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Even the Ad Industry Doesn't Know Who's Tracking You

timothy posted about a year ago | from the watch-this-ad-for-a-hamburger dept.

Privacy 98

jfruh writes "The Internet advertising industry is keen to stave off government privacy rules and opt-in-only browsers by loudly proclaiming its adherence to a self-imposed code of conduct. Yet a little digging shows that even "self-regulated" advertisers link to services that link to other services that nobody's really sure what they do. That's why, for instance, when you visit a page on the Sears website, your web browsing behavior is being collected by a company that sells ringtones and won't return emails asking about their privacy policy."

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Oh... (5, Informative)

WizardFusion (989563) | about a year ago | (#43610897)

And that is why Ghostery and other such tools should be used until all tracking is banned.

Re:Oh... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43611723)

Leech.

Re:Oh... (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about a year ago | (#43611779)

You're right - the trackers are leeches, and we need to throw those blood suckers in a bucket of lye! I told you not to wade in the shallow end of the gene pool!

Re:Oh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43612043)

And that is why Ghostery and other such tools should be used until all tracking is banned.

Leech.

Have you ever heard the saying, "It takes one to know one"?

We have liitle to no control over what your web code can do (though ghostery and ABP can mitigate that some) , and if it's glomming every miniscule bit of my personal information it can (as it often is) to hand off to some outfit I've never heard of or would even dream of visiting, is it any wonder that we prefer to hand you a big fat "Fuck you!" when you try?

When I ask some stranger on the street if they have the time, they don't demand the right to steal the autobiography in my coat pocket. What makes you think you have the right to demand that of perfect strangers?

People like you are why I seldom return to websites like yours. Think about it.

Re:Oh... (2, Insightful)

Cinder6 (894572) | about a year ago | (#43611923)

Ghostery itself is a tracker: http://venturebeat.com/2012/07/31/ghostery-a-web-tracking-blocker-that-actually-helps-the-ad-industry/ [venturebeat.com]

I use a combination of ABP, DNTMe, and Firefox's built-in DNT flag.

Re:Oh... (1)

UltraZelda64 (2309504) | about a year ago | (#43612013)

Add NoScript and the disabling of all third-party cookies and you've pretty much got my browser security setup. I never really used Ghostery (tried it; settled with Do Not Track Plus). After reading that article, I'm glad I didn't... I'd rather not fuel these filthy scumbags.

Re:Ghostery itself is a tracker (2)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | about a year ago | (#43612505)

Yeah, I admit I use Ghostery as an intermediate step. I got to like their organized layout, and haven't put in the 20 hours to really nail down a pure replacement. For me it's important not just to block junk, but to know *who was there in the first place* (and then block them!) I have learned a lot about which "magazine sites" etc use more or less trackers from Ghostery. It's taught me a lot. So no, not perfect at all, but not bad for a beginner to the topic.

Re:Oh... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43612707)

If by "tracker" you mean "has clearly labelled 'opt-in to stats collection' checkbox on top of options page".

Don't want to be tracked by Ghostery? Don't turn on that checkbox! Problem solved.

Re:Oh... (1)

Burz (138833) | about a year ago | (#43615687)

What about DoNotTrackMe? I haven't seen an indication that they're like ghostery in that respect.

Their FAQ says: "we don't do advertising or data mining of any sort, ever."

Re:Oh... (1)

Parafilmus (107866) | about a year ago | (#43629389)

Ghostery itself is a tracker: http://venturebeat.com/2012/07/31/ghostery-a-web-tracking-blocker-that-actually-helps-the-ad-industry/ [venturebeat.com]

I use a combination of ABP, DNTMe, and Firefox's built-in DNT flag.

No. Ghostery is not "a tracker."

Ghostery's data collection is opt-in. To share data with them, you have to click a clearly-labeled checkbox. There doesn't appear to be anything fishy about it.

Re:Oh... (2)

sdnoob (917382) | about a year ago | (#43611965)

until all tracking is banned.

like we can trust the web sites, ad networks, and (most) search engines to NOT track, even if it was 'banned'.

browser functionality to block such behaviour, at least client-side, will pretty much always be necessary.

Re:Oh... (1)

aztracker1 (702135) | about a year ago | (#43612143)

The problem is that cross-domain cookie setting, and resource requests are a core functionality in web browsers... Not just for advertising, but simply a working site that loads remote resources.

Re:Oh... (1)

Raenex (947668) | about a year ago | (#43616023)

The problem is that cross-domain cookie setting, and resource requests are a core functionality in web browsers... Not just for advertising, but simply a working site that loads remote resources.

