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Do Not Track Effort a 'Farce,' Headed Toward Collapse
by Karl Bode 12:56PM Monday Oct 14 2013
The effort to get Do Not Track functionality embedded into browsers quickly has officially descended into chaos and high comedy. In this new age of undeletable cookies, behavioral advertising, deep packet inspection, clickstream sales and search result hijacking, neither the FTC, the W3C, nor the marketing, content and telecom industries really want to jeopardize the billions to be made from snoopertising by empowering consumers with better privacy tools.

Click for full size
The result? A privacy safeguard quagmire that feels like a 1960's absurdist play -- and that was months ago.

The Washington Post notes that things have only gone downhill since, with numerous groups now stating they'd rather leave the group entirely than be associated with any of the meaningless products laid on the table at the end of the process:
quote:
"We appreciate the efforts of the W3C and all of the chairs to date," wrote Lee Tien, a top lawyer with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, "but EFF has lost confidence that the process will produce a standard that we would support. We therefore prefer that the group simply end. If the group continues, we would seriously consider dropping out."
Despite the whole process becoming a joke, the W3C is not expected to terminate the group, which will instead continue stumbling drunkenly down the path of trying and failing to define very basic concepts.

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SysOp

join:2001-04-18
Douglasville, GA
Reviews:
·MetroPCS

Freedom to privacy

For better control of my privacy, I have resorted to using Firefox with add ons.

No Script

Ad Block Plus

I dont like Ghostery because they sell the data collected from opt-in users to 3rd parties so they can learn how to avoid being blocked by Ghostery or others.
TechnoGeek

join:2013-01-07

Re: Freedom to privacy

I use these two, plus Facebook/Google/Twitter disconnect. Though I find I have to unblock Google for many pages to work.
mrwiggles

join:2013-06-10
Sherman, TX

Re: Freedom to privacy

I noticed a weird bug with Disconnect and stopped using it. I have FF configured to completely purge the history, forms, password, cache, and etc on program close. With this plugin installed, it would prevent FF from doing this and would retain the entire cache.

firephoto
We the people
Premium
join:2003-03-18
Brewster, WA

One example of tracking

This is tracking




And it only gets worse. I treasure the sites that have no little tracking bugs, no ads, no toll to enjoy they are rare but they are also some of the actual best websites out there while being decried by an industry that likes lazy money from tracking and ads.
--
Say no to astroturfing. go to their profile, start ignoring posts and ignoring what's not true.

n2jtx

join:2001-01-13
Glen Head, NY

Re: One example of tracking

I am amazed at times what Ghostery and ABP filter out. So many organizations trying to get their hooks in you. I bugs me no end that I cannot implement the same tools on my iPhone and iPad. Apple is perfectly happy to have their customers exploited to the fullest extent possible.
--
I support the right to keep and arm bears.
Squire James

join:2013-08-21
Orlando, FL

Par for the Course

In today's world, a lot of people are trying to manipulate the very words people use for their own benefit. Why do you think terms like "pro life" and "pro choice" even exist? It all depends on what the definition of "is" is. Rampant misuse of words like "literally" and "ultimate" (which means "last", not "best"). Why should disagreement on the very meanings of "privacy" and "tracking" be a surprise for anyone?

Soviet-style communism wasn't the only thing George Orwell's 1984 (and Animal Farm) was warning us about!

workablob

join:2004-06-09
Houston, TX
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Comcast

Re: Par for the Course

said by Squire James:

"ultimate" (which means "last", not "best").

I agree with your post.

Actually, one of the definitions of Ultimate is Greatest of it's kind.

Blob
--
I may have been born yesterday. But it wasn't at night.
tanzam75

join:2012-07-19

Re: Par for the Course

said by workablob:

Actually, one of the definitions of Ultimate is Greatest of it's kind.

The OED does indeed give "the best that can be achieved or imagined" as part of the first definition of "ultimate (n)." The first citation for this definition is from the year 1681. But the first citation that actually demonstrates this usage is from 1958.

Thus, the use of "ultimate" to mean "best" appears to be a 20th-century innovation. And innovations often take some time to diffuse. This usage may not have become common until the 1980s.

workablob

join:2004-06-09
Houston, TX
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Comcast

Re: Par for the Course

said by tanzam75:

said by workablob:

Actually, one of the definitions of Ultimate is Greatest of it's kind.

The OED does indeed give "the best that can be achieved or imagined" as part of the first definition of "ultimate (n)." The first citation for this definition is from the year 1681. But the first citation that actually demonstrates this usage is from 1958.

Thus, the use of "ultimate" to mean "best" appears to be a 20th-century innovation.

Things change and grow with time.

Can you believe irregardless and doh are in the dictionary?

Thanks for the info you provided. I love to learn.

Blob
--
I may have been born yesterday. But it wasn't at night.
Fast Turtle

join:2008-02-19
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable

I use a different approach

My method relies on Noscript and the Hosts file. I also use a local proxy server to see who I'm connecting to.

Simply put, I don't connect to most of the blasted advertisers - this includes most of Google's ads. It works and sure as heck saves me lots of bandwidth while helping protect my system from malware (Recent Bing Hijacked Ad Server anyone?).

TamaraB
Question The Current Paradigm
Premium
join:2000-11-08
Da Bronx
Reviews:
·Optimum Online
·Clearwire Wireless

Privacy is YOUR personal responsibility

I don't believe any standard, whether proposed by W3C, browser manufacturers, or the Advertising Industry, will be effective in protecting online privacy. Any "standard" which does not have the force of law behind it will ultimately be ignored by advertisers. Even if there is a law passed enforcing privacy. Unless the fines are draconian enough, advertisers will simply opt to pay the fines and continue to track.

