DuckDuckGo Extension blocks Google FLoC in latest update

DuckDuckGo released a new version of its browser extension, called DuckDuckGo Privacy Essentials, for all supported web browsers this week. The new version blocks FLoC interactions on websites to protect the privacy of users.

If you have not heard about FLoC yet, it is Google's attempt to shift advertising from a cookie-based system to one that does not require cookies anymore. Basically, what it does is assign a user to a cohort -- FLoC stands for Federated Learning of Cohorts. A cohort is made up of thousands of users who share similar interests.

While that sounds like a nice thing to do on first glance, it is not. You can check out the EFF's Google's FLoC is a Terrible Idea to better understand why FLoC is not necessarily better for Internet users in terms of privacy and tracking.

A final FLoC standard has not been released yet and many things are still discussed and modified.

Here are the main points of criticism leveled against FLoC at the time of writing:

  • Website operators and advertisers learn about a user's interests when the user visits the site, even if it is the first visit.
  • FLoC makes fingerprinting easier.
  • FLoC, when combined with user identifying technologies, such as account sign-ins, gives site owners and advertisers a clear picture of the user's interest.
  • Cohorts should not related to "sensitive categories" such as race, gender or religion, and to avoid this, the algorithm needs to tweak groups to avoid implicating a user based on such a group. In order to to that, Google needs to analyze the data based on these sensitive categories.

Test whether FLoC is enabled in your browser

test floc enabled

Google runs an origin trial in its Chrome web browser at the time of writing that affects 0.5% of users in select regions.

The EFF has created a webpage that checks if FLoC is enabled in the browser. FLoC is only supported by Google Chrome at the time of writing; it remains to be seen if it will be included by default in other Chromium-based browsers, or if third-party developers will disable it.

To test, if your browser uses FLoC, visit the Am I Floced website and activate the test button to find out about it.

The DuckDuckGo extension

If you are using Google Chrome, you may install the DuckDuckGo Privacy Essentials extension to block FLoC.

DuckDuckGo explains on its Spread Privacy website that the @FLoC blocking feature is included in version 2021.4.8 and newer of the DuckDuckGo extension".

The blocking is enabled automatically when the extension is installed.

DuckDuckGo for Chrome can be installed from the Chrome Web Store. The latest version is not yet available in the Store.

Now You: What is your take on FLoC? Do you think that it will become a new web standard?

Summary
DuckDuckGo Extension blocks Google FLoC in latest update
Article Name
DuckDuckGo Extension blocks Google FLoC in latest update
Description
The latest version of DuckDuckGo Privacy Essentials, a browser extension for Chrome and other browsers, blocks FLoC, a new group-based identification system for advertising.
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Ghacks Technology News
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Comments

  1. Iron Heart said on April 10, 2021 at 7:06 am
    Reply

    FYI, Brave has FLoC disabled: https://github.com/brave/brave-browser/issues/14942

    This new monstrosity will be dealt with. Keep calm.

    Good on DuckDuckGo as well for nuking it.

    1. Klaas Vaak said on April 10, 2021 at 1:24 pm
      Reply

      @Iron Heart: hi there, long time no speak.
      Not “all” FLoC is disabled in Brave, as per that Github page:

      However there is other FLoC functionality shipped in Chromium (behind origin trials). We should disable FLoC completely in Brave

      In any case, FLoC will be disabled in Brave completely, eventually.
      uBO also seems to go there.

      1. Anon7 said on April 10, 2021 at 9:51 pm
        Reply

        > However there is other FLoC functionality shipped in Chromium (behind origin trials).

        Well chromium is googles frankenstein after all, it is after all the base for the tracking-browser chrome, google can do whatever they want with chromium, implement FLoC and make it difficult to fix, make it difficult to fix privacy invading web-rtc leaks etc.

        Using chrome, chromium or forks of it and expecting privacy and a pleasant direction for the future of browser privacy would be like pissing against the wind.

        No doubt FLoC will be fully implemented into the chromium eco-system soon enough, and guess what? thats another big drama for chromium forks just like MANIFEST V3. Browser forks using chromium can not control it, never trust them to fully control googles frankenstein without something breaking. What google wants in chromium, google gets. Never trust a chromium forks claims of being able to clean googles mess.

        Chromium may be the most popular engine, but its also the WORST!

        FLoC, google cares for your privacy by wanting to stop third party cookies and instead of being tracked by third parties, its best you be tracked by google instead. Google will take care of your DATA, yup no need to worry.

        THE BIG FAT monopoly will take care of it.

        Manifest v3, FLoC, web rtc leak protection inconsistency, chromium a really stellar browser or a frankenstein?

        My guess is a frankenstein.

      2. Iron Heart said on April 11, 2021 at 11:11 am
        Reply

        @Anon7

        Most pointless commenter of gHacks strikes again.

        A few points to clean up your mess:

        – Chromium is open source. Other browser vendors can fork it and modify it as they see fit. Anything else is blatant fake news. There are heavily modified versions of Chromium out there, too.
        – Manifest V3 is a non-issue (if anything, it is a security improvement, because browser extensions can no longer directly redirect traffic). There is system level adblocking, plus most Chromium-based browsers come with their own, native adblockers which are not extensions (and thus not affected by Manifest V3). Pi-Hole is also a thing. You are naive if you think that Manifest V3 will be killing adblocking. Mozilla will probably implement it eventually, as well, in order to keep up WebExtension API parity and thus portability.
        – Firefox’s default privacy is not any better than Chromium’s default privacy. Actually, probably worse, since it transmits your location and your download hashes to Mozilla benefactor Google by default, while some variants of Chromium don’t.
        – WebRTC IP leak can be reliably turned off in Chromium, some Chromium-based browsers have a setting for that (like Brave and Vivaldi), but even if not (Chrome), uBlock Origin will do the trick. It’s reliably turned off and I can reproduce that it is turned off – no leak. Please provide a source which exceeds hearsay that claims that WebRTC leaks can’t be reliably stopped in Chromium (good luck).

        Your continuous rage has zero substance behind it, you don’t know what you are talking about even in the slightest.

      3. Anon7 said on April 11, 2021 at 5:10 pm
        Reply

        @IH

        > Chromium is open source. Other browser vendors can fork it and modify it as they see fit.

        Chrome is not open source, please explain why a company would release a ‘pseudo open source project like chromium’ so they can build a proprietrary browser around the code that they are creating? you are not intelligent enough to see that google are implementing features into chromium that will not be so easy to deal with for browser makers forking it. Its not a good project to fork because of googles control of the code.

        Oh google says its open source therefore lets take their project chromium and tidy it up for a fork? laughable, they already starting removing their api’s from chromium because forks were using the chrome sync feature. If Brave ever got popular, google would end chromium from being forkable for browsers like brave. Brave is a gimmick it will never reach good market share compared to chrome, edge or FF.

        The only chromium forks google won’t care about having a competing market share is Edge, because google and M$ are buddies in the big tech world. Proprietrary loves proprietrary.

        > Manifest V3 is a non-issue

        > Chromium-based browsers come with their own, native adblockers which are not extensions

        This is a perfect example of what you fail to understand, Brave had tor windows that broke because of their internal ad-blocker which is sub-par. That is one example of possibly more failures to come.

        > Firefox’s default privacy is not any better than Chromium’s default privacy.

        FF Is open source. chrome is not. See the contradiction there.

        Your beloved Brave is building its code off a project designed for a proprietrary browser, yet claiming to be private.

        Its pr bluff. Chromium can not be made private, its not trustworthy.

        Hardened FF > The competition.

        Thats why tor uses FF not chromium. Tor is the most private browser and it uses FF. Brave does not even come close as regards privacy.

        They will never use chromium because of google code and its insecurities.

        > WebRTC IP leak can be reliably turned off in Chromium

        No it can’t.

        FF can reliably stop it. Chrome and chromium forks are prone to leakage. Chrome has loads of web rtc leakage, and a fork like brave has already had problems with DNS leakage from trying to develop an ad blocker to cope with manifest V3 Changes.

        BTW UBO is more suited for FF not chromium.

        You are in no position to be criticising google when you are using a browser that is forking google code and likely using an OS Too thats forking googles android project like micays graphene. micay is even seen as a troll by many, he fears that a linux OS based on open source mobile hardware will be far more private than his crap based on google hardware and software.

        Anyone who uses a google made product in this day and age and claims privacy? always sounds like a joke because of huge contradictions.

      4. Iron Heart said on April 11, 2021 at 7:03 pm
        Reply

        @Anon7

        > Chrome is not open source, please explain why a company would release a ‘pseudo open source project like chromium’ so they can build a proprietrary browser around the code that they are creating?

        Chrome is not, but Chromium is. Chrome is based on Chromium, not the other way around. Why Chromium is open source you ask? Because that allows for free outside contributions. Which is also why it won’t go closed source (at which point entities like Microsoft would fork the last available open source state anyway), it simply has no reason to.

        > you are not intelligent enough to see that google are implementing features into chromium that will not be so easy to deal with for browser makers forking it.

        What would that possibly be? Connections to Google can be dealt with by replacing the URLs with gibberish internally (trivial to do), and for web standard implementations there are internal kill switches.

        > laughable, they already starting removing their api’s from chromium because forks were using the chrome sync feature.

        Dude, this is a big plus, if anything. Why would I want Chromium forks to be integrated with the Google account spyware platform? They all have their own sync implementations anyway.

        > If Brave ever got popular, google would end chromium from being forkable for browsers like brave.

        Why would they? They would also lose free outside contributions then, which is a substantial part of Chromium development. A whole host of Electron apps also depend upon the open source code, and Google means to push Electron. Won’t happen.

        Oh, and they’d needlessly piss off huge entities like Microsoft who will end up forking the last open source state of the code.

        > This is a perfect example of what you fail to understand, Brave had tor windows that broke because of their internal ad-blocker which is sub-par. That is one example of possibly more failures to come.

        And? Firefox still leaks extension IDs which are even unique in its case. You can find bugs in any software product. At least Brave has fixed the issue upon reporting.

        > FF Is open source. chrome is not. See the contradiction there.

        Chromium is open source. I don’t care whether or not Chrome is open source, it’s an offshoot of Chromium, not the other way around.

        > Your beloved Brave is building its code off a project designed for a proprietrary browser, yet claiming to be private.

        That Chrome (one of many Chromium offshoots) is proprietary does not mean that “Chromium was designed to be proprietary”. If that was so, open source forks like Brave wouldn’t be possible. Internet Explorer was proprietary, to give you a point of reference. How many IE forks existed?

