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Old 21st June 2019, 07:44 PM   #1
Bob001
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Chrome is watching you.

The writer discovers that the Chrome browser is really interested in him.

Quote:
My tests of Chrome vs. Firefox unearthed a personal data caper of absurd proportions. In a week of Web surfing on my desktop, I discovered 11,189 requests for tracker “cookies” that Chrome would have ushered right onto my computer but were automatically blocked by Firefox. These little files are the hooks that data firms, including Google itself, use to follow what websites you visit so they can build profiles of your interests, income and personality.

Chrome welcomed trackers even at websites you would think would be private. I watched Aetna and the Federal Student Aid website set cookies for Facebook and Google. They surreptitiously told the data giants every time I pulled up the insurance and loan service’s log-in pages.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/techn...=.f2e245e2528a

For those of us who generally like the functionality of Chrome, what are the best ways to block data collection and usage?
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Old 21st June 2019, 08:08 PM   #2
casebro
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I use Firefox. But I think Facebook has been targeting me with info based on Google searches. Are the two swapping data?
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Old 21st June 2019, 08:19 PM   #3
Beelzebuddy
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Short version: you can't. Chrome is inherently tracking software.

The cookies are set by the site. This very website uses a google-analytics tracker. Google knows your complete forum browsing history, because every time you load a page, it loads the tracker which checks the cookie and phones home. This is not a Chrome problem, it is an everything problem.

The solution is to use one or more privacy extensions. Noscript and Privacy Badger will both block tracking cookies and scripts like this by default. I also like uMatrix for fine-grained control, but it can probably be too fiddly for people who don't know what everything does.

Chrome enters the picture because an upcoming Chrome update will break ad- and tracker-blocking extensions (as well as tracking you for Google, which it always did). In response, a number of competing browsers including Firefox have moved to block trackers by default to grab the people who read enough to be properly horrified.

So try Firefox. You'll find it isn't much different from Chrome these days.

Also, use duckduckgo as your search site, not Google.

Last edited by Beelzebuddy; 21st June 2019 at 08:22 PM.
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Old 22nd June 2019, 12:07 AM   #4
smartcooky
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Originally Posted by Beelzebuddy View Post
Short version: you can't. Chrome is inherently tracking software.

The cookies are set by the site.
But you can set Chrome to delete cookies at the end of every browsing session

https://ccm.net/faq/32792-google-chr...owsing-session
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Old 22nd June 2019, 04:02 AM   #5
Krul
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Originally Posted by Bob001 View Post
The writer discovers that the Chrome browser is really interested in him.


https://www.washingtonpost.com/techn...=.f2e245e2528a

For those of us who generally like the functionality of Chrome, what are the best ways to block data collection and usage?
The Ghostery plugin. http://ghostery.com

I install it to every browser I use, even Firefox.
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Old 22nd June 2019, 04:20 AM   #6
elgarak
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
But you can set Chrome to delete cookies at the end of every browsing session

https://ccm.net/faq/32792-google-chr...owsing-session
Does it actually delete them, though?

This is not snark. The last few weeks Chrome did not delete my download history, even after I specifically told it to. The trigger was an event where, upon launching, Chrome decided to fill the download window with months old downloads. Since then I keep a close eye on it, and spent a ridiculous amount of time on the "Clear History" settings page. I wonder what else it doesn't delete (or maybe deletes locally, but sneakily keeps in the cloud.)

[The reason I'm still using Chrome, while it violates my privacy, it also violates the privacy of the site I am visiting. Whereas other browsers respect my privacy, but also that of the visiting site, thus disallowing me to do things I am specifically legally allowed to do.]

There is also the annoying habit of some browsers (both Firefox and Chrome do it) to always open the "Save As..." dialog with their default download folder when I had set a different folder, and only switch to my set folder after some time. If I am not careful and too fast, I save to the default folder, instead of the one I have set.

Last edited by elgarak; 22nd June 2019 at 04:25 AM.
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Old Yesterday, 04:02 PM   #7
mgidm86
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When the largest(?) advertiser and information gathering company on the planet offers you their free browser you would be wise to decline.

Chrome deleting cookies at the end of a browsing session does not eliminate any tracking done during that session. How often do you actually close your browser? I rarely do.

