firefox, trackers and ghostery

Sajan Parikh sajan at
Wed Jul 17 11:14:14 UTC 2013

On 07/17/2013 04:41 AM, pete smout wrote:
> I do not view you as a 'bad guy' for trying to improve the service you 
> offer your 'customers', but I am starting to view Google as a 'bad 
> guy'. For example for google to store searches to improve their search 
> algorithms is fine but why does it have to be linked to my IP?
Fair question.  The answer to which is really quite simple, because we 
have no other way to collect usable data.  We want to know if the person 
viewing the funny cat articles is the same one buying the cat litter 
things, or if perhaps the people watching our cat videos are more likely 
to buy the cat litter things.  If it's the latter, we'll stop showing 
the ads for the cat litter things to the article readers, of course if 
you block the tracking cookies you'll continue to get useless ads and 
complain about them.

The only way for us to track you from page to page is your IP address.
> You are quite correct and the citizens of the entire world should be 
> concerned by the huge breach of trust by the governments in the 
> countries that hold themselves up a shining light of the 'free world'.
> True except when you substitute face for IP then with the help of some 
> software your 'entire online' footprint becomes available to them. 
> Simply put you bought some bananas at store A, some milk and ice cream 
> at store B, Store A can then put 2 + 2 together and assume the you are 
> making banana smoothies when in-fact all you wanted was some bananas 
> to take for a snack at work tomorrow, some milk for a cup of coffee, 
> and ice cream for pudding! My point being that incorrect conclusions 
> can be made from the most innocent of activities!
Absolutely, but the type of incorrect conclusions that are made in 
advertising are limited to advertisers showing you a banana smoothie.  
Is that really such a giant inconvenience?  If you were trying to imply 
a larger point, I will put this out there.  In the U.S., of the string 
of criminal prosecutions where the IP address was the sole piece of 
evidence linked to the plaintiff, I'm fairly positive not a single one 
was convicted.

You might argue that the cases shouldn't have ever been brought up. I'd 
say that's more a lack of education regarding 'the internets' on the 
part of our Judicial system.
> Pete
Seriously.  A mailing list has to be the only place to have a civilized 
back and forth about this it seems.  Thanks for the conversation.

Sajan Parikh

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