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Author Topic: Quick Review: Collusion - Firefox "tracking" add-on  (Read 12083 times)
IainB
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« on: February 28, 2012, 09:00:55 PM »

Just thought I'd post this which I stumbled upon today in Mashable:
Track Who’s Tracking You With Mozilla Collusion
The Collusion add-on is here.

Out of interest, I have it set to make a sound every time a cookie is set in my browser. It was clicking softly when I went back to the Mozilla add-on site to capture the URL for this post!     tongue
I'm not sure, but I think Collusion could be a useful addition to augment my privacy - or at least understand where my privacy is effectively being compromised. Knowledge is power, and ignorance is bliss, as they say.

Could be a useful/helpful add-on.
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J-Mac
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« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2012, 09:33:29 PM »

Oohhh, be prepared for a LOT of clicking!

Jim
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"I am getting so tired of slitting the throats of people who say that I am a violent psychopath."
IainB
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« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2012, 11:05:16 PM »

Yes, I can imagine there would be a lot of clicking if you don't use things like Ghostery, AdBlock+, NoScript.
Even so, this map (below) is what I have after 24 hrs or so.
Quite a bit of tracking is still getting through, it seems.
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J-Mac
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« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2012, 11:42:54 PM »

LOL!  It is really tough to eliminate them all!   tongue

Jim
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"I am getting so tired of slitting the throats of people who say that I am a violent psychopath."
joiwind
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« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2012, 07:29:42 AM »

Only for FF ?
And it would be great to be able to delete them just by clicking ...
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.: I use K-Meleon - the browser you can control - but I love Pale Moon too :.
4wd
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« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2012, 08:05:51 PM »

After a week of just general browsing and forgetting all about it:

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I do not need to control my anger ... people just need to stop pissing me off!
TaoPhoenix
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« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2012, 09:30:45 PM »

How do you make those graphs?

Meanwhile I turned on the "click" and it's like a camera snapshot saying a cookie has been set.
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4wd
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« Reply #7 on: March 12, 2012, 01:45:45 AM »

Click the icon in the Addon tray:

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TaoPhoenix
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« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2012, 06:55:32 PM »

Meanwhile I have a small graph, you can't stop all tracking but I close my browser enough it clearly isn't getting all my links (which is good?)

Tip : Youtube goes off like a machine gun when I search - one cookie per letter!

Edit: I just turned Ghostery back on, but I am still getting clicks from Youtube. So is that a false positive from the Collusion that it "attempted to set a cookie" or is Youtube setting something else that Ghostery can't find and block?
« Last Edit: March 27, 2012, 04:34:29 PM by TaoPhoenix » Logged
IainB
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« Reply #9 on: April 02, 2012, 08:26:09 PM »

...I just turned Ghostery back on, but I am still getting clicks from Youtube. So is that a false positive from the Collusion that it "attempted to set a cookie" or is Youtube setting something else that Ghostery can't find and block?
I wondered about this also, and am working to figure out whether these pests are actually being blocked.
Thinking wistfully of resuscitating JunkBuster...     Wink
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TaoPhoenix
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« Reply #10 on: May 02, 2012, 12:26:06 AM »

What happens if I set my browser to disallow all cookies period? I know I'll lose "a little functionality" but do y'all expect entire sites to break if they can't set cookies?
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IainB
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« Reply #11 on: May 02, 2012, 08:05:31 AM »

What happens if I set my browser to disallow all cookies period? I know I'll lose "a little functionality" but do y'all expect entire sites to break if they can't set cookies?
Why not try it and see? You will at any rate discover which sites are designed not to work for you unless you let them set/read cookies.
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TaoPhoenix
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« Reply #12 on: May 02, 2012, 09:09:52 AM »

I'll have to check the settings - the latest evil fad is Flash Objects etc, which, not being cookies, don't always get wiped when you "clear cookies". I'll try to report later which sites need/don't need cookies etc.

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TaoPhoenix
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« Reply #13 on: May 08, 2012, 08:45:39 AM »

What happens if I set my browser to disallow all cookies period? I know I'll lose "a little functionality" but do y'all expect entire sites to break if they can't set cookies?
Why not try it and see? You will at any rate discover which sites are designed not to work for you unless you let them set/read cookies.

I had a minute to look at cookie settings today. There's two big categories: "Sites" and "Third-Parties". Turning the Site Cookies off seems to be pretty bad - Gmail yelled at me "You don't have cookies enabled. Sudo turn them back on now." (Paraphrased).

So now I'll see how far I get with the Third Party ones off.
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IainB
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« Reply #14 on: May 08, 2012, 10:09:55 AM »

Good luck in the cookie labyrinth.
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TaoPhoenix
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« Reply #15 on: May 08, 2012, 01:30:09 PM »

Good luck in the cookie labyrinth.

Well, hmm. First Party ones seem to be a big deal, but then (normally!) first party cookies aren't ad-trackers. 6 hours in to No-3rd party ones, I don't see any ill effects.
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4wd
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« Reply #16 on: May 08, 2012, 08:43:37 PM »

So now I'll see how far I get with the Third Party ones off.

