Maybe I've just been conditioned by the fake unsubscribe links found in email spam, but I don't want to accidentally give these advertisers more information than they already have. Even if they already have complete information on me (which they undoubtedly do), I don't want to provide them with unnecessary confirmation that the information they have is correct.
Back then everyone was using pinks (contracts with an allowed quota of complaints per day baked in) for mailing. If you scrubbed your lists against unsubs and bounces, you got less complaints and could negotiate better rates in the future.
So whether or not the "fake unsubscribe" thing was real (my intuition says yes it was), it appears that times have changed!
Regular removal of cookies, and LSO cookies, as well as clearing the browser cache, is also recommended.
Then there's the ubiquitous "Connect" buttons which are spammed all across the web. Prudence dictates that we avoid connecting our logins across the net in an indiscriminate manner.
Finally, there are "burner" email addresses which I use only to register with certain websites.
Nearly all of the spam that makes it past my filters is from so-called "legitimate" websites.
Kept an empty inbox for the next 3 years.
2 years ago (or thereabouts) Facebook introduces a new messaging setup (about or a bit before their new interface, I've forgotten what they call it)
- all the messages were back, all the way back to my first messages sent jn 2005.
As for FB allegedly tracking me subsequent to my account deletion, could someone explain to me how it could be so?
I never posted my actual DOB, nor my cell phone, the email address I used to register hasn't been logged into for many months, and I'm using a new ISP - which uses dynamic allocation addressing.
FB continuesly harrassing me to give them my email password - of all things to ask for! - is something I will never get. 'We'll check your contact list for friends! We won't save your password!' My email password! You wanna install a camera in my room while you're at it?
But some people apparently actually use the service, and thus FB can find out you exist and who you're friends with. They might also mention you etc.
No one can be sure if it is that way, or if the data is really deleted. And knowing their take on user-privacy, I tend to believe, that data is never deleted by Facebook.
One example: a person committed a crime and stored evidence on FB. FB retains user data forever. They might not make it public, but the data is not deleted.
The only economically productive use-case of marketing is to lead trades to take place that would not have taken place otherwise, or higher-quality trades to take place; which can have its roots in consumer gullibility, but ideally reflects some new company telling me about a relevant product that I didn't know existed. This happens rarely. Having it happen more often sounds like a good idea to me.
That makes me never want to try the extension, no matter how good it may be.
byoogle is the mastermind behind Disconnect. :)
Though I've been uneasy since Ghostery went closed source but it's so easy to use and light on the browser. Disconnect is partially open source too, and ABP is fully open source. I guess I might switch back to ABP if complains start for Ghostery.
Without auditing, calling a server open source is meaningless.
Either you are incorrect, or this functionality is non-obvious. Based on recent experience, I'm leaning toward the former.
When I go to edit my blocking options when a site doesn't play nice with Ghostery, I'm given options either to disable certain tracker-blocking or to disable Ghostery entirely on a given domain. There doesn't seem to be an option to stop blocking a given tracker only when its loaded from a certain site.
There is one tracker I've unblocked because it breaks functionality on one site, and I'm fairly certain I've seen its effects on a different site recently as well. It doesn't seem to have unblocked that tracker only for the one site I need it disabled to use.
For Chrome and Safari, click on the Ghostery icon to bring up its popup control, then click on the 'Edit blocking options' link which will give a checkbox list of trackers to enable/disable. Click out of the pop-up to close it then, reload the page.
For Firefox, bring up to pop-up, then click on the checkbox to the right of the slider, then click on the reload link to reload the page. The slider enables/disables the tracker browser-wide, the checkbox enables/disables for the current domain.
I wasn't sure of this last night when I wrote the comment, but I just tried it out with Google Analytics (since it's pretty ubiquitous), and it wasn't only unblocked on that domain.
And I believe I remember also seeing a statement to the effect of "we don't obfuscate the code in our XPI", so you could just extract the add-on as a ZIP file if you want to audit the source.
Note: Ghostery dev here.
Any browser add-on could be monitoring your entire on-line activity. Why the hell does that suddenly become a problem when one's up-front about what data they collect, when they collect it, and what they do with it?
And no, they don't say "trust me". As I mentioned in my first comment, they say "if you don't trust us, unpack the add-on and check the source yourself". Which you definitely can - I just did it myself to verify, and it looks like easy reading to me.
I have found that I don't need both Ghostery and an ad blocker - simply having Ghostery block the trackers will block the vast majority of ads, and the ones that don't get blocked are inoffensive and/or actually interesting.
Why are people disturbed by this?
Simply put, because the corner stones of democratic societies are built on the assumption that peoples lives are private.
Take voting without privacy. Can voting work if everyone is fully known by the state? If the people in office known where the oppositions voters are, new actions become available. If you can redirect road work, sporting events, sales, and so on, how much work would it really be to get the oppositions voters to spend the day doing something other then voting on the election day? Knowing who votes for who allows those already in power an unfair and destructive advantage over those not yet elected.
Take politics in general if we have no privacy. What happens to politics if every to-be political rival is known to those threatened? If we can identify which kids are going to be political active, those could be discourage. Alternative, they could be influenced, drag into the party line before reaching a independent view.
Or lets leave politics and go to justice. Can you have a working judge and jury system if everything about their life can be fully known? If one party know that a jury members spouse is cheating, they can rephrase their statements in form of betraying. If someone know about economical troubles, one can redress statements as being "down on the luck". If the judge dreams about leaving the bench and begin some childhood dream project, one could phrase statements in favor of startups. Knowing the dreams and thoughts of people, and you get boundless possibilities to influence others.
One example: I pay for fresh food and staples in cash, and buy 'grocery' items on a card. A data collection system that tracked only card purchases would give the impression of a very unhealthy diet.
