Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
PSA: How to Opt Out of Data Tracking on Your Most-Used Sites
Old 10-23-2014, 08:36 AM   #1
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Midpack's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Chicagoland
Posts: 11,977
PSA: How to Opt Out of Data Tracking on Your Most-Used Sites

With privacy laws hopelessly behind data collection technology it's a losing battle, but it seems worthwhile to make an effort to limit data mining where possible. Unfortunately the data collectors will revoke or otherwise work around your setting/choices so it takes ongoing monitoring/updating by the user to be effective. When you read what data large corporations (Google, Facebook, etc.) routinely collect, what they do with it, and who they share it with, it's disturbing to say the least - even if your behaviors are 'spotless.' Yes there are benefits, but to whom mostly?

Before you use any "free" website or app, you have to ask yourself what's in it for the website/app owner to give me a free service? Some of them derive most or all their revenue by targeting ads, they have to know a lot about you to do so.

Maybe I'm just getting more paranoid in my old age...

How to Opt Out of Data Tracking on Your Most-Used Sites

Quote:
Google's latest updates to its terms of service have left many privacy advocates crying foul. One new feature called "shared endorsements" allows your name and photograph to be used in targeted advertisements on Google property sites.

Google's support page for shared endorsements claims the feature will allow for more friend-based recommendation of music and restaurants, working much like Facebook's Sponsored Stories.

Shared endorsements are not unique. Many sites, apps and browsers are using your information in ways you might not entirely comply with if you'd take the time to read their privacy policies. Often, opting out is only a click away, though it may be difficult to find out where exactly to click.
__________________

__________________
No one agrees with other people's opinions; they merely agree with their own opinions -- expressed by somebody else. Sydney Tremayne
Retired Jun 2011 at age 57

Target AA: 60% equity funds / 35% bond funds / 5% cash
Target WR: Approx 2.5% Approx 20% SI (secure income, SS only)
Midpack is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 10-23-2014, 10:33 AM   #2
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
ls99's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 4,792
Since I don't use any of the named sites, their shenanigans are a non-issue for me. For all others AdBlock is active.
__________________

__________________
There must be moderation in everything, including moderation.
ls99 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-23-2014, 12:13 PM   #3
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Midpack's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Chicagoland
Posts: 11,977
Quote:
Originally Posted by ls99 View Post
Since I don't use any of the named sites, their shenanigans are a non-issue for me. For all others AdBlock is active.
You don't use search or email? And have you ever noticed the ads at the top of ER.org are (sometimes) tailored just for you? Maybe not...
__________________
No one agrees with other people's opinions; they merely agree with their own opinions -- expressed by somebody else. Sydney Tremayne
Retired Jun 2011 at age 57

Target AA: 60% equity funds / 35% bond funds / 5% cash
Target WR: Approx 2.5% Approx 20% SI (secure income, SS only)
Midpack is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-23-2014, 12:29 PM   #4
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
sengsational's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 3,837
You also can also configure your browser to delete cookies on exit, you can use an add-in that will delete flash cookies on exit [Better Privacy] (with the option to protect the ones you need, like your bank). You can confuse them by running separate instances of your browser (if you start Firefox with the no-remote command ["C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe" -no-remote -P "isolated"]). You can have an endless supply of throw-away email addresses (spamgourmet - free disposable email addresses). You can keep scripts from running unless you want them [NoScript], you can prevent trackers on pages from phoning home to 3rd party sites [Ghostery].

Doing some of that sometimes makes sites act strange, or not work. But I find the ones that don't work are the most intrusive, from a privacy point of view, and I try to go elsewhere. Or if I REALLY want something from the site, I'll start Firefox with a junk -no-remote user and disable the protections.

This reminds me a little of the burglar alarm.... Your house has to be a little more challenging than the next house, and the crooks will skip past you.

All of this falls-down when I use the Android tablet....Big Brother Google is wired right into that thing. Evil.
__________________
sengsational is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-23-2014, 01:05 PM   #5
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 3,423
That can't be right because their mission statement is "Don't be evil."

There are some kickstarted projects to flash some routers with Tor, which is what Snowden is supposedly using to cover up his tracks.

But they're using cheap, no-name brand Chinese routers which may have backdoors ...
__________________
explanade is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-23-2014, 01:15 PM   #6
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
target2019's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 3,708
Quote:
Originally Posted by Midpack View Post
You don't use search or email? And have you ever noticed the ads at the top of ER.org are (sometimes) tailored just for you? Maybe not...
I primarily use Firefox, and Adblock Plus removes all of that for me. I also think Avast software has a component that blocks a lot of the cookies. Another plugin called DoNotTrackMe blocks the tracking companies.
__________________
target2019 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-23-2014, 02:56 PM   #7
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
ls99's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 4,792
Quote:
Originally Posted by Midpack View Post
You don't use search or email? And have you ever noticed the ads at the top of ER.org are (sometimes) tailored just for you? Maybe not...

