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Posted

privacy-badger-640x178.png

 

Web browsers generally allow users to send a "Do Not Track" signal that lets advertisers know the user prefers not to be tracked for the purposes of serving up personalized ads.

 

But it's largely a futile exercise, because websites and advertising networks are free to ignore the signal. Even Yahoo, which had been honoring Do Not Track requests, decided to stop doing so this week.

 

The Electronic Frontier Foundation may have a solution. Last night, the group announced "Privacy Badger," an extension for Chrome and Firefox "that analyzes sites to detect and disallow content that tracks you in an objectionable, non-consensual manner."

 

Privacy Badger doesn't automatically block ads. The group explained:

 

When you visit websites, your copy of Privacy Badger keeps note of the "third-party" domains that embed images, scripts and advertising in the pages you visit.

 

If a third-party server appears to be tracking you without permission, by using uniquely identifying cookies to collect a record of the pages you visit across multiple sites, Privacy Badger will automatically disallow content from that third-party tracker. In some cases a third-party domain provides some important aspect of a page's functionality, such as embedded maps, images, or fonts. In those cases, Privacy Badger will allow connections to the third party but will screen out its tracking cookies.

 

Users who install Privacy Badger can whitelist websites. Additionally, "Advertisers and other third-party domains can unblock themselves in Privacy Badger by making a strong commitment to respect Do Not Track requests," the EFF said.

 

Privacy Badger works, but it's an "alpha" release so the EFF wants interested users to test it out before attempting to convince larger populations of people to install it. Privacy Badger can be installed on Chrome or Firefox here, and bugs can be reported on GitHub.

 

The EFF also helps maintain the HTTPS Everywhere extension, which attempts to force websites to encrypt communications with users who have the extension installed.

 

 

 

http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2014/05/eff-privacy-badger-plugin-aimed-at-forcing-websites-to-stop-tracking-users/

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Posted

I love EFF's plugins. They make me feel so much safer.

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Posted

I tried this out but it seems like it doesn't really play very well with other privacy extensions. It just tells me that the default settings have been modified for every page i visit.

 

Although the devs claim otherwise, it seems like like the purpose of this is a low-maintenance laymen's version that combines a number of existing addons' functionality into one install-and-forget package, but you get better coverage with cookie + JS + tracking blocking.

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Posted

@ primexx which other privacy extensions do you use with which this conflicts 

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Posted

@ primexx which other privacy extensions do you use with which this conflicts 

 

I'm not sure exactly. Didn't go through the trouble of enabling/disabling each and every one, but my biggest suspects are Disconnect and CookieMonster. Since PBadger needs to analyse how things work before it can blacklist things - you probably need trackers to actually do their thing first before PBadger can learn.

 

My full privacy-related list:

  • ABP (tracking filter lists)
  • BetterPrivacy (LSO cookies)
  • Cookie Monster (mostly just a front-end for easy whitelisting of cookies, Firefox has native cookie management)
  • Disconnect (there are a few alternatives that all seem to do similar things, also looks like Privacy Badger would fit in this category)
  • HeaderControlRevived (per-site referral header meddling, can also change a few other headers)
  • HTTPS-Everywhere (self explanatory)
  • NoScript (JS whitelisting)

Provides just about the best coverage I've managed to see so far, although Privacy Badger is definitely worth looking into more given it's different approach to the problem.

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Posted

I except cookies 'until I close Firefox'.

 

Isn't that the same thing ... ?

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Posted

For Firefox, I use:

 

ABE (ad block edge)

Disconnect.me (Disconnect plugin)

 

Accepting cookies until you close firefox is good, but for certain sites, for example my banking site.  It sets a cookie when you log in to validate it is you.  If you remove the cookie, they force you to go through multi-factor validation through email which if you are in a hurry, can take forever to arrive.   Otherwise, clearing them is a good idea for most sites.  

 

I have it choose not to remember my history.  

 

As far as private browsing, there is a browser called Epic which is built off of Chrome which blocks everything and forgets everything after you close the browser.  Sort of like a permanent Incognito browser with a proxy server built into it as well.  I use that for testing my sites if for whatever reason my IP gets me locked out and I can log in with a different one.

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Posted

For Firefox, I use:

 

ABE (ad block edge)

Disconnect.me (Disconnect plugin)

 

Accepting cookies until you close firefox is good, but for certain sites, for example my banking site.  It sets a cookie when you log in to validate it is you.  If you remove the cookie, they force you to go through multi-factor validation through email which if you are in a hurry, can take forever to arrive.   Otherwise, clearing them is a good idea for most sites.  

 

I have it choose not to remember my history.  

 

As far as private browsing, there is a browser called Epic which is built off of Chrome which blocks everything and forgets everything after you close the browser.  Sort of like a permanent Incognito browser with a proxy server built into it as well.  I use that for testing my sites if for whatever reason my IP gets me locked out and I can log in with a different one.

 

adding the -incognito switch to the launching shortcut also works.

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Posted

Thanks Primexx

 

I use Opera and ADBlock and Disconnect at the moment might be nice though to have one extension that does it all 

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Posted

Ghostery. Blocks all trackers....

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