I regularly get offers from the supermarket for money off yet more unhealthy food - they are blissfully unaware that I eat quite well in reality!
The real question is: why aren't you?
It's not as if seeing an ad for a $100 256GB SSD would make me skip looking up the reviews for it and evaluating its performance before I buy it.
It's mystifying to me why people are bothered by targeted ads. If ads become relevant to me, that'd be a wonderful thing. I'm not saying I'm right -- I'm saying I wish someone would explain why targeted advertising is evil.
1. I get no say in what information they store and use. If somebody else used my computer, that information is associated with me.
2. The more information companies have about me, the easier it is for the government to gather information without due process.
3. What is gathered about me can be stolen by somebody else.
I agree that, in theory, well targeted ads are far superior to the dating ads I get on Facebook, but with zero control, transparency or accountability, I'm very uncomfortable with the amount if info they are trying to gather from me.
For instance, they could sell pseudo psychological profiles or provide scoring services to potential employers, banks, insurance companies, landlords, users of dating sites or governments.
They could be subpoenaed and hence make me vulnerable to extortion by everyone with a sufficiently large legal budget or a political interest. The data could also be stolen by organized criminals.
In other words, it would give great power over my life to anyone who gets hold of that data, and therefore I do not want this kind of data to exist.
But do you genuinely want it? or were you _influinced_ into wanting it? It's the same principle that makes fast food advertisements so profitable for the food industry. The ads are already targeted (most people like to eat tasty food).
Furthermore, if you're truly indifferent with being influenced like this, to what extent will the "influencing" remain acceptable to you? where would you draw the line?
Advertising, be that targeted or not, are problematic. In return for redirecting how people spend money, they distract people and steals time.
A child growing up is in average spending 133 hours watching TV commercials. Add that with commercials on the web, games, and other media and the time spent on commercial is maybe longer for a child then what they spend learning a subject like math in school. If you then include the time lost from the distracting effect while reading email, or accessing a news site, and the cost of advertising to the individual goes up. People who's main problem at work or school is the ability to focus should strongly consider using tools such as ad-block. It could be the difference between graduating or not.
In contrast, opt-in advertising like recommendation services do not have those issues, and are in my view the only form of targeted advertising that are morally on the OK side. They use primarily legal methods in their businesses model, and do not need to use exploits and legal trickery to work.
If you're going to use a walled garden like facebook, you expect to see walls now and again.
The fact is, 90% of advertising exists because the product is not worth buying in its merits. Word of mouth recommendations and independent research studies are where good jnformarion comes from. Targeting doesn't help that.
At times these extensions do break websites as they block some vital scripts on the site. You have to manually unblock that to make sure the site runs fine on your browser.
I used Disconnect long time ago, but that time it literally broke all the tech blogs, as its blocking was very crude. The site now looks totally different and so do the screenshots, would give it a shot.
Oh and by the way I use Ghostery now.
We've gotten literally two bug reports about broken blogs of any sort in the last year (I just checked; and both are now fixed, btw), so I assume there aren't issues anymore. But if you experience any, let me know!
The new UI looks great, defintely would give it a try. I actually have no problem with Ghostery but I like how Disconnect categories all the tracking.
Thanks a lot for the feedback on the new UI.
I just want people to acknowledge that what Google has been doing and what everyone else is doing is essentially the SAME THING. No reason one company should get a pass over others.
Now as for whether privacy is a legitimate concern or not is another matter entirely and I think comes down to a bit of personal preference too.
I for one, don't care about my privacy -- to an extent. There I said it. I don't care if Google knows that I eat somewhere or do something because it's trivial to me as long as my data is SECURE and I have fine grained privacy CONTROLS. If you give me security and control, then I'll gladly hand over my data for a useful service such as mail, or chat, or photos or whatever it may be.
Privacy in 2013 is different, and we must acknowledge that. This is a new generation, a new era. If you want to stay disconnected, then you don't get to experience this new world and if that's your preference, that's perfectly fine. (note: there will always be a subset of vocal technically inclined people like many of us on the forum that will try to resist, but in the long run, we won't prevail; I have ghostery installed for the hell of it, but a large amount of people don't even know what it is).
I think moving forward, every individual is going to have some type of public web presence that will be as much a part of who they are as anything else. Some parts of this presence will be private and tucked away behind anonymous usernames and private content. Other parts will be open for the world to see. To an extent, all of this is already true, but think about all the kids born from 2005 onward. They're only 8 years old now and are going to be part of the new, always connected generation (meaning, they've never known a world otherwise).
Therefore I think security of data is more important than EVER. Every company should make security of user data a TOP priority. In addition, every company should provide FINE GRAINED privacy CONTROL to allow the user to decide what he/she wants to show and to whom. On the other hand, a user should expect that a web company pays its bills through targeting via user data, and should reflect upon his/her expectation of privacy on the web.
The web is the new TV, but different, and more powerful, much more powerful.
Why wouldn't you want to see it? A perfect ad is a win for the consumer.
I go to Facebook to check on friends. I don't want a fried-chicken billboard to appear beside the photo of my friend's new baby. It's the wrong context (even if I'm craving fried chicken).
if your email is firstname.lastname@example.org, use email@example.com (gmail will ignore the stuff after the + ). You can also use . separators.
Now, to keep track of that...
Also, frustratingly, a lot of sites will break, often silently, if you give them an e-mail address with a plus symbol (e.g. it might end up in a GET request to an internal API without proper escaping, and be interpreted as a space).
Gmail filters out '.' within usernames (e.g., firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com are sent to the same account), but this gives you a more limited number of options, and is even harder to keep track of!
Why hasn't the FTC shut this scam down yet?
Holy cow FB uses my private security tokens as a source of ads?