Heh, heh, I do search but not with any of the popular engines. I also don't get any ads using my email, it also has a very effective spam filter. The rare occasion some squeaks through gets tagged as junk and never re-appears. What ads on RE forum?

The only penalty is some videos will not play. THough the same videos on other sites will play. Besides none is truly iomportant, so video no play me no care.
__________________
There must be moderation in everything, including moderation.
ls99 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-23-2014, 03:11 PM   #8
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Midpack's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Chicagoland
Posts: 11,977
Quote:
Originally Posted by sengsational View Post
All of this falls-down when I use the Android tablet....Big Brother Google is wired right into that thing. Evil.
Pretty much what we found with our Android phones, wouldn't touch an Android tablet after our phone experience. We used to consider Google the good guys, but no more after the things they've been caught doing over the past several years. Shouldn't be surprised given they get about 95% of the revenue from targeted ads in various ways. Google is ubiquitous now, but we try to stay away from their products as much as we can. We'll be ready for iPhones soon...the much lesser privacy evil IMO.
__________________
No one agrees with other people's opinions; they merely agree with their own opinions -- expressed by somebody else. Sydney Tremayne
Retired Jun 2011 at age 57

Target AA: 60% equity funds / 35% bond funds / 5% cash
Target WR: Approx 2.5% Approx 20% SI (secure income, SS only)
Midpack is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-24-2014, 08:15 AM   #9
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Northern IL
Posts: 18,284
Quote:
Originally Posted by Midpack View Post
You don't use search or email? And have you ever noticed the ads at the top of ER.org are (sometimes) tailored just for you? Maybe not...
What's the problem with email? I've used Google email for years, exclusively for the past two years, and I've never seen an ad from it. I use a local email client on my computer, I don't go directly to their website for mail, the same as when I used my 'private' ISP supplied email address.

And the rare spam email I get is clearly not anything Google would be associated with, those are the same trash I'd get at my old ISP address (and Google does a better job of filtering those and sending them to the trash). The only advertising emails I get are from companies I've signed up with, nothing initiated by Google.

As far as search, the ads based on my search terms never bothered me (to each their own), why would it? But Google made changes to how they display search results, so I tried startpage.com and I like that. What search engine do you use?

I use ad-blocker on my Chromium browser (the open source browser that Google's 'Chrome' browser is based on). I actually feel a bit guilty using an ad blocker on some sites, as I benefit from those sites, and they are paid for from ads. But generally, when I turn it off, those ads are so annoying, that I turn the blocker back on. I could live with more subtle ads. But the fact that those ads are displayed based on the content of posts on that page doesn't bother me. Those are public posts, what's the problem if a Google 'bot is 'reading' them as well?

I bought an Android tablet recently, I'm not a heavy user, but I'm not sure what problems you see? When I bought a new laptop to run Linux, I first went through the Windows set up to test it out - that forced me to open a MicroSoft account. I don't recall Android doing that (but I already had a gmail, so maybe I breezed by that).

Maybe I'm just missing it, but what's the problem?

There is one thing I don't like about how google is doing things though. I sometimes keep different screen names for different things I do on the web. I keep this financial stuff separate from others, and I might choose to keep my different hobbies separate as well. But google has you sign in, and then everything is under that screen name. If I'm using google products, I can't have one browser window open on one hobby under one ID, and another open under a different ID.

-ERD50
__________________
ERD50 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-24-2014, 08:34 AM   #10
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Midpack's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Chicagoland
Posts: 11,977
Just do a search, there's plenty documented. Here's a brief summary 4 ways Google is destroying privacy and collecting your data - Salon.com

Quote:
ComputerWorld was careful not to pick just on Google for domestic spying. DropBox, Microsoft, Apple, Yahoo, FaceBook, Skype—and others—all do pretty much the same thing: read user data and grant government access to it. But Google’s mission, detailed in its patents, stands apart. Its business is based on analyzing user metrics with ever-growing precision, and selling those insights to advertisers.
__________________
No one agrees with other people's opinions; they merely agree with their own opinions -- expressed by somebody else. Sydney Tremayne
Retired Jun 2011 at age 57

Target AA: 60% equity funds / 35% bond funds / 5% cash
Target WR: Approx 2.5% Approx 20% SI (secure income, SS only)
Midpack is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-24-2014, 09:12 AM   #11
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Northern IL
Posts: 18,284
And what is the impact for the typical user?

-ERD50
__________________
ERD50 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-24-2014, 09:20 AM   #12
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Midpack's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Chicagoland
Posts: 11,977
Quote:
Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
And what is the impact for the typical user?