Online privacy has been, and will continue to be, the sole responsibility of the individual user. Those of us who actually care about our privacy, and we are in the minority, already utilize technological tools to secure same. A "do not track" header implemented in a browser is quite meaningless unless websites are forced to comply with it.

The only viable solution to the problem is the judicious use of browser add-ons like Albine's DoNotTrackMe, AdBlockPlus, ClickToFlash, a good Cookie manager/blocker, and a well secured browser. A well-populated Hosts file and tweaked firewall is also helpful.

This haggling over some standard for privacy protection is nonsense, and merely a ruse to lull people into thinking that the industry has their interests at heart, and that some "standard" is capable of protecting your privacy. That's a deception, which only diverts people's attention from the technological solutions which are already available.

The advertising industry will always want to track you, no amount of voluntary standards is ever going to change that. If you want some level of online privacy, it's already there for the taking.

My personal solution is to block all ads, all third-party cookies, and not allow Flash unless I specifically click on it, and totally disallow Java applets. If a cookie is somehow deposited from a site I did not visit, I firewall the offending cookie-server.

Technology giveth, then Technology taketh away, but Technology can giveth back again.

--
"Remember, remember the fifth of November.
Gunpowder, Treason and Plot.
I see no reason why Gunpowder Treason
Should ever be forgot."

"People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people"

dfxmatt

join:2007-08-21
Evanston, IL

Re: Privacy is YOUR personal responsibility

Privacy should not have to be your "personal responsibility". That's a problem with the current situation. thankfully we do have control, yes - but this should never have had to be something that you have to take control of to simply have the privacy you expect in the first place.

The ad industry should have no right to track people and that's exactly where things have gone wrong. Everything should be opt-in only, but everything is opt out on purpose.

TamaraB
Question The Current Paradigm
Premium
join:2000-11-08
Da Bronx
Reviews:
·Optimum Online
·Clearwire Wireless

Re: Privacy is YOUR personal responsibility

said by dfxmatt:

The ad industry should have no right to track people and that's exactly where things have gone wrong. Everything should be opt-in only, but everything is opt out on purpose.

I agree, but I am a pragmatist and understand that in our society money and power rules. In reality, the only Internet privacy we will ever have is that which we take control of ourselves.

Unfortunately, most people don't care about online privacy. If they did, they would not willingly reveal their personal lives all over social media, they would use encrypted email, they would take existing measures to guard their privacy. The sad fact is, people are lazy, want to remain ignorant, and really don't care. Those are the attitudes which drive public policy. Not only with regard to corporate surveillance, but also with regard to government surveillance.

--
"Remember, remember the fifth of November.
Gunpowder, Treason and Plot.
I see no reason why Gunpowder Treason
Should ever be forgot."

"People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people"


fredbisard

@charter.com

Re: Privacy is YOUR personal responsibility

Thanks for saying that!

You hit the nail dead on the head, especially when you say "The sad fact is, people are lazy, want to remain ignorant, and really don't care"

Traknocookie

@comcast.net
said by TamaraB:

The only viable solution to the problem is the judicious use of browser add-ons like Albine's DoNotTrackMe, AdBlockPlus, ClickToFlash, a good Cookie manager/blocker, and a well secured browser. A well-populated Hosts file and tweaked firewall is also helpful.

My personal solution is to block all ads, all third-party cookies, and not allow Flash unless I specifically click on it, and totally disallow Java applets. If a cookie is somehow deposited from a site I did not visit, I firewall the offending cookie-server.

Technology giveth, then Technology taketh away, but Technology can giveth back again.

But the big companies are already working on something that won't need cookies at all to track you and can't be blocked by existing tools.

»www.itproportal.com/2013/10/11/m···cookies/

TamaraB
Question The Current Paradigm
Premium
join:2000-11-08
Da Bronx
Reviews:
·Optimum Online
·Clearwire Wireless

Re: Privacy is YOUR personal responsibility

said by Traknocookie :

But the big companies are already working on something that won't need cookies at all to track you and can't be blocked by existing tools.

Yes, you are referring to fingerprinting your computer. That too can be defeated, and will be if it becomes a problem. Whatever technology can achieve technology can also defeat.


Probitas

@teksavvy.com
They could always try bringing the Privacy Laws into the 21st century too. All these tracking tools are simply being abused because the industry has no really binding standard to comply with, and stating it's personal responsibility is all well and good, but there should be minimums they must abide by; as it is it is open season. One thing we don't need is industry policing industry, that never turns out well for any group whose main purpose is to make money.

And this is no different than having them hire people to follow you around everywhere, the difference being it costs them NOTHING to do it, or a pittance of what it would cost to actually hire bodies to do the work. Let's change the rules and force them to start ASKING people first, use some common decency (I know), and respect people 1st, and their bottom line 2nd.
jjeffeory

join:2002-12-04
USA

Re: Privacy is YOUR personal responsibility

I know that I've said this before on here but we need something equivalent to EU Directive 95/46/EC here in the United States. I'm not sure what is available in Canada, but I'd guess it would be pretty close to the US. Currently, Americans must navigate through too many disparate privacy laws, then they must do too many other things to actively try and keep control over something that they shouldn't have to...

Scree
In the pipe 5 by 5

join:2001-04-24
Mount Laurel, NJ

well

I have my own standard, called Adblock with the easylist, easyprivacy, and fanboyannoyances lists. lol
vpsj

join:2012-09-10
Plainville, CT

Delete undeleteable cookies?

I bet Sandboxie will give a good run for the money.

The Truth

@verizon.net

Do not track will work.

It will work just like the do not call list. There is way too much money to be made for this to ever stop. Well the "CAN-SPAM Act of 2003" did work, no one has gotten spam for 10 years.