Mozilla’s new service tries to wipe your data off the web

Mozilla’s new service tries to wipe your data off the web
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Mozilla is introducing a new paid subscription privacy monitoring service called Mozilla Monitor Plus. For $8.99 a month under its annual subscription, Mozilla says it will automatically keep a lookout for your information at over 190 sites where brokers sell information they’ve gathered from online sources like social media sites, apps, and browser trackers, and when your info is found, it will automatically try to get it removed.

Mozilla Monitor product manager Tony Cinotto told The Verge in an email that Mozilla partners with a company called Onerep to perform these scans and subsequent takedown requests. While requests usually take between seven and 14 days to process, he says sometimes information can’t be removed. Mozilla will keep trying, he added, but will also give Plus members instructions for attempting removal themselves.

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Basic Monitor members will get a free scan and one-time removal sweep, plus continual monthly data broker scans afterward, Mozilla says. The paid subscription builds on the free dark web monitoring of Mozilla Monitor (previously Firefox Monitor), a service Mozilla debuted in 2018. Mozilla has offered other privacy-focused services in the last few years, such as Mozilla VPN and Firefox Relay.

Mozilla says its data broker scans can find details online like your name and current and previous home addresses but adds that it could go as deep as criminal history, hobbies, or your kids school district.

Services like this are fairly common, but they’re not all that well known to most people, and searching for them is as likely to turn up sketchy scam sites as it is legitimate service providers like, for instance, DeleteMe. That makes it difficult to suss out trustworthy companies, which is really where Mozilla’s reputation as a privacy-first subsidiary of the open-source nonprofit Mozilla Foundation could help.

Mozilla Monitor Plus is available now for $8.99 per month, while standard Mozilla Monitor remains free.

Correction February 6th, 2024, 10:05AM ET: Corrected the name of Firefox Monitor in one instance.

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