Internet giants are fighting to protect your private browsing history

mongeese

Posts: 385   +57
Staff member

The amendment was proposed by Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon and Republican Sen. Steve Daines of Montana. Neither party opposes the amendment at all. When the Senate voted, a number of the amendment’s supporters were absent, and it failed to reach a 60-vote threshold by only one vote. Quite frankly, the failure of the Senate to codify the amendment is an embarrassment.

Subsequently, several tech companies including Mozilla, Reddit, Twitter, and Patreon have co-signed a letter asking the House of Representatives to tidy up this mess. The House still needs to pass the bill for it to become law, and they can force the inclusion of the amendment. They vote this week.

“Our users demand that we serve as responsible stewards of their private information, and our industry is predicated on that trust,” says the letter. “Americans deserve to have their online searches and browsing kept private, and only available to the government pursuant to a warrant.”

The amendment has also received support from dozens of civil rights and liberties groups, including the NAACP, the American Civil Liberties Union, and the Human Rights Watch. They co-signed a separate letter last week, which intriguingly points out that “this reform is precisely designed to stave off the kind of scandals that led to a dramatic loss of trust in United States intelligence agencies over the past two decades.” I think very few people trust the American government’s internet privacy protections these days.

Image Credit: Etienne Girardet, Primakov

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summermick

Posts: 25   +32
Ha, too late! Facebook already made fortunes and are transitioning to an online retailer as a FB recruiter recently asked me if I'd like to join their Instagram shopping team.
 
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psycros

Posts: 3,127   +3,227
Soooo its fine if all the usual suspects like FB, Google and Microsoft have that info but not the government? What's the yardstick, exactly - that spying on Internet usage is fine as long as someone is making money off of it? Time for everyone to go anonymous via a reputable VPN, TOR and/or other means. Maybe we'll have to pay for email again but at least it won't be automatically forwarded to every spammer and spy on Earth. Also be sure to clean up all cookies every time you close a tab, block all tracking and use other safe browsing practices religiously. Together we can break the backs of the data mongers
 
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wiyosaya

Posts: 5,243   +3,335
Soooo its fine if all the usual suspects like FB, Google and Microsoft have that info but not the government? What's the yardstick, exactly - that spying on Internet usage is fine as long as someone is making money off of it? Time for everyone to go anonymous via a reputable VPN, TOR and/or other means. Maybe we'll have to pay for email again but at least it won't be automatically forwarded to every spammer and spy on Earth. Also be sure to clean up all cookies every time you close a tab, block all tracking and use other safe browsing practices religiously. Together we can break the backs of the data mongers
I am paying for my e-mail - $20/year precisely because I do not want a "free" service mining my e-mail for marketable data. https://runbox.com/
 
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trieste1s

Posts: 21   +16
TechSpot Elite
Soooo its fine if all the usual suspects like FB, Google and Microsoft have that info but not the government? What's the yardstick, exactly - that spying on Internet usage is fine as long as someone is making money off of it? Time for everyone to go anonymous via a reputable VPN, TOR and/or other means. Maybe we'll have to pay for email again but at least it won't be automatically forwarded to every spammer and spy on Earth. Also be sure to clean up all cookies every time you close a tab, block all tracking and use other safe browsing practices religiously. Together we can break the backs of the data mongers
Ublock Origin
NextDNS
Canvasblocker
Decentraleyes
Cookie AutoDelete
Tab Containers

Strict Tracking Protection in Edge or Firefox


NOT USING GOOGLE CHROME


And more, many more... the battle never ends.
 
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H3llion

Posts: 1,851   +540
Well aren't people bloody paranoid.

No one cares about some random person on the internet. If the Gov wanted to know about you, the little VPN you are running is not going to work to protect your identity. You wan't identity protected? Get off the internet.

I have no problem having my search results mined, it's a free service and needs to profit somehow. The amount of advancements companies like Google are doing is beyond comprehension. With uBlock I don't even see the ads so what's the problem? Maybe when I actually want to purchase something, it will give me recommended options. I like the algorithms showing me recommendations although they are still pretty bad and not accurate enough.

