Mitchell Baker is disappointed. Mozilla's president, who develops the Firefox browser, regrets the evolution of the Internet into an "addictive economy," but does not despair of finding alternatives, even for all present Google.
The foundation largely depends on Google's revenue, the dominant search engine, a relationship that "bothered" Mitchell Baker, as he admitted AFP in an interview at the Web Summit that ends this Thursday in Lisbon
Like all browsers, Firefox receives part of the revenue generated by ads appearing on search results pages, regardless of the engine.
In 2005, the first "paid" search in Firefox, this was not a problem. "Google then generated so much enthusiasm, advertising was infinite," recalls the president.
"They are very much aligned with the network we thought we'd build, but that's less true now," he says. "So we are carefully studying the possibilities of diversification in terms of revenue sources."
Google and large groups are not the only ones responsible for the development of the Internet. Human behaviors also play a role.
Advertising-based models, which have enabled the financing of "free" web sites and services, would not reach such a size without the fascination of some users for some content, especially violent or brave, and share the likelihood of them
"Practice + See Here +, Keep A Click, Share Information Quickly + And All Without Thinking … This is something that looks like addiction," analyzes Mitchell Baker.
– Communicate, Discover –
The president of the Foundation is still delighted with the promises that the network has met as a huge facility now available for communicating, discovering, learning, and collaborating with each other.
But the woman shares the observation of several other experts in the network: deep changes have been imposed on her.
"The problem is that addiction is profitable, whether it is drugs, sugar, or technology," he says. How then to build an alternative for everyone, and not just for those who can pay for advertising without advertising?
Firefox, which in October launched a 5% stake in the world's browser market, versus more than 60% for Google Chrome (according to Statcounter's Analysis of Services), has developed several features that allegedly allow users to prevent their data being collected without distinction.
Since October, the browser offers 277 million users with the ability to block "cookies" that follow the user's trail to send certain ads.
"We are not against advertising," says AFP Katharina Borchert, director of innovation at Mozilla. "We want to find a better balance between user experience, control of their data, security and opportunities" in the store.
– "Planed" –
"Crawling protection is already the first step, advertising is not removed, but data is sucked without the knowledge of Internet users," he adds.
"The current system only serves some brokers and very large companies," claims Katharina Borchert. "And it does not work for paying advertisers, most of whom do not reach anyone," he says.
As far as the search engine is concerned, Mozilla has not yet found a way to abandon the Google dive.
"We did experience, but the users were confused by the operation that broke their habits," says Mitchell Baker. "We're programmed for a specific search type," he explains.