I can't believe Google Analytics is everywhere!!!

Discussion in 'privacy problems' started by DesuMaiden, Jun 30, 2013.

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  1. wat0114

    wat0114 Registered Member

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    There's been mention of youtube, and what I'm seeing is a cookie named "VISITOR_INFO1_LIVE" under Chrome browser that seems to be the one retaining the user's video playing habits, which of course is why "suggested" videos are displayed after a while, even without the user being logged in. Delete this cookie and the displayed suggested videos disappear.

    I don't know if this particular youtube behavior bothers anyone, but it bothers me when suggested videos are displayed on the main page even when I haven't been logged in playing back videos that generate the suggested ones later.
     
  2. tlu

    tlu Guest

    Yes. On the other hand, Adblock with BetterPrivacy in combination with forbidding 3rd party cookies and website data in the Chrome settings should actually be good enough.

    You mean a userscript with Grease/Tampermonkey? I don't think that that would work in the Web Store. IMO, other solutions mentioned earlier work reliably.
     
  3. m00nbl00d

    m00nbl00d Registered Member

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    Without. You can run UserScripts without it, at least in Chromium/Google Chrome. I haven't tested it yet, but I think a userscript would work on Chrome Web Store? Unless the author of the script makes it not work?
     
  4. tlu

    tlu Guest

    Ah, thanks! I didn't know that this is possible. Now I've found some resources which look helpful:

    http://www.chromium.org/developers/design-documents/user-scripts
    http://stackoverflow.com/questions/5258989/manually-adding-a-userscript-to-google-chrome
    http://superuser.com/questions/450893/how-to-install-a-private-user-script-in-chrome-21

    Interesting! I haven't tested it yet, though, and I don't know if such a script would work on the Web Store. On the other hand, I block GA and the likes anyhow. Thus, such a userscript wouldn't be really helpful for me :D
     
  5. kronckew

    kronckew Registered Member

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    i use acrylic dns proxy to replace the windows dns service. it allows using a wildcard or regex (regular expression) in it's acrylic hosts file, ie.

    0.0.0.0 *.google-analytics.com *.doubleclick.net
    0.0.0.0 *.doubleclick.net
    0.0.0.0 *.facebook.com
    127.0.0.1 localhost
    192.168.1.1 router
    66.227.46.190 wilderssecurity.com
    127.0.0.1 /^ads?\..*$

    it does note that these wildcard lookups do take longer to process, but once they get into acrylic's cache, it doesn't need lookup on an external dns server for quite a while. (0.0.0.0 works too). the config file also lets me select dyndns's dns servers, where i have a free account, that filters out any malware, spyware, porn sites by category that i can select or deselect, also i can black or white list individual sites or domains. of course, this does not stop any code that uses an actual ip address rather than a url/domain name and thus doesn't need a lookup. i have outposts blocklist that will block that tho.
     
  6. Pinga

    Pinga Registered Member

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  7. DesuMaiden

    DesuMaiden Registered Member

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    Maximizing user data for Google is BAD. Ideally minimize the amount of user data for google. Don't let Google data mine YOU.

    Google services are crap. Ditch Google Chrome. Go for better privacy services like Hushmail. I ask for other anonymous & private email services.
     
  8. CloneRanger

    CloneRanger Registered Member

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    @ Pinga So much for Chrome then :p

    @ ComputersRock Hushmail will & has turned people over to the FEDS !
     
  9. Mman79

    Mman79 Registered Member

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    I've learned a lot in the many, many months that I've taken more interest in tracking on the web and doing more about privacy/fighting against things like PRISM. Let me tell you a couple of things about what I've learned and how I feel.

    1. Tracking and surveillance is all but inescapable. Providers don't really matter in the end, you will be tracked in some way, somehow no matter if you go through Google, MS..it simply does not matter. You take what precautions you can, and you move on. If you want to be on the internet, you have to accept that some form of data collection will happen. Your medical records, what you buy at brick and mortar stores, your insurance provider and payments, mobile phone records, all this stuff is collected, put in a database and stored online in some form. That's the world you live in now and it needs to be dealt with as best you can and let be.

    2. As much as many of us (myself included in the past) like to rag on Google, if every vendor/provider of services were as transparent about what they collect and what you give them in return for what they give you, us consumers would be doing awfully good. I'm not saying everything they do is good, and God knows they have been caught doing some naughty stuff, but they could do a lot worse and hide a lot more than they do.
     
  10. gorperon

    gorperon Registered Member

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    Not only is it everywhere, but it is now even sending javascripts to secure pages. It has a history of slowing down page loading that goes back to several years ago, but now the javascripts slow down page loading for secure sites as well. I managed to block it completely so that my browsers have no contact at all with it. Page loading is more efficient that way, and there is no more snooping from it.
     
  11. Jessica19

    Jessica19 Registered Member

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    i totally disabled GA a year ago. I also installed extension which prevents websites from collecting data.
     
  12. 0strodamus

    0strodamus Registered Member

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    How did you do that and what is the extension?
     
  13. lotuseclat79

    lotuseclat79 Registered Member

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    Google Analytics is only ever on the server, not the client, and is only useful for website admins to analyze their web traffic. Ergo, to disable GA requires the action of the server website admin to remove or disable it.

