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Google tracking Firefox users?

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RoleReversal

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Post Tue Aug 19, 2008 10:25 am

Google tracking Firefox users?

Hi all,

I've just come across an interesting (to me anyway) discovery and was wondering if anyone had more information before I stick myself head-first in to my web traffic.

The scenario,

I'm coding a new version of an old web-based app (wanted to be a developer before I saw the light, now I'm responsible for my old apps...). I'm running TamperData under Firefox 3 to fake some of my input to see how the system responds. Up pops a post request I wasn't expecting passing a cookie ID to static.cache.l.google.com.

Now I can't find the referenced cookie on my system to see what info is held, likewise I can't find any information on the web (in hindsight using Google may not be the smartest move I've made today). This request has only been sent once so I can't determine how regularly I am/have been providing this info to Google but it has me slightly miffed. I'm sure that this would have been mentioned in the extensive and readable license agreement I read thoroughly before signing my life away agreeing to the conditions.  ::)

If anyone has any info or knowledge of this I'd be interested to here from you, might save me a few hours that could be put to more productive use (Like Lego Star Wars......)

Thanks in advance,
RR
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venom77

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Post Tue Aug 19, 2008 11:11 am

Re: Google tracking Firefox users?

First, Lego Star Wars is sweet! :)

Second, could it be the standard google tracking cookie that G-Zapper is meant to block?
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RoleReversal

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Post Tue Aug 19, 2008 1:20 pm

Re: Google tracking Firefox users?

BillV wrote:Second, could it be the standard google tracking cookie that G-Zapper is meant to block?


I haven't come across gzapper before, looking through the site I think you may have hit the nail on the head. The bit that throw me was that I wasn't using google at the time (and hadn't in the current firefox session) so I'm assuming that this is linked through from the integrated search bar.

Panic over (although I may go looking for a new browser....)

Cheers BillV
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sgt_mjc

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Post Tue Aug 19, 2008 1:46 pm

Re: Google tracking Firefox users?

As nice as the Google bar and others can be, I just don't trust them. I'm not paranoid (well any more paranoid than most security guys), but I don't like the idea of my surfing habits being tracked just so they can supposedly send me span that their filter will have to catch. Does that make sense to any one? Any ways, this is just one more reason to stay away form tool bars. Thanks, RR.
Mike Conway
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g00d_4sh

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Post Tue Aug 19, 2008 1:51 pm

Re: Google tracking Firefox users?

Tool bars "are the devil" as I say.  I stick to Opera as my browser... and lock that shit down generally.  I actually just broke Opera for the first time, and had to reinstall it.  Kind of cracked me up. 
"Bad.. Good?  I'm the guy with the gun"
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venom77

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Post Tue Aug 19, 2008 3:41 pm

Re: Google tracking Firefox users?

RoleReversal wrote:
BillV wrote:Second, could it be the standard google tracking cookie that G-Zapper is meant to block?

Panic over (although I may go looking for a new browser....)

Cheers BillV


Cool :)

I think I have an older (free) version of that tool laying around somewhere if you want it. As far as I know it still does the job.
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dalepearson

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Post Tue Aug 19, 2008 3:45 pm

Re: Google tracking Firefox users?

If your in the infosec field google is great as it tracks everything.

Time to try what is supposed to be the more private google - www.cuil.com
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Post Tue Aug 19, 2008 4:07 pm

Re: Google tracking Firefox users?

dalepearson wrote:Time to try what is supposed to be the more private google - www.cuil.com


Cheers Dale, I haven't seen cuil before so I'll take a look. Although the fact that their privacy statement claims that thy don't track you by cookie and then explain why they need cookies to track your preference I think I might do a bit of digging into the cookie contents before I trust them completely (as I'm generally more paranoid than the next security guy ;) )

g00d_4sh wrote:Tool bars "are the devil" as I say.  I stick to Opera as my browser...

added to list of possible replacements, cheers for the tip...

BillV wrote:I think I have an older (free) version of that tool laying around somewhere if you want it. As far as I know it still does the job.

If you've got a free version handy I'd appreciate a look-see to figure out how it ticks, no biggy if you can't find it, wouldn't want to put you out.

Cheers for the assistance guys.

RR
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Otter

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Post Thu Aug 21, 2008 1:34 am

Re: Google tracking Firefox users?

dalepearson wrote:If your in the infosec field google is great as it tracks everything.

Time to try what is supposed to be the more private google - www.cuil.com


Unfortunately though, despite the huge press splash cuil.com got a month or so ago,  people came quickly to the same conclusion I had when trying it that day:  gee these search results suck! 

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/07/31/inside_cuil/

I agree with those who avoid toolbars like the plague and google desktop.  They know enough about me from search terms and IP address only-- I don't need to be logging in, letting them index all my email, or given them a chance to blithely index my hard drive to tune ad delivery to me.    Minority Report anyone?
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dalepearson

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Post Thu Aug 21, 2008 1:57 am

Re: Google tracking Firefox users?

I saw the article on REG, and I guess they are right.
Its a double edged sword though, as it wont get better unless people use it more, but they wont use it as the results are not all that.

The other issues I cant see how to submit or recommend a site.

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