Counting number of users while preserving privacy

Axel Grude axel.grude at
Fri Jan 18 10:05:29 UTC 2019

Garrafrauns, 18/Jan/2019 10:05

I think it would be helpful to transmit the enabled / disable status in the daily 
update ping of Add-ons. A simple filter to remove "disabled" Add-ons on the Statistic 
would me a god send for developers.


*Axel Grude <mailto:axel.grude at>*
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Thunderbird Add-ons Developer (QuickFolders 
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> *Subject:*Counting number of users while preserving privacy
> *From:*Eric Moore <emoore at>
> *To:*Tb-planning <tb-planning at>
> *Sent: *Wednesday, 1/16/2019, 05:31 05:31 GMT ST +0000 [Week 3]
> (some useful 
> background/history of the proposal)
> (the current proposal)
> Fedora appears to have spent a lot of thought about a new way to count the number of 
> their installations that does a much better job of preserving privacy, and makes it 
> hard for the data it returns to be misused. It would avoid using a unique id or the 
> ip address. It includes a VARIANT_ID (an example would be "Workstation Edition"). In 
> our case the "count me" variable might have a very low cap such as 6 (implying 6 
> weeks or older) to minimize the risk of uniqueness.
> Could something similar be done in Thunderbird when it requests data from one of the 
> Thunderbird servers?
> We don't appear to have reliable data on the number of Thunderbird users, did they 
> explicitly install any add-ons (boolean, ignore whats bundled with Thunderbird), and 
> what version they are using. Something modeled on Fedora's approach might be a 
> useful way to get that while avoiding most users (such as myself) instinctive 
> wariness of telemetry such as the toolkit telemetry. If we do this I suggest the 
> community manager explain beforehand (preferably before the first beta that supports 
> it) how it works, how it deals with privacy issues and how to opt-out, in a post on 
> Planet Thunderbird.
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> tb-planning mailing list
> tb-planning at
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