Rick Findlay, writing for Reclaim the Net:
Mozilla has pushed a new release of its Firefox browser with one notable change; it will no longer have Yandex, the Russian search engine, and Mail.ru as options.
That’s fine. If Mozilla decides to remove these as options for search within Firefox, they have every right to do so. But it gets worse.
From the release notes:
If you previously installed a customized version of Firefox with Yandex or Mail.ru, offered through partner distribution channels, this release removes those customizations, including add-ons and default bookmarks. Where applicable, your browser will revert back to default settings, as offered by Mozilla.
Again, removing the built-in option from the browser is fine. Users could always add it as a custom search engine, if they so choose. But for people who are already using Yandex or Mail.ru as their search engine, have these add-ons installed, or have the bookmarks they’re referring to — it’s more than a little over the line for them to just remove them with an update.
A much more gracefully way to handle this would have been to display a modal to the affected users the first time they launch the browser after upgrading, asking if they’d like to change their search engine, remove the add-ons, and/or bookmarks. But the user should have the option to decline this change.
I don’t use Yandex or Mail.ru and don’t have any of the unnamed add-ons or bookmarks in my browser — I don’t even use Firefox anymore — but I find it incredibly distasteful that a browser maker would just change defaults on users like this without their consent.