Who is sitting in the Glass House? Its You!

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Online privacy is not an easy concept to explain to the majority of Internet users due to its abstract often near-invisible nature.

While it is clear to anyone that leaving window blinds up may provide third-parties with a view of what is going on in the room, explaining that the same thing may happen online as well is complicated due to the abstract nature of it.

Browsers provide data that may help users find out about tracking and privacy in general, but the information are not revealed directly in the UI most of the time but only when special features, for instance a browser’s Developer Mode, are used to find out more about connections or cookies set by a site.

Mozilla’s Glass House experiment in Hamburg, Germany was an attempt to link privacy online with those at home.

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The organization invited unsuspecting travelers from around the world to spend a night in a specially prepared apartment. Once the couples settled in and used the publicly displayed WiFi password to  connect their devices to the Internet, all walls of the apartment were removed.

mozilla glass house

People walking by would see exactly what was going on inside, and the travelers realized suddenly that their “private” apartment was not private at all.

The idea was to raise awareness about online privacy, or a lack thereof, and to educate the general public.

The video below shows what happened (Mozilla notes that it brought in some actors “for dramatic effect”, but that the reactions were genuine).

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The travelers were interviewed afterwards and the second video highlights some of their answers to questions Mozilla asked.

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It should come at no surprise that Mozilla wants you to use Firefox to protect your online privacy. Firefox is without the shadow of a doubt the browser that gives users the most control over privacy and security related settings and options.

Mozilla introduced Tracking Protection to the browser’s private browsing mode recently which blocks trackers and other invasive connections while in private browsing mode.

Now You: What’s your opinion on the experiment?


Article Name

Who is sitting in the Glass House? Its You!


Martin Brinkmann


Mozilla conducted an experiment recently in which it tried to link privacy online with those at home to raise awareness for online privacy.

About Martin Brinkmann

Martin Brinkmann is a journalist from Germany who founded Ghacks Technology News Back in 2005. He is passionate about all things tech and knows the Internet and computers like the back of his hand. You can follow Martin on Facebook, Twitter or Google+

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