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Google +1 button is tracking webmasterworld users

     
8:56 pm on Oct 26, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I've become somewhat more loud in my dislike of some things Google has done recently, primarily Panda's effects on quality sites and lesser quality results than I'm used to from Google, and it's time for me to get quiet again.

Before I do I just wanted to point out the obvious since many are oblivious to it.

The +1 Google button at the bottom of this page causes a file owned by Google to be loaded. When that file is loaded your IP is recorded along with the date and time. If you post a new thread like this one Google knows you are the first person to trigger that file load meaning you are likely the thread poster. The same applies for subsequent posts.

Google can then tie your IP to you and to your other online activities when you log into a Google product like adsense or adwords. That little +1 button is evil... and now I've said my peace.

Keep fighting the good fight, I've done all I care to at this point. Good luck.
9:24 pm on Oct 26, 2011 (gmt 0)

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And...?
11:04 pm on Oct 26, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Which +1 Google button ? ;o)
11:38 pm on Oct 26, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Any JavaScript, image or other resource that is loaded from another site can be used for that, Google+ is hardly alone in that even within the Google stable of products, Google Analytics & Adds could both be used for the same purpose and are more likely to do so.

If you post anything on the internet, don't expect to be anonymous unless you go to great efforts to anonymous.

@Staffa, I take it you are blocking JavaScript and hence the included JavaScript from [apis.google.com...] does not get loaded and you don't get to see the +1 button.
11:44 pm on Oct 26, 2011 (gmt 0)

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It was here , I don't see it now..and I'm not blocking js here..
12:05 am on Oct 27, 2011 (gmt 0)

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@Leosghost. I didn't see it either until I temporarily allowed all JavaScript for this page. It appears right next to Tweet on the line that starts with Global Options:
<edit>Hmm, and now I can't see it again.</edit>
12:08 am on Oct 27, 2011 (gmt 0)

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This site is using Google analytics, so Google already knew every post you put on this site long before they added a + button.
12:16 am on Oct 27, 2011 (gmt 0)

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GA..which is why one reason ( amongst many the +1 button ..and other things owned by other companies ) that one doesn't always use the same IP ..or even the same machine etc for all that one does..it may not be possible to avoid all tracking ..but one can make it harder for them* to join the dots ..

*does not refer exclusively to Google :)
1:04 am on Oct 27, 2011 (gmt 0)

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what is google+?
2:25 am on Oct 27, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Sorry, Google+ = +1 Google Button
2:37 am on Oct 27, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I do appreciate the point of this thread - yes, Google is tracking the dickens out of web users. But just this week I was reminded that every business who can do that seems to be in the game.

Bing made some public comments that they have around 70 million users in the "Bing/Yahoo ecosystem" who never leave that ecosystem for any other search destination. They didn't explain how they know that - but it sure sounds like some pretty extreme tracking to me. How would you know that those people never go "outside the Bing/Yahoo ecosystem" without some extreme tracking, anyway?
2:45 am on Oct 27, 2011 (gmt 0)

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As a person who makes some income from affiliate networks, I have to accept tracking as part of the deal when I'm online doing my own surfing around the web. So from my POV, it's not the tracking aspect that is troublesome, but rather, the history profiles that Google is keeping on tens of milliions of people. Google's close relationship with intelligence agencies is undeniable, so the notion that some degree of personal data can be be turned per request should make everyone uneasy. It's a short step away from a "1984" kind of world, and it starts with tracking, then goes to data storage, then analysis, then some sort of risk evaluation is assigned, and from there could end up with a knock on the door. That may not be the reality for anyone here (yet), but the scenario is real and may be closer than any of us should want.

......................
3:19 am on Oct 27, 2011 (gmt 0)

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arrrgh tedster :) ..Google don't get "whiter" because the others are also black..and Google's "reach" via their various products and purchases and networks, is far greater than MS and Y or even facebook..

What they know ( or can deduce and even confirm about anyone "great or small", with enough data crunching ) does put them ( and anyone with whom they share what they know ) in a unique and highly dangerous position, never before known in history , to either instigate a "knock at the door" or a quiet word in the ear of the right movers and shakers ....the "we know what you have been doing, searching, looking at" .."now come with us" or .."vote this way or that way, sign this bill or that ..or all will know what your search tells" ..

