Google, Facebook working to undermine Do Not Track privacy protections

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  • roboduderobodude Posts: 273member
    Google is getting blamed for their part in this, but what about the owners of the websites who are using analytics and Google ads? Even AI use it. Sites need to make money and seems that targeted ads have become the way for them to do this. And targeting is achieved through tracking and the like.



    I mean, short of every website requiring a paywall, or membership scheme, what can be done? If Google/whatever other ad company stops tracking people, my guess is the data becomes less useful, which may mean an increase in quantity of content but surely not the quality.
  • dick applebaumdick applebaum Posts: 11,161member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post


    There's an even simpler option (two actually):



    1. Never go to or user their site(s).



    2. Turn off cookies on your browser(s)...completely or just for Google and FB.



    No laws. No special tokens. Nothing. And...you can start right this minute!



    You can.track someone without using cookies.
  • steven n.steven n. Posts: 813member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post


    If you think for a second Microsoft won't do the same stuff you're nuts.



    But...if they don't and offer that as a differentiator...COOL!



    And DuckDuckGo.com is better than Google or Bing. With no tracking or bubbles.
  • mightymikemightymike Posts: 49member
    There's a simple solution to illegal tracking by companies. It's called JAIL !! You throw one of 'em in jail and problem solved until their memory runs out then you throw another one in jail. Pretty soon they'll get the message. Illegal tracking = JAIL.
  • ecsecs Posts: 307member
    I believe it's possible to fight against tracking through information to users, so that it becomes a widespread concience topic. Apple didn't reduce the working hours in China because they care about workers rights, but because it gives them good marketing image, given that it's a widespread wish to have fair working regulations.



    For example, if there was a web navigator with strong user quote, and such navigator had some kind of "ads ethical-meter" noticing you how ethical (tracking-wise) is being with you the website you're visiting, I'm sure companies will begin taking care of being ethical to users.



    If you visit Google, and your navigator displays a message like "this site isn't being ethical with your privacy" in the status bar, the problem would become widespread concience, and companies would take care of it.



    (EDIT: this would require implementing tracking-testing in the navigator, of course)
  • splash-reversesplash-reverse Posts: 646member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Corrections View Post


    Google operates an essential monopoly over how web sites are monetized. Nobody else can compete because Google sets prices and pays both advertisers and content creators very little, destroying any real market in order to maintain its lock on how web pages are monetized.



    It's very much like Microsoft's DOS and Windows in the 90s. No competition means high profits for one company than can virtually exist above the law, while users are given no rights because they aren't even participating in the market: they're being sold to advertisers and content creators are being paid (very little).



    Apple's model is to sell users devices, and then to sell them apps and content. Not give things away with the strings of adware/spyware.



    This also explains why so much of Google's user experience is terrible. Google isn't serving users. It's selling them. All this nonsense about openness and freedom is equivalent to claiming that communism is about worker's rights.



    In reality, all ideological systems that subvert choice and freedom to efficiently use people to sustain themselves are neither free nor open. They just paint themselves as such so they can control everything and erase any competitive threats that would unravel their core.



    The fact that Republicans are so dead set against the US Republic standing up for individual rights and freedom is also puzzling, but I guess the anti-science party will do anything that pays it enough money.



    Couldn't tell it better myself. Quoting the full text for late readers.
  • derekmorrderekmorr Posts: 208member
    Before AppleInsider runs another of these breathless Google-bashing "articles" from DED you might want to remove the Google Analytics cookies from your website.



    Just sayin'.
  • splash-reversesplash-reverse Posts: 646member
    I use Safari 5.1.5 with the 'Send Do Not Track HTTP Header' option ON along with:
    1. Ghostery Safari extension to block tracking cookies

    2. Visible alert bubble within Ghostery set to on to notify me who is setting up cookies and track my visits (I could enable some for example to get the site working e.g. on NFL.com website to enable the videos to load)

    3. AdBlock extension to block website 3rd party adverts

    4. ClickToFlash extension as a good measure


    I don't know if that covers everything but I don't see adverts or Tweeter or FaceBook logo/login anymore not even on this site let alone those annoying flash.
  • jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,927member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post


    You're wrong. I work for a company that does this kind of stuff. Browser security limits actually constrain us quite a bit. But it's just that most people don't really care. They value the wonderful and free services and content their getting more.



