Mozilla Firefox to Enable Hyperlink Ping Tracking By Default

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by ronjor, Apr 19, 2019.

  1. ronjor

    ronjor Global Moderator

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    By Lawrence Abrams April 19, 2019
     
  2. Rasheed187

    Rasheed187 Registered Member

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    Is Mozilla for real? I thought they claimed to be a privacy focused browser, what a joke. :thumbd:
     
  3. Azure Phoenix

    Azure Phoenix Registered Member

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    Well, their claim is that this isn't an issue of privacy.
     
  4. fblais

    fblais Registered Member

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  5. Daveski17

    Daveski17 Registered Member

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  6. Brummelchen

    Brummelchen Registered Member

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    its a method to track --> clicked <-- links for web admins.
    uBo blocks by default, but you can disable send_pings in firefox prefs or limit its # and to origin host. (Firefox 68, 67 not sure).
     
  7. reasonablePrivacy

    reasonablePrivacy Registered Member

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    I understand Mozilla decision. For years popular news site in my country used external service to track users which links were clicked (not all links were prepared this way, lets say 10%).
    1. News site -> 2. link to external redirecting service which have agreement with news site -> 3. web page which users wanted to visit, but doesn't have URL of that page
    Intermediate link have not any information for the user where it redirects, so we can't really bypass that... Some services such as bit.ly provide way to see expanded URL, but this service doesn't.

    Another way to track clicks is to use Javascript but that can be mitigated by disabling Javascript or using browser extensions protecting against that.

    First method can't be bypassed, if service provider doesn't allow for that.
    1. It brings security issues: a) you can't manually check trustworthiness of domain you are heading to beforehand and b) redirecting service may be compromised as well.
    2. Privacy issues: there not two, but three sites/companies that know what you have already clicked on
    3. Performance degradation: instead of connecting to destination directly browser must wait for destination address before connecting to it
     
  8. Brummelchen

    Brummelchen Registered Member

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    not sure what you wrote about, but hyperlink auditing is NO redirect
     
  9. reasonablePrivacy

    reasonablePrivacy Registered Member

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    Yes, I understand that. Both methods are used by websites to track clicks on links. Hyperlink auditing does not use third-party services for that, so it is faster and does not leak data to third-party.
     
  10. reasonablePrivacy

    reasonablePrivacy Registered Member

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  11. Pharao

    Pharao Registered Member

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    I also understand Mozilla's decision but in a less positive way.
    If they really care about their users, why don't they enable Hyperlink Auditing by default and leave the option to disable it in the internal prefs.
    Let the user to decide how to deal with tracking and don't force him to use an extension for every fart.

    I could bet that at the end, websites will use all three methods for tracking and that we'll witness more tracking as we already do.
     
  12. Daveski17

    Daveski17 Registered Member

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    I'm guessing Mozilla is doing this for financial considerations. If I can disable it with uBO (an extension I consider de rigueur these days) I can live with that.
     
  13. reasonablePrivacy

    reasonablePrivacy Registered Member

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    Where Mozilla stated they want to remove that option? I only saw statements that they are going to change defaults.
     
  14. Brummelchen

    Brummelchen Registered Member

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    again:
    what you have linked is a redirect with javascript.

    hyperlink auditing is this - with no space for other description
    Code:
    <a href="https://news.example" ping="https://tracker.example/going-to-news-example">Read the news</a
    h.a. is "ping"
    https://lists.mozilla.org/pipermail/dev-platform/2014-May/004745.html

    firefox prefs:
    browser.send_pings
    browser.send_pings.max_per_link (firefox 67 or 68 )
    browser.send_pings.require_same_host (firefox 67 or 68 )

    no fud please
     
  15. Pharao

    Pharao Registered Member

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    It's a rumor I heard. Nothing official or definitive so far.
    In case they'll decide at the end to keep the preference for turning it off, it will be fine for everyone.
     
  16. reasonablePrivacy

    reasonablePrivacy Registered Member

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    @Brummelchen
    again, I understand that hyperlink auditing is not redirect.
    I only say that before hyperlink auditing was used, redirect were used instead. Ofter this was not redirect by Javascript, but HTTP-level redirects via external 3rd-party service used for analytics such as bitly.com.

    I believe other browsers such as Chrome are going to delete that option/flag. I does not heard that Mozilla is going to delete that option.
     
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