-ERD50
If you're comfortable with their practices, that's great.
__________________
No one agrees with other people's opinions; they merely agree with their own opinions -- expressed by somebody else. Sydney Tremayne
Retired Jun 2011 at age 57

Target AA: 60% equity funds / 35% bond funds / 5% cash
Target WR: Approx 2.5% Approx 20% SI (secure income, SS only)
Midpack is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-24-2014, 09:24 AM   #13
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Northern IL
Posts: 18,284
Quote:
Originally Posted by Midpack View Post
If you're comfortable with their practices, that's great.
I'm not saying I'm comfortable, I'm saying I don't understand enough about why I should or shouldn't be concerned about their 'practices', and how avoiding gmail and/or Android is going to change that (or not) for me.

-ERD50
__________________
ERD50 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-24-2014, 11:38 AM   #14
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
photoguy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 2,301
Quote:
Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
And what is the impact for the typical user?
For most people, I think the impact is limited to having a crappier UI (space devoted to ads, accidental ad clicks) and being "creeped out" by ads with content based on your prior searches/browsing habits. For this reason, I tend to prefer apple's approach (pay for the hardware/service directly) over google's (give it away free but sell ads). Obviously many people prefer google's model and I still use many google services.

In some cases, I think the user may benefit from the ads. E.g., I recently met someone who owns a company that provides "free" (paid for by the state) devices to help people reduce stuttering . He is using google advertising to reach people who wouldn't otherwise know about it. Advertising has also helped support niche publishing markets and this benefits us all.

On the other hand, the intense tracking/loss of internet privacy can really harm you if your private information is ever accessed by third parties. E.g., say you are in a police investigation and they dig up all your old searches. It's quite feasible for some innocent searches to make one look very bad. Also, although most companies have safeguards on who can access the data (and what is allowed to be examined), I think it's very possible for analysts to dig through their data store and potentially find you (especially if you've ever searched for yourself). The worst case I see is that insurance companies get a hold of your internet data (I don't think this has happened yet).

There have also been some cases where google inadvertently revealed private information about individuals (such as being transgender). This obviously could have severe consequences. In other cases, Target outed a teen girl's pregnancy by sending ads for baby clothes and cribs to her home. And we've all heard jokes about borrowing someone else's computer and having the search autocomplete to something embarrassing.

Edit: another thing I forgot to mention is having all this extra data about you facilitates online price discrimination. So it can actually hit your pocketbook:

http://online.wsj.com/articles/SB100...89391813881534
__________________
photoguy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-24-2014, 12:03 PM   #15
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Lsbcal's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: west coast, hi there!
Posts: 5,686
Quote:
Originally Posted by ls99 View Post
Since I don't use any of the named sites, their shenanigans are a non-issue for me. For all others AdBlock is active.
AdBlock is great on my PC with Firefox.

Sometimes I'm on my Android Nexus 7 and wondering what that stuff on the page is. Reminds me much of my browsing uses AdBlock so I'm unused to see adds.
__________________
Lsbcal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-24-2014, 01:24 PM   #16
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 3,423
Actually the impact is that they build up a profile of you, like how old you might be, your profession, your interests, your income.

I remember hearing that Target can figure out who are children by the links they click in their ads that they email you.

There are alternatives, like Ello which is a social network without ads, and Duckduckgo search engine. But these are new so they may not be as useful as the entrenched choices.
__________________
explanade is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-24-2014, 02:19 PM   #17
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 1,318
Quote:
Originally Posted by explanade View Post
.........There are alternatives, like Ello which is a social network without ads, and Duckduckgo search engine. But these are new so they may not be as useful as the entrenched choices.
I like duckduckgo. I either heard or read somewhere that if you use Google it shows search results based on "interests" that it's gleaned from you. When I use duckduckgo I receive slightly difference search results. I want to see "different" search results not necessarily what Google thinks are my interests. Hope that makes sense.
__________________
splitwdw is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-25-2014, 01:07 PM   #18
Confused about dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 8
For the Android tablet users willing to root their devices, if you're concerned about privacy there is this: http://www.androidpolice.com/2013/06...allowed-to-do/

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk
__________________
pumpkineater is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-25-2014, 01:09 PM   #19
Confused about dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 8
Also, there is this: https://adblockplus.org/en/android-install

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk
__________________

__________________
pumpkineater is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
PSA: on PSA (applicable for men) Midpack Health and Early Retirement 57 03-08-2014 09:45 AM
Opt out of junk mail dex Other topics 8 09-24-2010 12:40 PM
States opt in or out of health pools Htown Harry Health and Early Retirement 5 05-02-2010 09:18 PM
Post your six most visited sites mickj Other topics 2 04-03-2008 04:11 PM
Credit card opt out question DroopyDog Other topics 2 03-17-2008 06:05 PM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:20 AM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.