        > Its pr bluff. Chromium can not be made private, its not trustworthy.

        Default Chromium is easily more private than Firefox, lol. Without any modifications made by projects like Brave even.

        > Hardened FF > The competition.

        Why “hardened”? Are you admitting that FF’s defaults are lacking?

        > Thats why tor uses FF not chromium. Tor is the most private browser and it uses FF.

        Dude, Tor Browser Bundle predates Chromium. They are stuck with FF at this point. They’ll only rewrite their patches for Chromium (all of them) when they have to, that is when Mozilla ends FF development. Not before (because there is no reason to). That does not mean that a Chromium-based Tor browser is impossible.

        Also, Firefox’s security is swiss cheese and this is how many Tor users got de-anonymized in the past.

        > They will never use chromium because of google code and its insecurities.

        “Insecurities” as “proneness to exploits? Hopefully not, because Firefox still doesn’t get this one right:

        https://madaidans-insecurities.github.io/firefox-chromium.html

        I’ll bring up this article as long as Firefox fails to achieve parity with Chromium.

        > No it can’t.

        Again: Source?

        Nothing I’ve found indicates that the WebRTC leak can’t reliably stopped in Chromium. I am doing it myself, successfully. Until you provide a credible source, I won’t take those one liners seriously.

        > and a fork like brave has already had problems with DNS leakage from trying to develop an ad blocker to cope with manifest V3 Changes.

        The now fixed bug of Brave had nothing to do with adblock filter lists. It was a DNS leak. That’s not even the same code.

        > BTW UBO is more suited for FF not chromium.

        Source? It’s only superior as far as CNAME uncloaking is concerned. uBlock Origin on Chromium can’t do that because Chromium lacks the related extension API. However, the internal adblocker of Brave can do it as well:

        https://www.ghacks.net/2020/11/17/brave-browser-gets-cname-based-adblocking-support/

        Non-issue for me.

        > micay is even seen as a troll by many,

        Sorry to say, but you shouldn’t call software devs with years of experience in the field “trolls” as long as you publish statements as asinine as yours. Please don’t.

        > Anyone who uses a google made product in this day and age and claims privacy? always sounds like a joke because of huge contradictions.

        And you assume that anything non-Google is automatically private by default, which is a big mistake if you choose Firefox (of all things) as your point of reference.

      5. Anon7 said on April 11, 2021 at 9:55 pm
        Reply

        @IH

        >Chrome is based on Chromium

        Chromium was designed by Google for their proprietrary browser Chrome. Google dictates as to the direction chromium is going, Brave have no such control over the direction google is heading with chromium, therefore forks of chromium that are claiming privacy is a massive contradiction because of googles continous antics as regards chromium. Brave will likely be a bug ridden mess going forward trying to control google. Tor window breakage a perfect example.

        > Connections to Google can be dealt with

        By relying on google chromium code, connections to google are not dealth with. Brave is relying on google code for their browser therefore a connection is established to google development projects that brave will forever be trying to fix in their futile and questionable attempts in claiming privacy. I would not trust them to be able to fix googles antics. Its not all about http or https you know, by relying on google for code. you are relying on google quite literally.

        > They would also lose free outside contributions then, which is a substantial part of Chromium development.
        >Oh, and they’d needlessly piss off huge entities like Microsoft who will end up forking the last open source state of the code.

        Google is the main contributor to chromium, the rest are not even a substantial amount. Google and M$ are in bed together, they are BIG-TECH, they love each other. If google made chromium harder to fork for Brave, M$ would not care, they have other ways and means of browser development and finances. Brave does not. Anything that is not big-tech or is a threat to big-tech usually gets purchased by BIG-TECH or pushed out by BIG-TECH. Brave would be no different.

        > That Chrome (one of many Chromium offshoots) is proprietary does not mean that “Chromium was designed to be proprietary”

        It was designed for a proprietrary browser and to be the code for it. That you can not deny.

        Therefore technically chromium is under the direction and being coded specifically for the proprietray browser googles chrome.

        You think Brave using an engine that was made specifically for a proprietrary browser and whose code is built for a proprietrary browser as a general rule is good for privacy? very laughable.

        >Default Chromium is easily more private than Firefox, lol.

        Chromium is untrustworthy, as debian users found out in 2015 when chromium was automatically downloading a library for Google’s OK Google voice recognition feature. Completely unforgivable and very sneaky. Trust chromium? No thanks.

        > Tor Browser Bundle predates Chromium.

        Which is why the gecko engine is more trustworthy, started off with no direction from google unlike google- controlium.

        > when Mozilla ends FF development.

        The google fanboy can dream.

        > https://madaidans-insecurities.github.io/firefox-chromium.html

        Not that madaidan troll again. Funny how you spam this link all the time? is madaidan your god? Funny how whonix uses FF/Tor as a browser yet he considers whonix safe. Should he be saying that whonix is insecure cause it uses a FF browser? or should he just stop attention seeking? an obvious attention seeking troll he is. These devs and their views are not beyond criticism, IH would have us all believe that these devs whose links he spams views can not be challenged at all.

        BTW whonix is crap.

        > Chromium lacks the related extension API.

        Chromium lacks a lot of things one of which is trustworthiness. Auto downloading google voice recognition in 2015, Manifest V3, crap web rtc leak protection, FLOc, it will never end. One thing after the other.

        > you shouldn’t call software devs with years of experience in the field “trolls

        Loads of people disagree with that dudes antics across numerous sites and forums, its a sight to behold. People do not see such devs as gods like you do. People do have difference of opinions you know. Graphene OS is crap, thats an opinion. Some dev using google built software and hardware wont convince me otherwise. Useless android BS built on google phones. No one should be expecting 100% privacy on a dumb phone until hardware and software does not revolve around google or apple and the like.

        I see through PR BS! I see through your FUD and BS too IH.

        The more you talk about chromium/ Brave, the more reasons you give why no one should use it over better options.

      6. Iron Heart said on April 12, 2021 at 7:28 am
        Reply

        @Anon7

        > Brave will likely be a bug ridden mess going forward trying to control google.

        Dude, THE SAME WOULD HAPPEN WITH FIREFOX. It is not one iota more private than Chromium and would have to be constantly patched as well. And Brave has existed for a while now based on Google code. So have many privacy-friendly Android variants. These people are not incompetent. That this will change is speculation on your part and Mozilla would NOT be an alternative anyhow.

        > Tor window breakage a perfect example.

        That was a Brave-specific bug, not a Chromium (upstream) bug. You don’t know what you are talking about.

        > Brave is relying on google code for their browser therefore a connection is established to google development projects that brave will forever be trying to fix in their futile and questionable attempts in claiming privacy.

        Again, they’d have to do the same with Firefox. It’s privacy is as bad or worse than vanilla Chromium. Your argument being?

        > you are relying on google quite literally.

        So does Mozilla. In terms of finances since forever and recently also in terms of code.

        > Google is the main contributor to chromium, the rest are not even a substantial amount.

        sOuRCe?

        > If google made chromium harder to fork for Brave, M$ would not care, they have other ways and means of browser development and finances.

        MS would most certainly care. The point of basing their browser on Chromium was NOT to stem development alone. If they had wanted this, they would have stuck with old Edge.

        > It was designed for a proprietrary browser and to be the code for it. That you can not deny.

        Chromium is open source and was from the start. That Chrome is proprietary literally has nothing to do with this fact. Chrome is not Chromium. Other closed source browsers, like Vivaldi or Opera or Edge, are not vanilla Chromium, they are merely based on vanilla Chromium.

        > You think Brave using an engine that was made specifically for a proprietrary browser and whose code is built for a proprietrary browser as a general rule is good for privacy?

        Well, it’s specifically NOT proprietary and besides, they had little choice apart from Chromium. They don’t want dying Gecko in terms of having a future.

        > Chromium is untrustworthy, as debian users found out in 2015 when chromium was automatically downloading a library for Google’s OK Google voice recognition feature.

        Cool, I can cite such examples for Firefox as well:

        https://www.zdnet.com/article/firefox-tests-cliqz-engine-which-slurps-user-browsing-data/

        Besides, Chromium forks can (and do) prevent the download of experiments. They are fetched from a URL, this URL is being replaced with gibberish in Chromium forks. Problem solved. If Brave was based on Firefox, it would also have to disable the automatic download of experiments from a Mozilla server (like e.g. Waterfox does), perfect example that using Firefox instead would solve nothing.

        > Completely unforgivable and very sneaky.

        Would you say the same about Mr Robot and Cliqz? Because this is literally perfectly comparable (litmus test for the hypocrit)?

        > Which is why the gecko engine is more trustworthy, started off with no direction from google unlike google- controlium.

        Google funded (and early on, also promoted) Firefox from the beginning. Tor was using Gecko back then because Internet Explorer was truly proprietary, i.e. non open source. There was no other choice for Tor back then and now they are stuck with it. It won’t be based on Firefox in the long term because web devs already fail to test for this largely irrelevant browser (it’s below Samsung Internet, haha), and this will get worse in the future.

        > The google fanboy can dream.

        The layoffs are sending a clear message, despite Google keeping them on life support.

        > Not that madaidan troll again.

        Dev with years of experience writing a factual article = troll? How arrogant are you?

        > Funny how whonix uses FF/Tor as a browser yet he considers whonix safe.

        They have to because they use Tor and Tor is (as said) stuck with FF. He still thinks its security is a failure despite of that. He isn’t wrong.

        > These devs and their views are not beyond criticism, IH would have us all believe that these devs whose links he spams views can not be challenged at all.

        Then go ahead, challenge them. I am not seeing any argument here exceeding ad hominem stuff. Show me where the Whonix dev has it wrong, I am waiting.

        > Manifest V3

        Security improvement, irrelevant considering all the methods of adblocking available.

        > crap web rtc leak protection

        For a third time now: sOuRCe?

        > FLOc

        Disabled in most (if not all) Chromium-based browsers except Chrome.

        > People do have difference of opinions you know.

        Substantiate your opinion, then.

        > Graphene OS is crap, thats an opinion.

        An opinion without substance, I am not seeing any kind of ARGUMENT or EVIDENCE.

        > I see through PR BS! I see through your FUD and BS too IH.

        You still don’t know what you are talking about.

        > The more you talk about chromium/ Brave, the more reasons you give why no one should use it over better options.