So is JavaScript, but I still browse with NoScript on by default and selectively enable when I want JavaScript. Along those lines, I also use RequestPolicy [mozilla.org] to block cross-domain requests by default, and selectively enable pages that need it. This works "fine" for a surprising number of sites (I put "fine" in quotes because the experience is quite different than standard browsing: in many ways better, but in some ways worse).

Tracking Illegal in the U.S.? (2)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about a year ago | (#43612253)

I think all trackers should be removed from the (U.S.) internet immediately, because:

(A) Tracking of those 13 years of age and younger is illegal, and

(B) trackers can't possibly know for sure who is 13 and who is not.

Re:Tracking Illegal in the U.S.? (1)

UltraZelda64 (2309504) | about a year ago | (#43617075)

If that would happen, that would be awesome. But you know, if such a thing was on the verge of happening, the scumbags in the advertising industry would throw so much money and lawyers out there that they would end up distorting everything and making it legal anyway, for reasons only worthless, crooked assholes like them could come up with.

Re:Oh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43616511)

Why stop using it when that happens?

Oh, yeah (4, Interesting)

Mitreya (579078) | about a year ago | (#43610933)

for instance, when you visit a page on the Sears website, your web browsing behavior is being collected by a company that sells ringtones

The NoScript list of blocked domains on many (even legitimate) websites is scary indeed. One of my favorites is Javascript from ru4.com required to be able login into your banking account on chase.com. Based on the name, it looks like a phishing website to me...

Re:Oh, yeah (4, Informative)

Trepidity (597) | about a year ago | (#43610987)

From their whois record, ru4.com claims to be X Plus One [xplusone.com] , an "enterprise" data-analytics company with a lot of finance-sector clients. So it seems reasonably plausible to me that Chase is contracting with them.

I don't get why large companies don't bring these things at least under their own subdomains, though. Even if you're having something hosted by a third party, it's not hard to set up its DNS at foo.chase.com.

Re:Oh, yeah (3, Interesting)

Mitreya (579078) | about a year ago | (#43611089)

From their whois record, ru4.com claims to be X Plus One, an "enterprise" data-analytics company with a lot of finance-sector clients.

Yeah, and the fact that ru4.com does not seem to resolve or redirect (the WHOIS record points to http://www.aboutus.org/ru4.com [aboutus.org] ) makes it sound very legitimate :)

So it seems reasonably plausible to me that Chase is contracting with them.

They can contract who they want, but the fact that a random analytics company has to execute javascript on my computer before I can even login to my Chase account galls me a bit.

I don't get why large companies don't bring these things at least under their own subdomains, though.

Yes! And I have chase.com in the whitelist already -- such a move would solve everyone's problem.

Re:Oh, yeah (4, Interesting)

Em Adespoton (792954) | about a year ago | (#43611219)

From their whois record, ru4.com claims to be X Plus One, an "enterprise" data-analytics company with a lot of finance-sector clients.

Yeah, and the fact that ru4.com does not seem to resolve or redirect (the WHOIS record points to http://www.aboutus.org/ru4.com [aboutus.org] ) makes it sound very legitimate :)

So it seems reasonably plausible to me that Chase is contracting with them.

They can contract who they want, but the fact that a random analytics company has to execute javascript on my computer before I can even login to my Chase account galls me a bit.

I don't get why large companies don't bring these things at least under their own subdomains, though.

Yes! And I have chase.com in the whitelist already -- such a move would solve everyone's problem.

Chase is a significant offender in this regard, as they change contractors semi-regularly. I often get alerts about new domains wanting access to chase assets.

But moving under chase.com wouldn't solve everyone's problem; I would no longer know that my data is being leaked, and Chase would suddenly be more accountable for their contractor's actions (as well as having to administer the DNS instead of letting their contractors administer their site.

Really, that's what subdomains are for though; everyone SHOULD be doing this. Of course, the ones you don't know about probably already are.

Re:Oh, yeah (4, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | about a year ago | (#43611345)

and Chase would suddenly be more accountable for their contractor's actions

Good, because those contractors are doing this on behalf of Chase -- so ideally they couldn't do something like denying any responsibility because it was all done by the evil contractor.

They did it on your behalf, and you engaged them to do it, you are still responsible for it. You can't then say that what your contractors do isn't your problem.

Essentially it lets them do an end run around their privacy policy. "We don't collect or share" becomes meaningless when the people who do the work for you do collect and share.

Re:Oh, yeah (1)

aztracker1 (702135) | about a year ago | (#43613245)

Chase could have a CNAME of foo.chase.com that points to chase.foo-provider.com, then foo-provider.com can manage their DNS and infrastructure however they want... this is how most CDNs work.

Re:Oh, yeah (2)

Rolgar (556636) | about a year ago | (#43613571)

I have a Chase account, and I have ru4.com disabled in NetScript, and I can login just fine.

