"Rubicon Project, the digital advertising infrastructure company, is on a mission to automate buying and selling for the global online advertising industry"
"BlueKai is a cloud-based big data platform that enables companies to personalize online, offline, and mobile marketing campaigns"
"Google Analytics is a freemium web analytics service offered by Google that tracks and reports website traffic."
"Through our global research efforts, ScorecardResearch collects data that assists companies around the world in providing products and services that better meet the needs of consumers"
And of course:
"Instagram is a photo and video-sharing social networking service owned by Facebook, Inc"
Check 'I am an advanced user' in the settings, then click on either 'requests blocked' or 'domains connected' in the drop-down to access dynamic filtering. Block everything third-party by default by clicking in the right side of the second column. Load a site with lots of third-party content, disable the block (by clicking in the middle of the third column, greying-out the block) for only those things which seem to be essential to show page content and you're done.
While not as fine-grained as uMatrix, uBlock Origin generally is the quicker way to go from 'empty page' to 'only the content I want' on sites which, without blocking, are tracker-ridden dark-pattern hell-holes.
I never bothered with uMatrix until I picked up a cheap computer to use while traveling. Firefox was borderline unusable without it.
Or just wait until May 25th and send them a GDPR Subject Access Request. Seriously, Facebook's GDPR team must be having kittens.
(Maybe "an EU citizen living in the US" would be more credible; at least not immediately contradicted by your IP address.)
Many European expats will have similarly US-centric data. I just don't know that Facebook can (or will be allowed to) determine my true citizenship.
But in my mind, that could easily end up being an issue for the (EU) courts. As a matter of disposition and policy, I see no reason why the EU wouldn’t want to fine Facebook for as much as humanly possible. I’m half tempted to apply for e-residency just to see what happens. It would be interesting if nothing else!
I've done the (becoming) standard uBlock, uMatrix (which makes most sites unusable until you tweak it), setting up "do not track" and "no cookies". Using private browsing with TOR. It doesn't seem like any of this is enough to prevent someone that seriously wants to track you.
So what are the next steps?
My view is that if you (as a web developer) require code to make something on your site work you should host it yourself as part of your site. If you don’t host it, you actually have no idea what code is making up your site and won’t know if it changes because the third-party hosts will not play into your change control process.
This is how Best Buy was compromised recently - they used 3rd-party code on their site that got changed from under them.
I try to avoid using any services that try to analyse my behaviour (so no music service like spotify, no video service like netflix, no social medias, no closed messaging service...)
I use ublock on my browsers in paranoid mode (block all third parties and having to whitelist what's needed for a website to work)
My phone is an android on which i've installed lineage with no gapps and i use fdroid to get apps
All this is a pain to manage (at least i learnt a lot managing all this) and can't definitely be done by people who are not interrested by the technical side
It's also quite restrictive and definitly cut myself from a lot of friends.
I still find it worthwhile though and am not interested in stopping hosting my own services.
For me the main issue is that the web isn't privacy friendly at all by default, trying to make it so is not easy and is not something my parent, for example, can do, even if they want to.
Right now Facebook is under the spotlights, but it's the scapegoat of a whole data business.
I don't know why I should trust twitter with it's tracking buttons everywhere.
Why should i trust CDN that centralise queries from a lot of websites.
Why should i trust all those services plugged into websites?
And then when you really decide that you need something, use all that privacy contraptions you are using currently to try and find what you are looking for without fear of being manipulated.
That's what I've opted for anyway. Am I missing something? Perhaps spam calls are a problem in this case, but I've never gotten it yet thankfully.
I use my VPN for 2 reasons:
* host some services at home behind a non static IP
* my ISP "steal" ip addreses to implement country-wide website blocking, which mean that their own routing can't be trusted
I use my own DNS server also because:
* of obvious tracking reasons
* the same ISP leak data to yahoo when a domain can't be resolved (which means that it's a lying DNS server that can't be trusted neither)
I just meant that I'm using is what I consider to be an acceptable solution to browse the web, but those are incredibely complex for the sole purpose of having a bit of privacy...
And most of it has quite a limited effect to be honest.
Having your own mail server for example is a bit useless since most people uses gmail, hotmail or something as bad. In the end, the main benefit is having providing yourself a better service than those...
I still find the exercise of having control over as much data as possible quite interesting though.
- Developing/using an open source, privacy minded smart phone.
- Use cash or a vanilla debit card that doesn't track you. I was shocked that after I buy a very very particular and specific item at Walmart, I see ads all the time. I believe even Walmart is selling data to advertisers.
- Ask representatives to improve privacy laws.
This site is far from perfect, but check out privacytools.io if you're looking for additional layered options for every service and app you use.
