Google Chrome extensions and Google Analytics

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by m00nbl00d, Aug 12, 2011.

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  1. m00nbl00d

    m00nbl00d Registered Member

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    A bit of background information. I've been running an older Chromium build. Two days ago, by mistake (don't ask :D) I deleted one of my extensions, and so I went to https://chrome.google.com/webstore/, to re-download it.

    Unfortunately, I could not.

    When I clicked the "Add to Chrome" button, I'd get the warning about what kind of data the extension would be able to get access to, but I wouldn't get the warning saying the file could harm my computer and whether or not I'd still want to proceed.

    I thought it could be some problem with Google Chrome webstore.

    Yesterday, I wanted to give M86 SecureBrowsing extension a try, and I also couldn't install it.

    Moments ago, I decided to find out what was causing this, and my first thought was that the old Chromium build I was running had some bug affecting extensions and making them not install. But, I upgraded to a new build (months apart from the old build I was running), and the problem persisted, so I highly doubted that a bug like this would persist this long.

    Then, I decided to disable my hosts file. I'm blocking ads and trackers with a hosts file. After disabling the hosts file, I could install the extensions. Then, I enabled the hosts file, but removed --ssl.google-analytics.com--

    I also could install the extensions. Blocking --ssl.google-analytics.com-- obviously prevents extensions from being installed.

    It turns out that Google is now forcing users not to block Google Analytics? o_O :mad:

    I remember perfectly well that I never had problems installing extensions with Google Analytics domain/sub-domains blocked.

    So... WTH o_O

    :thumbd: :thumbd:
     
  2. The Seeker

    The Seeker Registered Member

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    Odd, as there is actually a Google Analytics Opt-out Add-on.
     
  3. m00nbl00d

    m00nbl00d Registered Member

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    Yes, it's odd.

    But, I just verfied again, just in case. I got the same results. Blocking Google Analytics results in extensions not installing. Allowing it, results in extensions installing.
     
  4. m00nbl00d

    m00nbl00d Registered Member

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    Extensions updates/upgrades aren't affected with Google Analytics blocked.
     
  5. dw426

    dw426 Registered Member

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    Google would literally die off as a company without advertising revenue. Analytics is a huge part of their data collection, so it's no surprise they refuse to let you block it. I wonder how this new API deal that actually blocks ads in Chrome is doing, my gut tells me there are a lot of Google entries whitelisted by default. I'm actually surprised they caved in and let it happen..depending on how well it's actually working.

    Anyway, Analytics is whitelisted in many extensions, even in Firefox. ABP, NoScript, I think even Ghostery. I guess it's for the very reason that problems might happen. God bless Google, right? :D
     
  6. m00nbl00d

    m00nbl00d Registered Member

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    Right... :rolleyes: ;)

    I just hope this won't stick, otherwise quite soon everything will have to be whitelisted, and there will be no point to block ads and trackers. :argh: :ouch:

    For the meantime, I'll have two hosts files: one with google analytics blocked and another one not blocking it, and will create a script to switch whenever needed.

    It's a bad move by Google, IMO. As user The Seeker mentioned, they do have an extension that allows users to opt-out of google analytics. I mean, they give users the option to opt-out, but then they force them to opt-in again? Meaning... there's not really an opt-out...

    I just hope they didn't change Gmail to reflect this forced opt-in... :argh: (Hey dude, enable GA to download attachments!!! lol)

    Crazy world... o_O
     
  7. Hungry Man

    Hungry Man Registered Member

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    I use the opt out and I can still install extensions.
     
  8. m00nbl00d

    m00nbl00d Registered Member

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    Could you try blocking it with a hosts file, for example and see what happens? Also, can you see what domains are blocked by the Opt-out extension?
     
  9. jdd58

    jdd58 Registered Member

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    Here's my hosts file. Google Analytics did not stop me from installing M86 on Iron.
     

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  10. Daveski17

    Daveski17 Registered Member

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    I only noticed this about Ghostery when I tried to download an extension on SRWare Iron. I had no problem downloading with Chrome. Either way, I suppose you can't begrudge Google making a profit. Otherwise they might make us start paying LOL!
     
  11. acr1965

    acr1965 Registered Member

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    You know, if some company actually could deliver a product that kept privacy I would probably buy it, even pay a monthly fee. I would have to think there is a market for such things. By a "product" I mean able to deliver a product that is actually usable on the internet without having to jump through two dozen hoops just to get from one site to another.
     
  12. Daveski17

    Daveski17 Registered Member

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    I think that I can live with Google Analytics. I am more worried about security than 'privacy'. Unless that security relies on a level of privacy of course.
     
  13. m00nbl00d

    m00nbl00d Registered Member

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    Thank you for trying it.

    I'm wondering if it's some new code in Chromium? (that probably isn't part of Iron or other Chromium based browsers? I'm going to try with Google Chrome later on.)

    But, I just tried to reproduce this "issue" again, and if I block google analytics, there's no way I can install extensions. If I remove the entry from the hosts file, then I can install them.

    Could anyone give Chromium a try and see if you also experience it, by blocking Google Analytics with a hosts file?
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2011
  14. Hungry Man

    Hungry Man Registered Member

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    If you were using a Chromium build a few months old it was probably Chrome 12 or 13 in which case we've used it as well.

    I'll test tomorrow. I only have my CR48 right now.
     
  15. jdd58

    jdd58 Registered Member

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    OK, my hosts file is now blocking extensions from the chrome web store. Evidently you need to reboot/logoff? before it takes effect. Remarking out the google analytics lines allowed me to download. Removing the remarks still allowed me to download until I rebooted.
     
  16. m00nbl00d

    m00nbl00d Registered Member

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    That probably had to do with the fact you got DNS Client service enabled. In that case, you'd need to clean the DNS cache.

    Next time, open the command line and type the following:

    Code:
    ipconfig /flushdns
    
    -edit-

    By the way, thanks for (re)confirming that you also cannot install extensions, if Google Analytics is blocked.

    According to this, communication to Google Analytics still occurs.

    Apparently, the extensions "calls to" ga.js saying "Hey, don't send the info about this visit to GA!". But, this doesn't necessarily mean that Google Analytics is completely blocked. That's my understanding, anyway. :doubt:
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2011
  17. Hungry Man

    Hungry Man Registered Member

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    Ah, well then simple solution.
     
  18. ShirleyUGeste

    ShirleyUGeste Registered Member

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    Quite the contrary. NoScript, by default, runs a surrogate script that prevents page issues caused by blocking google-analytics, but doesn't send any personal info. It's in the FAQ.

    Another good reason to use Firefox with NoScript instead of Chrome.

    And Hi, All!
     
  19. Hungry Man

    Hungry Man Registered Member

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    Or use the IBA Opt Out, which does literally the same thing.
     
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