firefox, trackers and ghostery

Christofer C. Bell christofer.c.bell at
Wed Jul 17 20:23:08 UTC 2013

On Wed, Jul 17, 2013 at 2:24 AM, Sajan Parikh <sajan at> wrote:

> Be mad the the party you're NOT engaged with that's collecting the
> information.  US Defense Department.  That's it.

To be clear, the US Defense Department isn't tracking anything in this
context.  The National Security Agency is a separate US government
department that is not part of the Department of Defense.

> A tracking cookie is nothing to put a tinfoil hat on for.
> On 07/16/2013 02:11 AM, Patrick Asselman wrote:
>> It's not new and it started out as not being unreasonable, but it has
>> grown way out of hand, to the extent that if the big guys go and puzzle all
>> the bits of gathered information together they can create a file on you
>> that contains way more than you want them to know. There is a story on the
>> 'net about a family who got targeted with very specific advertisements for
>> pregnant people, based on their online behaviour. They got upset about it
>> and thought it was a mistake. It then turned out the woman *was* pregnant,
>> but the marketing people knew about it sooner than the family. Is that
>> where we want to go? I don't think so.
> The dramatic point in that is anecdotal.  The overall point doesn't really
> hit me either.  Free content is paid for by ads.  You can't want to
> continue enjoying free content, and then complain the ads are for "junk I
> don't even need."
> In what way, specifically, has it gotten unresonable?

It got unreasonable in this very case.  The company doing the behavior
tracking was Target[1] (a department store) and their analytics outed the
pregnancy of a teenage girl to her father.  The father was upset that his
high school aged daughter was receiving baby related advertising and
complained to the store.  The daughter had not yet revealed to him that she
was, in fact, pregnant[2].

That's unreasonable and it's creepy.



"If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the
Universe." -- Carl Sagan
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