Anonymous email and Googleanalytics

Discussion in 'privacy problems' started by hidden, Feb 8, 2011.

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  1. hidden

    hidden Registered Member

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    Googleanalytics(GA) probably adds information about your various site visits to your profile on their database. GA is at this point ubiquitous, and without certain software this data collection is unknown to the user, and the extent possibly to the host site.

    Many sites for various privacy-related products use GA to track visitor use, including use of those sites by customers who have already signed up for that privacy product.

    E.G. hushmail while in use. The EPIC online guide to privacy products lists many who use GA, without notice. Neither answered my specific request for policy or consequences.

    Any insight on what appears to be a very wide Back Door?
     
  2. hierophant

    hierophant Registered Member

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    GA is one of the scripts that I NEVER let run (NoScript).
     
  3. katio

    katio Guest

    I hate this myself but it's not as bad as you make it to be. It's not a backdoor in the sense that it gives Google full access to your emails or account, you can check the script yourself and see what it's accessing.
    Google claims that GA data isn't correlated with their search business data-mining and not used to id you. Since Google is still only a corporation in the US they still have to obey some laws. The other (probably stronger...) restrain is avoiding a PR fiasco so I tend to believe them on this one.
     
  4. hidden

    hidden Registered Member

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    Interesting answer, and true I hope. When you examine the code, what if any info is sent to Google from GA?

    My concern arose in the past when I found that the malicious/attack sites list in the standard Firefox options came from Google, and code.google said that inquires from my browser went into the Google profile. Took a bit of time on the Firefox pages to find all this out.

    Mostly, I don't like the secrecy around all of Google's tracking activity, and the willingness of sites to share our tracking info with all and sundry.
     
  5. katio

    katio Guest

    Where you come from (referrer), your IP, what icons you click on, what pages you visit on the tracked domain.

    The "safebrowsing" feature in Firefox doesn't send data any private data like the URLs you visit to Google:
    http://code.google.com/apis/safebrowsing/firefox3_privacy.html

    It's not any more secret than other websites, ad networks and tracking mechanisms.
    Here is the "Privacy Overview":
    http://www.google.com/intl/en/analytics/privacyoverview.html
    The fact that GA is used also has to be part of the TOS on the website that uses it.
    This is probably interesting for you:
    Sites are willing because GA is a valuable tool to improve the user experience and revenue and the privacy implications aren't worse than with other 3rd party solutions (except that due to Google's omnipresence they could correlate all the information, but they say they don't) Above all, it's free.
     
  6. hidden

    hidden Registered Member

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    FURTHER READING

    More information is available than when I reviewed Safebrowsing at Firefox and code.google some time ago.

    GA has interesting privacy features, although not necessarily enforced:
    "All website owners using Google Analytics are required to have a privacy policy that fully discloses the use of Google Analytics" ...Not that I found on sites using GA ...

    There has been concern expressed for years that a supposedly anonymous IP address, when aggregated into a massive database, is open to individual identification. The Google cookie expire policy, with old ones replaced by contemporaneous new ones, and supposed anonymization of profile IP addresses by deleting SOME of the digits, its "acccidential" downloading of private data wirelessly while cruising for Streetview, have been publicly discussed at length in the past few years.

    We are asked to trust that now, and in the future, Google will self-police, that they won't find ways to work around their stated policies, that they can remain in control of their entire operation and how it handles our information.

    I just can't bring myself to accept concentrated, self-regulated power.
     
  7. hidden

    hidden Registered Member

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    And by the way katio

    I appreciate the referenced, analytical, non-raving reply.

    All too rare on the boards these days.
     
  8. Boyfriend

    Boyfriend Registered Member

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    Re: And by the way katio

    I use Ghostery extension to block Google Analytics.
     
  9. hierophant

    hierophant Registered Member

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    Re: FURTHER READING

    And then there's the purported NSA connection ;)
     
  10. Longboard

    Longboard Registered Member

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    Oxymoron of course.
     
  11. ABee

    ABee Registered Member

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    You haven't specifically said that you allow Google Analytics on your machine, so I'll assume that you don't.

    Because for anyone that doesn't want Google Analytics collecting or sharing info with all and sundry, disallowing it sure seems the simplest way to go.
     
  12. Sheldon7

    Sheldon7 Registered Member

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    Have you guys used GoogleSharing? (http://googlesharing.net/)
    Coupled with disabling GA in noscript, shouldn't this entirely defeat googles tracking abilities via analytics?

     
  13. hidden

    hidden Registered Member

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    Blocking GA isn't enough, yes?

    Over at AdBlock, or Easy List, someone posted that even when GA is blocked, my browser info (IP address,etc) is sent to Google even if all Google tools are blocked; inherent in accessing a site with any Google tools. Nice of Google to give me a tool to limit GA by notifying them whenever I appear, but gosh Brin, that's not exactly what I had in mind by 'privacy'.

    Can someone more knowledgeable than me confirm this? And is it true for the general case; that most/all third party tools? on a site phone home when the site opens, even if blocked?

    Thanks for the Google Sharing add-on tip. I'll soon be so private I won't be able to move.

    Ever read Kafka, "The Burrow?"
     
  14. ABee

    ABee Registered Member

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    Re: Blocking GA isn't enough, yes?

    That's got nothing to do with Google or Google tools.
    It's a normal header referral given by all browsers to any website you visit.

    Disable all your Google tools, then try this address:

    http://www.moanmyip.com/

    Let me know what happens. ;)
     
  15. hidden

    hidden Registered Member

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    Not quite what I meant.

    I know my browser returns that info to the site I visit.

    Is the same info also given to some/all of the third party entities on that site e.g.doubleckick automatically? Even if blocked by a browser add-on?
     
  16. ABee

    ABee Registered Member

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    Third-party entities do not automatically have access to that info, no.
     
  17. MakePB

    MakePB Registered Member

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    Re: Not quite what I meant.

    Browser and IP address returns a lot information;s to the site you visit.
    Just take look to some of IP tracking website within my signature.
     
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