        Which better options? Firefox’s privacy is not any better and it’s inferior in all other areas of comparison, too.

      7. Emil Brausewetter said on April 12, 2021 at 12:02 pm
        Reply

        Quote @Anon7
        > Google is the main contributor to chromium, the rest are not even a substantial amount.

        Quote @Iron Heart said on April 12, 2021 at 7:28 am
        > sOuRCe?

        Source → Chromium Gerrit

        Would you like an example?

        161 engineers from the Microsoft Edge team made over 1,835 commits to the Chromium open source project in 2020 alone

        Source: https://chromium-review.googlesource.com/q/author:*.microsoft.com+AND+status:merged

        2 Brave Inc. devs made in 2019 4 commits and another dev 6 in january 2020 … a little meagre, don’t you think?

        Source: https://chromium-review.googlesource.com/q/author:*.brave.com+AND+status:merged

      8. Anon7 said on April 12, 2021 at 6:26 pm
        Reply

        @Emil Brausewetter

        > 161 engineers from the Microsoft Edge team made over 1,835 commits to the Chromium open source project in 2020 alone

        Big tech has always been in love with each other. The chromium monster is deeply worrying for the direction of the web since M$ are now collaborating with google aswell.

        Google affiliates are the majority behind the code in chromium about 70%-80% or so input consistently through the years. M$ involved now too. Oh great!

        > 2 Brave Inc. devs made in 2019 4 commits and another dev 6 in january 2020 … a little meagre, don’t you think?

        Brave are really at the forefront of the table in alphabet inc/google. NOT! They will forever be dealing with google dictates as long as they keep using chromium. Chromiums main base has always been directed for big tech proprietrary chrome and edge now too. Brave are insignificant, they have no meaningful input in any google projects.

        I would not trust them to keep chromium code clean from big tech like google and M$. Neither would i trust vivaldi or any fork of chromium for that matter.

      9. anteraven said on April 11, 2021 at 10:37 pm
        Reply

        > BTW UBO is more suited for FF not chromium.

        Source? It’s only superior as far as CNAME uncloaking is concerned. uBlock Origin on Chromium can’t do that because Chromium lacks the related extension API. However, the internal adblocker of Brave can do it as well:

        https://www.ghacks.net/2020/11/17/brave-browser-gets-cname-based-adblocking-support/>

        Read this:
        https://github.com/gorhill/uBlock/wiki/uBlock-Origin-works-best-on-Firefox

      10. Anon7 said on April 12, 2021 at 10:24 am
        Reply

        @IH

        Hi again google fan* [Editor: please stay polite].

        > That was a Brave-specific bug, not a Chromium (upstream) bug. You don’t know what you are talking about.

        It was a bug related to their internal ad-blocker, thats what Brave got from trying to control chromium code as it relates to their fork of it and failing miserably.

        Tor is FF and gecko, the chromium engine is too stupid to run it correctly because tor was not designed for it. Brave devs are incompetent to be even running tor windows on a google product in the first place.

        They were a bunch of amateurs exposing its users who thought they were behind the onion router network. A really sh1t browser is Brave and with incompetent devs as well.

        > They have to because they use Tor and Tor is (as said) stuck with FF. He still thinks its security is a failure despite of that. He isn’t wrong.

        Then by madaidans own logic, whonix is a security failure because it uses FF/Tor.

        Tor is the most private browser (the general consensus amongst tech professionals and professional privacy advocates) and its run on the Gecko engine.

        No one takes some whonix-attention seekers controversial BS around technology seriously. whonix is irrelevant anyway because of tails.

        whonix is a mess when compared to tails.

        @anteraven

        > It’s only superior as far as CNAME uncloaking is concerned. uBlock Origin on Chromium can’t do that because Chromium lacks the related extension API.

        Chromium lacks a lot of things.

        FF+UBO >Chromium (Any fork of it) +UBO.

        Basic common sense.

      11. bat said on April 13, 2021 at 4:12 pm
        Reply

        @Anon7
        > Tor is the most private browser (the general consensus amongst tech professionals and professional privacy advocates) and its run on the Gecko engine.
        Tor – yes, most private. Firefox – no.
        It’s not the engine makes Tor – private and Firefox – not private.
        If you modify Firefox the same way as modified Tor, then Firefox will also be the most private. Except that’s the thing, Firefox isn’t modified at all to provide true privacy like Tor. This is the problem.

      12. Anon7 said on April 13, 2021 at 8:09 pm
        Reply

        @bat

        > Except that’s the thing, Firefox isn’t modified at all to provide true privacy like Tor. This is the problem.

        The tor project has provided FF with modified privacy enhancements one of which was this setting ‘Privacy resist fingerprinting’ in config. They have an interest in enhancing FF privacy because they are relying on the Gecko engine.

        They obviously consider FF good enough to be tweaked for Tor.

        Tor is modified FF using the onion network. The Tor browser has been based on FF because its technically solid.

        FF is more customizable than chromium from an under the hood perspective (arguably). Chromium is a lot more locked because it was designed for chrome and it is being used essentiallyy for proprietrary interests.

        FF is open spource, chrome is not. Thats the difference. chromium and chrome are linked too heavily. Open source (cough* psuedo open source) being used specifically for proprietrary has never made any sense.

      13. Iron Heart said on April 13, 2021 at 11:48 pm
        Reply

        @Anon7

        > The Tor browser has been based on FF because its technically solid.

        No, it actually uses Firefox because Tor predates Chromium and there was thus no other choice. They are stuck with it ever since.

        > FF is more customizable than chromium from an under the hood perspective (arguably).

        It’s more customizable from an end user perspective but not from a dev perspective. Chromium does have internal kill switches for various web standards. Unwanted Google domains can be replaced with gibberish.

        If you modify Firefox with about:config you are just kicking yourself in the arse because you’ll end up more unique than before. You either use a special purpose browser like Tor to combat fingerprinting (even Brave is superior because the fingerprinting defenses are enabled by default and one thus does not stick out of the crowd of Brave users), or you better let it be.

        > FF is open spource, chrome is not. Thats the difference.

        Chrome is closed source, but Chromium is not. Chrome is based on Chromium, not the other way around.

        > chromium and chrome are linked too heavily.

        BS. Chrome is an offshoot of Chromium just like Edge, there is no substantial difference here. Both further modify the basic Chromium source and are closed source. You can also derive open source forks from Chromium.

      14. bat said on April 14, 2021 at 8:18 am
        Reply

        @Anon7
        > They obviously consider FF good enough to be tweaked for Tor.

        That’s the thing: Project Tor can’t use Firefox because FF is not private enough. They have to modify it to make it private.
        This fact alone is a good indication that Firefox is not private enough.

        Besides, what you wrote shows that you don’t know the technical part very well:
        Tor browser is not just Firefox with the addition of Tor networking. There are a lot of changes on top of that, specifically for security and privacy.

        Everything else you’ve written is just idle chitchat and overflowing from nothing to nothing.
        And yes, Сhrome is not an opensource. Only Сhromium.

      15. Rush said on April 12, 2021 at 8:17 pm
        Reply

        The bottom line? Whether Brave or FF or……………..
        How is your browser security in terms of tracking?

        𝘊𝘰𝘷𝘦𝘳𝘺𝘰𝘶𝘳𝘵𝘳𝘢𝘤𝘬𝘴
        Check your browser here.

        https://firstpartysimulator.net/kcarter?&aat=1&dnt=1

      16. Anonym8 said on April 18, 2021 at 8:41 pm
        Reply

        So Anon7, you claim you hate Google, but at the same time suggest that their devs are so brilliant that the supposedly ‘dumb’ devs working on ALL other Chromium forks are incapable of understanding any inserted Evil Codeâ„¢ and disabling/removing it completely? LULZ

      17. Iron Heart said on April 11, 2021 at 12:30 am
        Reply

        @Klaas Vaak

        I think it’s pretty much disabled now, judging by the comment of iefremov here:

        https://github.com/brave/brave-core/pull/8468

        > long time no speak.

        Will be even longer in the future. The usual suspects are allowed to spread their fairly dumb fake news here while my first post immediately got censored after a few days of self-imposed commenting hiatus. Truly motivating to be confronted with censorship instantly upon returning. gHacks in 2021. Nuff said.

    2. Anonymous said on April 10, 2021 at 5:21 pm
      Reply

      @Iron Heart

      Where is your current recommended Brave settings located (and has that changed at all)?

      Thanks

      1. Iron Heart said on April 11, 2021 at 12:12 pm
        Reply

        @Anonymous

        Here it is:

        https://www.ghacks.net/2020/11/17/brave-browser-gets-cname-based-adblocking-support/#comment-4480402

        No alterations worth mentioning. I recently disabled IPFS support in Brave because I am not currently using it. This is unrelated to privacy, though.

      2. Anonymous said on April 11, 2021 at 3:04 pm
        Reply

        So you still recommend using a different profile for each eTLD+1 in order to isolate? That seems like a really shitty experience.

      3. Iron Heart said on April 11, 2021 at 7:05 pm
        Reply

        @Anonymous

        Depends on how much stuff you need to isolate. How many parent domains, I mean…

        Some people even suggest browsing compartmentalization (using different browsers for different activities), just so you know. What I propose is not even the most extreme form of privacy protection.

      4. Anonymous said on April 11, 2021 at 5:55 pm
        Reply

        Thanks

    3. White said on April 11, 2021 at 4:14 pm
      Reply

      @Iron Heart

      You answered my question if brave is going to disable it. Your comments complete the articles.
      Glad.

    4. Firesoul said on April 12, 2021 at 5:15 pm
      Reply

      Vivaldi also doesn’t have it enabled.

      1. Iron Heart said on April 13, 2021 at 3:11 pm
        Reply

        @Firesoul

        Which is good. You’ll find that both Vivaldi and Brave usually come to the sane conclusion in regards to the anti-features Google occasionally introduces.

      2. White said on April 13, 2021 at 5:05 pm
        Reply

        @Iron Heart @Firesoul

        That’s really good! I didn’t know that.

  2. Anonymous said on April 10, 2021 at 8:00 am
    Reply

    “What is your take on FLoC?”

    The venture capitalists at Brave will be creaming their pants

    1. Iron Heart said on April 10, 2021 at 1:30 pm
      Reply

      @Anonymous

      Don‘t think so: https://github.com/brave/brave-browser/issues/14942

      Funny how much your * [Editor: removed] is misplaced here.

      1. Iron Heart said on April 10, 2021 at 5:13 pm
        Reply

        > Editor: removed

        Perhaps you should censor the liars and not those correcting the liars.

