Vivaldi to stop using unique user IDs in upcoming versions of the browser

Martin Brinkmann
Aug 15, 2019
Internet, Vivaldi

Vivaldi's Julien Picalausa revealed in a new post on the official Vivaldi Blog that the company will stop using unique user IDs in upcoming versions of the web browser.

The company uses the unique user ID for user counting; the use if unique IDs, regardless of the purpose of using it, is always met by privacy concerns. The main reason for that is that unique IDs may be used to create user profiles, track users, or identify users especially if other data is available.

Companies like Vivaldi rely on data for a variety of reasons: from prioritizing development to better understanding the user base. Vivaldi is open about its business model and accurate user numbers help with the company's main monetization model partner deals.

Tip: check out our review of the Vivaldi browser here.

Vivaldi has been aware of user concerns in regards to the use of a unique ID to count users and started to work on an alternative user counting function several months ago which it plans to use in desktop versions of the Vivaldi browser and the upcoming Android version.

The process to migrate away from using the unique ID begins with the release of the next stable version of the web browser, Vivaldi 2.7. Vivaldi Technologies won't remove the unique ID in that build as it still needs it to verify that the new implementation is as accurate as the old.

Vivaldi 2.7 introduces the new counting method that does not use a unique ID. The company plans to remove the old user counting request from the browser "a few versions later" and remove the unique ID entirely "even later".  Vivaldi notes that the browser will continue to generate a unique ID but that it will be used locally only to count on computers with several installations.  The company plans to release the source code of the new method.

The new user counting method in a nutshell

Vivaldi plans to use the following method instead to count users:

  • Send a request once per day to the server to count user numbers for 24 hour periods.
  • Send requests once per week or month to get weekly or monthly numbers.

The Vivaldi browser will send additional information that Vivaldi requires next to that:

  • When new users run the browser for the first time to get new user numbers.
  • The number of days in which Vivaldi was prevented from reporting (e.g. not run) to get a better picture of returning users.
  • The CPU architecture and screen resolution.

Closing Words

It will take months before Vivaldi will stop submitting the unique ID to company servers. Vivaldi 2.7 will be out soon but the ID won't be removed until a "couple of releases later". New releases need between one and two months of development time suggesting that the change might make it in a Vivaldi version released at the end of the year or beginning of next year.

Now You: What is your (general) take on the use of unique user IDs? (via Techdows)

Vivaldi to stop using unique user IDs in upcoming versions of the browser
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Vivaldi to stop using unique user IDs in upcoming versions of the browser
Vivaldi's Julien Picalausa revealed in a new post on the official Vivaldi Blog that the company will stop using unique user IDs in upcoming versions of the web browser.
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  1. ilev said on August 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    Doesn’t Windows 8 know that www. or http:// are passe ?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on August 4, 2012 at 7:57 pm

      Well it is a bit difficulty to distinguish between domains and files for instance.

    2. Leonidas Burton said on September 4, 2023 at 4:51 am

      I know a service made by google that is similar to Google bookmarks.

  2. VioletMoon said on August 16, 2023 at 5:26 pm

    @Ashwin–Thankful you delighted my comment; who knows how many “gamers” would have disagreed!

  3. Karl said on August 17, 2023 at 10:36 pm


    The comments section under this very article (3 comments) is identical to the comments section found under the following article:

    Not sure what the issue is, but have seen this issue under some other articles recently but did not report it back then.

  4. Anonymous said on August 25, 2023 at 11:44 am

    Omg a badge!!!
    Some tangible reward lmao.

    It sucks that redditors are going to love the fuck out of it too.

  5. Scroogled said on August 25, 2023 at 10:57 pm

    With the cloud, there is no such thing as unlimited storage or privacy. Stop relying on these tech scums. Purchase your own hardware and develop your own solutions.

    1. lollmaoeven said on August 27, 2023 at 6:24 am

      This is a certified reddit cringe moment. Hilarious how the article’s author tries to dress it up like it’s anything more than a png for doing the reddit corporation’s moderation work for free (or for bribes from companies and political groups)

  6. El Duderino said on August 25, 2023 at 11:14 pm

    Almost al unlmited services have a real limit.

    And this comment is written on the dropbox article from August 25, 2023.

  7. John G. said on August 26, 2023 at 1:29 am

    First comment > @ilev said on August 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    For the God’s sake, fix the comments soon please! :[

  8. Kalmly said on August 26, 2023 at 4:42 pm

    Yes. Please. Fix the comments.

  9. Kim Schmidt said on September 3, 2023 at 3:42 pm

    With Google Chrome, it’s only been 1,500 for some time now.

    Anyone who wants to force me in such a way into buying something that I can get elsewhere for free will certainly never see a single dime from my side. I don’t even know how stupid their marketing department is to impose these limits on users instead of offering a valuable product to the paying faction. But they don’t. Even if you pay, you get something that is also available for free elsewhere.

    The algorithm has also become less and less savvy in terms of e.g. English/German translations. It used to be that the bot could sort of sense what you were trying to say and put it into different colloquialisms, which was even fun because it was like, “I know what you’re trying to say here, how about…” Now it’s in parts too stupid to translate the simplest sentences correctly, and the suggestions it makes are at times as moronic as those made by Google Translations.

    If this is a deep-learning AI that learns from users’ translations and the phrases they choose most often – which, by the way, is a valuable, moneys worthwhile contribution of every free user to this project: They invest their time and texts, thereby providing the necessary data for the AI to do the thing as nicely as they brag about it in the first place – alas, the more unprofessional users discovered the translator, the worse the language of this deep-learning bot has become, the greater the aggregate of linguistically illiterate users has become, and the worse the language of this deep-learning bot has become, as it now learns the drivel of every Tom, Dick and Harry out there, which is why I now get their Mickey Mouse language as suggestions: the inane language of people who can barely spell the alphabet, it seems.

    And as a thank you for our time and effort in helping them and their AI learn, they’ve lowered the limit from what was once 5,000 to now 1,500…? A big “fuck off” from here for that! Not a brass farthing from me for this attitude and behaviour, not in a hundred years.

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