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Looking Glass extension

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Gopher John

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Post Posted December 14th, 2017, 4:12 pm

Today, on checking for updates for my existing extensions in Firefox 57.0.2, there was an update for UBlock Origin. After the update, there was also a new extension called Looking Glass which I hadn't installed. Is anyone else seeing this? What is it's purpose?

It only shows up after restarting Firefox.
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Frank Lion

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Post Posted December 14th, 2017, 4:36 pm

Gopher John wrote:Today, on checking for updates for my existing extensions in Firefox 57.0.2, there was an update for UBlock Origin. After the update, there was also a new extension called Looking Glass which I hadn't installed. Is anyone else seeing this? What is it's purpose?

Yep, it's a Mozilla spyware thing.

Apparently you brought it on yourself by not turning off their 'Allow Firefox to install and run studies' in Options/Preferences, which by their logic means they are free to study you and your habits - purely to improve user experience, of course.

If I were you, I'd turn that off.

There's also a bunch of telemetry and experiments entries in about:config which would ruin their day if you toggled them to 'False'.
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Gopher John

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Post Posted December 14th, 2017, 4:47 pm

Thanks, Frank. I have now turned off the "install and run studies" It is also possible to uninstall this extension the normal way, thru the Add-ons interface.
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Gingerbread Man

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Post Posted December 14th, 2017, 5:08 pm

Apparently the purpose of the add-on is to find certain keywords on web pages and report back to partner sites. Looks like after all this time, they'll get "User Personalization" started:
https://blog.mozilla.org/labs/2013/07/a-user-personalization-proposal-for-firefox/

James
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Post Posted December 14th, 2017, 6:15 pm

https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/lookingglass is related to https://wiki.mozilla.org/Firefox/Shield/Shield_Studies

about:studies

from https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/lookingglass/discuss/7367#post-16027
Hi all,

There's going to be a public announcement soon about Mr. Robot - Firefox (Looking Glass) collaboration. I'll link to it once it's out.

Now that the show has aired, we can make this article searchable. It was only accessible via a link from a page made especially for the show.

Gopher John

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Post Posted December 14th, 2017, 7:33 pm

Interesting, turning off'Allow Firefox to install and run studies' in Options/Preferences either uninstalls Looking Glass automatically or at least makes it invisible. On the 2 profiles that had it installed, when I went to uninstall, it was no longer there.
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Frank Lion

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Post Posted December 14th, 2017, 7:51 pm

Gopher John wrote:Interesting, turning off'Allow Firefox to install and run studies' in Options/Preferences either uninstalls Looking Glass automatically or at least makes it invisible. On the 2 profiles that had it installed, when I went to uninstall, it was no longer there.

Yep, I haven't tested this idea, but that's why I didn't bother suggesting uninstalling that extension. Just because I know how Mozilla think.

All the time they could argue, legally or otherwise, that you had given permission for that extension to mine data, then it would keep coming back. So, somewhere there had, however unobvious the connection, to be a permissions box and that 'Allow Firefox....' box was it.

Other people can probably give you the full, studied, detailed, overview of all this, but I only glanced at it for a minute, caught the general drift, sorted it and moved on.
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Gingerbread Man

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Post Posted December 15th, 2017, 12:59 am

Gopher John wrote:Interesting, turning off'Allow Firefox to install and run studies' in Options/Preferences either uninstalls Looking Glass automatically or at least makes it invisible.

Enter about:support into the location bar. Hidden add-ons should show in the Features category.

Gopher John

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Post Posted December 15th, 2017, 7:44 am

Gingerbread Man wrote:
Gopher John wrote:Interesting, turning off'Allow Firefox to install and run studies' in Options/Preferences either uninstalls Looking Glass automatically or at least makes it invisible.

Enter about:support into the location bar. Hidden add-ons should show in the Features category.


Fortunately, Looking Glass doesn't show up in the Features category (or elsewhere) in the Support page. I guess that I am clear of this extension.
The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them. - Albert Einstein

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Post Posted December 15th, 2017, 8:24 am

I'm guessing they yanked it. It's not there in Fx59 now though it was there yesterday. I didn't take any steps to remove it or to untick the studies thing in the privacy section of about:preferences.

L.A.R. Grizzly

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Post Posted December 15th, 2017, 1:59 pm

Frank Lion wrote:There's also a bunch of telemetry and experiments entries in about:config which would ruin their day if you toggled them to 'False'.


Code: Select all
/* Disable Telemetry */

user_pref("datareporting.healthreport.service.enabled", false);
user_pref("datareporting.policy.dataSubmissionEnabled", false);
user_pref("datareporting.policy.dataSubmissionEnabled.v2", false);
user_pref("toolkit.telemetry.archive.enabled", false);
user_pref("toolkit.telemetry.enabled", false);
user_pref("toolkit.telemetry.unified", false);
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Gingerbread Man

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Post Posted December 15th, 2017, 10:44 pm

In bug 1424977, developers are discussing if the add-on is a prank. Bug 1423003 introduced this, and it's not publicly viewable, a restriction usually reserved for reports describing security vulnerabilities. Not very trustworthy behavior from an open source company that prides itself on transparency and privacy advocacy.

To add more fuel to the backlash, the marketing department released this statement to Gizmodo:
Firefox worked with the Mr. Robot team to create a custom experience that would surprise and delight fans of the show and our users. It’s especially important to call out that this collaboration does not compromise our principles or values regarding privacy. The experience does not collect or share any data,” Jascha Kaykas-Wolff, chief marketing officer of Mozilla, said in a statement to Gizmodo. “The experience was kept under wraps to be introduced at the conclusion of the season of Mr. Robot. We gave Mr. Robot fans a unique mystery to solve to deepen their connection and engagement with the show and is only available in Firefox.

flaneurb
 
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Post Posted December 15th, 2017, 10:54 pm

Looks as if like Darren Tiles Herman has rejoined Mozilla ;)

Frank Lion

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Post Posted December 16th, 2017, 2:37 am

Firefox worked with the Mr. Robot team to create a custom experience that would surprise and delight fans of the show and our users...

If like me, and the 6.7 billion other people of the world, you had do idea wtf 'Mr Robot' was supposed to be, it turns out to be an American TV series with fast dropping ratings - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mr._Robot#Ratings

What's next? Teal'c from the hit series Stargate SG1 running across my New Tab page, shouting 'Jaffa Kree!' out of the screen and vanishing into the night?


would surprise and delight fans of the show...

All 0.53 million of them.
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"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil, is for good men to do nothing." - Edmund Burke (attrib.)

costark
 
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Post Posted December 16th, 2017, 4:09 am

Martin Brinkman / ghacks.net covers this in latest post / How to Delete, etc. .........

https://www.ghacks.net/2017/12/16/firef ... hat-it-is/
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