Has Google Gone Bad?

Discussion in 'other security issues & news' started by Zeena, Mar 11, 2009.

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  1. Zeena

    Zeena Registered Member

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  2. Fly

    Fly Registered Member

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    They should certainly have enough information to start with, given the HUGE amounts of data that Doubleclick has collected (in association with it's partners).

    So they are going to use a tracking cookie now ? I wonder if we will be able to opt-out of that ! :mad:

    The erosion of privacy continues. Especially nice, that combination of information collected by Google's search engine (indentifies users by IP) and this new tracking cookie. Even though it is not mentioned here, they may use web bugs. :mad:
     
  3. Zeena

    Zeena Registered Member

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    Hi Fly :)

    It's Sickening.. Isn't It? :(

    Is that where Doubleclick comes from... Google? o_O

    I've always hated that flamin Doubleclick Cookie :mad:
    And when you see Doubleclick at the bottom of a browser as a webpage is loading.

    I've never really understood what it is.
    Just know I don't like it :cautious:

    Blocked It With - No Script :D
    And I try to avoid using IE7
     
  4. dw426

    dw426 Registered Member

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    I've been watching this and am also on the hunt for an article I came across stating that tv networks such as MSNBC and NBC are getting together to drop banner ads and place ads that scroll down the page as you scroll, more "video ads", and other such extremely annoying ad tech that has been in use, but not as much. I'll be honest with you, I'm more bothered by that than I am this new Google issue.

    Neither are good, but, I'm afraid that over the last couple of years, I've always expected it of Google. They are not the same company they were in 1998, or even in 2004 when they became a public offering. Since Doubleclick and Google got together, I've seen into the "crystal ball", if you will, and knew all this would start coming. I'm sure they think they aren't trampling all over their "Don't be evil" motto, but what they probably don't get is that it isn't the money that is "evil", it's what they are doing to make it.

    Behavioral advertising is the "in" thing now, with department stores, the internet, and soon to be more places. I hate to say it, but we're probably just getting started.
     
  5. FiOS Dan

    FiOS Dan Registered Member

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    Try Scroogle, which claims to be "An ad-free Google search proxy which prevents the searcher's data being stored by Google..." I have been using it for a few weeks with no problems.
     
  6. the Tester

    the Tester Registered Member

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    Thank you FiOS Dan.
    FWIW it's easy to edit Scroogle into the search function on Opera 10 Alpha.:thumb:
     
  7. Rmus

    Rmus Exploit Analyst

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    I find that Scroogle's results aren't as comprehensive as Google's. Lacking are latest "News Results" at the top of the list when searching for current topics in the news. Search for:

    Bernard Madoff ​

    and compare.

    Search for

    google new ad technology​

    Today's eweek.com story from 6 hours ago as of this search - appears in the latest "News Results" in Google but doesn't appear at all in Scroogle.

    EDIT: I searched again and the eweek.com story now appears as #64 in Scroogle's List.

    As far as Google building a profile of your search history, how will this be accomplished?

    http://www.google.com/ads/preferences/html/about.html
    If you don't want this, why store a cookie for Google? If you permit only your stored cookies to set, then anything else is blocked.

    Note that while the articles use the phrase, "behavioral targeting advertising" Google prefers "interest-based advertising."

    opera-cookiespref.gif

    opera-cookies.gif

    If I configure cookies to prompt, I can show Google attempting to set a cookie::

    opera-GoogleCookie.gif

    Then why allow it? If I configure 3rd-party cookies to prompt, I show eweek.com attempting to set a GoogleAd-DoubleClick cookie:


    opera-eweekDoubleClickCookie2.gif

    Note that Yahoo has already entered into the foray:

    Are Google's Behavior-Based Ads a New Privacy Concern?
    http://www.eweek.com/c/a/Search-Engines/Are-Googles-BehaviorBased-Ads-a-New-Privacy-Concern-241278/
    I don't see what all the fuss is about. This is not to approve of what Google and others are doing in getting into behavioral-targeted advertising, but it seems that users don't have to participate. Unless I'm missing something (which is always possible!)

