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Old 12-21-2009, 05:36 PM   #1
SmileyFAAce
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Join Date: May 2006
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Default Google Analytics-on this site?? are you kidding?

I have discovered a problem with this site.

I have in my Favorites the Home page of EQInterface.
I clean my pc.

I have as my home page ' about:blank '
I click IE and I get a blank screen.. nothing in the Temperary Internet Files.

I click my Favorites.. find EQInterface.. then search the Temp files.

I find in my internet options..Temporary internet files.. Settings.. View files..


ga Http://www.google.com-analytics.com/ga.js
google_ads http://www.partnet.googleadservice....d/google_ads.js
google_service http://www.partnet.googleadservice....ogle_servjce.js

So, I'm thinking to myself.. hmm.. let me search registry..

Start...
Run..
regedit..

CTRL+F ( to find )
google

It shows 2 things..first, I hit Delete key.. then I hit F3 ( to find next ) it finds.. I hit Delete key again.. then hit F3 again.. nothing.. I close that window.. and repeat.. finding nothing..

I use several cleaners to clean the pc.

I then go to the Home page of EQInterface with the same method and I still see these ' google ' Temp files.'

I GOOGLED http://www.google-analyti and before I can complete it a pop down menue appears with people discussiong .. how to block.. what is.. ect.

From what I found was this:

http://www.searchenginejournal.com/...-tracking/2516/

and

http://www.customizegoogle.com/bloc...cs-cookies.html

I try very hard to block cookies. In the past experience, I found that when I block as much as I can.. I lesson problems with my PC.

Recently, ( the past week ) there was talk (on the news or cnet or something like that .. I don't recall ) about Google and the information you look for from Google being stored in there system for LIFE.

I have moved to about;blank for my homepage for now.. for this reason..

I'm shocked to see.. that this site uses such services.

I Don't like the fact that my,
----------
*
Google Analytics (also known as Urchin) is a service from Google that helps website owners analyze how users use their sites. Information about your use of a certain website (including your IP address) can automatically be transmitted to and stored by Google using cookies.

----------

' Information about your use of a certain website (including your IP address) can automatically be transmitted to and stored by Google using cookies. '

Since when did EQInterface ask my permission for this service to be used on me?

Not to sound Google Analytics but yes.. It is my right to point this fact out that I am not happy with this.

I am an Author here.. Yes I have not donated any money.. not one cent.

I however have spent alot of hours.. ( totaling DAYS ) on helping people with my account SmileyFAAce_ ( retired ), and SmileyFAAce ( Active ).

I have aided many folks with issues helping your site be a great site.

I am greatful this site exhists and have been happy it was around

Don't take this post the wrong way.. but, I am ' concerned about my privacy ' .

With the recent news on TV, about the information stored from google..and how they keep every search.. everything you do .. for LIFE.

We get away from google and find it to be automatically used on this website to navigate or visit the site?

I spent 2 mins reading about this google service* and I'm not happy with it.

IF I was to become a member ( which I believe is only through allakhazam ? ) Will the service * mentioned above stop?

SmileyFAAce
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Old 12-21-2009, 08:00 PM   #2
Dolby
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Our sites have been using google analytics and ad serving software for I dont know how long. They use cookies to track if they've shown you an ad or not already.

Google analytic is software used to give us stats about our sites traffic. We could just parse our apache logs for the same info but this does it passively so there is no extra load on our servers. Its also a more trusted source for accurate stats as we need to be able to tell our advertisers what kind of traffic we receive so they can properly buy ads. The only thing it may do again is place a cookie for stats, something your browser allows unless you disable it.

No information stored in your account is shared with google or any advertisers. The most they have is an IP address and a cookie (as the ones you listed) that tells them if you've visited before and any other information your web browsers shares with them like screen resolution, java version, flash version, browser type. Our site also uses cookies to store some of the sorting and browsing options you select, an a cookie with a hash code so vbulletin (our forum) can remember who you are when you come back so you dont have to login every time you visit. The browser only allows the cookie creator to view the information they saved in the cookie so google can not read cookies vbulletin makes and vice versa.

CNET as you mentioned uses comscore as their stats keeper, they are basicly the same thing as google analytics. SOE uses omniture on their eqplayers website. They all report to other 3rd party sites like alexa rankings so webmasters can see and compare their sites traffic.

