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Old Saturday 26th July 2014, 14:53   #1
Mahsleb
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Thumbs down Tracking cookies

Hi, For over two years now I have used a nifty little Firefox addon called DoNotTrack, and it has been brilliant,
I've only found two sites which won't allow me on without allowing tracking cookies: Google and Facebook,
I don't use Facebook and whenever I use Google mail I close it afterwards to stop them from tracking me
It's not that I have anything to hide, I just think it's wrong that anyone who wants to can track my
movements and store, use or sell my information to anyone willing to pay for it!

I've noticed that over the last few days Birdforum has worryingly, started using Google Analytics to track it's users
and DoNotTrack doesn't seem to be able to automatically stop it, though I can manually turn tracking off

Why has Birdforum done this?
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Old Saturday 26th July 2014, 15:35   #2
Green Fields
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Hi Tony,

Nothing's changed recently – we do use Google Analytics but this has been the case for as long as I can remember. Perhaps DoNotTrack has only recently been updated to detect it?

Google Analytics is the most popular analytics suite and is used by on around 60% of the 10,000 most popular websites.

Google Analytics does not collect, nor do we send, any personally identifiable information. We do not send any data to Google Analytics that would allow us to relate any data in the analytics system back to an individual birdforum user.

We use the analytics at an aggregate level to see how activity on the site changes over time, and to provide very high level aggregate statistics to some of our advertisers (e.g. X% of our traffic comes from the UK, Y% of our traffic comes from users who are new to the site, etc) but that's it. We certainly never sell data to any third parties.

If you have any other questions then I'll be happy to answer them, but at the minute we have no plans to stop using Google Analytics.

Hope that helps.

Ollie
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Old Saturday 26th July 2014, 17:57   #3
Mahsleb
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Hi Ollie, thanks for the info, I never thought for a moment that BF would sell or pass personal information
but I think that Google would and I'm still unhappy that they can set a cookie on my computer via BF
when it is blocked from doing so on all other sites that I visit (except Google of course) by DNT
I'm waiting to hear from Abine so meanwhile I guess I'll have to keep blocking GA manually

Cheers
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Old Saturday 26th July 2014, 20:52   #4
Andrew Rowlands
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Google Analytics opt-out browser add-on. This might require enabling 3rd party cookies in your browser.

Google privacy policy. Worth studying.

How Google uses data when you use our partners' sites or apps. Google Analytics, AdSense, +1, etc.

This site is worth a quick visit to see just how common, or rare, your web browser and the information it gives out is, even if you limit or disable cookies. I just checked mine, the User Agent alone they suggest it is seen in about 1 in ~4.25 million browsers, very much an over estimate in my case, it's unlikely that there's more than 3 machines with the same User Agent as mine currently.
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Old Saturday 26th July 2014, 22:33   #5
Mahsleb
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Thanks Andrew

1 Isn't this a bit like burglars saying we're going to rob you unless you ask us not to? Shouldn't they ask me if I mind them tracking me and using the information?
2 Well they would say that....
3 Of course we are not trying to rule the world, we want to help you
4 Hmmmm...
5 Who told you i'm paranoid?

The point is, Google Analytic is a tracking cookie, it tracks you everywhere you go on the internet and gathers information
Ollie says 60% of sites use it
I can stop it from tracking me on all of those sites except Google, Facebook and now Birdforum
Google, well it's their site and their cookie, Facebook I can manage without
But what I want to know is why can't I stop the cookie being set by Birdforum, until now, a site I trusted and allowed to set permanent cookies?

Cheers
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Old Saturday 26th July 2014, 23:07   #6
Andrew Rowlands
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Well Tony, my DNT claims that Google Analytics are blocked here on BF.
Quote:
Why are some trackers automatically unblocked?
DoNotTrackMe attempts to block as much tracking as possible without breaking the websites you're visiting. Sometimes when you block all tracking companies, a core functionality of the site will break (such as videos and menus dropdowns); in these situations, DoNotTrackMe automatically unblocks the troublesome company. If you would like to block all tracking everywhere, click your DNTMe icon, select the settings gear at the top of the privacy window, and beneath "Preferences" uncheck "Use Abine Suggestions".
From Abine's Tracker Blocker FAQs, click the Tracker Blocker link to read them.

Does it break anything on BF? Not that I've noticed.
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Old Saturday 26th July 2014, 23:51   #7
Mahsleb
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Thanks again Andrew, I just tried that but still the same!

I have noticed that as Ollie suggested DNT updated itself yesterday, I wonder if this could have something to do with my problem, I've emailed Abine and will have to wait for their reply I guess, it's frustrating but not really a problem as I can still manually block GA

I appreciate your help

regards
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Old Sunday 27th July 2014, 00:11   #8
KC Foggin
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Hi Tony

You might try doing a system restore to a day before your update and see if the problem goes away. Then you'll know if it is the update or not
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Old Sunday 27th July 2014, 00:29   #9
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I just updated my DNTM (I hadn't realised the auto update feature wasn't working), it looks like it was updated last somewhere between July 8 > 13th. It still claims Analytics are blocked on BF with 3.2.1127.

Tony, I'm wondering whether there is a conflict somewhere in your browser settings/extensions? Been some big changes in Firefox in recent months.
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Old Sunday 27th July 2014, 07:23   #10
Mahsleb
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KCFoggin View Post
Hi Tony

You might try doing a system restore to a day before your update and see if the problem goes away. Then you'll know if it is the update or not
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Rowlands View Post
I just updated my DNTM (I hadn't realised the auto update feature wasn't working), it looks like it was updated last somewhere between July 8 > 13th. It still claims Analytics are blocked on BF with 3.2.1127.

Tony, I'm wondering whether there is a conflict somewhere in your browser settings/extensions? Been some big changes in Firefox in recent months.
Thanks Kc and Andrew, I'll check out your suggestions
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Old Monday 28th July 2014, 13:34   #11
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Hi, I have now sorted this out by removing and reinstalling the DoNotTrackMe add-on in Firefox

Interestingly, this reset the stats and I have blocked 150 tracking cookies in the last 18 hours!

If anyone is interested you can find DoNotTrackMe in the Firefox drop down menu under Add-ons or at Abine.com

thanks to all who helped
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