    2. Anonymous said on April 11, 2021 at 3:16 pm
      Reply

      Too true. Brave is a scammy advertising company and all they care about is the money

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brave_(web_browser)#Controversies

      Look at that: STEALING money from content creators. HIJACKING user’s typed urls. Fucking shady as fuck.

      1. Iron Heart said on April 11, 2021 at 7:32 pm
        Reply

        @Anonymous

        > Look at that: STEALING money from content creators.

        So does any other adblocker (uBlock Origin, AdBlock Plus etc.).

        Or do you mean the historical bug that erroneously allowed Brave users to donate to websites that are not registered content creators? Well, they fixed this instantly, and all financial matters were cleared up. Bugs do happen, no damage happened there.

        > HIJACKING user’s typed urls.

        Do you mean the use of referrals on partner websites? Well, every browser does that at least in relation to searches!!! For example, Firefox adds a referral to any and all Google searches you perform in the browser. Going by your definition, this has to be HIJACKING, too. However, hypocrisy dictates that it is not in this case, am I right?

        It’s a legitimate means of funding and not a privacy issue, because the referral is never unique (neither in Firefox nor in Brave).

    3. Kramplin said on April 12, 2021 at 11:56 pm
      Reply

      Maybe you should start reading instead of giving an uninformed and unintelligent respond to the issue. This is not even about Brave, but thanks for making it about it. Seems like some people can’t just move on, if you hate Brave for whatever dumb reason, whatever, but seems really dumb for people to keep complaining about Brave when you can’t just ignore it and move on. I mean, you sound like a typical psycho mental ex that can’t let things go.
      I mean, you Brave haters sound like Brendan or any Brave browser itself killed your dog and touched you somewhere.

      Anyway, If you cared to read (because I doubt Trolls and unintelligent people like reading) you can check https://brave.com/why-brave-disables-floc/ where they explain their position about it.
      So instead of trolling and assuming dumb stuff like if a know-it-all pretending you know what you are talking about, you can just research first and then give your comment about it.

      It is cute how you can’t backup for first troll argument but then relay on wikipedia link about “controversies” just to keep your “Orange Brave Lion Browser Bad” narrative.

      Anyway, Wikipedia is a controlled garbage place to find information, so any troll and hater will write “controversies” that fit a narrative but don’t include it in other.

      But keep hating on Brave even if they are the only ones who try to give users a little more privacy while fighting against Google Empire. The are the only companies that promote freedom and not censorship like most companies in 2021, and they don’t get into political virtue signaling crap to sell their product. So I guess they aren’t the worst but keep thinking that if you want.

      Maybe you want to mention Brendan donation to give more dumb fuel to the fire of trolling, that’s always a good one people mention still today as a reason not to use Brave lol

  3. Anonymous said on April 10, 2021 at 8:20 am
    Reply

    Brave will also disable FLoC => https://github.com/brave/brave-core/pull/8468

    1. j said on April 10, 2021 at 6:15 pm
      Reply

      Brave and ff should be disable

    2. Anon7 said on April 10, 2021 at 10:27 pm
      Reply

      > Brave will also disable FLoC

      So they say lol.

      To call yourself a privacy based browser and then use the chromium engine is one of the most ridiculous things i have ever heard.

      Chromium is going in one direction only and that is googles direction. When forks try to control google browser code like chromium, its akin to pissing against the wind.

      Manifest V3

      Sh1t or no guarantee for full web-rtc leak protection.

      FLoC

      What the hell next?

      Its simple to observe this trend and the direction for a google made product such as chromium. No true privacy based browser would rely on google for browser code in my opinion.

      People who care for privacy should seek out browsers or operating systems whose code is not in any way under the CONTROL of google, M$ or apple and the directions they are taking such code.

      Its common sense.

      1. Iron Heart said on April 11, 2021 at 11:27 am
        Reply

        @Anon7

        > So they say lol.

        No, they actually do. Anyone can verify this via the code:

        https://github.com/brave/brave-core/pull/8468/files

        > To call yourself a privacy based browser and then use the chromium engine is one of the most ridiculous things i have ever heard.

        Chromium is open source and Firefox (Gecko) is not much more private by default, it would have to be (constantly) modified as well. Plus, Firefox is dying. What else would they have used? WebKit?

        > Chromium is going in one direction only and that is googles direction. When forks try to control google browser code like chromium, its akin to pissing against the wind.

        You don’t seem to understand the term open source and its implications, you also don’t seem to understand how Chromium is being developed (spoiler: not only Google contributes), and what that does mean for the interests attached to it and how they are weighed when decisions are being made.

        > People who care for privacy should seek out browsers or operating systems whose code is not in any way under the CONTROL of google

        That rules out Firefox as well. Do you know who is the benefactor of the Mozilla Corporation?

      2. Anon7 said on April 11, 2021 at 5:47 pm
        Reply

        @IH

        > You don’t seem to understand the term open source and its implications, you also don’t seem to understand how Chromium is being developed (spoiler: not only Google contributes), and what that does mean for the interests attached to it and how they are weighed when decisions are being made.

        Completely laughable and naive.

        Chrome is not open source, chromiums birth was planned for chrome a proprietrary browser. A serious contradiction there.

        Google is the antithesis of FOSS. IF you think google likes FOSS then why have they developed a proprietrary browser under their chromium pseudo open source project? chromium and android are not true open source from a philosophical standpoint. The code is being built by google for google, they then use that code to influence the direction of hardware and software for the web.

        Others using google code is pathetic, it only gives google more power and control.

        Oh yes, M$ also contributes to google chromium code, google controls and funds that project overwhelmingly lol. Lots of INTERE$TED parties attached to chromium code and forking it.

        Cough* Cough* sh1tcoin google chromium browser forks.

        > That rules out Firefox as well. Do you know who is the benefactor of the Mozilla Corporation?

        Its a simple search engine deal nothing more.

        Business associates not owners and they also have other streams of revenue besides google. A big difference and google devs have not not in any way made, or are directing the code of the Gecko engine.

        Gecko predates google funding of mozilla, the gecko engine is the best people got as relates to privacy and security.

        All else is sub-par in comparison. Gecko is a superior browser engine technically to anything else.

      3. Iron Heart said on April 11, 2021 at 7:26 pm
        Reply

        @Anon7

        > Chrome is not open source, chromiums birth was planned for chrome a proprietrary browser. A serious contradiction there.

        Chromium is open source. Chrome is based on Chromium, not the other way around. Need I care that Chrome is not open source? Chrome is not what Brave is based on, it uses Chromium (just like Chrome does).

        > Cough* Cough* sh1tcoin google chromium browser forks.

        Hey, at least I get free money while Firefox uses the very same tech for Pocket, with you earning nothing in the process of course. It’s also fully opt-in in Brave, nobody has to use it.

        >Its a simple search engine deal nothing more.

        Not if it means total financial dependency. Any company whose sole source of revenue is the competitor is NOT healthy.

        > Business associates not owners and they also have other streams of revenue besides google.

        Which ones? Last time I checked, Google granted Mozilla over 80% of their annual revenue. Anything else is dwarfed by this revenue stream.

        > A big difference and google devs have not not in any way made, or are directing the code of the Gecko engine.

        Mozilla copies lots of Chromium code recently, perhaps a result of the layoffs. Even before, e.g. literally the entire code of their extension APIs was a carbon copy of the related Chromium code. But hey, ignorance is bliss.

        > Gecko predates google funding of mozilla, the gecko engine is the best people got as relates to privacy and security.

        Google funds Firefox since 2005, Firefox came out in 2004. Unless you also count stone age Netscape, which was under the umbrella of AOL (not much better, lol).

        > All else is sub-par in comparison. Gecko is a superior browser engine technically to anything else.

        You are of course entitled to your opinion, but Firefox is most definitely not leading in any of the following areas:

        – web compatibility
        – security / exploit mitigations
        – stability
        – performance
        – time until new web standards are being fully implemented

      4. Anon7 said on April 11, 2021 at 11:12 pm
        Reply

        @IH

        > Chrome is not what Brave is based on, it uses Chromium (just like Chrome does).

        Chromium was designed for chrome specifically and chromium is going in the direction of google and what they want for chrome like FLOC etc. Deal with it!

        Its very short sighted how you think google would not care if brave ever became a threat to its market share. Brave are not independent from google when they are relying on them, they are beholden to Alphabet inc/google code, it is contradictory to call yourself privacy focused if you rely on such corporations for your browser code.

        > Hey, at least I get free money while Firefox uses the very same tech for Pocket,

        So Brave pays you? you got all those ads on and you think you are being private? you trust brave with system level ad injection and think you’re private? Ok.

        Btw, stop spreading FUD, FF does not use bitcoin for pocket. So no its not the same tech. Brave is arguably even more invasive with bitcoin ads.

        > Not if it means total financial dependency.

        FF are looking for other means of revenue (VPN service), they are not totally dependent on google for financial streams. They also get donations. Mozilla is not above criticism though, many would think that their CEO is overpaid.

        But saying chromium should be the alternative? No!

        > Mozilla copies lots of Chromium code recently, perhaps a result of the layoffs. Even before, e.g. literally the entire code of their extension APIs was a carbon copy of the related Chromium code. But hey, ignorance is bliss.

        FUD, the gecko engine was NOT built around chromium, it is under the close supervision of mozilla devs not google devs. Taking ideas from other code and adding a particular recipe to it into a very different engine is nothing to be too concerned about when things are open source.

        FLOC, crap web rtc leak protection, manifest v3 or whatever next thing that google pulls out of its ass as regards chromium, they are the things to worry about as regards privacy.

        > Google funds Firefox since 2005, Firefox came out in 2004.

        FUD, mozilla even used a yahoo search engine deal when the google contract was over at one stage. Its back and forth with those deals.

        Google was not always the main source of revenue due to other search engine deals.

        > – web compatibility
        – security / exploit mitigations
        – stability
        – performance
        – time until new web standards are being fully implemented

        In google you trust.

        Still, it does not change the fact that FF is a technically good and secure browser and a real alternative to googles chromium.

        Funny how IH Lectures us about privacy, yet he says brave pays him.

        In those brave ads, you trust too? brave is like the win 10 of browsers, system level ad injection capability built in. Ewww just the thought of it being there. IH does not care though he says brave pays him and FF users are missing out on all these ad goodies and bitcoin that brave offers.

