Friday, October 8, 2021

Firefox Suggest and Contextual Suggestions

Mozilla (via Hacker News, 3, 4):

Firefox has always provided address bar suggestions, such as websites from your browsing history, bookmarks and open tabs (on by default), as well as suggestions from your default search engine. Beginning in Firefox version 92, you will also receive new, relevant suggestions from our trusted partners based on what you’re searching for. No new types of data are collected, stored, or shared to make these new recommendations.


To help you find information faster, Firefox Suggest uses a service provided by us to offer relevant suggestions for what you’re typing. When you opt-in to improve Contextual suggestions, Mozilla receives your search queries. When you see or click on a Firefox Suggest result, Mozilla collects and sends your search queries and the result you click on to our partners through a Mozilla-owned proxy service. The data we share with partners does not include personally identifying information and is only shared when you see or click on a suggestion.

However, it sounds like it does send your city location as you type (if you opt in).

Chris Hoffman:

Unfortunately, all major browsers now use a combined address and search bar. So, if you’re typing in the address of a sensitive website to go directly there, your keystrokes as you type will be sent to your default search engine and your search engine may be able to determine the website address you’re typing in manually.

Firefox Suggest is just more of that. In addition to sending your keystrokes to Google or whatever your default search engine is, Firefox will also send them to Mozilla. Both your search engine of choice and Mozilla will return suggestions.

Dave LeClair:

In a move that’s sure to make no one happy, Firefox is getting sponsored address bar suggestions.


Based on the image shared by Mozilla, the results don’t look overly intrusive, as they appear right alongside the other options, but it’s still annoying to see even more ads when browsing the web.

Thankfully, you can turn this feature off quickly enough.

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