Re:Oh, yeah (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43615339)

They can contract who they want, but the fact that a random analytics company has to execute javascript on my computer before I can even login to my Chase account galls me a bit.

And you can fix that by switching banks. I did that in the late 1990's, as some of the sillier banks "demanded internet explorer" if you wanted to do internet banking. Mozilla could fake it, but why bother? Let them loose the business instead. Let them know why you switch. Bankers just want your money, they don't really want to impose software on you.

Similiarly, if they see that people dislike their trackers and third-party links, they might get rid of them. They just want your money, they don't really need to impose third-party links either. If 2% of customers will leave due to cookies, cookies will go.

Re:Oh, yeah (1)

Synerg1y (2169962) | about a year ago | (#43611263)

Better yet, why aren't they more transparent about it?

Re:why aren't they more transparent about it? (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | about a year ago | (#43612563)

Because they like the current state of affairs. In a sense it's "sorta not that hard" of a problem, but they benefit from the current weak environment.

I bet any couple of guys in these companies know who does what, but they can carefully keep them separate from "corporate knowledge" and play dumb. For example, using the (I know, imperfect) Ghostery, in twelve seconds it gives you the list of all *seventeen* trackers on a typical page of IT World, but I bet 10 out of 12 PR reps couldn't name the complete list off the top of their heads. (But you know ONE of them can, because that's how they got there at all, see?)

Meanwhile "not responding to emails about privacy"?! Really?! Again They/We don't want to know. All you have to do is call "any company that doesn't disclose all privacy info to be aiding child kidnapping terrorists upon threat of subpoena by perjury subject to independent audit" and Boom! Here comes your info!

Re:why aren't they more transparent about it? (1)

Synerg1y (2169962) | about a year ago | (#43643465)

I think I'm equally divided on the agree/disagree factor here, and it's probably a little of both...

1. The company is too disorganized / doesn't know what they're doing, but they have enough sense to see the value of information, so they grab as much as they can, while valuable, they still don't really know what they have / what they're doing with it, these are prime hacker targets (iOS location tracking fiasco).

2. The company has bigger aspirations with the data they mine, the data is mined as thoroughly as possible, categorized, data mined, and formed into trend statistics that the FBI / NSA are very interested in (facebook).

As I said, it's probably a little of both that drives these unethical data collection practices.

Re:Oh, yeah (2)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about a year ago | (#43611397)

Even if you're having something hosted by a third party, it's not hard to set up its DNS at foo.chase.com.

It's not hard to set up DNS, but it is hard to get third-party programs to use it. The browser requests the script from foo.chase.com, and that's hosted at ru4.com... but the script requests another script, likely without knowing it's supposed to be at Chase... so it'll request from ru4.com, The uncertainty is still there, but now it's hidden under another layer of obscurity.

Alternatively, the third-party script gets a custom-branded version for each major contractor, which increases development cost, or the script is made aware of how it was requested, which involves more painful scripting and also drives up costs. Reassuring paranoid users just doesn't make business sense.

Re:Oh, yeah (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43611665)

Ever heard of relative paths?

Re:Oh, yeah (1)

KingMotley (944240) | about a year ago | (#43612053)

And which relative path do you suggest they might use in their master page / global header so that it works in all cases:
from http://chase.com/ [chase.com]
from https://chase.com/mortgages [chase.com]
from https://chase.com/banking [chase.com]
from https://chase.com/creditcards [chase.com]
from http://sub.chase.com/ [chase.com]
from http://www.chase.com/external/something/yourpagehere.aspx [chase.com]

Yes, it is easy to anonymously give out random useless answers than to actually think about the question.

Re:Oh, yeah (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43614123)

some IT fool at chase recommended not self-serving it because it would make the site load faster.

Re:Oh, yeah (3, Insightful)

Nyder (754090) | about a year ago | (#43611039)

for instance, when you visit a page on the Sears website, your web browsing behavior is being collected by a company that sells ringtones

The NoScript list of blocked domains on many (even legitimate) websites is scary indeed. One of my favorites is Javascript from ru4.com required to be able login into your banking account on chase.com. Based on the name, it looks like a phishing website to me...

What I like is when you allow a website and then suddenly you have 30 new addresses on the noscript list. Mainly when trying to read articles or see the videos attached, it becomes a guessing game (based on domain names) on who you should allow so you can see the text, or vid.

Re:Oh, yeah (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43617509)

When that happens to me, I'll make up to three semi-educated guesses based on how much I want to see the content vs how risky it is allowing arbitrary code to execute on my computer. After that, I assume that we're fighting over control of my computer security and I end the game by walking (browsing) away.

Re:Oh, yeah (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about a year ago | (#43611049)

The number of websites with ten or more scripts running seems to be increasing, and they seem to be increasing the number of scripts required to run as well. And then there's the helpful automatic redirecting AFTER the content of the page has loaded, taking you to a webpage saying "You need to turn off noscript to view this page properly!"