        This dude literally has ads on brave and lecturing us about privacy and security. Just lulz!

  4. Thandot said on April 10, 2021 at 11:12 am
    Reply

    Industrial-scale creeps.

    1. Anonymous said on April 10, 2021 at 1:54 pm
      Reply

      They sure are, just like Brave’s venture capitalists – hijacking URLS, taking money gifted for website owners, whitelisting the biggest trackers in the universe, stealing other companies’ adverts and extolling money. As an fully fledged advertising company and the browser fork maker, Brave already tracks everything you.

      1. Anonymous 2.0 said on April 10, 2021 at 4:25 pm
        Reply

        @Anonymous

        Seems like you are stating an opinion, do you have proof?

      2. Iron Heart said on April 10, 2021 at 5:18 pm
        Reply

        @Anonymous 2.0

        He doesn‘t. Repeats the same crap over and over again, though. When I try to correct him using terms befitting for him, I get censored. Literally all of it is wrong.

      3. Anonymous said on April 11, 2021 at 6:07 am
        Reply

        The irony here is that Alphabet implemented FLoC to put a moat around tracking adtech, and Brave consumes Chromium for its own means of generating revenue from vending a browser (BAT), so of course there’s no reason to propagate FLoC. Brave already has your attention token. Don’t fall for the scam

      4. Iron Heart said on April 11, 2021 at 11:00 am
        Reply

        @Anonymous

        You don’t seem to know how Brave Rewards really work. It’s a local algorithm matching a non-personalized list of ads against your browsing. No data is being sent to Brave or to any third party in the process. It’s also 100% opt-in, when you have it enabled, it was your (reversible) CHOICE.

        Anyhow, Brave is a privacy-focused browser and its own ads are consistent with that concept. It’s also not the first privacy intrusion of Google which Brave opposes:

        https://www.ghacks.net/2020/08/30/google-proposed-web-bundles-could-threaten-the-web-as-we-know-it/

      5. Anon7 said on April 11, 2021 at 6:03 pm
        Reply

        @IH

        > It’s also not the first privacy intrusion of Google which Brave opposes

        If they really opposed google, then they would not be using their code as a base. Its all PR fluff.

        No true privacy based browser would use google code as a base and have an embedded sh1tcoin ad mechanism built into its core.

        Privacy my ass.

      6. Iron Heart said on April 11, 2021 at 7:15 pm
        Reply

        @Anon7

        A browser developer opposed to Google also wouldn’t be funded by Google and would strive to improve its privacy level beyond that of Chromium. Guess who I am referring to…

        There is no real choice but to pick Chromium in today’s landscape. Gecko is on its way out, WebKit is completely out of the question.

        > an embedded sh1tcoin ad mechanism built into its core.

        You do realize though that Firefox does the exact same thing for Pocket Stories, right? There too, a local algorithm matches articles against your browsing. But hey, what of it, hypocrisy is bliss! With Brave, users can at least earn some money in the process, while in Firefox your New Tab Page gets pestered but not much else. :D

        > Privacy my ass.

        Found the Firefox user.

  5. Paul(us) said on April 10, 2021 at 12:59 pm
    Reply

    All your main points of concern are more than valid Martin, in my opinion, which is based on the last 33 years of Google behavior.
    I even think this new Google FLoC function has only been developed with the sole purpose of commercial spying.
    So there is a ferry good possibility that this FLoC has even more hidden aces for Google his shareholders, op his sleeves.

  6. Tom Hawack said on April 10, 2021 at 1:54 pm
    Reply

    I don’t have anything much to say that would be original.

    Advertisement-ID, Cohort-ID … ID IDentification. To be or not to be, identified, fingerprinted.
    It’s not that Google is a commercial company, it’s that its business is at 90%+ based on advertisement : what more to expect? Users are becoming increasingly aware and Google’s move from 3rd-party cookies is certainly not motivated by increasing our privacy but rather by bypassing the decline of 3rd-party cookies we are increasingly aware of, as of fingerprinting as a whole. Even if we are a minority unfortunately to be aware, be concerned and be active.

    I’ve never appreciated advertisement, in its lack of quality and excess of quantity, in its subliminal formats, in its way of developing its ads given the audience it aims (compare the quality of ads for luxury to those of cheap product aiming the masses : social discrimination) but when targeting users on the web became a component of the very ad business I felt it as a declaration of war and from there on shifted to a systematical anti-ad behavior as compared to the previous ‘don’t be radical’ attitude.

    The problem is the advertisement business, Google is coherent. But imposing, raping rather than seducing is sawing the branch on which their fat butt is laying on. better ads, lesser would re-conciliate us all with advertisement. Everyone would win, users because more attentive, companies because of a better ROI. Everyone except the ad business, of course.

    After all advertising a product, that is, bringing one’s work to the knowledge of all, is perhaps in the very human nature. The problem is, as often, exaggeration, moreover excess. Faults can be the excess of a quality.

    We’ll deal with this new Cohort-ID scheme as we did and do to the maximum extent of awareness, will and determination. Meanwhile masses, that is a vast majority, will be increasingly fingerprinted, targeted and commercially when not politically shot. War it is, except that in this one invaded populations don’t seem to care and even acclaim the intruder : the glory of companies such as Google, Aacebook, Amazon and 2-3 others is stunning. people do have principles but is a principle which gets lost when the temptation is great still a principle? Nops, it’s only, then a general guideline based on a blend of morality and political correctness. To be frank and prcise, a b**ch’s attitude. From there on, unfortunately, little old me tends to become increasingly misanthropic. because desperate, of the attacked far more than of the attackers.

    1. Valrobex said on April 10, 2021 at 4:11 pm
      Reply

      @ Tom Hawack

      Yea, but you would be a lot more private and secure if you would only “upgrade” to Win 10. Then ALL your privacy concerns would disappear! So There! :>)

      1. Tom Hawack said on April 10, 2021 at 6:41 pm
        Reply

        @Valrobex, I know you’re right, and moreover determined to get this excellent advice beyond my stubbornness by taking the time once in a while to pop-in and repeatedly try hard to convince me.
        Be you thanked for expressing concern for an old fool attached to an old OS.
        Said. Read you later, alligator :=)

      2. Iron Heart said on April 11, 2021 at 12:33 am
        Reply

        @Valrobex

        You think Windows 7 was particularly private compared to, say, Linux? Sure thing, lol.

      3. owl said on April 11, 2021 at 1:59 am
        Reply

        @Valrobex,
        > Yea, but you would be a lot more private and secure if you would only “upgrade” to Win 10. Then ALL your privacy concerns would disappear! So There! :>)

        Is your comment a black joke?
        Or are you serious?
        If you’re serious, I’m truly appalled by your no-nonsense attitude!
        Please do learn properly (and objectively) with meaningful “gHacks Tech News” and its Comments, etc.!

    2. owl said on April 11, 2021 at 2:00 am
      Reply

      @Tom Hawack,

      👍

      1. Tom Hawack said on April 11, 2021 at 3:34 pm
        Reply

        @owl, it’s an everlasting joke between @Valborex and me. To be precise I’ve always assumed it was a joke on the ground of the very first dialog which triggered this n-level humor : Win10 being the medicine to cure my reproaches regarding Windows, my version of the OS being good old 7 name it 007 (James) or Triple7 (Boeing) :=)

        But, hey! what if he was serious, what if I had mistakenly considered level-1 to be Level-n ? … I mean… I mean, I’d feel so ashamed (crying all my tears). LOs (Laughing Out silently) !

    3. Valrobex said on April 11, 2021 at 4:35 pm
      Reply

      @ owl & Iron Heart,

      I’ve been a devout follower of Ghacks for many years and greatly appreciate all the excellent work Martin has done.

      I switched to Linux long ago and utilize Win 7 in a virtual box for the few legacy programs I still use. I’m fully aware of the pro’s and con’s of Win 7 as well as that monstrosity known as Win 10.

      Just to let you know, Tom Hawack and I have been spoofing each other for a long time over his determination to avoid switching from Win 7. Although he did on one occasion allege that he was going to try Linux Mint. (Did I hear that correctly, Tom? Or is it just wishful thinking on my part…) Over the years it has become a long running joke between us.

      If any comment I make seems “confusing” assume that I’m attempting to be humorous. I leave the technical comments to Martin who is by far and away the tech master.

      1. Tom Hawack said on April 11, 2021 at 7:34 pm
        Reply

        @Valrobex, I confirm every word, including that I had indeed alleged at one time (or perhaps one more time) that I was, maybe not going to, but seriously thinking about shifting to Win10 once Win7 would retire, be it because of an exhausted PC, be it because it’d be out of date to the point that Firefox as well as Websites wouldn’t accept Win7 any longer. Those times haven’t arose yet so I’m enjoying laziness as others a hammock by the seashore.

        For our secret joke : true that, as in life, those unaware may wonder if it is “du lard ou du cochon” (as we say in French (“pig or bacon”!).

      2. Tom Hawack said on April 11, 2021 at 8:15 pm
        Reply

        Sorry, erratum :

        NOT “[…]but seriously thinking about shifting to Win10 once Win7[…]
        BUT “[…]but seriously thinking about shifting to Linux once Win7[…]

        Of course. And i promise I avoided a Saturday Night Fever.

      3. owl said on April 12, 2021 at 12:53 am
        Reply

        @Valrobex & @Tom Hawack,

        I understand the Comment’s thing very well.
        Tom Hawack’s first reply (April 10, 2021, 6:41 PM) clarified the situation, but I think your careful explanation of the background and other details cleared up the misunderstanding, not only for me and @Iron Heart, but also for other viewers who might have misunderstood as well.

        I respect your integrity.
        The friendship between the two of you brings a human touch to the ghacks community.
        Please keep up the good friends.