    ----
    rich
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2009
  8. dw426

    dw426 Registered Member

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    I think the biggest fuss is that they are doing it period. Also, if I read right, for your every day user, it's a pain to deal with the cookie because, every time you clear out the browser, any opting-out you may have done will be gone and the process will have to be done again. So, having even Sandboxie isn't going to help here. Of course, the example you gave of blocking is the perfect choice, IF people know where to find the preferences and know how to set them for cookies. We can't assume they do.

    As I said in an earlier post, this kind of thing we're probably just going to have to get used to and do whatever we are able to do to circumvent it. The sad reality is this will be in the media for about a week, then quietly go away, and Google will do whatever they want and no one will make anymore fuss about it. It happened with Doubleclick (who in my opinion is the most aggressive advertising organization there is. They literally track everything.), and it'll happen here too.

    P.S, I also agree about Scroogle, IMHO, they really aren't that good. Of course, also IMHO, Google has gone down in quality too.
     
  9. Rmus

    Rmus Exploit Analyst

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    I certainly don't assume that people do. But I make sure that those I help do know. I can't do more than that.

    It is the same with any computer security matter. If those who do keep up with this stuff and have some knowledge about it would pass it on to their immediate family and circle of friends, just think how many more users would be secure.

    ----
    rich
     
  10. dw426

    dw426 Registered Member

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    Agreed, now if we could only get those knowledgeable users to understand that.
     
  11. cortez

    cortez Registered Member

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    It seems that Google has "gone bad" as the article does confirm the op out position of Google.

    The experts say 1 person in 100 is a clinical sociopath but it seems that they have their numbers wrong , it seems as if the numbers should be 1 in 50 and most of these seem to be in the advertising business. :D
     
  12. EASTER

    EASTER Registered Member

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    It's unforunately inevidable that Google is falling victim to the same INSANE & UNSCRUPULOUS behavior that both Network TV as well as Cable companies are miring themselves in.

    They need a channel ONLY for commercials because if this keeps up i;m ditching cable, sateliite TV for my own UNINTERRUPTED DVD movies because let's face it, those commercials border on LSD induced fanatics that belong in a rubber room. AND COLLEGE education is so inspiring, engaging and intelligent?

    I will never even remotely consider buying a single solidary product from some of the such ridiculous presentations that these and other networks have forcefully assaulted the general public with.

    Ever watch a common show or now even newscasts which are supposed to be a public service? I stopwatched many of them and the percentages of content are something on the order of 30% while their foolish commercials for the most part rake up the other 70% percent.

    This is a serious sign of the times we had better be conscience of and take serious note of dismissing. Just when a serious news report is being announced they almost immediately within minutes say " when we return", like a broken record, the return lasting at best 8-10 minutes before the assault of commercials attack the screen again. And it's non-stop.

    Google's own add listings lead me to pop ups, stupid flash commercials i couldn't care less about, or anyone else, and if this keeps up will drive the ratings out of existence eventually.

    The common respect of readers, searchers, etc. are growing extremely wearly of this waste of time. Nice they have the $$$$ to peddle their commercial contractual interests no matter how insane or foolish are slapping the face of the very users who built their base structure to begin with, us users. Same goes for TV & Cable. This technology is being grossly mismanaged with no quality oversight or regulation and can only lead to the demise of what once was a promising enterprise of quality information without the goofy stuff.

    That's why Forums are the NEW audience of the internet IMHO.

    EASTER
     
  13. arran

    arran Registered Member

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    well just by blocking 3rd party cookies will not help in this case. You would also need to block the sites you visit in this case google.com But there are some sites that you do need cookies. The only browser that can solve this problem is fire fox with a cookie add on like cs lite where you can create white lists. and use admuncher to block ads.

    If google decides to Block access to the site unless you have cookies turned on then the only way around this is to use a separate browser in a separate sandbox soley just for the purpose of using google. and use admuncher to block ads.
     
  14. Rmus

    Rmus Exploit Analyst

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    I don't follow your reasoning. Why would I block a site I want to visit?

    Many sites require cookies -- NYTimes for example, to log in. So what?

