Each Firefox download has a unique identifier

silversurfer

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Internet users who download the Firefox web browser from the official Mozilla website get a unique identifier attached to the installer that is submitted to Mozilla on install and first run.

firefox installer hash
The identifier, called dltoken by Mozilla internally, is used to link downloads to installations and first runs of the Firefox browser. The identifier is unique to each Firefox installer, which means that it is submitted to Mozilla whenever it is used.

While it is possible to download new installers each time a new Firefox version is released, it is also possible to use the downloaded installer again for that purpose.

A bug report on Mozilla's official bug tracking website confirms the use of the download token. The linked document is not public, but the listing itself confirms the use and provides an explanation on why it has been implemented:
This data will allow us to correlate telemetry IDs with download tokens and Google Analytics IDs. This will allow us to track which installs result from which downloads to determine the answers to questions like, "Why do we see so many installs per day, but not that many downloads per day?"

According to Mozilla's description, the identifier is used to analyze downloading and installation trends among other things.

The feature is powered by Telemetry in Firefox and it applies to all Firefox channels.
 

n8chavez

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Any sort of analytics is bad, especially if google is involved. And that's the path Mozilla seems to be going down, because google is their primary source of income. Now analytics equates to a lessening of privacy, which is exactly what Mozilla used to be against.
 

plat1098

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Analytics aren’t inherently evil and can be quite useful for developers. Everyone thinks these massive corporations have an interest in their personal comings and goings. Big data is useful on the macro level, not the micro level.
I'm speculating, but it's not so much the data gathering but that it's done surreptitiously and without user consent. I don't think anyone be-grudges Mozilla from making a buck or two but venturing into "consorting with the enemy" (Google) territory and well, I don't need to go on.
 

blackice

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Any sort of analytics is bad, especially if google is involved. And that's the path Mozilla seems to be going down, because google is their primary source of income. Now analytics equates to a lessening of privacy, which is exactly what Mozilla used to be against.
Although I agree lines have been crossed by advertising consortiums, most of this is privacy panic. Knowing how people use your website for the purpose of improving the experience is hardly a privacy violation. So, I would disagree with the notion that all analytics are bad. The internet is a public place, and wasn’t developed to be private.
 

n8chavez

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Although I agree lines have been crossed by advertising consortiums, most of this is privacy panic. Knowing how people use your website for the purpose of improving the experience is hardly a privacy violation. So, I would disagree with the notion that all analytics are bad. The internet is a public place, and wasn’t developed to be private.

If we wait until after Google has gained control to panic it'll be too late. There is nothing wrong with saying the path Mozilla is on is bad. Mozilla has deviated from it's initial purpose. That is wrong. Privacy and security has to matter somewhere.
 

blackice

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If we wait until after Google has gained control to panic it'll be too late. There is nothing wrong with saying the path Mozilla is on is bad. Mozilla has deviated from it's initial purpose. That is wrong.
If google decides to be malicious with data it’s already too late to panic. It is not in their best interest monetarily.
 

blackice

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They already are. We are google's product.
That’s not malicious, that’s capitalism and another conversation entirely outside of the scope of this forum in terms of good/bad and morality, which I don’t disagree with.
 
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