Gmail, Chrome, Google Docs - all offered free. How convenient for everyone!
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Old Yesterday, 04:29 PM   #8
alfaniner
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Originally Posted by mgidm86 View Post
When the largest(?) advertiser and information gathering company on the planet offers you their free browser you would be wise to decline.

Chrome deleting cookies at the end of a browsing session does not eliminate any tracking done during that session. How often do you actually close your browser? I rarely do.

Gmail, Chrome, Google Docs - all offered free. How convenient for everyone!
Just closing the browser does not necessarily do the cleaning you might expect (if you don't have cookies set to be deleted.)

If you don't have to log in every time that you visit this Forum, chances are whatever cookies you had, still remain.

I run Malwarebytes and Spybot Search and Destroy every couple months and yes, then I have to re-log in to all my "Remember Me" sites. Otherwise I use my AdBlocker and other plug-ins, which I'm aware do not clean everything.
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Old Yesterday, 04:45 PM   #9
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I've given up on privacy. Ever since, several years ago, my Android phone told me, unasked, how long it was going to take to get to where it had already figured I was going. I do try to limit the damage by not having accounts with Apple or Microsoft, but accept that "Don't be evil" is pretty much a lie.
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Old Yesterday, 05:23 PM   #10
p0lka
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I have ghostery, ublock origin and adblock plus running in chrome, it's still probably not enough.
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Old Yesterday, 05:53 PM   #11
Trebuchet
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That's why I don't bother. Privacy is dead.
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Old Yesterday, 06:30 PM   #12
alfaniner
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Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
That's why I don't bother. Privacy is dead.
I think I gave in when I got an Alexa. Which I actually hardly use. The most amusing thing is that it detects my sneeze as the wake word (which is "Echo!", not "Achoo!")
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Old Yesterday, 06:35 PM   #13
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It's pointless to worry about it.

Before I started using adblock, searching for tires flooded my email pages with ads for hot Asian women or single women. If you buy tires you must be a guy.

The credit card companies track what I buy.
Every store that gives a discount using a card tracks what you buy.

I swear the commercials on Comcast are targeting me though I am not certain. Clearly junk mail I get targets me from social security to medicare ads.

What's the point of fighting it? I just ignore the ads.
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Old Today, 12:59 AM   #14
rjh01
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I did a search in Google for ovens as I needed to buy one. For ages afterwards on Facebook I was shown ads for ovens. At least I could ignore them as I had already bought one.
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Old Today, 05:38 AM   #15
alfaniner
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Originally Posted by rjh01 View Post
I did a search in Google for ovens as I needed to buy one. For ages afterwards on Facebook I was shown ads for ovens. At least I could ignore them as I had already bought one.
I expect it when I can figure out the connection. What puzzles and irks me is when I use my credit card to buy something at a store, and shortly thereafter find an ad for similar on Facebook. I can think of no connection between the two. As far as I know, I have not connected FB to anything else I access, or added a connection within FB. I never even played Farmville. Even on my phone, I don't use the FB app -- I just go directly through Safari.
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Old Today, 05:55 AM   #16
William Parcher
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Originally Posted by alfaniner View Post
What puzzles and irks me is when I use my credit card to buy something at a store, and shortly thereafter find an ad for similar on Facebook. I can think of no connection between the two.
I believe that I have read about this. The brick and mortar store is watching your smartphone as you walk around the place and physically interact with items. It's using hyperaccurate GPS.

None of this happens if you leave your phone at home when you go shopping.
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Old Today, 09:07 AM   #17
Dancing David
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Originally Posted by mgidm86 View Post
When the largest(?) advertiser and information gathering company on the planet offers you their free browser you would be wise to decline.

Chrome deleting cookies at the end of a browsing session does not eliminate any tracking done during that session. How often do you actually close your browser? I rarely do.

Gmail, Chrome, Google Docs - all offered free. How convenient for everyone!
I tend to access the G Suite on Firefox with uBlock Origin. I only use Chrome, with uBlock Origin when it really works better, like Google Sites and the Vault.

I really like the G Suite for Education and they keep adding to it with nice features. However I do wonder about what they will have on our students before they even graduate.
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