Determine how to handle private browsing when the Windows 8 "family mode" is turned on

NEW
Unassigned

Status

()

Firefox
Private Browsing
6 years ago
4 years ago

People

(Reporter: Away for a while, Unassigned)

Tracking

({uiwanted})

Firefox Tracking Flags

(Not tracked)

Details

(URL)

(Reporter)

Description

6 years ago
Windows 8's family mode has a logging option which logs the websites that the user visits at the network stack level.  This basically circumvents our private browsing mode by capturing a full log of the user's activity at a system level that we probably cannot control.  This means that if we keep the private browsing UI enabled on Windows 8 when the family mode is turned on, we're presenting users with a false sense of privacy.

As far as I can see, we have three options to handle this:

1. Hide the PB UI completely.
2. Disable the PB UI (so that the menu item is there but disabled).
3. Keep the PB UI enabled, but when the user selects it, present them with some information telling them that we can't really protect their privacy.

Microsoft has requested that we take the first option.  I'm not sure I agree that's the best thing for our users, since that will leave them with a puzzle of why they can't use the private browsing mode on Windows 8.  I suggest instead that we should take option 3, and open about:privatebrowsing with a special message which tells the user that the private browsing mode is disabled because the Windows 8 family mode is turned on, and potentially link them to a support article which describes why we can't protect their privacy in more detail.

CCing the UX folks, the privacy folks, and Asa to see which one of these three options they think is the best.
I haven't tried yet, but are you sure that this is tracked automatically? Do they have some kind of TDI filter or something similar that gets these details?  Related: bug 756902
(Reporter)

Comment 2

6 years ago
(In reply to Brian R. Bondy [:bbondy] from comment #1)
> I haven't tried yet, but are you sure that this is tracked automatically? Do
> they have some kind of TDI filter or something similar that gets these
> details?  Related: bug 756902

Yes, this was reported to us by Microsoft, I believe.  They're apparently using a Windows Filtering Platform driver to do this.
Depends on: 769813
OS: Mac OS X → Windows 8
By the way, this is not on by default, but it can be turned on at any time.  It also gives you a checkbox when you create a new user to turn it on for that user.

Comment 4

6 years ago
BTW you can query if we're in "family mode" through nsIParentalControlsService.
Ok I thought this was new for Windows 8 but apparently we already have support as Jim mentioned. I did find this documentation about what's new in Windows 8 for family mode though:
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/desktop/jj155495%28v=vs.85%29.aspx

So I'm wondering since this was introduced in Vista, if we have any similar problems on Vista and Windwos 7.
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