A few months ago Mozilla released Firefox 4, which featured an important “Do Not Track” function which informs websites and advertisers whether you wish to have your activity monitored and collected for behavioral targeting purposes. The problem, however, was that Firefox essentially buried the option, forcing users to stumble upon it on the “Advanced” tab of their preference, rather than the more logical “Privacy” tab.
I had spoken with a high level Mozilla rep (will remain nameless since I didn’t receive confirmation that I could publish the conversation in full) after the release of version 4 about this important design flaw, and the person told me they were up against hard deadlines to get the feature included in version 4, and didn’t have time to tweak the preferences GUI. The representative agreed this was “less than ideal” and promised that the entire privacy panel would be “revamped” in future releases.
Today, Mozilla has released version 5 of its popular browser, and they have kept their promise. In this new version, the option to turn on “Do Not Track” is rightfully located at the very top of the “Privacy” tab in the preferences panel:
(Another notable enhancement is that the Do Not Track feature now works across platforms.)
I’m glad to see that Mozilla is paying attention and (finally) recognizing that these design decisions matter.