    4. Rush said on April 11, 2021 at 10:18 pm
      Reply

      ” 𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘣𝘭𝘦𝘮 𝘪𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘢𝘥𝘷𝘦𝘳𝘵𝘪𝘴𝘦𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘣𝘶𝘴𝘪𝘯𝘦𝘴𝘴, 𝘎𝘰𝘰𝘨𝘭𝘦 𝘪𝘴 𝘤𝘰𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘦𝘯𝘵. 𝘉𝘶𝘵 𝘪𝘮𝘱𝘰𝘴𝘪𝘯𝘨, 𝘳𝘢𝘱𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘳𝘢𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘯 𝘴𝘦𝘥𝘶𝘤𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘪𝘴 𝘴𝘢𝘸𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘣𝘳𝘢𝘯𝘤𝘩 𝘰𝘯 𝘸𝘩𝘪𝘤𝘩 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘪𝘳 𝘧𝘢𝘵 𝘣𝘶𝘵𝘵 𝘪𝘴 𝘭𝘢𝘺𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘰𝘯. 𝘣𝘦𝘵𝘵𝘦𝘳 𝘢𝘥𝘴, 𝘭𝘦𝘴𝘴𝘦𝘳 𝘸𝘰𝘶𝘭𝘥 𝘳𝘦-𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘤𝘪𝘭𝘪𝘢𝘵𝘦 𝘶𝘴 𝘢𝘭𝘭 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘢𝘥𝘷𝘦𝘳𝘵𝘪𝘴𝘦𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘵. 𝘌𝘷𝘦𝘳𝘺𝘰𝘯𝘦 𝘸𝘰𝘶𝘭𝘥 𝘸𝘪𝘯, 𝘶𝘴𝘦𝘳𝘴 𝘣𝘦𝘤𝘢𝘶𝘴𝘦 𝘮𝘰𝘳𝘦 𝘢𝘵𝘵𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘪𝘷𝘦, 𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘱𝘢𝘯𝘪𝘦𝘴 𝘣𝘦𝘤𝘢𝘶𝘴𝘦 𝘰𝘧 𝘢 𝘣𝘦𝘵𝘵𝘦𝘳 𝘙𝘖𝘐. 𝘌𝘷𝘦𝘳𝘺𝘰𝘯𝘦 𝘦𝘹𝘤𝘦𝘱𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘢𝘥 𝘣𝘶𝘴𝘪𝘯𝘦𝘴𝘴, 𝘰𝘧 𝘤𝘰𝘶𝘳𝘴𝘦. ”

      ~ Classic Tom Hawack 😄

      Tom,
      Regardez un cochon dans ses yeux et comprenez la vérité derrière le bacon …

      Presque tout peut être amélioré avec l’ajout de bacon. En fait, c’est une vérité universellement reconnue que le bacon peut améliorer n’importe quelle situation. Contrairement au repos silencieux de la saucisse. LOL 😷

      1. Tom Hawack said on April 12, 2021 at 10:17 am
        Reply

        @Rush, your comment triggers two temptations which I should refuse on the ground that (a) enigmatic statements push my thoughts beyond the technology area and (b) trespassing English here to appreciate my mother-tongue may be accepted but not really adequate!

        “Look a pig in its eyes and understand the truth behind bacon …”
        – Perhaps would I better acknowledge this should I be a female?!

        “Almost anything can be improved with the addition of bacon. In fact, it’s a universally accepted truth that bacon can improve any situation. Unlike the silent rest of the sausage. LOL”
        – Bacon indeed is the sparkle in one’s eyes but unsure sausage is always at rest.

        Pour conclure façon ENA, dites-moi n’importe quoi et je devrais être à même d’épiloguer de façon instruite. Bien entendu pour ce qui me concerne le lyrisme tend à l’emporter sur la pensée technocratiquement instruite. LOL!

        Not sure my last statement is worth the effort of getting it translated.

      2. Rush said on April 12, 2021 at 8:26 pm
        Reply

        ” 𝘭𝘺𝘳𝘪𝘤𝘪𝘴𝘮 𝘵𝘦𝘯𝘥𝘴 𝘵𝘰 𝘱𝘳𝘦𝘷𝘢𝘪𝘭 𝘰𝘷𝘦𝘳 𝘵𝘦𝘤𝘩𝘯𝘰𝘤𝘳𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘤 𝘦𝘥𝘶𝘤𝘢𝘵𝘦𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘰𝘶𝘨𝘩𝘵 ”

        We both sing the same song…♪♫….life’s too short, eh?

  7. Nico said on April 10, 2021 at 3:54 pm
    Reply

    I won’t install this extension, because it changes your default search engine!

    Instead I’ll wait for uBlock Origin to implement a filter.
    In fact they’re already working on it:
    https://github.com/uBlockOrigin/uBlock-issues/issues/1553

    1. Nico said on April 10, 2021 at 5:08 pm
      Reply

      [Edit]
      A filter has now been added to the uBO Privacy list:
      https://github.com/uBlockOrigin/uAssets/commit/98414bbad4d6fc3d8cbbeeff994f55165dedaaa3

    2. ShintoPlasm said on April 10, 2021 at 11:19 pm
      Reply

      Interestingly, if you use this extension in Opera it doesn’t change the default search engine because Opera doesn’t allow this to be hijacked.

      1. owl said on April 11, 2021 at 2:11 am
        Reply

        @ShintoPlasm,
        > in Opera it doesn’t change the default search engine because Opera doesn’t allow this to be hijacked.

        I was ignorant of the reality of the situation because I never go near “Opera” which has been taken over by Chinese capital.
        I learned a lot.
        Furthermore, I will be quoting this case elsewhere.

  8. Haakon said on April 10, 2021 at 8:58 pm
    Reply

    Darn. I use Firefox. There are Google Cohorts out there who, no doubt, share my affinity for bacon. I fell so excluded. Where is the Unity?!

  9. Sol Shine said on April 10, 2021 at 10:57 pm
    Reply

    Once a person uses Chrome (default browser on Android) and is assigned to a cohort, it is hard to be removed.
    That person may be a teen or elderly who does not know much about how tech abuses their privacy. Than later when they find out about the abuse and want to stop it, it is too late.

    The same goes for Microsoft using Windows to collect private data on users.
    Google may copy that and use Android to assign you to a cohort, even if you do not use Chrome.

    I used to love tech, but now it scares me.

  10. Anonymous said on April 11, 2021 at 1:29 am
    Reply

    The silence of Mozilla on the FLoC issue is deafening. Not even a little bragging, like “Use Firefox, you know we play dirty too, but at least we won’t floc you” ? How should this be interpreted ? Maybe as another “We have no immediate plans to implement this Chrome feature” ?

    1. Iron Heart said on April 11, 2021 at 11:02 am
      Reply
      1. Anonymous said on April 11, 2021 at 3:14 pm
        Reply

        Mozilla auctioned off their default search engine by region, and google paid the most in most regions. Big F Deal. That’s called smart business.

        Meanwhile, Brave is an advertising company. That’s their whole business model – to extract money and sell out users. Using a slightly modified chromium build dictated to by google, they’re already struggling to maintain patches, and holes are appearing left right and center and the whole delicate situation comes falling down like a house of cards. Talk about the tail wagging the dog.

      2. Iron Heart said on April 11, 2021 at 6:39 pm
        Reply

        @Anonymous

        Mozilla is totally dependent on Google. They have no other notable sources of revenue. Other search engines are not very interested because, in most regions of the world, users would switch back to Google anyway (reality is, Google is really what most people want to use). As such, Mozilla can’t oppose Google as in >>true opposition<<. They even deem web bundles that could make adblocking and tracker blocking impossible (IF implemented) "non-problematic". Surveillance capitalism needs to do well for Mozilla to do well. Users get backstabbed in the process.

        Yes, Brave has advertising as a source of revenue, that being said they are pioneering a new model of advertising that respects user privacy. There is no user data exfiltration involved here. Plus, they are not as dependent on a single outside entity.

      3. Anon7 said on April 12, 2021 at 2:22 am
        Reply

        @IH

        Opposing this dudes FUD around FF is fun. Thank you IH for the entertainment and for providing a bucket full of laughs.

        > Mozilla is totally dependent on Google. They have no other notable sources of revenue.

        FUD and BS! Mozilla has donations and are launching a VPN service as an alternative means of revenue. Googles involvement with mozilla is just a search deal, nothing more. Google safebrowing and analytics can all be stopped through simple means in FF depending on platform. Its not exactly that complex to stop.

        As for extensions, you don’t even have to go to mozilla addon site to get the good ones.

        > Google is really what most people want to use

        Its what Brave wants to use yes for the code base of their browser fork thats based off of chrome/chromium web direction.

        Brave and vivaldi are peas in a pod stuck with google dictates.

        > Yes, Brave has advertising as a source of revenue

        System level advertising injection. Similar to WIN 10.

        > Plus, they are not as dependent on a single outside entity.

        Lol they are completely dependent on google devs for their browser fork. No backup plan at all. A house of cards as one more observant poster pointed out above.

        IH you are very naive. How much money has Brave made so far? they are making millions, its a profitable adventure for them. Crypto currency is not going to end well anyway or last too much longer it would seem. Just look at the LBRY situation around crypto. That will eventually effect Brave too most likely.

        Brave is a gimmick. Its not very sustainable. Bitcoin will be reigned in soon enough eventually it seems. LBRY is an example. Bitcoin is not an anonymous currency anymore either.

      4. Emil Brausewetter said on April 12, 2021 at 9:49 am
        Reply

        Quote:
        “Surveillance capitalism needs to do well for Mozilla to do well.”

        Mozilla can do very well without surveillance capitalists while your much touted Brave Webbrowser – the product of “the most prominent people in the crypto industry and silicon valley” – can not exist longer than 24 hours without it.

        Leading surveillance capitalists have sought to persuade us that its practices
        are an inevitable consequence of digital technologies.
        This is false!
        While it is impossible to imagine surveillance capitalism without the digital, it is easy to imagine the digital without surveillance capitalism. The point cannot be emphasized enough: surveillance capitalism is not technology. Digital technologies can take many forms and have many effects, depending upon the social and economic logics that bring them to life.

        Surveillance capitalism relies on a ubiquitous internet-enabled networked digital architecture, machine intelligence, and platforms, but it is not the same as any of those.

        Quote:
        “Plus, they are [Brave Inc.] not as dependent on a single outside entity.”

        Brave Inc. is heavily dependent on Chromium and thus an external entity …
        … and awfully in the sweats since the launch of Federated Learning of Cohorts (FLoC) to get this
        – Quote: Iron Heart said on April 10, 2021 at 7:06 am — “new monstrosity”
        out of there chromiums clone codebase. Brave browser can’t afford to have two similar processes (monstrositys) running in its browser at the same time.

  11. No Thanks, Five Eyes said on April 11, 2021 at 4:07 am
    Reply

    Google + Microsoft + Facebook = problems

    Firefox + uBlock + Windows Update disabled = no problems.

    (Or better yet no Windows at all, but most of us don’t have that option.)

  12. Anon7 said on April 11, 2021 at 5:57 am
    Reply

    There is a lot of censoring comments related to criticism around big-tech on ghacks. Posted a couple of comments and did not show up? It also takes an age for comments to be approved which impedes free flowing discussions.

