Firefox/Shield/Shield Studies

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Overview

Shield Studies is a function of the Shield project that prompts a random population of users to help us try out new products, features, and ideas. This feedback helps Mozilla to make more informed product decisions based on actual user needs.

Shield Studies are available on all channels. Participation in an individual study is opt-in and any and all data being collected will be declared openly. After confirming willingness to participation, a self expiring add-on will be installed on the user's machine. At the end of the study period, the add-on will expire and return the user's system to the previous state. When the add-on expires, the user will be asked to fill out a survey based on their experience.

Shield Studies can be targeted at various populations by specifying conditions in a Shield recipe. Additional configurations and conditions can be set through the add-on for the individual study.

Shield Studies FAQ

How Do I Request/Make a Shield Study

Documentation on the entire process of building and launching a Shield Study (including a sample timeline)

Who Approves a Shield Study before it ships?

Shield Studies must be approved by

  • a Firefox Product Manager
  • Data Steward
  • Legal
  • QA
  • Release Management
  • AMO review
  • a member of the core Shield Team.

You can find detailed specifics in the link above. Most of these reviews are pro forma and straightforward.

What data do Shield Studies normally collect?

By default, Shield Studies will collect this data:

  • Firefox was used on a day
  • Usage hours
  • Study info: Study Name, Study Name
  • Answers provided in followup survey
  • User uninstalled / opted-out

Mechanism:

- at STARTUP, SHUTDOWN, INSTALL, UNINSTALL, - send a `shield-study` packet containing the Unified Telemetry Environment.


Additional measures may be added to individual studies pending approval from a data steward. All data collected will be disclosed prominently to the user at the time of consent.

Are Shield Studies just Add-ons?

Shield Studies are a special type of restartless extension. They can do anything a regular restartless extension can do.

Do Shield Studies need to be signed?

Yes! Shield Studies need to be signed to run in FF 42+, just like all other add-ons.

How long do Shield Studies last?

Shield Studies live for a fixed period and are uninstalled by the system at the end date or after the specified elapsed time. Usually that time is 7 days from the install date, but studies can last much longer if needed.

What are participation rates for Shield Studies?

Participation for Shield Studies is currently around 1-2% of randomly selected participants. We are working on improving the overall flow.

Where can I find the Pipeline for upcoming Shield Studies?

You can find the Shield Studies queue here.