    The real fact is that the whiners here simply want to use the servers, bandwidth, content, software services, etc. that are provided for free and not have any tracking.



    Fine. Don't want to be tracked, don't use them.



    That's the problem, it's almost impossible to use the web without some flavor of advanced tracking being applied to the user. So really, you're telling people to get off the internet while pretending to be polite about it. And then sticking it to them by implying that their only possible motivation is that they're freeloaders.



    If you can't have your job datamining your users, maybe you need a different career. No other medium for advertising offered or needed datamining, and they've gotten along quite well.
  • mj1970mj1970 Posts: 9,002member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hill60 View Post


    For Google searches now I recommend this:-



    https://startpage.com/





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Steven N. View Post


    And DuckDuckGo.com is better than Google or Bing. With no tracking or bubbles.





    Thanks guys!



    Posters have provided at least 3 alternatives to Google in this thread not mention numerous tools and techniques for blocking cookies and other forms of tracking.
  • mj1970mj1970 Posts: 9,002member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post


    That's the problem, it's almost impossible to use the web without some flavor of advanced tracking being applied to the user. So really, you're telling people to get off the internet while pretending to be polite about it. And then sticking it to them by implying that their only possible motivation is that they're freeloaders.



    Actually, that is exactly what I'm saying. But evidently the benefits of using all of the free resources that are available are worth more than going to the work to block or avoid them. I think individuals should be free to use whatever means they wish to personally block cookies, etc. I also think that enough websites (like this one by the way) determine they can no longer monetize their traffic without the tracking (because everyone has chosen to do this blocking), they should be free to refuse service to anyone who has things like cookies blocked for them or switch to a paid subscription model.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post


    If you can't have your job datamining your users, maybe you need a different career.



    That's not my career.





    P.S. I just tried blocking on Google Chrome and Firefox. No cookies at all. Not from Google or anyone. Safari does appear to not respect the no cookies setting. So maybe Safari has a bug here.
  • anonymouseanonymouse Posts: 6,558member
    Quote:

    The Digital Advertising Alliance representing web advertisers said they were surprised by Leibowitz's position and the concept that "Do No Track" might actually mean that they can't continue to collect information on consumers that want to opt out of being tracked by ad networks and their web cookies.



    The advertising group insists that its understanding of "Do No Track" means that they can't continue to serve targeted ads at users who opt out, but they can still keep tracking those users' behaviors and collect data on them.



    It's a sad sign of how much corporate interests control the government that the Feds even waste their time with this "voluntary" shit. So, the tracking industry's "understanding" of "Do No Track" is that it means, "don't let the user know they are being tracked." If this doesn't tell everyone that nothing but necessarily draconian legislation to outlaw this wholesale cyberstalking will stop it and protect our privacy, I don't know what will. This isn't an issue of the right or the left, this is an issue for anyone who believes in freedom, and it is not hyperbole to state that Google and the rest of the cyberstalkers are the enemies of privacy and thus of freedom.



    Freedom and privacy go hand in hand, and without one, we do not have the other. The government Total Information Awareness program was shut down because it was rightly recognized the threat this loss of privacy posed to freedom. What Google and others are doing here is no different, but even more insidious because of the bias of many to only see threats to liberty when they come from the government. But corporations who abuse your privacy erode your freedom just as much as the same actions would if undertaken by the government and, in fact, these corporate databases represent simple, one stop shopping for the government when they want information on an individual or group, information that the government is forbidden by law to collect, but not forbidden to use when it's collected by others.



    Everyone, liberal or conservative, should let their elected representatives, including the White House, whether you voted for the current President or not, know that allowing this threat to privacy to persist and grow represents a threat to our freedom and our democracy, and that, we, as citizens, demand that it stop now. No corporation has a right to profits at the expense of the fundamental values of our society, and activities that threaten those values ought not be tolerated.
  • gatorguygatorguy Posts: 14,138member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post


    If you can't have your job datamining your users, maybe you need a different career. No other medium for advertising offered or needed datamining, and they've gotten along quite well.



    Of course they've data-mined, and for years before the internet. They're just getting progressively better at it. The Cable/sat providers absolutely track your preferences, knowing just what you watch and for how long. Combined with other personal information known about you it offers a lot to say about your family, your income, your political leanings or your leisure interests. I've no doubt that mined data makes it to advertisers or even political fundraisers. Newspapers and magazines have collected subscriber information probably since they began. No doubt that they started years ago combining with stats from other sources (credit providers such as Visa or reporting agencies like TransUnion as examples) to see where to focus their promotion dollars, and for the advertiser's good advice where to spend their budgets most effectively.



