In what turned out to be an unusual reason not to upgrade Firefox to the latest version, it is being reported that privacy was an issue. It seems that users had buried their bookmarks deep down into secret files in order to keep their secret lurking private. For those who had hidden their porn sites from view, the new ‘location bar’ exposed the users’ past history or bookmarks the user did not want displayed to others using the same computer.

To correct this problem the folks at Mozilla added this feature:

Ability to Control What Appears in the Location Bar Search Results (Proactive Privacy)

When we expanded the capabilities of the location bar to search against all history and bookmarks in Firefox 3, a lot of people contacted us to say that they had certain bookmarks they didn’t really want to have displayed. In some cases users had intentionally hidden these bookmarks in deep hierarchies of folders, somewhat similar to how one might hide a physical object. Having something from your previous browsing displayed to someone else who is using your computer (or even worse) to a large audience of people as you are giving a presentation, is really one of the most embarrassing things that Firefox can do to you. So now in Firefox 3.5, users have complete control over what types of information are displayed in the location bar (or suggestions can be turned off entirely):

So now you know a way to hide your secret stuff from being viewed by others who use your system.

Comments welcome.

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