firefox, trackers and ghostery

Gerhard Magnus magnus at
Tue Jul 16 00:55:37 UTC 2013

On 07/15/2013 05:41 PM, Sajan Parikh wrote:
> As a web developer, I have a slightly different view on things.  While I
> still block third party analytics trackers and scripts, and think most
> people in the know should, the level of outrage demonstrated by people
> after the PRISM revelations is a bit unreasonable and they are taking
> things a little too far in terms of perception.
> If I own a website, let's say a news website (I've worked with and on
> many), and I'm posting articles...It's not entirely unreasonable for me
> to want to know my audience a bit better.  I want to know which of my
> articles more people are reading, what pages they are visiting, what
> sort of things they are commenting on, etc, etc.  All of this is not
> unreasonable, it's data I would then use to produce better content for
> the people visiting my site.
> Now, how do I collect that data?  I could spend thousands of dollars and
> build my own software to collect and analyze that data for me.  Or, like
> most, I could use a third party service and their existing software to
> collect that data about my visitors.
> That's all it is.  Let me broaden this, if you're a business owner.
> Before you spend a couple thousand dollars on a new marketing campaign,
> wouldn't you want to know where your current customers are coming from?
> The idea of that websites collect information is not new, nor unreasonable.
> The internet is a public place.  If you want to be private, create your
> own little sandbox and stay in there.
> For example, our company doesn't want our emails to be snooped on.  So
> we run our own mail server and encrypt our emails.  I don't understand
> people who complain about privacy, then logon to GMail or Hotmail and
> are willing to let the likes of Google and Microsoft handle all of their
> email...while at the same time wanting to block tracking cookies.
> You can't expect to go to a restaurant with a mask on.  If you frequent
> any establishment or a website, that person is going to know a little
> about you.  That's just how it is.
> If you want to be completely private, don't use the internet or free
> services on the internet.  There's a reason why businesses like ours run
> our own mail servers, own VPNs, and DNS, etc, etc.
> I understand not everyone can do that, but you don't get to walk into
> the building of someone doing it for you with a mask on to prevent them
> from seeing your face.
> /rant
> Sorry for the rant.  I might take some heat for this, but I will say
> that I use the Abine Firefox plugin to prevent these cookies. However,
> this isn't anything unreasonable to start putting your tinfoil hat on.
> If someone wants to be angry about PRISM, the anger should be directed
> toward the US Defense Department, who is the one SECRETLY taking and
> collecting all this information from you.
> You visiting is not secretly taking anything from you, you're
> walking onto their site...of course they are going to have security
> camera footage of you.
> Same as when you walk into a gas station, that record is kept by them
> for a certain amount of time too.  However, you know that so it's okay.
> Same thing here, you know is doing this, and if you don't like
> it don't use
> It's the US Defense Department that's the only one doing this secretly.
> / I'm not a grumpy person, I promise.  I just think people are getting
> overhyped on the wrong stuff.
> Sajan Parikh
> /Owner, Noppix LLC/
> e: sajan at
> o: (563) 726-0371
> c: (563) 447-0822
> Noppix LLC Logo
> On 07/15/2013 02:37 AM, Karl Auer wrote:
>> On Sun, 2013-07-14 at 11:00 -0700, Gerhard Magnus wrote:
>>> pages. Now I've found something that makes a noticeable difference: the
>>> addon "ghostery" that blocks "trackers,"
>>> [...]
>>> For example, the intro
>>> page for includes 10 such unwanted visitors with names like
>>> "Audience Science," "Dynamic Science," and "Scorecard Research."
>>> Fascinating stuff!
>> I've been on pages with *dozens*, yes, plural; 24 and more of these
>> trackers on a single page. There is a direct inverse correlation, as far
>> as I can see, between the number of trackers and the quality of the page
>> - the more trackers, the worse the site. It is a very rare site that has
>> none, and of course Google Analytics gets counted. I block that too.
>> BTW if you install Ghostery be aware that by default it blocks nothing.
>> Go into the preferences and click everything :-)
>> Regards, K.
My reason for installing ghostery was only to speed up the time it takes 
firefox to load pages.  Since then, I've noticed a difference -- at 
least a qualitative one -- in the browser's performance, apparently 
because it's no longer trying to load all the corporate junk it was 
groaning under the weight of before. But since everybody's gotta make a 
buck before da Rapture come, I'm sure the very smart people who work for 
"Audience Science" and "Scorecard Research" will come up with new ways 
to target my habits for metadata analysis and figure out how to sell me 
more crap I don't need. The game goes on.

Remember, Tron fights for the User!

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