Has anyone seen any pages that do this with ghostery or REQUIRE facebook or google scripts to run in order to load?

Re:Oh, yeah (1)

DogDude (805747) | about a year ago | (#43611189)

You're surprised that Chase may not be on the up-and-up? Really? Have you read any news in the past decade or so...?

Re:Oh, yeah (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43611971)

ru4.com ... , it looks like a phishing website to me...

Thats a 3 letter domain name in the .com TLD, now that is a sign of a successfull phishing sham.

Graph of web site third party dependencies (4, Interesting)

erlehmann (1045500) | about a year ago | (#43612485)

I built a script to generate a graph of third-party resources a web page loads [dieweltistgarnichtso.net] , which often represent advertising and tracking (sample output for Spiegel Online, a German newspaper [dieweltistgarnichtso.net] ).

I also wrote a blog post about how advertising and tracking make sites slow (in German) [dieweltistgarnichtso.net] that contains even more graphs from when I ran the script in January 2013.

Re:Oh, yeah (2)

fast turtle (1118037) | about a year ago | (#43612695)

Then you're using noscript the wrong way. Instead, use a whitelist of those places you need scripting active and block everyone else by default. Far easier on the system then the other way. Another issue is that firefox gets slower and slower to start/shutdown along with unstable the more you add to the blocked sites. The solution I found that works the best is a combination. I use the Noscript list to build a host file and block at that level. It's more effective and actually protects more of the system since it's a system wide blocking instead of being limited to firefox only. This is very important when on a system with a second browser such as IE/Safari/Konqueror/Opera or any other.

Re:Oh, yeah (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43613325)

I would change bank if ALL content didn't come from their own address range and domain.

This article is an apk summoning ritual. (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43611003)

Now we just have to wait for apk to show up and tell us how only HOST files can protect us.

Re:This article is an apk summoning ritual. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43611061)

A corrupt slashdot luser has pentrated the moderation system to downmod all my posts while impersonating me.

Nearly 330++ times that I know of @ this point for all of March/April 2013 so far, & others here have told you to stop - take the hint, lunatic (leave slashdot)...

Sorry folks - but whoever the nutjob is that's attempting to impersonate me, & upset the rest of you as well, has SERIOUS mental issues, no questions asked! I must've gotten the better of him + seriously "gotten his goat" in doing so in a technical debate & his "geek angst" @ losing to me has him doing the:

---

A.) $10,000 challenges, ala (where the imposter actually TRACKED + LISTED the # of times he's done this no less, & where I get the 330 or so times I noted above) -> http://it.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3585795&cid=43285307 [slashdot.org]

&/or

B.) Reposting OLD + possibly altered models - (this I haven't checked on as to altering the veracity of the info. being changed) of posts of mine from the past here

---

(Albeit massively repeatedly thru all threads on /. this March/April 2013 nearly in its entirety thusfar).

* Personally, I'm surprised the moderation staff here hasn't just "blocked out" his network range yet honestly!

(They know it's NOT the same as my own as well, especially after THIS post of mine, which they CAN see the IP range I am coming out of to compare with the ac spamming troll doing the above...).

APK

P.S.=> Again/Stressing it: NO guys - it is NOT me doing it, as I wouldn't waste that much time on such trivial b.s. like a kid might...

Plus, I only post where hosts file usage is on topic or appropriate for a solution & certainly NOT IN EVERY POST ON SLASHDOT (like the nutcase trying to "impersonate me" is doing for nearly all of March/April now, & 330++ times that I know of @ least)... apk

P.S.=> here [slashdot.org] is CORRECT host file information just to piss off the insane lunatic troll.

--


CENSORED BY SLASHDOT [slashdot.org]
CENSORED BY SLASHDOT [slashdot.org]
CENSORED BY SLASHDOT [slashdot.org]
CENSORED BY SLASHDOT [slashdot.org]

Jeremiah Cornelius: Grow up (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43619861)

You're embarassing yourself Jeremiah Cornelius http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3581857&cid=43276741 [slashdot.org] since you posted that using your registered username by mistake (instead of your usual anonymous coward submissions by the 100's the past 2-3 months now on slashdot) giving away it's you spamming this forums almost constantly, just as you have in the post I just replied to.

Re:Jeremiah Cornelius: Grow up (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43630041)

You fail it, Paul. Your skill is not enough.

Re:This article is an apk summoning ritual. (3, Insightful)

Penguinisto (415985) | about a year ago | (#43612081)

You realize you just did the equivalent of saying "Beetlejuice" three times, right?