Our terms of service & privacy statement (link in the footer) should explain this.

If you sign up for a premium account the advertisements go away however we still use google analytics just like any of the large sites to keep stats.

I would suggest to use a Firefox module "No Script" if you do not wish to load these services. Look into the source code of almost any large website and you'll find a 3rd party stats keeper javascript there. No Script will allow you to selectively block these scripts if you wish. You wont want to block all js though as some of its used for basic site navigation.

Lastly as with you and the many others here that take their time to help others in this community I am always grateful. I'm also grateful we are able to provide this site free to every one.

Last edited by Dolby : 12-21-2009 at 08:43 PM.
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Old 12-25-2009, 06:22 PM   #3
sunaeri
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I just read the article. From my point of view, it was mostly common sense dressed up as sensationalist fear mongering.

The main point is that privacy groups are concerned for three reasons:

1.) The database could be hacked.

2.) Google Analytics is big and stores IP information for a lot of sites.

3.) The information could be stored forever.

The comments about how it can access data from your machine was removed because that is not what it does.

1.) All databases are targets. The reason email is continually mentioned is probably because of gmail. If you do not have a gmail account, they will not have access to the contents of your email.

2.) All professional websites store the tracking information that is being discussed in the article. The potential danger with Google, and all other tracking companies like Omniture and LinkConnector is that they have tracking information for all sites that use them. If they were ever to start compiling and selling that information it could be a serious privacy concern. It is good that privacy groups keep an eye on the issue, however, it is important to note that this issue is listed as a potential privacy issue, not a current one.

3.) All information you put out to the web and all of the sites you visit can be saved forever, even when sites you visited go defunct. You cannot stop this. Most people feel posting to and using the web is a private matter because they do it in their own home. This is a serious misconception, all web action is tracked, a large majority of it is stored. Posting to the web is more like shouting into a crowded stadium where everyone else is shouting than writing a private letter to a friend in your own home.

There are many things you can do though to be a cautious web consumer. Some of these tips extend past the specific issue.
  • Set up all cookies to require authorization.
    I personally deny most cookies, allow for session ones with sensitive transacations. For the most part, I also only allow cookies from the domain I am actually on for sites I want to submit forms on. Two things to be aware of.
    • Some sites do use a third party site for login.
    • Some sites do require cookies to access media portions of their site.
  • common tracking sites off the top of my head
    • 2o7.net
    • adbureau.net
    • atwola.com
    • casalmedia.com
    • doubleclick.net
    • hitbox.com
    • mediaplex.com
    • quantserve.com
  • Whenever you are posting sensitive information (Credit Card Info, SSN, Birthdate) make sure the URL starts with https:// and does not give security warnings.
  • When you are banking online or paying credit cards only have one browser open to that site. Only allow cookies related to that site to exist for session. When you are done, log off and close that browser.
  • Never post your real birth date except on a https form where it is required.
  • Never post identifiable information on a public website/forum. (where you live, your children's names)
  • Never post pictures of yourself or your family on a public website/forum
  • Never post anything, even on password secured sites that could get you fired or arrested, or anything you want to keep secret.
  • Never follow links or open attachments from unsolicited emails (consider all of the spam crap family and friends send you unsolicited for this purpose)
  • Confirm the validity of sites using verified resources (i.e. bbb.org for businesses)
  • Email is not secure, do not send sensitive information through email.
  • Never use the same password for different sites
  • Use passwords of at least 8 characters long that have uppercase letters, lowercase letters, numbers and (when possible special characters)
  • Never make your password the same as your account name.

There is more, but I am working right now, so need to get back to it. I imagine the government has a web page somewhere on how to prevent online identity theft. That is current big privacy concern, as opposed to a potential future one. If privacy is a concern, a site such as that would hopefully have good advice. To sum it up though, always assume every website you use is trying to profile you for advertising purposes and a small portion of them for identity theft purposes. Allow cookies and post forms based on that assumption.

All that said, I do not mind resource sites such as this one compiling general information on my usage for the purpose of ad companies because hosting popular websites can be expensive. This "free" information is far from free to the people providing the site and structure.

Last edited by sunaeri : 12-25-2009 at 08:13 PM.
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Old 12-29-2009, 02:52 PM   #4
Dolby
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Thats a great reply sunaeri. Lots of good information!
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