TechRadar Pro: How and why did you create Firefox Developer Edition?
Johnathan Nightingale: Mozilla exists because we see the power of the web. We really believe in it. Our mission is to take care of the web and our users.
The web itself is open and interoperable and that is great, but it can be messy. There are numerous proprietary development platforms that often don't mesh with each other, meaning developers end up switching between different tools, platforms and browsers which can slow them down and make them less productive.
If they do end up using one over the other they can be left high and dry if an app store then tells them their app is not good enough to be submitted. Proprietary development platforms make it easy to build apps for certain stores and that is obviously attractive, but developers want to build beautiful things that everyone can use, on any platform.
Firefox Developer Edition is the first browser out there designed specifically for developers. It's a stable Firefox browser that consolidates all the developer tools you're used to and some new features that simplify the process of building for the web.
Firefox Developer Edition is for designers and developers who want to build compelling web content and apps. For developers creating web apps, there's no need to download additional plugins or applications to debug mobile devices.
TRP: Why is privacy important to you?
JN: Data flows are inscrutable. Some companies take advantage of the fact that you don't understand what's going on. You have a right to be able to change that, you should demand better of us and everyone else in terms of giving you the tools to better mediate and understand that.
This isn't the same as not looking under the bonnet of your car because you're not a car person and you don't want to know what's under the hood even though you have a car and that knowledge might help you.
You can't avoid caring about privacy. We try to help you be that person by giving you ways to see who knows what about you and how you are being tracked online. It is a difficult thing to get to grips with and it shouldn't be as hard as it is, but at the same time, you can't leave it up to your tech-savvy friends to advise you. It's your life and you should be the custodian of it online – just as much as you are in the physical world.
There are lots of interactions in your offline life where you are perfectly capable of giving consent despite the fact that there are complicated forces at work. When you walk down the cereal aisle, you are faced with marketing that is trying very hard to get your attention, but no-one disputes the fact that you get to choose what you're buying. When you're online, you don't get to choose who gets to see the last 10 things you buy. That's weird and broken and we should fix it.