    Javascript is what most web pages on the www use to render their content, without it being active in a client browser, it is difficult to render entire web pages to see the content. To verify this, just use NoScript which usually gives a list of Temporarily allow websites, which if you do not allow (at least temporarily) then some functionality on the website may not work.

    Don't be so paranoid, or use Tor Browser Bundle or Tails to remain anonymous and be careful not to login to any website on which you have an account with Tor as the Exit node may capture your credentials if it is not trustworthy.

    -- Tom
     
  14. gorperon

    gorperon Registered Member

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    With Firefox, I am using Blocksite to block google-analytics, both http:// and https://, and also googlesyndication and doubleclick. The browser no longer connects to them at all.
    With Opera, I added those items to the built-in content blocking list.
    With Safari, I added those things to Safari Adblock.
     
  15. Nebulus

    Nebulus Registered Member

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    Using a DNS server or proxy that blocks the tracking domains covers the usage of any browser, and that is why I prefer it. I'm not saying that your approach is wrong, but it requires to be careful when you install or configure a new one.
     
  16. Rainwalker

    Rainwalker Registered Member

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    Hello Nebulus....Which DNS servers do you recommend?
     
  17. Nebulus

    Nebulus Registered Member

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    I'm using Unbound as a server (it has a DNS proxy mode as well, if you want to use your ISP DNS or OpenDNS, and so on).
     
  18. hidden

    hidden Registered Member

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    This may be the discouraging point. Without some anonymity ware the server knows your IP address and fingerprint, as well as your site activity, which will be tracked by Google. I can't see how browser blocking can help at all.
     
  19. tlu

    tlu Guest

    No. You can block the execution of the GA script, or you can block the GA domain completely (via your router, hosts file etc.). It's as easy as that.
     
  20. Nebulus

    Nebulus Registered Member

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    The site you are connecting to will always know your IP address when you are connecting directly to it. If the site uses GA, then your browser will also load their script, and Google will also know your IP (and much more).
    So in order to stop Google from tracking you, you need to somehow prevent any interaction with Google Analytics. However, it is not possible to stop the site itself from knowing who you are without a VPN/TOR/etc.
     
  21. wat0114

    wat0114 Registered Member

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    Based on your idea earlier, I've changed my browsing setup to be more hassle free and still probably very effective (hopefully) at ensuring privacy:

    • run Chrome in incognito mode but allowing all my extensions to run in it.
    • Privacy extensions: Ghostery, AdBlock+, HTTPS Everywhere (also use Lastpass & New Tab redirect)
    • In Advanced settings: Block 3rd party cookies, Block Javascript & Images with exceptions: .com, .ca, .gov, .org, .net, .uk, .edu

    I run into a few problems on occasion where I need to allow some cookies or ad domains to get videos to work, but otherwise I feel this is affording decent privacy. I block as much Google anything as I can.
     
  22. hidden

    hidden Registered Member

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    I appreciate the discussion, but we seem to be running two mutually exclusive conversations.

    Mostly, we're talking about browserware that stops Google from interacting with our individual computers. That's fine, I run some myself, however......

    Any site I visit without anonymity must know my i.p. to respond, and must track me through their site. This has nothing to do with blocking anything, just the normal course of business. If that site chooses to pass this info on to Google, along with my fingerprint to disambiguate that i.p., then NO blockers will prevent that. A later visit to another site will report the same i.p. and fingerprint.

    Google has been straightforward that they aggregate input from all their aps. How will ANY browserware short of total anonymiser (we hope) prevent any aggregator from tracking, if sites are sending us there?


     
  23. Nebulus

    Nebulus Registered Member

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    When you connect to a site, Google has no idea that you visited that particular site. Unless you make a specific request to Google while visiting that site, Google has no way of knowing what you did. And this specific request to Google is usually made through GA. So, if you stop sending requests to GA when visiting other sites (by any means discussed here), you will be harder to track.

    Note: the site itself doesn't send any information to Google through GA, you/your browser are the one doing that!
     
  24. tlu

    tlu Guest

    I must admit that I haven't thoroughly tried incognito mode. Having said that, I wonder if it offers benefits over a configuration that

    1. blocks 3rd party cookies by default and accepts only session cookies (with only a few exceptions - are such exceptions possible if you run Chrome completely in incognito mode?),

    2. deletes the cache etc. via Click & Clean when I close Chrome,

    3. blocks javascript by default complemented by ScriptSafe running in "Allow" mode which should nevertheless block 3rd party "Unwanted content" (which should normally already be blocked by my hosts file) even if I allow JS for a site,

    4. uses Adblock (without Plus), Disconnect, CsFire, HTTPS Everywhere and Lastpass.

    Does incognito mode offer anything beyond that?

    BTW: How are using New Tab Redirect?
     
  25. wat0114

    wat0114 Registered Member

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    I doubt it does offer anything beyond that, but I use it because it at least clears the history without the need of a 3rd party app, unless there is another way I've overlooked?

    I use it to force the new tab to open a specific page (duckduckgo).
     
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