Re:This article is an apk summoning ritual. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43615969)

Hosts = better than ghostery (tracker by default) & AdBlock (doesn't blocks all ads) that a technically incompetent troll who lurks here named Jeremiah Cornelius uses (no wonder Microsoft FIRED him).

Re:This article is an apk summoning ritual. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43622697)

Ghostery doesn't do tracking of any kind, and it only collects any kind of data, anonymized at that, if you explicitly opt in to send it. It is not enabled by default.

Re:This article is an apk summoning ritual. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43625735)

Evidon = ad company & own Ghostery: Foxes guard your henhouse.

Re:This article is an apk summoning ritual. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43630079)

You fail it, Paul. Your skill is not enough.

Hey, idiot... wake up! apk (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43626811)

I show a hell of a lot more than just hosts files here -> http://www.google.com/search?output=search&sclient=psy-ab&q=%22HOW+TO+SECURE+Windows+2000/XP%22&btnG=Submit&gbv=1&sei=x3yEUcTEC7Wh4APx4IDwDg [google.com]

* :)

APK

P.S.=> You're also MORE THAN WELCOME to disprove what I DO STATE about custom hosts files here:

--

APK Hosts File Engine 5.0++ 32/64-bit:

http://start64.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=5851:apk-hosts-file-engine-64bit-version&catid=26:64bit-security-software&Itemid=74 [start64.com]

--

Good luck - you'll need more than that though! I've watched 100's of you naysayer idiot trolls attempt to do so... not a single one of you has, not a one (which makes me laugh)...

... apk

This is not I folks: It's Jeremiah Cornelius...apk (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43630071)

THIS is why he's doing it & proof of it, here -> http://interviews.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3585927&cid=43295193 [slashdot.org] when others pointed out Jeremiah Cornelius forgot to submit one of the "first post spams" masquerading as myself as AC, & mistakenly submitted one of the impersonations of myself as his registered 'luser' name here on /. forums.

Pretty pitiful actually, but like every up to no good idiot does? He screwed up & submitted it under his registered 'luser' name here.

* Jeremiah Cornelius: DO YOURSELF, and the rest of us, A GIANT FAVOR MAN: Seek professional psychiatric help!

(Since Jeremiah Cornelius obviously can't get over the fact he made a spelling error on what it is HE ALLEGEDLY DID FOR A LIVING? That's not MY fault... it's HIS!)

APK

P.S.=> I seriously must have dusted JC (in his mind @ least) for his BAD spelling error & it "got his goat"...

I.E.-> Catching what he claimed to do as a job, for YEARS he left "PENETRATION" (correct) spelled as "PENTRATION" (incorrect) on his resume on LinkedIn & I pointed it out as he & his friends trolled me as usual (webmistressrachel, gmhowell, & crew (probably ALL JC no doubt using alterate emails or TOR to do it as a possible - I've caught "them & theirs" doing it before, ala Barbara, not Barbie = TomHudson (same person))).

So THAT is what has gotten his goat in a technical debate & his "geek angst" could only come up with *trying* to "impersonate me" in every news thread on /. for the month of March 2013 so far!

(Just to attempt to 'discredit me' as a spammer here obviously)

Doing so, by posting that "$10,000 challenge" &/or reposts of my old posts on hosts file value to end users into EVERY SINGLE NEWS ARTICLE POSTED on /. ...

It's all I can think of that *might* cause such a mentally troubled 'reaction' like the Jeremiah Cornelius is doing & there's NO QUESTION he's the one doing this spamming of nearly every posted article masquerading as myself...!

... apk

Jeremiah Cornelius: Grow up (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43630091)

You're embarassing yourself Jeremiah Cornelius http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3581857&cid=43276741 [slashdot.org] since you posted that using your registered username by mistake (instead of your usual anonymous coward submissions by the 100's the past 2-3 months now on slashdot) giving away it's you spamming this forums almost constantly, just as you have in the post I just replied to.

Are you Evil? (1)

mattr (78516) | about a year ago | (#43611041)

All we need is a form with a couple of checkboxes.

1. Are you Evil? [ ] Yes [ ] No

Then we just need a few people to define Evil
for several contexts, add a followup question for kicks,
and we're done.

Re:Are you Evil? (2)

gstoddart (321705) | about a year ago | (#43611407)

1b. If you answered No to the above, you will be marked as Evil.

Re:Are you Evil? (1)

femtobyte (710429) | about a year ago | (#43611869)

RfC 3514 [ietf.org] . Why re-invent the wheel with new standards?

Re:Are you Evil? (1)

TheNastyInThePasty (2382648) | about a year ago | (#43613559)

That should work out about as well as the "Do Not Track" header field...

and yet... (3)

X0563511 (793323) | about a year ago | (#43611053)

... and yet they whine and moan about people using adblockers and such.

Shut up, bitches. You made your bed, now you get to sleep in it.

