Closed Bug 1240245 Opened 4 years ago Closed 4 years ago

Disable data collection for new-tab page

Categories

(Firefox :: New Tab Page, defect)

defect
Not set

Tracking

()

RESOLVED FIXED
Firefox 46
Tracking Status
firefox46 --- fixed

People

(Reporter: Dolske, Assigned: oyiptong)

References

Details

Attachments

(1 file)

In order to improve the Firefox onboarding experience, we'd like to remove the new-tab "tour" and associated privacy notice, since they interrupt the user's initial experience with Firefox. Looks like this data is currently not critical, and so the simplest route will be to just turn it off.
This would simply involve turning off the 'pings' to our servers in reportSitesAction, effectively making that function a noop.

https://dxr.mozilla.org/mozilla-central/source/browser/modules/DirectoryLinksProvider.jsm#531

The fetch should be kept so that we keep showing directory/default tiles.
The data from the newtab page is used to measure quality and engagement of the Directory Tiles product (the set of Mozilla related tiles shown to new/fresh profiles).

Without this data, the engagement team will not be able to properly optimize this experience.  I worry about the impact to the end user and about losing our ability to properly measure engagement.
Flags: needinfo?(jcollings)
(In reply to Tim Spurway [:tspurway] from comment #2)
> The data from the newtab page is used to measure quality and engagement of
> the Directory Tiles product (the set of Mozilla related tiles shown to
> new/fresh profiles).
> 
> Without this data, the engagement team will not be able to properly optimize
> this experience.  I worry about the impact to the end user and about losing
> our ability to properly measure engagement.

Is it possible to count how often the pages are visited since presumably they would be hosted by Mozilla anyways? The links sent down from the directory/default tiles could be non-advertised links that users would only naturally get if they clicked on them from the new-tab page. These would not be unique per user but unique to the new-tab page origin so we could still track engagement.
(In reply to Jared Wein [:jaws] (please needinfo? me) from comment #3)
> Is it possible to count how often the pages are visited since presumably
> they would be hosted by Mozilla anyways? 

You can definitely count clicks that way, but you can't count impressions.  You need both in order to measure and optimize engagement and performance correctly.  Most performance measures are ratios involving an impression count as denominator.
Hi all,
I manage the Directory Tiles on the +tab page and impressions and clicks data are needed in order for me to better understand what the users engage with. Without this data, I am going in blind and would not be able to make quick and effective marketing decisions. 

I spoke with Nick C. about this and he mentioned a possible short term solution of being able to gather impressions the way we do with snippets on about:home (I can get clicks through GA). However, this would be a manual process to gather data and I prefer the original way of retrieving data. Worth exploring for the interim?
Flags: needinfo?(jcollings)
The other issue with 'turning off data collection' is that FX does an HTTP GET on the Tiles service (Onyx) once per day in order to fetch Directory Tiles.  This is also considered data collection as the user's IP address, UA string, Locale, etc. is transmitted to Mozilla servers.

I don't think we can turn off data collection without disabling Directory Tiles entirely.
(In reply to Tim Spurway [:tspurway] from comment #6)
> The other issue with 'turning off data collection' is that FX does an HTTP
> GET on the Tiles service (Onyx) once per day in order to fetch Directory
> Tiles.  This is also considered data collection as the user's IP address, UA
> string, Locale, etc. is transmitted to Mozilla servers.

Those are all transmitted via update requests, so I doubt that has any additional privacy implications, whereas the rest of the data collection might do.
Assignee: nobody → oyiptong
Comment on attachment 8709989 [details]
MozReview Request: Bug 1240245 - Disable data collection for new-tab page r?jaws

https://reviewboard.mozilla.org/r/31631/#review28345

Why is this only disabling it for release builds? I don't see any mention of release vs pre-release in the bug.
This patch is following my question on bug 1234272, comment 28.
It is just as easy to remove the data collection completely.
I take that back. Removing the ping from the code introduces a more invasive change, though delete-only
Comment on attachment 8709989 [details]
MozReview Request: Bug 1240245 - Disable data collection for new-tab page r?jaws

Review request updated; see interdiff: https://reviewboard.mozilla.org/r/31631/diff/1-2/
Attachment #8709989 - Attachment description: MozReview Request: Bug 1240245 - Disable data collection for new-tab page in release builds r?jaws → MozReview Request: Bug 1240245 - Disable data collection for new-tab page r?jaws
Attachment #8709989 - Flags: review?(jaws)
Comment on attachment 8709989 [details]
MozReview Request: Bug 1240245 - Disable data collection for new-tab page r?jaws

Review request updated; see interdiff: https://reviewboard.mozilla.org/r/31631/diff/2-3/
Comment on attachment 8709989 [details]
MozReview Request: Bug 1240245 - Disable data collection for new-tab page r?jaws

https://reviewboard.mozilla.org/r/31631/#review28413

::: browser/modules/DirectoryLinksProvider.jsm:521
(Diff revision 3)
>    /**
>     * Report some action on a newtab page (view, click)
>     * @param sites Array of sites shown on newtab page
>     * @param action String of the behavior to report
>     * @param triggeringSiteIndex optional Int index of the site triggering action
>     * @return download promise
>     */
>    reportSitesAction: function DirectoryLinksProvider_reportSitesAction(sites, action, triggeringSiteIndex) {



::: browser/modules/DirectoryLinksProvider.jsm:566
(Diff revision 3)
> -    // Only send pings when enhancing tiles with an endpoint and valid action
> +    // Bug 1240245 - We no longer send pings, but frequency capping and fetching
> +    // tests depend on the following actions, so references to PING remain.
>      let invalidAction = PING_ACTIONS.indexOf(action) == -1;

Please file a follow up bug to remove frequency capping.
Attachment #8709989 - Flags: review?(jaws) → review+
Blocks: 1241390
Yay, thanks for the quick fix here!
https://hg.mozilla.org/mozilla-central/rev/1fc5f691e482
Status: NEW → RESOLVED
Closed: 4 years ago
Resolution: --- → FIXED
Target Milestone: --- → Firefox 46
[bugday-20160323]

Status: RESOLVED,FIXED -> UNVERIFIED

Comments:
STR: Not clear.
Developer specific testing

Component: 
Name			Firefox
Version			46.0b9
Build ID		20160322075646
Update Channel          beta
User Agent		Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; WOW64; rv:46.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/46.0
OS			Windows 7 SP1 x86_64

Expected Results: 
Developer specific testing

Actual Results: 
As expected
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