I don't think it's mentioned on there but I would recommend setting up a pihole for good overall protection for your entire home network. Again, it isn't going to stop the government or someone else from really monitoring you. And it's just an additional layer. But it's a really easy way to block advertiser tracking for every device on your network.
This would probably do nothing to the invisible pixels and other stuff though.
The thing is though that most people don't care. Or to be more precise, they don't know enough to care. Apart from the HN community I haven't seen anyone else bothered with all this FB/CA clusterfuck. I've even read journalists who think that it's ok for FB to track you since they give you their platform for free. So basically it's just us against everyone else and frankly I don't see this going further.
Journalists aren’t stupid, they know what hand feeds them, and they are strongly dis-incentivized to call too much attention to the fiasco of advertising driven monetization models.
Originally from Tacitus: "To ravage, to slaughter, to usurp under false titles, they call empire; and where they make a desert, they call it peace."
For example, I'm sure my search data is less to Google than Google is to me. How much would you consider reasonable for their service? $50-100 per year would seem reasonable to me - I'd pay that for an ad-free non-tracked experience. This might actually be good for them, because I'd finally become an Android user - my main concern is my privacy as I use the Android platform.
They could hire an independent company to regularly audit this and make a report to prove that they are not tracking people who subscribe to the service.
I'm sure there are flaws with this idea but is anyone actually discussing an alternative to tracking? We simply cannot expect a company to offer any product for free.
Traditional advertising sold based on the audience you provide. It works well.
You can use DuckDuckGo today to reduce your exposure to tracking:
But perhaps this is because Google tracks me. When I search for "private variable" it knows I'm likely referring to C# as opposed to Java and shows an appropriate result. When I search for "supermarket london" it knows I'm referring to London, UK and not London in Canada.
So perhaps after thinking about it a bit more, what I want isn't feasible.
I spent a while trying and failing to use DDG reliably. Then I took a second pass a bit later, the results were only a little worse than Google.
Then over time, I found myself using the !g command to double check DDG less and less.
I did a !g search for the first time in several months yesterday, and laughed when I saw how much worse Google’s results were.
Try it for a month. You may find out that you’re just used to a particular way of searching Google. Maybe DDG will offer you something better once you get a little familiarity.
In particular, I find technical topic searches to be head-and-shoulders better with DDG than Google.
Edit: I just actually forgot how to list a directory in C# so I ran my first query:
It has a code sample right at the top. That's one better than Google right there!
Also, me and many others would never pay for online services like search and social media. I'd rather give up my data and use it for free. These services just aren't worth it to me. Probably not a popular opinion but it is true.
I'm sure many do not care about paying for search and social media, and that's fine. I'd say it is a popular opinion actually - most of my friends who are not involved in technology don't really have a proper grasp of what all the fuss is about.
It’s working, and they can produce quality content (they also have other submission plans where you get premium content)
All that leaves is secrecy, so we'll have to live with running blockers of various kinds, in a shitty arms race with the web people who want all the data they can get their grubby little hands on.
Fuck the web. It was one of the last truly successful open protocols from the early era of the internet, and it's turned out to be one of the worst (not just because of all the tracking, also because of the insane attitude of web people that it should try and compete with native applications).
To be clear, the cause of the rise of the “web application” was that there was no other cross-platform, automatically updating, mostly standardized and stable application platform available on every device.
Simple economics demand those features from an application platform, but nothing else offered it. Not Java, Flash, QT, nor any of the mobile native app platforms.
Web apps are the “least bad” solution that meet those critical requirements. And they will never die because of it.
What you actually end up with are apps that are really hard to test, very poorly integrated with 100% of the platforms they are used on, hard to find and difficult to use if your connectivity isn't consistent.
And it's only going to get worse as WebAssembly really takes hold.
The only real maintenance has been OS and SQL Server version upgrades.
How is that not “stable”?
People who opt out of it and then rant about it on the internet are kind of like kids hiding in the bushes yelling "you can't see me!"
I hate you because you’re rich and I’m not. Also, it’s the cool thing to do right now, and I have to make money somehow, after all.
As much as I think the best thing that could happen to FB is to just vanish, I can't "hate" this guy I never met who never ever seemed happy and now just looks tired. I doubt the author does, either. So why lie about it? That's both kinda pathetic and predictably unhelpful. It's not like the article doesn't contain information, but that framing sucks.
There's a lot to be said about the actions and words of Facebook as a whole, and of Mark Zuckerberg, but it does more harm than good if it's with the intent to make it about Facebook and Zuckerberg, instead of those things no matter who happens to do or say them, and our responsibilities not just in response, but in action rather than just reaction.