Mozilla Proposes Guideline Principles for Test Pilot
Article by George Norman
On 16 Jul 2009
Earlier this year we were announcing that if you want to help the Mozilla Foundation in its effort to make Firefox, Thunderbird and even SeaMonkey better, then you could do so via the Test Pilot program. Mozilla has now come out to provide an update on how the project is fairing – which is to say it announced the guidline principles it came up with for Test Pilot

“We are excited to give an update on the progress that we’ve made on the guiding principles for the Test Pilot program. Since we announced the concept of Test Pilot, we’ve had hundreds of discussions and a great deal of feedback from a wide range of contributors. While the core concept continues to guide the project, we are setting out a proposed set of guiding principles for wider review and feedback,” explained Jinghua Zhang, on behalf of the Test Pilot team.


In case you do not know what Test Pilot is all about, here is a brief description: you will be able to download a Test Pilot Firefox add-on; via this add-on the Mozilla team will ask you some questions about its products. You will only be asked something when it is absolutely necessary; all answers will be collected anonymously. The collected data will be published under open-content licenses.

Getting back to the issue at hand, here are the guiding principles proposed by the Test Pilot team:
- Test Pilot will not run as part of Firefox; instead the team will run Test Pilot as a standalone opt-in program.
- Unless the user gives explicit permission, the Test Pilot team will not collect any info about that user.
- For privacy reasons, anonymous and sanitized information will not be stored or transmitted.
- Test data will be made “knowable, manageable and safe for individuals.”

“As an organization dedicated to the public good, Mozilla treats user privacy and security with the utmost importance. We are now working with engineers and legal experts to figure out best practices to protect individual users’ privacy during testing. If you’re an engineer or legal expert interested in this project, we’d love to hear from you. We are also starting to plan the first couple of studies, in collaboration with Mozilla’s user experience community,” added Jinghua Zhang.

Tags: Mozilla, Test Pilot, Guiding principles
About the author: George Norman
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