered service developed in collaboration with Cloudflare, to anonymize the IP addresses of data senders.

TLDR: ISRG and Mozilla have partnered to utilize the Distributed Aggregation Protocol (DAP) for collecting statistical usage data from Firefox. DAP enables client-side reporting and provides an overview of data, ensuring privacy. ISRG has launched Divvi Up for statistical data storage, currently available for Let’s Encrypt usage. Firefox also employs Oblivious HTTP, developed with Cloudflare, to protect user anonymity.

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