(Apologies to governance@; this isn't the right place for this, but
unfortunately going off-list and replying to just rstrong feels wrong
too. Setting f-up to privacy@ since that looks safely dead, but
mail/new shenanigans might prevent proper functioning there.)
Please remember that you still send cookies; here's what I got out of
Firefox debugging itself as I went to Help -> About:
So it's got Google Analytics and Optimizely; both are for tracking.
1) New download of latest release, 35.0
2) Start with firefox -profile (empty directory) -offline
3) Turn on browser + remote debugging; open the browser toolbox in
4) Click on Try Again in the first run page to go online and trigger things
5) Help -> About Firefox.
I have not checked the addon update ping; that presumably has similar
behaviour. Being privacy-oriented there would likely involve fetching
updates for each addon separately over a period of time to avoid the
ability to track people by the combination of addons they have installed.
Quick scan of things with timestamps in prefs: app update; addon update;
telemetry; FHR; sync; openh264 / gmp; safebrowsing; phishing. Not sure
if things like social that I've disabled involve pings.
When trading between user privacy and designing a better web site, user
privacy lost. (It should be obvious, but: I believe the right choice
here would be a request with no identifying information beyond the build
of Firefox in use, the OS it's running on, and the source IP address so
it can send the response.)