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Author Topic: How is youtube tracking me?  (Read 3823 times)

bit

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How is youtube tracking me?
« on: April 10, 2014, 08:18:43 AM »
I use Tor Vidalia and Adblock Plus with Firefox, and youtube keeps 'suggesting' videos to me similar to past videos.
I used to be able to block this, but something in my setup has changed and now I can't seem to block it anymore and wonder if anyone has any idea what to check? Thank you.

eleman

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Re: How is youtube tracking me?
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2014, 10:56:18 AM »
block cookies for *youtube.com and *google.com
cookies are evil. Google is devil incarnate.

Deozaan

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Re: How is youtube tracking me?
« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2014, 04:08:00 PM »
And make sure you're not logged into your Google/YouTube account when viewing videos.


eleman

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Re: How is youtube tracking me?
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2014, 12:10:53 AM »
On a slightly related note;

I'm thoroughly fed up with Google's attempts to enroll me in google+ and to track anything and everything I search/watch.

Aside from the privacy issues, this reduces the quality of suggestions. I already watched 23 collegehumor videos, show me something else so I can discover new things. But no, Google thinks that I love only collegehumor videos, so only they show up in suggestions.

Blocking cookies is not a perfect solution, for you can't disable safe search when the cookies are blocked. Suffice it to say, I am no longer 8 years old. If I search for Stoya, I really want to see her naked.

Ergo... I move more and more of my searches to duckduckgo (which is unfortunately still sub-par on the results front), and next week I'll move to outlook.com as my e-mail provider. I have my own domain, so there should be no problems caused by e-mail address changes.

Innuendo

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Re: How is youtube tracking me?
« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2014, 07:18:44 PM »
Using cookies to store data is very 1990s. LocalStorage is where it's at because it's a lot harder for end users to access and delete the contents.

Fortunately, for those who use Firefox there is Self-Destructing Cookies. Per-site settings to never allow cookies, always allow cookies, and allow cookies and nuke them a set amount of time after you have left the site. Clears out that pesky LocalStorage as well.

I've been using it a very long time and it's never let me down.

eleman

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Re: How is youtube tracking me?
« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2014, 07:21:47 PM »
Google and its evil policy of integrating everything to a single account makes deleting cookies a pain. I have to have gmail open at all times. If I delete the cookie for google.com, gmail logs me out.

The solution I found: move to outlook.com and f.ck with gmail.

Innuendo

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Re: How is youtube tracking me?
« Reply #6 on: April 12, 2014, 11:12:18 AM »
Google and its evil policy of integrating everything to a single account makes deleting cookies a pain. I have to have gmail open at all times. If I delete the cookie for google.com, gmail logs me out.

Oh, you should never have GMail open at all times. Like you said, Google ties everything to that cookie so when you are logged in they can track way too much of your activity.

 I'm currently 'forced' to have two GMail accounts, one for my Android phone and one for my college email account. My solution is to restrict them to my phone & read any mail for those accounts there.

Renegade

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Re: How is youtube tracking me?
« Reply #7 on: April 13, 2014, 11:04:16 PM »
Probably the best way to stop them would be to download the Firefox source code and for the cookies and local storage parts, edit the code so that it always returns an empty string, then recompile it.

They can actually link different accounts across different devices. They're that good. If Big Data doesn't scare you, you're not paying attention - it's terrifying.
Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

eleman

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Re: How is youtube tracking me?
« Reply #8 on: April 14, 2014, 01:56:19 PM »
The solution I found: move to outlook.com and f.ck with gmail.

I believe I'm entitled to employ profane words. Lots of them... Lots and lots...

Microsoft cans free custom domain support in Outlook

Innuendo

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Re: How is youtube tracking me?
« Reply #9 on: April 15, 2014, 08:45:16 PM »
Here's a very simple solution.

Stay logged into GMail in one browser, say Firefox...and do all your YouTubing in a different one, say IE. Simple solution.

40hz

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Re: How is youtube tracking me?
« Reply #10 on: April 16, 2014, 05:58:08 AM »
The solution I found: move to outlook.com and f.ck with gmail.

I believe I'm entitled to employ profane words. Lots of them... Lots and lots...

Microsoft cans free custom domain support in Outlook


That sort of change doesn't bother me so much. Whenever dealing with "free" services, the adage "Beggars can't be choosers" is often the case. My experience is that when something like the above is offered free of charge, it was done either to: (a) start attracting new users toward something that would eventually be made be a paid-for service; or, (b) offered in order to thoroughly 'real-world' test the technology for a planned paid-for service.

Looks like the future is now and the Outlook.com users have been given notice of its arrival.

Not surprising. Especially now that the Office 365 and MS Exchange Online services are fully up and taking subscriptions.

But even so, Microsoft could have handled it a little more courteously than to pull an "effective immediately" move.

Then again, a "subject to immediate change without notice" boilerplate clause was probably somewhere in the TOS - which nobody bothers to read. And often much to their loss.

-------------------------------

Rules of thumb when it comes to "free" services:

1. For companies that primarily harvest and sell information (Google, et al): "If you're not our customer, you're our product."

2. For companies that primarily charge actual money for their products or services: "If you're not our customer, you're not our customer."

 8)

tomos

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Re: How is youtube tracking me?
« Reply #11 on: April 16, 2014, 07:28:49 AM »
Here's a very simple solution.

Stay logged into GMail in one browser, say Firefox...and do all your YouTubing in a different one, say IE. Simple solution.

this doesnt work here** - although it may work in combination with Tor (mentioned in OP).

** Just anecdotal, but I'm pretty sure it's not working here - I presumed that they can simply see that the IP address for both browsers is the same (?)
Tom
« Last Edit: April 16, 2014, 07:35:49 AM by tomos »

eleman

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Re: How is youtube tracking me?
« Reply #12 on: April 16, 2014, 08:19:52 AM »
IP address cannot be used to identify users. Sometimes hundreds share a single IP.

tomos

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Re: How is youtube tracking me?
« Reply #13 on: April 16, 2014, 09:09:43 AM »
IP address cannot be used to identify users. Sometimes hundreds share a single IP.

well then I end up with the same question as bit :)
Must see if I can test it more scientifically. My experience has been: watching stuff in one browser where I'm not logged in, and afterwards getting offered the same video in another browser where I am logged in.
Tom

bit

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Re: How is youtube tracking me?
« Reply #14 on: April 16, 2014, 10:57:16 PM »
I 'may' have got back my anonymity and freedom by resetting Firefox to dump all cookies every time it closes; I can add the few exceptions I need as required.