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How Many Ways can Google Track You?

     
2:19 pm on Jun 2, 2014 (gmt 0)

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A fascinating article on how many ways Google can track you across the internet. It included several I'd not thought about (fonts).

When it comes to tracking, Google is without doubt the uncrowned king of it based on the popularity of some of its services and the sheer number of other services that are widely used.

It is not clear if and how the information are used by Google to track users across its services, but it is very likely that at least some information are shared across services, websites and applications.

In fact, it is rather difficult to avoid running into any Google service while you are on the Internet.


[ghacks.net...]
3:50 pm on June 2, 2014 (gmt 0)

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:: insert quotation from Elizabeth Barrett Browning here ::
8:40 am on June 4, 2014 (gmt 0)

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ironic that the article has a google+ button!
8:43 am on June 4, 2014 (gmt 0)

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How Many Ways can Google Track You?


A lot fewer then the government or your ISP.

@lucy,

"let me count the ways"?

In fact, it is rather difficult to avoid running into any Google service while you are on the Internet.


You can block them.
6:59 pm on June 4, 2014 (gmt 0)

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> You can block them.

Only most of the time. There are some things (including domain names) I cannot buy without enabling googleapis; and these are sites I would find it difficult to do without and cannot buy in local shops. I've complained to the services but it's their profit-line.
7:10 pm on June 4, 2014 (gmt 0)

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A comment in the article touches on libraries that Google hosts.

[w3techs.com...]

This report shows the usage statistics and market share data of Google Hosted Libraries on the web. See technologies overview for explanations on the methodologies used in the surveys. Our reports are updated daily.

Google Hosted Libraries is used by 87.9% of all the websites whose JavaScript content delivery network we know. This is 15.9% of all websites.


Blocking these would likely break sites.
8:32 am on June 5, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Yes, but its cacheable, so the most Google could get is the referrer for the first page you visit on using each library. Its a much smaller threat to privacy that Adsense, Analytics, Google+ etc.

At that point Facebook probably becomes the third worst (after govt and ISP) threat to your privacy.
1:59 am on June 6, 2014 (gmt 0)

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True enough graeme, all of them can track to a varying degree and can provide different insights, some each page load and some one offs.

Another one is safe browsing, which every firefox client calls by default on its first invocation... and periodically.
9:56 am on June 6, 2014 (gmt 0)

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I just checked and I have safe browsing disabled in FF.

Ghostery is pretty good at blocking stuff flexibly. Its available for FF (including FF for Android), Chrome(ium), Opera, Safari, and iOS.

I also block referrers so all Google gets from a library request is what IP it came from.

The problem is that the average user has no idea how to do any of this.