Mozilla just ditched its privacy partner because its CEO is tied to data brokers


Mozilla is ending its partnership with Onerep after the company’s CEO admitted to having ties to a data broker, as first reported by Krebs on Security. “Though customer data was never at risk, the outside financial interests and activities of Onerep’s CEO do not align with our values,” writes Mozilla’s vice president of communications Brandon Borrman, in a statement provided to The Verge.

In February, Mozilla bundled Onerep’s data removal service into its new $8.99 per month Monitor Plus subscription. The service let users hunt down their personal information on the web and submit takedown requests across dozens of websites — all through Mozilla’s partnership with Onerep.

However, an in-depth report from Krebs on Security found that Onerep’s CEO Dimitri Shelest started “dozens” of people-search websites over the course of several years. Shelest later published a statement admitting that he still holds an ownership stake in Nuwber, which lets visitors search for people based on their name, phone number, address, or email. Shelest says there is “zero cross-over or information-sharing” between Nuwber and Onerep.

“I get it. My affiliation with a people search business may look odd from the outside,” Shelest’s statement reads. “In truth, if I hadn’t taken that initial path with a deep dive into how people search sites work, Onerep wouldn’t have the best tech and team in the space. Still, I now appreciate that we did not make this more clear in the past and I’m aiming to do better in the future.”

Following Shelest’s statement, Mozilla decided to end its short-lived partnership with Onerep. “We’re working now to solidify a transition plan that will provide customers with a seamless experience and will continue to put their interests first,” Borrman tells The Verge. Mozilla didn’t immediately say whether it will find another partner to replace Onerep, or if it will discontinue the service altogether.



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