Now if you are in the web industry you understand how this all works and how it's merely analytical metadata that nearly every website tries to gather. Some for marketing purposes and others for UX. By using the internet your common patterns are already being recorded so you are feeding the very thing you are "battleing" against anyway, maybe without your location, name etc... but still.

As MKBHD once said, if I loose some privacy at least I am getting back something in return in terms of convenience.

Sounds exhausting to constantly worry. More and more technology relies on this information and companies like Google, Waze, Garmin, TomTom are already collecting your information when you are road tripping, unless you don't use those and get the ol' map out?

But people are free to do what they want to do.

PS: Don't forget to wear a mask while out on the street as well (not Corona wise). Your purchasing habbits are also collected unless you still use cash.
 

HugsNotDrugs

Posts: 30   +16
Well aren't people bloody paranoid.

No one cares about some random person on the internet. If the Gov wanted to know about you, the little VPN you are running is not going to work to protect your identity. You wan't identity protected? Get off the internet.

I have no problem having my search results mined, it's a free service and needs to profit somehow. The amount of advancements companies like Google are doing is beyond comprehension. With uBlock I don't even see the ads so what's the problem? Maybe when I actually want to purchase something, it will give me recommended options. I like the algorithms showing me recommendations although they are still pretty bad and not accurate enough.

Now if you are in the web industry you understand how this all works and how it's merely analytical metadata that nearly every website tries to gather. Some for marketing purposes and others for UX. By using the internet your common patterns are already being recorded so you are feeding the very thing you are "battleing" against anyway, maybe without your location, name etc... but still.

As MKBHD once said, if I loose some privacy at least I am getting back something in return in terms of convenience.

Sounds exhausting to constantly worry. More and more technology relies on this information and companies like Google, Waze, Garmin, TomTom are already collecting your information when you are road tripping, unless you don't use those and get the ol' map out?

But people are free to do what they want to do.

PS: Don't forget to wear a mask while out on the street as well (not Corona wise). Your purchasing habbits are also collected unless you still use cash.
You should be concerned that governments can evolve to authoritarian regimes and if provided too much leeway, like extensive monitoring of citizens, can weaponize law enforcement to legitimize their means to whatever objective it wants. This happens a lot, most recently in Hong Kong, and to a lesser but very real extent right now in the U.S.

Any governing body should be provided enough authority to perform their function, but nothing further.
 
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Danny101

Posts: 1,318   +526
You would be surprised how many other browsers are reliant on Chromium.
That's troublesome. The only consolation is that's it's open source and can be publicly scrutinized. Are there any other browsers that have their own engines besides Firefox and Chromium-based? Edge and IE don't count for they are going the way of the dodo birds.
 
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H3llion

Posts: 1,851   +540
That's troublesome. The only consolation is that's it's open source and can be publicly scrutinized. Are there any other browsers that have their own engines besides Firefox and Chromium-based? Edge and IE don't count for they are going the way of the dodo birds.
Edge us adopting Chromium as well. https://www.theverge.com/2020/1/15/...-chromium-new-browser-windows-mac-download-os

It is worrisome but the problem is, without Google the web would be stuck in the past. At least they are pushing development capabilities and what frontend devs can do to make user experience greater.
 
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Danny101

Posts: 1,318   +526

wiyosaya

Posts: 5,243   +3,335
Edge us adopting Chromium as well. https://www.theverge.com/2020/1/15/...-chromium-new-browser-windows-mac-download-os

It is worrisome but the problem is, without Google the web would be stuck in the past. At least they are pushing development capabilities and what frontend devs can do to make user experience greater.
I don't know about that.

Personally, I live without Edge/Chromium and avoid Google like they are the plague. And I am a "front end" (UI) developer, too, mostly for Windows using WPF. I've been a UI developer for a long time since MFC days, and WPF puts all previous UI development platforms for Windows (at least those from Microsoft) to shame. IMO, WPF is an extraordinary tool kit that allows for the development of very intuitive UIs.

I like to think that I am doing quite well on a stringent, very-low Google diet! :laughing: