Author Topic: Google's 'secret web tracking pages' explained  (Read 259 times)

Offline ssfc72

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Google's 'secret web tracking pages' explained
« on: September 06, 2019, 09:16:16 am »
https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-49593830

Interesting and concerning article. It looks to me that we should be using a VPN full time while browsing the internet.

The linked Panopticlick website test shows that my browser only fails the Fingerprint, test.  I had the Opera browser vpn, enabled.
https://panopticlick.eff.org/
« Last Edit: September 06, 2019, 09:35:19 am by ssfc72 »
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Offline Jason Wallwork

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Re: Google's 'secret web tracking pages' explained
« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2019, 01:38:37 pm »
That news is a bit alarming and most curious. I'm not sure a VPN would help if they're using web pages to tag you. They're probably not doing it by IP address alone but the article really doesn't say. I use my VPN almost all the time. Only two times I don't use it when I'm gaming online and when I'm using Netflix. Although I haven't noticed lag when gaming online, I'd just rather avoid it outright. And with Netflix, it tends to squawk a lot when you're using a VPN and not let you use it until you turn it off.

I also wonder why you're using Opera as your VPN and not PIA - do you no longer use PIA?
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Offline Jason Wallwork

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Re: Google's 'secret web tracking pages' explained
« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2019, 01:56:35 pm »
Are you willing to share the ranking of your fingerprinting test from Panopticlick? This was the result of my test:

Quote
Your browser fingerprint appears to be unique among the 224,110 tested in the past 45 days.Currently, we estimate that your browser has a fingerprint that conveys at least 17.77 bits of identifying information.

I'm thinking that because you use a browser that very few people use (Opera) that you'd probably be less unique online. Just curious if that is true. In any case, I really hate that my browser gives enough information to make it even that unique. The test result I get is the same whether running a VPN or not. My guess is that this is the information that the Google hidden pages are gathering.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2019, 01:58:35 pm by Jason Wallwork »
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Offline ssfc72

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Re: Google's 'secret web tracking pages' explained
« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2019, 05:34:59 pm »
I used the vpn that comes with the Opera browser, just because it was an easy and convenient, 1 click activation, on and off, from within the browser, itself.  Edit - I still use PIA vpn as my main vpn service.

That news is a bit alarming and most curious. I'm not sure a VPN would help if they're using web pages to tag you. They're probably not doing it by IP address alone but the article really doesn't say. I use my VPN almost all the time. Only two times I don't use it when I'm gaming online and when I'm using Netflix. Although I haven't noticed lag when gaming online, I'd just rather avoid it outright. And with Netflix, it tends to squawk a lot when you're using a VPN and not let you use it until you turn it off.

I also wonder why you're using Opera as your VPN and not PIA - do you no longer use PIA?
« Last Edit: September 08, 2019, 08:15:11 am by ssfc72 »
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Offline Jason Wallwork

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Re: Google's 'secret web tracking pages' explained
« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2019, 05:45:46 am »
I see - I find the PIA client just as easy and with more configurable options. I also don't really trust free VPNs - I mean what is their business model? All that bandwidth goes through what must be publicly free VPNS but they don't bill for it? Who knows what they're doing with your browsing information?
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Offline buster

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Re: Google's 'secret web tracking pages' explained
« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2019, 08:51:37 am »
Because I have TV and Internet with Bell, I can use any computer devise to watch a TV show anywhere in the house.

However, I cannot do this while using a VPN, I assume because it does not recognize me thru my ip address. It does not accept what's on the actual computer unless I do a permanent sign in. If I want to use it from anywhere in the world, I could do a sign in and then that device will be recognized forever from anywhere. With that it would probably work with a VPN.
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Offline Jason Wallwork

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Re: Google's 'secret web tracking pages' explained
« Reply #6 on: September 08, 2019, 09:06:26 am »
Buster: I had that same issue when I had TV when Start was my ISP. I'm not sure that signing in would work since I believe it's also a location-based feature. When I used the Start TV app, it didn't work with my VPN even when I was signed in, at least not fully. It gave me access to a tiny bit of programming, basically a couple of channels. But try it and let us know.
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Offline buster

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Re: Google's 'secret web tracking pages' explained
« Reply #7 on: September 08, 2019, 10:35:15 am »
I should add that while my laptop was on a vpn and I couldn't  use the tv app, I could use any other computer or tablet in the house to watch tv because vpns at our house are computer-centric, not total thru the modem.
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Offline Jason Wallwork

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Re: Google's 'secret web tracking pages' explained
« Reply #8 on: September 08, 2019, 09:36:31 pm »
I could put it our modem/router but choose not to since I have problems with using a VPN with Netflix. But the PIA client for Linux (Ubuntu/Debian/Manjaro) is just as good as the Windows version so it makes it much more convenient.
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