Re:and yet... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43614147)

... and yet they whine and moan about people using adblockers and such.

Shut up, bitches. You made your bed, now you get to sleep in it.

This. I actually don't mind ads on most pages as far as how they show up (except the ones that play audio automatically). I actually prefer the ad supported model to access resources online versus the subscription model. I'd have no problem having the ads show in order to support websites I visit regularly. But I run with ad block, no script, and no flash for security concerns. If the model is broken, it's not from the people using adblock- it's from the sloppy advertisers that basically require running an adblocker as a basic security measure.

LOL ... (4, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | about a year ago | (#43611103)

And according to DoNotTrackMe, TFA has beacons for 5 tracking companies, plus two social media sites. So ITWorld are just as guilty of this shit as everyone else.

I swear, between NoScript, AdBlockPlus, DoNotTrackMe, and blocking/deleting cookies -- I'm *still* not sure how much crap is out there I'm missing.

I don't feel the slightest bit of guilt for blocking these sites so some marketing asshole can collect data.

Re:LOL ... (2)

xQuarkDS9x (646166) | about a year ago | (#43611201)

And according to DoNotTrackMe, TFA has beacons for 5 tracking companies, plus two social media sites. So ITWorld are just as guilty of this shit as everyone else.

I swear, between NoScript, AdBlockPlus, DoNotTrackMe, and blocking/deleting cookies -- I'm *still* not sure how much crap is out there I'm missing.

I don't feel the slightest bit of guilt for blocking these sites so some marketing asshole can collect data.

I run those exact same addons you do in firefox along with Social fixer plus to actually straighten out the mess facebook is, Cookies Manager+ to see all my cookies and block cookies, and finally Element hiding helper for adblock plus which comes in handy. My wife insists on me playing that "oh so popular game" on facebook called Songpop.

With element hiding helper I ended up having to block five or six items that even adblock plus missed so they won't show. And now lately i've came across the RARE sites that demand you to disable adblock plus and or noscript? Screw you I say and I go elsewhere.

Re:LOL ... (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about a year ago | (#43611233)

And now lately i've came across the RARE sites that demand you to disable adblock plus and or noscript?

I haven't seen that, but any site which makes that suggestion will simply get a back button and then ignored.

They all say they need ads to run, and that they have a privacy policy, but then they don't even know who all is getting to see your browsing habits.

No thanks.

Re:LOL ... (1)

IANAAC (692242) | about a year ago | (#43612063)

And now lately i've came across the RARE sites that demand you to disable adblock plus and or noscript?

I haven't seen that, but any site which makes that suggestion will simply get a back button and then ignored.

Really? You've never been to hulu.com? I get at least a couple of them every show I watch through them. I just wait it out, though. The clock just ticks the seconds down until the black-screened warning goes away and programming resumes.

Re:LOL ... (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about a year ago | (#43612153)

Really? You've never been to hulu.com?

Nope ... because I just don't care.

Re:LOL ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43612213)

*rare*? HA. Half of them these days you have to basically enable all of the javascript to just view 1 page or play the nLog(n) search which ones you need.

Re:LOL ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43613499)

I'm sure they are all deeply saddened of losing a net negative value user.

Re:LOL ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43612329)

I don't feel the slightest bit of guilt for blocking these sites so some marketing asshole can collect data

I think it's pretty awesome that you block them from tracking you. That way, us Beliebers are the only ones tracked, so our opinions end up with way more weight! You totally get to see ads targeted to us because they don't know what you like! Victory for Team Bieber!

Wow. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43612435)

You typed all that with one hand?

Re:LOL ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43614273)

No, I don't see any ads because I have NoScript installed and most ad companies are too retarded to make the ads work without Javascript.

Re:LOL ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43615369)

Nice humor, but with a fault. We don't get to see ads targeted to you - because we don't get the ads. We don't merely block the tracking - we block the ads themselves too!

Re:LOL ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43616583)

Don't forget the tracking the sites themselves do and that you can't even tell since it happens entirely inside their own servers.

Re:LOL ... (1)

Andreas Mayer (1486091) | about a year ago | (#43616743)

And according to DoNotTrackMe, TFA has beacons for 5 tracking companies, plus two social media sites.

You missed quite a few.

Ghostery reports 17 (!) beacons:
Adhere, Adobe Digital Marketing, BlueKai, Demandbase, Digg Widget, Disqus, Dynamic Logic, Eloqua, Facebook Connect, Google +1, Google Analytics, Krux Digital, LinkedIn Widgets, New Relic, Quantcast, Scorecard Research Beacon, ShareThis

Nice collection!

I'll tell you what I'm thinking (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43611191)

I'm thinking of setting up a HTTP/S proxy service that strips out all of this nonsense so people can enjoy a clean WWW.