    I have noticed that this site has an obvious lean towards mainstream tech products, always the preference is for microsoft windows and google articles, almost nothing about Linux.

    Whats with all the tracking domains on the site aswell? doubleclick?

    This place is becoming a echo chamber for mainstream-tech and with no insightful information around more obscure tech and around privacy related issues.

    I suppose this post will be censored too, even though its constructive criticism and feedback.

    1. Anonymous said on April 13, 2021 at 12:18 pm
      Reply

      @Anon7,you’re probably using the standard tracking protection option.

      If you use in Private Windows it will be blocked. I have tracking protection set to custom + In all Windows.

  13. Emil Brausewetter said on April 11, 2021 at 12:22 pm
    Reply

    Compare the similarities …

    Quote:
    — Brave CEO Brendan Eich on a Privacy-by-Default Future for Digital Advertising (streetfightmag.com 08.01.2020)

    “For behavior targeting, our approach uses an in-browser agent that studies all the valuable data feeds in every browser: navigation, search queries, ecommerce form filling and submitting, page views and visibility known in fraud-free terms by the browser’s rendering engine. All of these feeds inform the agent so it can pick the best user ad from a catalog that all users in a large region download and update without identifying themselves. Ad views are tallied using an anonymous PrivacyPass protocol, for high authenticity, and even multi-step attribution from start of research to high-end product buy, but with anonymity until the user chooses to sign in or identify while buying.”

    Quote:
    — Federated Learning of Cohorts (FLoC) https://github.com/WICG/floc#readme

    “The browser uses machine learning algorithms to develop a cohort based on the sites that an individual visits. The algorithms might be based on the URLs of the visited sites, on the content of those pages, or other factors. The central idea is that these input features to the algorithm, including the web history, are kept local on the browser and are not uploaded elsewhere — the browser only exposes the generated cohort. The browser ensures that cohorts are well distributed, so that each represents thousands of people. The browser may further leverage other anonymization methods, such as differential privacy. The number of cohorts should be small, to reinforce that they cannot carry detailed information — short cohort names (“43A7″) can help make that clear.”

    Btw. Brave Software Inc. has with Johnny Ryan and Luke Mulks to participants in this “Improving Web Advertising Business Group”.
    — https://www.w3.org/community/web-adv/participants

    Enjoy your brave new “Privacy-by-Default Future for Digital Advertising” …

    1. Iron Heart said on April 11, 2021 at 3:37 pm
      Reply

      @Emil Brausewetter

      Just because it sounds superficially similar, it does not have to be the same on a technical level:

      – We don’t know whether or not Chrome will upload any kind of user data to Google. Brave’s ad system is truly local, no kind of user data is being uploaded to Brave Software or any third party.
      – We don’t know whether or not FLoC will be used to support Google’s tracking scripts or their fingerprinting efforts on websites. Brave’s in-browser agent does not facilitate the exfiltration of user data for tracking scripts. Brave doesn’t have its own tracking scripts on websites.
      – Semi-related: Firefox promoters like you are, once again, massive hypocrites for criticizing this. How do you think Pocket Stories works in FF? It’s based on the same principle (local algorithm matching articles of interest to you), and it is enabled by default in Firefox…

      1. Emil Brausewetter said on April 11, 2021 at 9:52 pm
        Reply

        Federated Learning of Cohorts (FLoC) is a major blow to Brave’s bet on digital advertising. It is idle to go into further technical details, as you ignore any facts as usual.

        Hence a fact in a nutshell …

        The devil always shits on the biggest pile!

        … guess who this “biggest pile” is.

        Let’s see how far Brave Inc. can jump with their other leg “crypto wallet” — Hic Google – hic salta!
        We can discuss the outcome at the end of 2023, I wouldn’t be surprised if there is only one iron Brave user left …

    2. Anon7 said on April 11, 2021 at 7:06 pm
      Reply

      @Emil Brausewetter

      Brave profits through embedded bitcoin ad-mechanism using google code as core.

      So yes, its laughable to call it a true privacy orientated browser.

      When criticising Brave, the fanboys of brave then say oh what about FF pocket ? ads are easily switched off in FF, ads are not being used in combination with bitcoin profits either in FF unlike Brave. All telemetry can be stopped in FF with blocking through other means other than GUI or about:config changes which does not turn off everything.

      When telemetry and google strings are turned off in about:config, basically all those connections are stopped except for 1 or 2 like this one depending on the hardware platform FF is on.

      (firefox.settings.services.mozilla.com) which can easily be blocked through other means unrelated to FF.

      FF does not rely on ads for revenue as in braves case, FF has other means of revenue besides superficial ads (easily turned off) and google search engine deals.

      IH makes out FF users to be noobs who never change anything by default, therefore unprotected from mozilla telemetry. Its laughable.

      There are millions of FF users who turn off telemetry and use about:config.

      Technical browser users are more drawn to FF than any other browser, because of how it can be configured. Its a simple fact.

      Its the noobs that use chrome, edge or chromium clones like brave or vivaldi as a general rule of observance.

      I would like there to be a good decent alternative to FF/Gecko, but chromium clones are not the answer in my opinion.

      FF/Gecko is the best of a limited bunch.

      1. Iron Heart said on April 11, 2021 at 10:51 pm
        Reply

        @Anon7

        > Brave profits through embedded bitcoin ad-mechanism using google code as core. So yes, its laughable to call it a true privacy orientated browser.

        There is not a contradiction here despite you trying to imply one. Brave Rewards does not violate user privacy. You don’t know (and don’t want to know) how it works.

        > When criticising Brave, the fanboys of brave then say oh what about FF pocket ? ads are easily switched off in FF, ads are not being used in combination with bitcoin profits either in FF unlike Brave.

        You are a massive(!) hypocrite here and this can’t be repeated often enough, I feel. Pocket uses the VERY SAME mechanism Brave uses, just in FF in this case, and it’s enabled by default, whereas it’s disabled by default in Brave. In Brave, users can earn cryptocurrency by enabling Brave Rewards. Pocket Stories are enabled from the get go in FF and only pester the New Tab Page, no benefit for the user involved there.

        HYPOCRITE!

        > All telemetry can be stopped in FF with blocking through other means other than GUI or about:config changes which does not turn off everything.

        Funny that you mention it: Brave’s UI setting actually turns off all telemetry. Plus, telemetry is comparatively mild in Brave even when enabled.

        > (firefox.settings.services.mozilla.com) which can easily be blocked through other means unrelated to FF.

        about:config is of little value when Mozilla deliberately doesn’t offer you a fitting setting, right? :D

        > FF does not rely on ads for revenue as in braves case, FF has other means of revenue besides superficial ads (easily turned off) and google search engine deals.

        Firefox lives off surveillance capitalism. It promotes Google search and means to direct traffic to it. Also doesn’t block personalized Google ads on the result page as part of the deal. They have no notable income outside of the Google search deal (accounts for 80%+ of Mozilla’s annual revenue).

        > There are millions of FF users who turn off telemetry and use about:config.

        Reality: Probably a minuscule percentage of Firefox users turn telemetry off and know of about:config. A few years ago, Mozilla’s data suggested that around half of the entire FF population don’t even have one extension installed (so not even an adblocker), suggesting noob level. This can also be verified by taking a look at AMO: How many users do extensions like NoScript, Decentraleyes, even uBlock Origin have? That’s minuscule compared to FF’s overall user count.

        Anyway, have fun fingerprinting yourself with about:config. People who think that they are total pros because they are somewhat able to switch a setting from “true” to “false” (or vice versa), making themselves more trackable instead of less, are truly the worst. Why don’t you listen to people like Micay and the Whonix team who have written software for ages and have actually IMPLEMENTED this type of defense? They all tell you that making yourself more unique by modifying Firefox is completely, 100% braindead… In the same vein, why do you think Tor advises its users in its wiki NOT to touch its settings? Because they know that users will stand out in detectable ways when they do that… But “Pros” like @Anon7 know better of course…

        > Technical browser users are more drawn to FF than any other browser, because of how it can be configured. Its a simple fact.

        The majority of FF users are noobs, as is the case with any other browser (except maybe Pale Moon and Vivaldi). Your claims are BS and the usage stats of more advanced extensions prove my point.

        Besides, Mozilla produces the most dumbed down browser in existence (FF on Android), and is on its way to further dumb down FF on the desktop.

        > Its the noobs that use chrome, edge or chromium clones like brave or vivaldi as a general rule of observance.

        LOL, don’t think that Vivaldi in particular has too many noob users. Also, choosing the browser that offers superior performance, superior web compatibility, superior security etc. is not the sign of a noob choice. I imagine a great part of FF users are those whom they have accumulated in the 2000s, people who are mostly middle-aged or older by now and don’t know that anything else exists (or simply don’t bother).

        > FF/Gecko is the best of a limited bunch.

        Not in terms of:

        – web compatibility
        – security / exploit mitigations
        – stability
        – performance
        – time until new web standards are being fully implemented

      2. Anon7 said on April 12, 2021 at 8:00 am
        Reply

        @Emil Brausewetter

        > Let’s see how far Brave Inc. can jump with their other leg “crypto wallet”

        Look at LBRY and the problems it is facing around crypto.

        LBRY and Brave and others are in the crypto wild west, but that wildness will probably be reigned in soon enough.

        It just goes to show how short sighted Brave are by using cryptocurrency to fund their browser. I doubt software projects using cryptocurrency for funding will be sustainable in the long run.

        @IH

        > There is not a contradiction here despite you trying to imply one. Brave Rewards does not violate user privacy. You don’t know (and don’t want to know) how it works.

        I don’t want a browser that is relying on google chromium code for its fork and whose business model is based on profits through users enabling system level injected ads to generate cryptocurrency. Thanks but no thanks.

        > In Brave, users can earn cryptocurrency by enabling Brave Rewards.

        You must see loads of ad notifications then, since you did say brave pays you after all. You have a financial interest in Brave paying you. Like you said here from one of your previous posts

        “Hey, at least I get free money while Firefox uses the very same tech for Pocket”

        Free money at the cost of system level ads? ok IH, now i know why you like brave so much, they pay you.

        You fail to consider about browser users who could not care less about generating money for brave and recieving some pittance in return. Using users like IH to generate ad-revenue for its main source of revenue at the expense of ad notifications, how charming. Oh but its not turned on by default,

        i bet brave would just love if all its users shared IH’s enthusiasm for ads and some pittance in return.

