Web Giants Threaten End to Cookie Tracking

Discussion in 'privacy general' started by lotuseclat79, Oct 31, 2013.

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  1. lotuseclat79

    lotuseclat79 Registered Member

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  2. Reality

    Reality Registered Member

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    (Emphasis mine). Just look at these excerpts ....they will leave NO stone unturned to find out EVERYTHING they can about you to intrude into your private life and make money from you DIRTY DIRTY tactics :mad: :thumbd: :thumbd: :thumbd:

    Im not the most proficient techy person there is but I know this: that this even works at all, proves how gullible people have become. Whatever happened to people saying things like "if I didn't think of it first then it ain't a bargain", or "I didn't really need it anyway" LOL if they relied on me being suckered into these surreptitious mind games which is really just another form of hard-sell they'd have all hit the wall ages ago.
    Mmmm, so what exactly will this "identifier" be? I see the article states others giants SAY they provide an opt out but Google is not committing themselves. Any unique identifier that is incorporated into a system is "the camels nose in the door". I don't believe for a minute they would be happy for us to opt out of being uniquely ID'd.
     
  3. noone_particular

    noone_particular Registered Member

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    Whatever they implement has to fall into one of two categories. It's either some form of unique fingerprint derived from data provided by the browser that will be stored on their servers or it's some type of file stored on our equipment, eg. supercookie, ETag, etc. Anything they attempt to put on the users PC can be blocked once it's determined what it is. The data their sites get from the browser can be viewed, spoofed or blocked outright.

    If they go so far as to block users who attempt to defeat their tracking identifiers, then users need to stop using their sites.
     
  4. Reality

    Reality Registered Member

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    OK so what I should have mentioned was as this article is primarily talking about tracking across different platforms such as phones etc, so I was not only thinking of UIDs through software but also unique hardware ID's that are embedded and thus not removable and are difficult or impossible to stop them "phoning home". Someone correct me if my assumptions are wrong, but I wouldn't be surprised at all if phones have this already.

    Lets hope those who know what to look for can give those of us who don't, a heads up before anything gets on our systems.... after all, removing their baggage (I suppose) would be like removing a trojan or rootkit.
    Agree :thumb:
     
  5. Nebulus

    Nebulus Registered Member

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    There is a lot of devices that have a built-in or hardware ID. But that is half of the problem. In order for you to be tracked, a piece of software on that device (OS or an application) must send that ID back to the sites. For a smartphone this is easier, because the software environment is more controlled by Google, Apple or Microsoft. For a desktop computer, things are more complicated for them, as there is no real lock-in to any of the giants (Linux can replace Windows, another browser can replace Chrome, and so on).
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2013
  6. Reality

    Reality Registered Member

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    Thanks Nebulus for your comments. Im learning.
     
  7. J_L

    J_L Registered Member

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    Not really, at least for many Android phones that can be rooted and even install custom ROM from source. Firmware is of course a different matter with cell service everywhere and who knows what else they put.
     
  8. TheWindBringeth

    TheWindBringeth Registered Member

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    We can't assume that in every case there will be practical ways to eliminate/break/block such mechanisms. We also can't assume that it will be practical to avoid all those types of devices and services which will use them.

    Static, hardware derived IDs would be the worst case since they can't be changed and they would likely be associated with purchase records. However, even the so called "anonymous", "random", "resettable" IDs are a major issue. They can be used to associate traffic/information and they can be tied to personally identifiable information very easily in some cases. OS/device manufacturer metrics software collecting one along with a static device identifier associated with purchase records, someone foolishly clicking through an advertisement that used one and handing over personal information, etc. So although the later type of identifiers are better, they aren't better enough to significantly reduce the severity of the issue(s).

    SmartPhones are a useful example. Looking at just:

    Google...
    http://marketingland.com/google-rep...h-advertising-id-similar-to-apples-idfa-63636
    http://play.google.com/about/developer-content-policy.html
    Apple...
    http://blog.mobpartner.com/2013/07/08/ios7-tracking-solution-advertisers/
    https://developer.apple.com/library...dentifierManager_Ref/ASIdentifierManager.html

    You will see that these are mere policies and the related preference doesn't actually prevent apps from reading the ID and using it for whatever their developers consider to be appropriate and can get away with. Now, or in the future, more companies that have control over platforms may take that approach.

    I haven't heard of there being separate *per-app* preferences that provide more granular control. That would help but you would still be stuck with each app using the same ID. An ID which app developers and related sites/companies might end up using for other things. Including things users need or want. Imagine an Internet where web browsers only support one cookie and ID that will be used for all sites. Even if you could enable/disable that for individual sites, you'd be totally hosed. You *need* site-specific... app-specific... IDs. The best way to assure that those are used is to prevent there from being a global ID.
     
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