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It’s because tracking protection blocks ads based on domains. It doesn’t recognize that AdSense can serve non-personalized ads that don’t track you. Privacy Badger has the same design limitation.

Firefox and Privacy Badger should want to promote the use of non-personalized non-tracking ads, but allowing well-behaved ads isn’t really a priority.




Why do you believe that Google aren't tracking people? If they have the technological capability to do so they almost certainly do, even if they happen to serve non-personalised ads while doing it.


Because technology alone can’t protect your privacy. You need to trust people. Google says they don’t track ads when configured to not-track. They provide technical details on what this means. It’s designed around the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). At some point there has to be trust. I trust that Google won’t risk millions of Euros in fines over lying about not tracking people.


> Because technology alone can’t protect your privacy.

Technology alone actually does allow us to choose between "send data to Google and trust that they won't do anything bad" vs. "don't send data to Google and know that they won't do anything bad".

EDIT: I appreciate that you care about privacy. You care about it a lot more than most websites seem to, so it does seem unfair that you're getting more flak in this thread than most websites do even though they run more trackers than you do.

I notice this pattern a lot, in myself and others. When there's a choice between a solution that solves no problems, and a solution that tries to solve the problems but only manages half of them, the latter solution tends to get criticised for the half of the problems it doesn't solve, and the first solution doesn't get criticised at all.

Don't really know what I'm trying to say. Just that the criticism you're getting in this thread (some of it from me) isn't entirely justified, and I'm glad you care about privacy, even if you don't go about it the same way I do.


> I notice this pattern a lot, in myself and others. When there's a choice between a solution that solves no problems, and a solution that tries to solve the problems but only manages half of them, the latter solution tends to get criticised for the half of the problems it doesn't solve, and the first solution doesn't get criticised at all.

It's called "Copenhagen Interpretation of Ethics", and it's a problem.

https://blog.jaibot.com/the-copenhagen-interpretation-of-eth...

TL;DR: "The Copenhagen Interpretation of Ethics says that when you observe or interact with a problem in any way, you can be blamed for it. At the very least, you are to blame for not doing more. Even if you don’t make the problem worse, even if you make it slightly better, the ethical burden of the problem falls on you as soon as you observe it. In particular, if you interact with a problem and benefit from it, you are a complete monster."


> the [partial] solution tends to get criticised for the half of the problems it doesn't solve, and the [ineffective] solution doesn't get criticised at all.

It comes out as criticism, and I agree you're right to critique it, but I think it's intended to be persuasion. People completely write off the "solution that solves no problems" and just look for a way to bypass it. If they see a half-solution, they see potential for improvement, and naturally try to realize the potential. But most people aren't very good at being really persuasive; they just see their own point of view and become critical/forceful.


Sure. And if you block all ads and form of measurements, people will stop creating content you like. Then Google won’t know anything about the lack of content in your fields of interest. Great solution.

Just look at the market for “Linux news” websites. Linux usage is up across the board (including desktop installations), but the target audience are all blocking ads so there are barely any websites left that cater to people who’re interested in that content category.

People don’t like paying for content. There is few feasible micro-payment schemes around (because of the high payment service fees) and the few that try have few users. Ads enable free content to be produced in great quantities on the most niche subjects imaginable. Unless you have a great funding model that can replace ads, we have to find ways to limit what tracking ads can do (FPI) without outright blocking them.

Adblockers don’t just block ads. It blocks funding to creative efforts.


> Unless you have a great funding model that can replace ads

This is what we're trying to do at Snowdrift.coop (I am a volunteer). There's already a good introduction at https://wiki.snowdrift.coop, so I'm just going to link there and quote the beginning:

> Snowdrift.coop [is] a non-profit cooperative platform for funding freely-licensed works everyone can use and share without limitations.

> Our core feature is a new fundraising approach we call crowdmatching. Patrons donate together by all agreeing to match one another instead of donating unilaterally.

We also have a new 1 minute intro video[1], if you'd prefer that format. Note: the low streaming quality is a quirk of archive.org; you can get higher by downloading the webm.

[1]: https://archive.org/details/snowdrift-dot-coop-intro


In an alternate world where the advertising industry is respectful I would agree.

In our current world the advertising industry has demonstrated their inability to self-regulate, and even Google isn’t any better (see the recent issues regarding Android tracking locations even when the option was set to off).

GDPR is irrelevant in that case. If the tracking happens in such a way that it’s impossible to tell from outside Google then nobody will have grounds to sue.


Google has already been fined billions of euros by the EU, and is currently being investigated by the EU for lying about not tracking people.


> Because technology alone can’t protect your privacy.

Hell, it's the only thing that can.




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