I've had Third Party cookies turned off for years without causing me any problems but then again, if a site relies on the fact that you need to accept Third Party cookies then I just don't go to it after the first time.

Cookies are also only kept until I exit Firefox then they're cleared, again, causes me no ill effects.  Google cookies are either blocked or anonymised so it's a bit hard for them to build any type of cohesive personal profile on my browsing habits and probably explains why after 2 months I have no humongous chains in Collusion like IainB did after 24 hours Wink

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I do not need to control my anger ... people just need to stop pissing me off!
IainB
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« Reply #17 on: May 08, 2012, 09:18:21 PM »

I've had Third Party cookies turned off for years without causing me any problems but then again, if a site relies on the fact that you need to accept Third Party cookies then I just don't go to it after the first time.
Cookies are also only kept until I exit Firefox then they're cleared, again, causes me no ill effects.  Google cookies are either blocked or anonymised so it's a bit hard for them to build any type of cohesive personal profile on my browsing habits and probably explains why after 2 months I have no humongous chains in Collusion like IainB did after 24 hours Wink
 (see attachment in previous post)
Thanks for reminding me!
Yes. I had 3rd-party cookies enabled.
I had meant to disable them and see what Collusion's diagram looked like after that.
So, I have just disabled 3rd-party cookies and restarted Collusion's diagram.
Shall publish the picture in this thread in a day or so.
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TaoPhoenix
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« Reply #18 on: May 11, 2012, 09:12:48 AM »

Too bad we can't draw little smiley faces in the diagrams!
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IainB
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Slartibartfarst

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« Reply #19 on: May 13, 2012, 02:06:31 AM »

...
 ...Google cookies are either blocked or anonymised
 ...
How do you anonymise them?

Here's mine, after about 5 days...
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urlwolf
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« Reply #20 on: May 13, 2012, 02:11:49 AM »

I really wonder what the limits of 3rd-party cookies are.
It defies everything I know about cookies.
Anyone here knows this field well?
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4wd
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« Reply #21 on: May 13, 2012, 06:37:57 AM »

How do you anonymise them?

The now unsupported OptimizeGoogle addon - whether or not it now actually works due to changes Google may have made in the meantime is another question.

But I don't get any kind of cross-linking between sites connected to Google, (as you see in your pic),


there is only one "ring" of sites feeding back to Google, (as opposed to the possible 3 or more in your pic),


nor do I get ads related to anything I type, (after disabling other addons), since installing it, eg. as Renegade found here.

So something somewhere must be doing something smiley

Then again, I'm never logged into Google for anything except maybe once a month to check the spam folder in email, so really I guess the only thing they can go on is my IP.

I might do a little testing in a VM with just OptimizeGoogle and Collusion installed and see what eventuates.

Addendum:
I thought I'd do something simpler: do a search, read the cookie ID, delete it, do another search, read the cookie ID again.

Before ID: e3d6010785247c84:FF=0:TM=1336956597:LM=1336956597:S=PEa3IUp2Cw-N-RTt
After ID:  d6389bb5e8d134bb:U=7c4d84c4aa943c7f:FF=4:LD=en:NR=100:TM=1336956662:LM=1336956662:S=1ZXOzkMmGGEFmo_U

I've done it a few times and the only item that seems consistent is the TM, (time), entry - the other are always something different.  I would think that if they wanted to track me using a cookie then they would have to use a consistent ID string based on my machine configuration, (or Google login - which I don't).

BTW, Data Liberation Front - something I just read about in APC, (Australian Personal Computer).
Quote
This site is a central location for information on how to move your data in and out of Google products.

It's run by Google - so take that how you will smiley
« Last Edit: May 13, 2012, 08:07:17 PM by 4wd » Logged

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IainB
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« Reply #22 on: May 14, 2012, 05:26:13 AM »

@4wd: Thanks!
Have installed the OptimizeGoogle addon. Will see what difference it makes - if any.
I think the reason I get all those Google hits is because I am logged in to Gmail most of the time I am online, even though I might not be using it.
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4wd
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« Reply #23 on: May 14, 2012, 07:41:19 AM »

I think the reason I get all those Google hits is because I am logged in to Gmail most of the time I am online, even though I might not be using it.

Don't forget, I also clear all cookies when Firefox shuts down, so any Google cookie will only be regenerated when I next do a Google search - along with OptimizeGoogle it means it's an anonymised ID each time I start Firefox.
« Last Edit: June 07, 2012, 11:22:48 PM by 4wd » Logged

I do not need to control my anger ... people just need to stop pissing me off!
4wd
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« Reply #24 on: January 26, 2013, 08:24:03 PM »

Well, after three weeks of running Change Referer Button and RefControl my Collusion graph looks like this:



A vast improvement over what it was before - I could probably do away with Change Referer Button as I have both it and RefControl set to forge the destination site but it gives a faster method of switching between modes.
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