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File sharing that plays well with adblock and privacy settings?


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frascati frascati is offline
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15-Sep-2012, 11:18 AM #1
File sharing that plays well with adblock and privacy settings?
See this webpage.....
http://blogs.wsj.com/wtk/

This study associated with the Wall Street Journal... you know, that liberal, anti-business yellow journal that is constantly causing trouble with business owners... revealed that Photobucket is among the most aggressive 'trackers' of your behavior.

Been using photobucket for some time now. Recently I've grown just a little more concerned with my privacy online. I've been implementing a few of Firefox's adblock and noscript addons and have noticed that they often play havoc with Photobucket. Even allowing "all this page" and "all of Photobucket" in noscript the other privacy settings I have in place still screw with the uploads. There is a constant push/pull going on between these 'free' services and consumer's efforts to find a comfortable level of privacy amid these revenue making tools programmed into the package by any service's designers.

It's an interesting bit of brinksmanship really. I realize "you get what you pay for". "Free" services on the web that make revenue collecting and reselling/referring/parsing data about their customers and exposing them to advertising is just fine. As long as the customer is at least a little aware of the trade taking place. It IS a trade no matter how you slice it. And I may be wrong, but I have a hunch that paying for any of these services via their "pro" versions would add levels of functionality (which I don't need at all) but do nothing to alter the data collecting activity on their end... still stumbling over my personal privacy settings.


Are there any options for SIMPLE (no photoediting, no fancy social interfacing options for facebook, etc, not bells/whistles) photosharing? Something web based and built on ultrasimple straightforward open-source scripting that won't choke on my efforts to tell it to "mind your own business and I'll mind mine"?

Last edited by frascati; 15-Sep-2012 at 11:28 AM..
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15-Sep-2012, 05:26 PM #2
There's no such thing as "free" Internet. If people are not willing to pay anything for software or services, these guys need to make a living somehow. That's why there are ads.

Unless you're hiding secrets for the CIA, the KGB or MI6, there's really nothing to be worried about. Keep your antivirus running and updated, make sure your system is up-to-date, use caution on the Web, just don't click on anything you see, stay away from porn sites, and you should be fine. I use Photobucket and ImageShack regularly myself and they never caused any concern for me.

You can block or delete cookies at any time. A program like SpywareBlaster is a good complement to have on your computer. You can even use the MVPS HOSTS file if you wish. SUPERAntiSpyware deletes tracking cookies. Very few do block or delete cookies 'cause they couldn't care less.

Let's not fall into this tracking paranoia. ALL free software is at risk one way or another. It doesn't mean they're all selling your information, but some are. Be careful when installing free software, or even not so free one. Do not agree to all the crapware they're offering to install at the same time (toolbars, search engines, etc.).

When installing free software or registering for services like ImageShack, Photobucket, forums..., use disposable email addresses and never use your real name, address or phone number.
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Last edited by Phantom010; 15-Sep-2012 at 06:42 PM..
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15-Sep-2012, 05:52 PM #3
Adless / Adblock [Plus] Privacy intrusions
I think this is relevant: I have been trying to download Adless into Chrome [XP] but for some reason this has not succeeded so far. I then stumbled upon a blog where one contributor had gone to great length to investigate and expose the extent to which downloading Adless grants access for the app to intrude into one's privacy and browsing activities. Enough for me to have a re-think. I decided then to go for Adblock Plus Beta - but before the download began a screen popped up warning of very similar privacy intrusions. So I aborted.
> Is sacrificing your privacy the price you have to pay to block ads?
> Or is there an app that blocks at least the animated ads, which I find most annoying, with no hidden strings attached?
> I was under the impression that regular use of deleting browsing history within Chrome, and CCleaner, were reasonably effective ways of getting rid of cookies, though there is some doubt about Flash (?) cookies which I read about somewhere.
> Interested to hear other folks' experience and recommendations.
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frascati frascati is offline
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16-Sep-2012, 08:40 PM #4
Thanks for that info.

I agree with most of the comment, but I'm not yet ready to dismiss privacy concerns heading into a new century as "paranoia". I'd rather be a bit safer now than wishing I'd been more attentive to privacy concerns at some point in the future. Currently I'm already pretty happy that it's been my habit since first tapping into the internet over a decade ago to use dozens of different email addresses, login names for forums, passwords, etc. I'd frankly be just a bit uncomfortable if any stranger, employer, political candidate, neighbor, etc, could simply type in my real name (many people do utilize their own as forum user names) and be able to google/browse every online conversation I've ever engaged in for the last decade.

You say "who would use their own name in every forum"? Some do. The fact that you don't is, to some degree, a reflection of your own concern with a level of privacy. The internet is social space with many analogues to "real life" social interactions. One HUGE difference is that the conversation I had with a friend in a booth at the bar last week is not transcribed, digitized for posterity, and made accessible to the public via Google. It's not at all paranoid to demand a level of privacy at the very least what one might expect in "real life".

As an extension to that bar analogy, neither are my food choices, grooming supplies, sports interests, contents of my camera, political religious and philosophical leanings, sexual identity, etc ,etc, so recorded, collated, and ready for prime time. Of course we're 95 percent (75, 80, 85, 96.7?... pick one) accepting of current promises of anonymity connected with such data mining and "processing". It's supposed, and we're frequently assured, that our names, ip addresses, and any other possible connections to us individually are not collected. I don't think it's paranoid at all to be less than 100 percent convinced of those assurances.

Anyway this is a topic far broader and deeper than can be dealt with even marginally here, so as to the topic specifically.... I got a pretty good concise response from another forum.

Quote:
Are there any options for SIMPLE (no photoediting, no fancy social interfacing options for facebook, etc, not bells/whistles) photosharing? Something web based and built on ultrasimple straightforward open-source scripting


Yep, easy.
Buy some server space (or use somewhere free like Awardspace) and install a PHP script like "Gallery".
http://gallery.menalto.com/
That "server space" may, or may not, simply be swapping one tracking site for another, but at least I'm on the right track. "gallery" looks very interesting for anyone with any questions at all about Photobucket's data gathering.

Last edited by frascati; 17-Sep-2012 at 11:53 AM..
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16-Sep-2012, 09:08 PM #5
Quote:
Originally Posted by frascati View Post
The fact that you don't is, to some degree, a reflection of your own concern with a level of privacy.
For me, it's more a question of avoiding spam (email, phone, mail...) and malware, than privacy concerns. What could they possibly gain from my online activities, especially with tracking cookies, which I delete (or block) on a regular basis? Other means of collecting private information from my computer or online transactions would be considered hacking.

Photobucket and ImageShack only have a disposable email address from me, no name, no nothing. I don't even use those services for personal pictures.

Last edited by Phantom010; 16-Sep-2012 at 09:42 PM..
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17-Sep-2012, 01:50 PM #6
I don't 'share' or post anything online so that isn't a concern of mine, but I do like to be as awkward as I can when it comes to making life difficult for people that want to monitor my behaviour.

I use CCleaner to delete browser history, cookies, user assist files and old prefetch data. There is a program called 'Flushflash' which is supposed to deal with the 100KB 'cookies' and I have the 'Ghostery' addon for Opera and Firefox to block all the web bugs which can be used to serve me with advertising etc.; http://www.ghostery.com/

I am under no illusion that any of this makes me 'invisible' to any person or organization that is determined to track me. Even if I were technically savvy enough to do it, I have no wish to go to the lengths suggested in some of the postings in places like the 'Privacy Related Topics' at Wilders Security Forums or similar sites.
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