    I allow the normal cookie which will be deleted upon closing Opera, and block 3rd party cookies
    so that Ad cookies cannot be set -- as I show by prompting:

    nyt-normal.gif

    nyt-3rd.gif

    nyt-3rd-2.gif

    nyt-3rd-3.gif

    If I visited NYTimes regularly, I would store the normal cookie in the Server Manager, but the 3rd party cookies still cannot be set.

    ----
    rich
     
  15. arran

    arran Registered Member

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    Because if you don't block the site you visit then you would get the google cookie when you go to google.com which is what you don't want. The google cookie would not be a 3rd party cookie it comes under cookies from sites you visit.


    Yes I know many sites sites need cookies to log into that's why like I said before to use cs lite cookie add on for fire fox and create a white list of sites.
    I have about 10-15 white listed sites for cookies the rest of the internet for cookies is blocked. And I have no problems with surfing other sites without cookies.
     
  16. Rmus

    Rmus Exploit Analyst

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    OK, I misunderstood what you meant by "block." You are referring to blocking the cookie.

    I have just a few sites stored in Opera's Server Manager where first party cookies are permitted (White Listing), and Google is not one of them.

    Again, with the way users can control cookies, it should be possible to avoid being tracked by this "interest-based" or "behavioral-targeted" advertising as it stands now.

    I don't know anyone in my circle of friends who objects to advertising. It's the way sites help support their operation. As with advertising in a newspaper, the viewer (reader) can choose or not to read them.

    What irks people in the Search Engines' case of "behavioral-targeted" advertising where they track users' habits without their permission is that it borders on an invasion of privacy, which we have enough of anyway in today's world.

    Now, some people actually think that targeted advertising is a good thing - tailored advertising, if you will. But it should be an Opt-in situation, not forcing people to Opt-out, which is the thrust of the Search Engines' intention.

    Several articles regarding Search Engines' tracking have pointed out that it is assumed that most people will not bother, if not even knowing, to take the time to configure to Opt-out.

    Here is how Google sets it up. You go to their Ad Preference site.

    google-adpref.gif

    Oops... Cookie required. Actually, I had to also permit their 3rd party tracking cookie for the page to load.

    google-adprefSite.gif

    Evidently this is how one opts out of the tracking by interests.

    The DoubleClick tracking cookie is necessary because this is where Google will store the ID number, as shown in my cookie:

    google-adpref-cookieID.gif

    If I delete the cookie, a new cookie with a new ID number is created when going to this page.

    Of course, not storing the cookie in the first place is an automatic Opt-out.

    ----
    rich
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2009
  17. Zeena

    Zeena Registered Member

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    Hi :)

    @ .. Rmus
    Thanks for showing us how to - Opt Out! ;)

    A few months ago.. I tried disabling 3rd Party Cookies on my laptop.
    Everything seemed fine at first. I'd even forgot that I'd done it.
    Until a few days later.. When I tried to sign into my email - I Couldn't! :(
    So! ... 3rd Party Cookies ... Had to be enabled again :'(

    I'm afraid it's no use having.. Cookie - Allow or Block .. Pop ups! .... When you have children that use the computer.
    All I'd Here Is... :argh: " Mum " ... :( " Mum " ... :mad: " Mum "

    What I really want to know about this new - Google Ad Thing :mad:
    Where will the Adverts be shown?
    e.g.
    Normal Ads On Webpages
    OR
    Pop Ups On Webpages
    OR
    Pop Ups Anytime - Anywhere! :eek:

    I Mean!
    Up until Now...
    It does kind of depend on how a Computers / Browsers security is ... As to what Ads a person actually sees.
    Do Get Me? :doubt:
    e.g.
    IE7 ... Pop Up Blocker
    Firefox ... No Script , Ad Blocker Plus

    But will these new Google Ads follow the same rules? :doubt:

    Don't Forget!
    Google doesn't actually start showing these new " behavioural " ads until April.
     
  18. Fly

    Fly Registered Member

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    I'm not sure about this issue.

    I use IE 7, allow direct cookies, block indirect cookies, I don't have the box for 'session cookies' ticked.

    Would Google still be able to place a cookie on my computer ? (There are ways around these restrictions).

    And what about the search engine www.google.com ? I know this places a cookie (often I have more than one !), is it in any way related to the Google tracking cookie ?

    And to complicate matters further: for the time being I'm still using McAfee Virusscan Plus (I haven't been comfortable finding a replacement, and I may buy a new computer). McAfee shares information with Doubleclick, which shares information with ... you get the idea. I think since the 2008 series of McAfee tracking cookies are no longer detected, including the Doubleclick cookie. They, Doubleclick and others, share information in a different manner.
    (I often see things like Doubleclick whatever, Googlewhatever at the bottom of my screen for a fraction of a second, so I'm being registered)
    How does this relate to the Google tracking cookie ?

    I know, difficult questions. But if they were simple I could answer them myself !

    Thanks for any replies.
     
  19. Sully

    Sully Registered Member

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    Maybe the question here is how can a cookie set by whomever, know it is you specifically, if you have deleted prior cookies? I always delete cookies on exit. I have static cookies, like for wilders, that don't get deleted. If google or any site, 3rd party included, wants to set a cookie, and it is deleted once browser closes, the next time I visit same site and get same cookie, is the ID on the cookie different?

    If it is, then how can they do any tracking, as I will have a different cookie every time. If this is the case, it seems that just deleting new cookies on browser close is a nice solution, and then learning to manage stored cookies for sites you want to use cookie preferences with. Most times for me anyway, I only want the username and password filled in, and I still want to click login.

    Sul.
     
  20. Rmus

    Rmus Exploit Analyst

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    It is when I tested on the Ad Preferences site in my previous post. Each time I deleted the cookie and reconnected to the site, a new cookie with a new ID# was set. It appears that in this case, no tracking can take place.

    This is how I set up things for people using Opera: Permit cookies that are stored, refuse 3rd party cookies, Delete new cookies on browser close. The latter takes care of a site that requires a cookie but you don't want to store it - a one time visit.

    I know some people who delete cookies, search history, cache each day.

    I don't know those terms - direct, etc. You will have to search around for information. In Opera with the settings I described above, no cookie can be set without my permission.

    Google.com does not require a 1st party cookie. If I let Opera prompt, it will ask to set the cookie but when I refuse, the page loads. Compare my post above where the google ad preferences page will not load without the cookie.

    Google.com does not prompt for a 3rd party cookie. Again, compare above where the site required a 3rd party cookie, aka, tracking cookie, which Google will use to store your "interests" for use in their advertising. Note that the cookie was Doubleclick.com which will be the main player in their advertising plan.

    My understanding of 1st party cookies is that the site can monitor what you do on that site, but does not follow the user to other sites. As an example, I store a persistent 1st party cookie on Amazon.com where I purchase music and books. When I connect to the site, it recognizes my browser via the cookie and shows lists of music and books related to what I've purchased before. It's a nice feature. Now, this cookie knows nothing about other sites I visit.

    On the other hand, the 3rd party cookie can track your movements across multiple sites. So, the proposed google advertising plan requires the 3rd party DoubleClick cookie, whereas google.com does not. However, if you set up an account and store a 1st party cookie on google.com then what you do on those sites is tracked. The implication is that Google.com can keep a record of your search history in this way.

    Search for articles on cookies for a more thorough explanation.

    You are welcome. I became interested in this because a friend is concerned.

    I have no idea how these ads will display. I never get pop ups on web pages with Opera's setting, so I assume this will hold with google's ads. But who knows? The game plan here at the moment is stay with the normal configurations in Opera which block tracking cookies and see what happens when google starts this operation in April.

    It seems clear to me, and Sully says the same thing, unless a persistent ID# remains on your computer in the DoubleClick cookie, no profile can be created of the browser's surfing sites. I've seen nothing so far to refute this.

    Making ads more interesting
    http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2009/03/making-ads-more-interesting.html
    Or, you can opt to block the cookie in the first place.

    The conclusion I draw is that in this google proposal, if there is no cookie, there is no tracking.

    ----
    rich
     
  21. rollers

    rollers Registered Member

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    Will admuncher block out such tracking and snooping?
     
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