REXX, SPF, Internet drafts

2008-08-19

Hostile to privacy

For those who don't remember it, hostile to privacy is a code word, it stands for Google since they acquired doubleclick. To get over this negative image Google recently promoted privacy to one of the 28 words on their basic search form.

As user of several Google services I have vague ideas which host names have to be blocked at the network level for privacy, and what is anyway pointless, to some degree I trust them. Sadly, visitors of my Googlet pages will get a cookie. I have no idea why, and it is not obviously mentioned in Google's privacy policy. Likely I'm violating German privacy laws with this practise, and "but it is the server, not me" is a lame excuse. Having said this, if you don't trust Google, what do you expect here on blogger, or even on my pages dedicated to googlets ?

Another issue are third parties, just because I trust Google to some degree doesn't mean that I delegated this job to them, otherwise they could start a certificate authority in their quest to achieve world dominance. After a discussion with the HTML5 editor I feared that my trust in network.cookie.cookieBehavior 1 could be wrong, and switched this to "always ask". The effects are quite interesting, e.g., a Google search for network world tries to set a www.networkworld.com cookie. I didn't click or touch anything on the search results, but this third party tries to set a cookie.

So far still okay, switching to "always ask" is one of many ways to reset network.cookie.cookieBehavior 0, and Google offers an opt out cookie. Clearly opt out is a weasel word for net abuse today, and Google prefers to be a part of the problem.

When I set network.cookie.cookieBehavior 1 again the same site still offers its third party cookie on the search results. After some tests always restarting the browser my impression is that this setting has no effect in my BBFH. But "always ask" works, and it can be limited to "ask once" for any given site.

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ex-Wikiholic