I block everything, so all sites I visit are really clean as they should be. I already pay to use the Internet. I will not be an unwitting partner in unsound data collection practices. People need to stop trying to monetize everything. Really? I would like to see an entirely new "Internet" that is ad-free, tracker-free, and just serves up content paid for via small subscription fee.

Re:I'll tell you what I'm thinking (1, Insightful)

femtobyte (710429) | about a year ago | (#43611253)

Great idea! You could even raise additional funds by collecting and reselling info about what your users are browsing. Maybe even insert some relevant product-based sponsored informational links into the proxied pages?

Re:I'll tell you what I'm thinking (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43611341)

Why the sarcastic tone? Having an Internet devoid of anything but actual real content is a superb idea. In the end, what with everything kind of heading towards a feudalistic model anyway (walled in gardens), I think it's very possible there could be several "universes" out there. Ads, tracking, etc., are evil. Not everything needs to be about money.

I would gladly pay to access a "universe" with not ads, no tracking, nothing untoward. It's possible. You are either part of solution or part of the problem.

Re:I'll tell you what I'm thinking (3)

femtobyte (710429) | about a year ago | (#43611553)

Sorry for the cynicism. I agree that stripping out all the junk is a great idea. The question is where to do this. Working through a third-party proxy as described above is great if the proxy is trustworthy. Unfortunately, it just adds another link in the chain that, if the idea takes off, would be attractive to scumsucking privacy invaders to exploit with their own deceptive variants. Working towards privacy-by-default on the browser side seems to me a better approach. Wouldn't it be cool if a default Firefox install would require the user to add a bunch of plugins if they wanted to unblock ads and tracking? Better browser privacy design to prevent "data leaks" (like what the EFF is trying to study with Panopticlick [eff.org] ) can provide much of the benefit of proxies without requiring extra layers of trust (and costs for proxy operation).

Install Collusion (3, Informative)

vettemph (540399) | about a year ago | (#43611393)

Install Collusion add-on into your Firefox browser and monitor it while surfing. After visiting a few web sites you will see links forming to ten other sites. etc...
It becomes apparent that everyone is telling everyone else about you.

looks like this...
http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2012/4/13/1334309538603/Collusion1.jpg [guim.co.uk]

Re:Install Collusion (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43612167)

Second that.

I like collusion.. Once or twice a month i open it up and track down all the weird little sites linked to the normal sites i use..

And add them all to my hosts file so i never get them again.

Seems i have gotten most of the 'big name' ones.. There's less and less crap to cleanout every time i look in there.

No need for government. (3, Funny)

noobermin (1950642) | about a year ago | (#43611399)

"Self Regulated"

Good! They don't need government intervention, soon the free market will offer a privacy-friendly service and the free market will eventually choose that over these other services that don't respect my privacy.

But, don't regulate! Keep your government off my information-tracking ad service!
The only thing that can stop a bad guy with a spying/tracking ad service is a good guy with a spying/tracking ad service.

Re:No need for government. (5, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | about a year ago | (#43611497)

Apparently you missed the part where they're stunningly incapable of self regulating.

Self regulation is corporate speak for "let us do whatever the hell we want and leave us alone".

Re:No need for government. (2)

noobermin (1950642) | about a year ago | (#43612319)

Poe's Law bro, Poe's law ...

Re:No need for government. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43616525)

Self regulation is a euphemism for no regulation.

And you know what happens when you have no laws or rules or enforcement.

Yay Ghostery. (2)

DdJ (10790) | about a year ago | (#43611571)

There's extensions for just about every browser. Good stuff.

http://www.ghostery.com/ [ghostery.com]

Re:Yay Ghostery. (1)

xQuarkDS9x (646166) | about a year ago | (#43611631)

There's extensions for just about every browser. Good stuff.

http://www.ghostery.com/ [ghostery.com]

There's also https://www.abine.com/dntdetail.php [abine.com] which is what I decided to use after being a longtime Ghostery user especially since it would appear that Ghostery has had some memory hogging issues lately.

not responding to emails (2)

codepigeon (1202896) | about a year ago | (#43611719)

Maybe that company that sells ringtones is really a front for the CIA/NSA? That's what I would do if I were them. Pretend to be an advertiser whilst collecting/building profiles.

Re:not responding to emails (1)

femtobyte (710429) | about a year ago | (#43611975)

Why would the CIA/NSA want to bother with pretending to be an advertiser? They can just buy up the information from a real advertiser for less effort. Private enterprise for the win (and humankind for the loss)!

Re:not responding to emails (1)

kermidge (2221646) | about a year ago | (#43616325)

It's not unusual for a national intel org to participate in, even form, any number of small legitimate businesses. It helps them in several ways. If it shows a profit, that's a source, however small, of off-the-books funds which can be used in a great variety of ways - whether helping sort out an unofficial defector or source, buy vehicles, rent apartments in different places around the world - again unofficial safe houses, one-off meeting places, etc.

The companies can also provide a bit of legitimate cover, also a handy place to park an unofficial person in a holding capacity until further disposition or assignment, whathaveyou.

This is fairly standard practice by many countries.

That's why I block 3rd party cookies by default (1)

jonr (1130) | about a year ago | (#43611919)

You wouldn't believe how much tracking is going on within a typical website. Even /. has some strange tracking service scorecardresearch.com. I'm not saying they are marketing scums of the earth, but their privacy policy doesn't say much. More 'mainstream' sites, e.g. huffingtonpost.com has no less than 11 3rd party tracking/login cookies.

(Hmm... scorecardresearch.com seems to be everywhere, btw)

We verified it. (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about a year ago | (#43612009)

Oh come on! Major web sites have vetted these advertisers to ensure their accounts have sufficient funds to pay for the advertising.

Use Firefox? Get Self Destructing Cookies add-on (5, Interesting)

neiras (723124) | about a year ago | (#43612279)

It lets the sites set their cookies, waits a few seconds (or until tab is closed), then nukes 'em. There's a whitelist for sites you actually use.

https://addons.mozilla.org/En-us/firefox/addon/self-destructing-cookies/ [mozilla.org]

I like this solution because you don't have to wait for Ghostery to add support for an advertiser, or an updated filter definition for adblock. EVERYTHING gets nuked, except the sites you care enough about to whitelist. It's a better default cookie policy.

Re:Use Firefox? Get Self Destructing Cookies add-o (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43613561)

Until you go to a site using a 3rd party payment system (unbeknownst to you), and the site's cookie check passes allowing you to proceed to payment, which then occurs after the cookie has been nuked so your payment is charged but not credited on the site.

I'm sure after a couple of hours on the phone or spent emailing that it can all be sorted out, but your net +/- in time is probably pretty far in the red after something like this.

Re:Use Firefox? Get Self Destructing Cookies add-o (1)

Lord Bitman (95493) | about a year ago | (#43619489)

Wow, a post about cookies from a privacy nut which I actually agree with!

Expiring at the end of a browser session is indeed a good default cookie policy, and I see nothing wrong with a pop-up at the top of the browser window, similar to the "Do you want to save your password?", ActiveX warnings, etc, which states "The website at xnd.garbledgunk.adserver.goo[NOT VERIFIED] would like us to send data [view data] whenever this site is accessed, until September 1st, 2013. It gives the reason "Enhanced Browsing Experience". Do you want to allow this? [Yes] [No] [Send data, but forget it when I close my browser]"

NOSCRIPT (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43612451)

If I visit a vendor's site and can't browse unless I enable the spy sites, I don't buy.

I caught one of the cable companies (and state offices) doing this on the wrong side of an HTTPS connection
and let them know that allowing those companies visibility on a secure connection was a bad idea.
At best, (in the U.S.) it could be considered a HIPPA violation. It changed after I mentioned that.

And it's all on purpose (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43612975)

They do it on purpose for plausible deniability, the same as spam e-mails or opt-out lists. The web of who does what is so confusing that if you do try to blame someone, they'll do so much finger pointing you'll never find it out. This is like a GOF Design Pattern, only for organizational structure.

Requestpolicy (1)

tick-tock-atona (1145909) | about a year ago | (#43614513)

This firefox addon blocks anything from 3rd party domains on any site you visit, but with a configurable whitelist for any sites you actually care about.

https://www.requestpolicy.com/ [requestpolicy.com]

groupthink (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43614791)

this is such 1960's TV /radio commercial thinking. if you allow moderate cookies by well-behaved advertising (ie, in the best interest of the market), you form HELPFUL advertisements actually TARGETED to things you actually might want! imagine that!

Re:groupthink (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43616605)

I might be an exception, but generally if you keep advertising in my face, even if I wanted the product, I won't buy it any more. Weird concept this, the consumer voting with his/her pocketbook. The internet should be free of this crap. Often the ads are in exceptionally bad taste - becasue they are automated to match the content / context. Example - a news story about a horrific car crash caused by a falling tree appears on the local news site, and 3/5 of the ads are about car insurance, life insurance. Or when there are ships agound or flipped like the Costa Corruptiona - ads about taking a cruise ... extremely inapropriate. Advertisers are 1 lower than used-car sharks. But 1 above social website owners.

Slashdot itself.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43616399)

slashdot.orf - of course, the protagonist
fsdn.com
rpxnow.com
doubleclick.net
google-analytics.com

And this is everywhere now! The really anoying thing is that they often cascade, so Ok-ing one entry suddenly doubles the number of parasites in the list.

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