    With the internet the difference is they no longer have to depend so much on your responses to surveys, contest entries, credit card purchases and applications or statistical studies. All in all it's just a faster, more accurate and wider net to catch the same things they've collected for years and for guidance to promoters, marketers and advertisers on where best to spend their dollars for the biggest bang.
  • jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,927member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post


    Of course they've data-mined, and for years before the internet. They're just getting progressively better at it. The Cable/sat providers absolutely track your preferences, knowing just what you watch and for how long. Combined with other personal information known about you it offers a lot to say about your family, your income, your political leanings or your leisure interests. I've no doubt that mined data makes it to advertisers or even political fundraisers. Newspapers and magazines have collected subscriber information probably since they began. No doubt that they started years ago combining with stats from other sources (credit providers such as Visa or reporting agencies like TransUnion as examples) to see where to focus their promotion dollars, and for the advertiser's good advice where to spend their budgets most effectively.



    With the internet the difference is they no longer have to depend so much on your responses to surveys, contest entries, credit card purchases and applications or statistical studies. All in all it's just a faster, more accurate and wider net to catch the same things they've collected for years and for guidance to promoters, marketers and advertisers on where best to spend their dollars for the biggest bang.



    Magazines, billboards and newspapers just didn't have this information. It's not necessary to datamine the audience to make money.
  • jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,927member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post


    That's not my career.



    You work for an internet ad agency, and you're using their resources to defend their business model on a discussion board. What is your career then?
  • mj1970mj1970 Posts: 9,002member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post


    Everyone, liberal or conservative, should let their elected representatives, including the White House, whether you voted for the current President or not, know that allowing this threat to privacy to persist and grow represents a threat to our freedom and our democracy, and that, we, as citizens, demand that it stop now. No corporation has a right to profits at the expense of the fundamental values of our society, and activities that threaten those values ought not be tolerated.



    This is a joke, right? Those elected "representatives" and the White House are a far bigger threat your privacy than Google is or ever will be.
  • jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Robodude View Post


    Google is getting blamed for their part in this, but what about the owners of the websites who are using analytics and Google ads? Even AI use it. Sites need to make money and seems that targeted ads have become the way for them to do this. And targeting is achieved through tracking and the like.



    I mean, short of every website requiring a paywall, or membership scheme, what can be done? If Google/whatever other ad company stops tracking people, my guess is the data becomes less useful, which may mean an increase in quantity of content but surely not the quality.



    Not my problem. My computer should be secure from intrusion from companies that I don't want to have there. Google has no right to my information and there should be a way to shut them out without having to worry about which loophole they're going to use tomorrow.



    If that makes ads on web pages far less valuable and means that Google can pay less, that's OK with me.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by WelshDog View Post


    Someone mentioned Ghostery. I installed it and blocked everything. Seems to be working.



    Correction. You THINK it's working. Google has found ways around many of the processes in place that are supposed to ensure your privacy.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post


    Same reason you pay money to put curtains in your house.



    Congratulations. You win the stupid analogy of the week award.
  • mj1970mj1970 Posts: 9,002member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post


    You work for an internet ad agency, and you're using their resources to defend their business model on a discussion board. What is your career then?



    I'm not specifically defending any one company's business model. But I am defending the model generally. I would do that no matter where I worked or who I worked for.



    My career is not data mining.



    Sounds to me like a lame attempt at a circumstantial ad hominem.



    P.S. You are also working for an organization (this site) which is using this tracking to support itself.
  • mj1970mj1970 Posts: 9,002member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


    Congratulations. You win the stupid analogy of the week award.



    Congratulations. You win the opportunity to explain why it is stupid.
  • jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,927member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post


    I'm not specifically defending any one company's business model. But I am defending the model generally. I would do that no matter where I worked or who I worked for.



    My career is not data mining.



    Sounds to me like a lame attempt at a circumstantial ad hominem.



    Exactly, I'm implying that your career might be in shilling. The main people that defend this sort of activity generally draw financial benefit from it.



    Quote:

    P.S. You are also working for an organization (this site) which is using this tracking to support itself.



    I don't work for them, I don't like it and I'm not defending it. And they don't, to my knowledge, turn it into a huge database for sale.
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