Mozilla has published new research into how consumers across a number of countries and continents install and use web browsers. It shows the importance of browsers to consumers, with the vast majority of people surveyed using them each day.
It also shows that although many people report knowing how to install a browser in theory, lots of people never actually install an alternative browser in practice.
Crucially, people raise concerns about privacy and security, but they fail to act on these concerns.
This places the responsibility for consumers in the hands of software providers, and particularly the operating systems which gatekeep consumer access to products like browsers.
Unfortunately, operating systems are incentivized to preference their own browsers at the expense of consumer choice and independent alternatives.
Operating systems regularly design their systems to undermine rather than facilitate consumer choice.
They can make it difficult to change default settings or install new browsers, and deploy nudges and deceptive messaging to push consumers to their own products.
This means that consumers are not only deprived of choice, but they can also receive lower quality products and less innovation.
They might be forced to use products which are worse for privacy and security.
Removing choice and competition harms consumers and society and as a whole.
CyberBeat is a grassroots initiative from a team of producers and subject matter experts, driven out of frustration at the lack of media coverage, responding to an urgent need to provide a clear, concise, informative and educational approach to the growing fields of Cybersecurity and Digital Privacy.
If you have a story of interest, a comment, a concern or if you'd just like to say Hi, please contact us
We couldn't do this without the support of our sponsors and contributors.