Subpoenaed search records ( be they true or false ) from Google can nail any one to the cross of public popular justice ..if Google or someone with access to what they gather and know wished to, they could influence one insignificant life ..or one powerful life ..or millions of lives ..

tin foil hat ..no ..to all intents and purposes we already have the bar code on our necks..

Will what they know, and the power that gives, be used for good or ill ? ..depends on who is defining "good" or "ill"..

Making it as hard as possible for all of them to track you and yours ..may postpone the day that they or their friends use it..or even invent it ..

I'm sure that Google's "word" about someone's search history would be taken as conclusive "evidence" over their own in a court of law..even if it were fabricated on the command of someone else for whatever reason ..the truth has been distorted and bent, and lies have been told and our vision of what "is" has been blinkered and channeled by our "betters" for "our own good" or "reasons of state" or to "protect" certain people etc, many times in the past..
3:37 am on Oct 27, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Google don't get "whiter" because the others are also black

Never said they did - I just wanted to put the issue into a fuller context. It's past time for a workable "do not track" solution... if that's even possible at this late date.
4:23 am on Oct 27, 2011 (gmt 0)

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G+ is the new and improved analytics. This way they can track actual individuals, not just ip's. They will coerce webmasters into installing this spy code in order to rank. This way they can spy on more users, more websites, and give more data to big brother. Did anyone catch the recent news release about the increased amount of info they are giving the government?

Those folks who are logged into g+ while surfing are really getting their actions tracked. They know exactly who you are, and what you are doing and they will never delete this info.

"Don't be evil, we hate competition"

To appease the un-informed masses and regulators they have stopped sending referral data to websites in order to "protect users privacy." Don't we all feel better now?
4:51 am on Oct 27, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Did anyone catch the recent news release about the increased amount of info they are giving the government?

This is the kind of story I find more authoritative if it comes from a news service outside of the USA:

Google faces more government demands for user info

Google received more than 15,600 requests for user data in January through June period, 10 percent more than during the final six months of last year...
...In the U.S., Google gave federal, state and other agencies what they wanted 93 percent of the time. The nearly 6,000 requests affected more than 11,000 user accounts in January through June.

Read the... Full Story [taiwannews.com.tw]

...................................
7:13 am on Oct 27, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Interesting article, humans are stripped of all privacy and treated like livestock to some government and financial entities who ironically wish to remain anonymous themselves so they can keep doing it. It's pretty clear why Google execs refuse to use their own Google+ service isn't it.

edit: In all fairness that article points out that Google does indeed review government requests and does deny a good portion of them. In my opinion that's not good enough however since the person who's data was gathered isn't notified or involved in the process. If you're under investigation for possible criminal activity that's fine but otherwise it's illegal, so says the charter of rights.

That little +1 button... Why can't it be like the twitter button beside it and be static without a javascript file load? oh, why.
8:29 am on Oct 27, 2011 (gmt 0)

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@Dijkgraaf
@Staffa, I take it you are blocking JavaScript and hence the included JavaScript from https ://apis.google.com/js/plusone.js does not get loaded and you don't get to see the +1 button.

Nope, I use AdBlock Plus and have done so for several years. Among many others, anything Google and its satellites are blocked :o)
9:51 am on Oct 27, 2011 (gmt 0)

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NoScript does the same... and "me, too" re: G ... and even when I youtube I have all but one G thingamabob blocked... and that's deleted on closing browser (preferences set that way) and, given speed of today's machines and OS, shutdown/restart browser(s) several times a day. Aside: My FF/IE/OPERA have never crashed... I don't let them stay up that long.
11:28 am on Oct 27, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Same here, all cookies are deleted on closing browser, except for a few permanently allowed sites such as this site.
I close my browser every time I stop surfing the net.
12:25 pm on Oct 27, 2011 (gmt 0)

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The real issue is that nobody here ever uses the +1 button, so what is it slowing down page loads for?
12:51 pm on Oct 27, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Edit: Also, WebmasterWorld's +1 Button is still present at the bottom of the page.

shazam wrote:
G+ is the new and improved analytics.

Google+ and the +1 Button are two different things.

--
Ryan
1:27 pm on Oct 27, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Edit: Also, WebmasterWorld's +1 Button is still present at the bottom of the page.

it came back..
3:14 pm on Oct 27, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I removed Google+ from our own website since the time that we installed it we started losing traffic and no one was using it.
3:53 pm on Oct 27, 2011 (gmt 0)

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At least with the twitter button you have the option of adding a self-hosted image and static code to make it work, not so with Google.