        > about:config is of little value when Mozilla deliberately doesn’t offer you a fitting setting, right?

        Gecko/FF does offer value depending on the platform its used on and how its set up. About:config is a useful feature for customization. Not perfect, nothing is, but its useful.

        > Firefox lives off surveillance capitalism. It promotes Google search and means to direct traffic to it. Also doesn’t block personalized Google ads on the result page as part of the deal. They have no notable income outside of the Google search deal (accounts for 80%+ of Mozilla’s annual revenue).

        Brave lives off google browser code and its users generating cryptocurrency around ads. If every user of Brave turned off ads, brave would have no money. Its in braves best interests to have ads from a financial standpoint. It downloads ad lists by default.

        Mozilla are looking at other options to generate revenue like their VPN. There are also other search engine deals theoretically available to them besides google whose contract they could choose not to renew when the search engine contract deal is over. Mozilla also gets donations.

        That 20% outside of google revenue is probably way more than what braves makes through its users generating crypto.

        Mozilla has a lot more financial opportunities than insignificant brave.

        > Probably a minuscule percentage of Firefox users turn telemetry off and know of about:config.

        You must think the majority of FF users are noobs. Your miniscule percentage theory sounds like BS!

        > Mozilla’s data suggested that around half of the entire FF population don’t even have one extension installed (so not even an adblocker), suggesting noob level.

        Mozilla has in-built tracking protection, nowhere near as good as UBO, but still their tracking protection does stop some tracking. So its not as if noob FF users are defenseless from some forms of tracking.

        > Why don’t you listen to people like Micay and the Whonix team who have written software for ages and have actually IMPLEMENTED this type of defense? They all tell you that making yourself more unique by modifying Firefox is completely, 100% braindead…

        First of all, whonix and graphene are crap!

        Second of all,

        There are loads of different ways to fingerprint a browser, and fingerprinting is way harder to do when javascript is turned off. If some browser was fingerprinted as being 100% unique, then without the correct IP address, fingerprinting based around the browser alone is a fairly useless way to track.

        Usually browsers do not have a unique fingerprint anyway, thousands of users share the same fingerprint. Fingerprinting based around browser version/user agent, hardware platform etc is scaremongering BS since so many users share the same fingerprint!

        >the majority of FF users are noobs, as is the case with any other browser (except maybe Pale Moon and Vivaldi).

        Believe what you want!

        > Besides, Mozilla produces the most dumbed down browser in existence (FF on Android),

        Android is one of the most dumbest OS’s that has ever been developed. I could not care less about it, would never use it and don’t care what FF is like on android dumbphones.

        > LOL, don’t think that Vivaldi in particular has too many noob users.

        I believe by using a proprietrary browser like Vivaldi you are the definition of a noob, or at least someone that has grown accustomed to being comfortable with closed source software and not taking a strong stance by using FOSS as much as possible.

  14. Tree said on April 11, 2021 at 10:28 pm
    Reply

    I, for one, hope FLoC is a FLOP! I don’t want to be tracked by anyone.

  15. Anonymous said on April 12, 2021 at 2:27 pm
    Reply

    So FLoC is basically local interest profiles which Firefox and Brave already have? (and in both browsers those services, but not necessarily the monetization, are running by default)

    Except with FLoC the browser vendor (middleman) pushes what amounts to that ID/fingerprint out to advertisers directly.

    I cant be the only one who’s watching this whole theater and thinking they’re all collaborating in spirit.

    So is this a case of google seeing the shite that other browsers are getting away with and said “Hey lets do that”, then the other browsers were like “Lets bash google for this because marketing and epic distraction from our hypocrisy”

    1. Emil Brausewetter said on April 12, 2021 at 7:12 pm
      Reply

      False narrative:
      >>> So FLoC is basically local interest profiles which Firefox and Brave already have? (and in both browsers those services, but not necessarily the monetization, are running by default)

      Only Chrome browsers will use algorithms (the “Federated Learning” part) to create a very large number of “cohorts,” groups of people that share certain qualities and interests. The initial testing of FLoC is taking place with a small percentage of users in Australia, Brazil, Canada, India, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Philippines and the U.S. None of them are in the EU, where GDPR regulations are in effect.

      No other browser vendor has signaled its intention to support FLoC.

      1. Anonymous said on April 13, 2021 at 2:43 pm
        Reply

        Right, only the chromeses (so chrome then) will use FLoCâ„¢

        but brave and firefox have local interest profiles/feeds working away under the hood.

        Same thing, except in name and execution. Exploits a locally built profile, floc just pushes identifiers out externally instead of leveraging them 1st party for ads and data collection.

      2. Anon7 said on April 13, 2021 at 8:30 pm
        Reply

        >Right, only the chromeses (so chrome then) will use FLoCâ„¢

        >but brave and firefox have local interest profiles/feeds working away under the hood.

        >Same thing, except in name and execution. Exploits a locally built profile, floc just pushes identifiers out externally instead of leveraging them 1st party for ads and data collection.

        Not the same and very different, at least in FF all ads can be stopped (Easily enough) and all outbound connections can be stopped leaving just a basic browser to use. Its nowhere near as malicious regarding privacy as something like chrome is.

        In fairness to Brave they are at least trying to stop FLoC, but its a sinking ship for them using chromium IMO, they will be forever throwing out the water.

        As for Chrome and FLoC, absolutely horrifying, they will now be profiling users into groups of people that share certain qualities and interests and in a fully proprietrary browser, the noobs would be completely unaware that all that is likely being fed into AI algorithms aswell and all that data under the control of Googleville.

        MASSIVE DIFFERENCE!

      3. Iron Heart said on April 13, 2021 at 11:39 pm
        Reply

        @Anon7

        > In fairness to Brave they are at least trying to stop FLoC, but its a sinking ship for them using chromium IMO, they will be forever throwing out the water.

        FLoC was easy to disable. They’d also have to modify Firefox in a similar manner. Firefox is NOT unproblematic as a base.

      4. Emil Brausewetter said on April 14, 2021 at 1:42 pm
        Reply

        Two lies in two sentences

        >>> “They’d also have to modify Firefox in a similar manner. Firefox is NOT unproblematic as a base.”

        FLoC is a Chromium component

        https://source.chromium.org/chromium/chromium/src/+/master:chrome/browser/federated_learning/

        and to your knowlegde: Firefox is not a Chromium fork.

        Last but not least the third lie:

        >>> FLoC was easy to disable.

        It seems that you’ve been a little weak lately … three lies in 1 sentence was quiet common in your heyday.

      5. Iron Heart said on April 14, 2021 at 6:45 pm
        Reply

        @Emil Brausewetter

        I was not referring to FLoC as a component of Firefox. I am saying that Firefox also has privacy issues of a certain magnitude that would have to be dealt with if it was chosen as a base.

        > Last but not least the third lie

        Not a “lie”, look at the related commit:

        https://github.com/brave/brave-core/pull/8468/files

        You can call this “hard to disable” if you wish, but it doesn’t look that way.

        You screeching “Liar!” repeatedly and without reason won’t save Firefox, my dude.

      6. Emil Brausewetter said on April 14, 2021 at 11:06 pm
        Reply

        >>> Not a “lie”, look at the related commit:

        Federated Learning of Cohorts (FLoC) is just one(1) component.
        Google has also introduced
        Two Uncorrelated Requests, Then Locally-Executed Decisions On Victory … and one E in short “Turtledove”.
        Another of Google’s “Privacy Sandbox initiative”, to give advertisers a way to retarget audiences while approaching user privacy similarly to FLoC: IOW the browser conducts an auction to select the most relevant ad using JavaScript code provided by the advertiser …
        NEXT
        … there is Fledge, Google’s early prototype that builds on Turtledove. It will include a method for on-device bidding algorithms to use additional information from a “trusted” server.
        NEXT
        … PIGIN, SPARROW, SWAN, SPURFOWL, PELICAN, PARROT … and so on and so forth … designed to perform one of the functions in the targeted advertising ecosystem replacing a decades-old technology that is currently done by cookies. Chrome is the only browser set (chosen as a base) to adopt this volière of Google’s newfound love of data privacy.

        And to get rid of this plethora of “new visions for the future of privacy on the Web” with just one “easy” shot, is a lie.

        Anything else in your comment(s) is not only the product of the typical “IHSS methodology → Iron Heart Says So”. You also fall prey to your own false narratives and lies.

      7. Anonymous said on April 15, 2021 at 6:04 pm
        Reply

        @Anon7

        >at least in FF all ads can be stopped

        “at least in windows the spying can be stopped” – microsoft probably.
        How about being just a basic browser first then no need for the privacy lie with a list of conditions and excuses attached.

        >nowhere near as malicious regarding privacy as something like chrome is.

        Is that after excusing firefox’s longer list of scandals and current problems?

        >Chrome and FLoC, absolutely horrifying

        outrage at the thing we don’t use, but not at the betrayal from the beloved fox? never a peep. Somethings off..
        Googles version suddenly doesnt make your own creepy version ok. Maybe thats whats behind the faux outrage.

        >being fed into AI algorithms aswell and all that data

        Cliqz, Laserlike, Pocket partnerships. Native activitystream with mozilla endpoints, downloads and websites flagged via google.

        >forever throwing out the water.

        ironic.

  16. owl said on April 13, 2021 at 6:58 am
    Reply

    There are so many comments, and even heated exchanges, that I don’t feel like looking at the comments, so I’ll post my personal opinion, although it may have already been commented on.
    It is important to analyze the current situation and take into account what should be done, but it cannot be divided simply by dualism (good or bad, possible or not, just or unjust).
    In other words, it is not about 100 or 0, but about what is better (more effective).
    At the very least, Google’s “FLoC” is evil and must be avoided.

    Why Brave Disables FLoC | Brave Browser
    https://brave.com/why-brave-disables-floc/
    Use DuckDuckGo Extension to Block FLoC, Google’s New Tracking Method in Chrome |
    Spread Privacy
    https://spreadprivacy.com/block-floc-with-duckduckgo/
    After Cookies, Ad Tech Wants to Use Your Email to Track You Everywhere | Electronic Frontier Foundation
    https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2021/04/after-cookies-ad-tech-wants-use-your-email-track-you-everywhere

  17. Jedi Dwight said on April 17, 2021 at 2:34 am
    Reply

    On the occasion I find myself going to GHacks to read the latest chapter in the downfall of Mozilla Firefox, I must say I do enjoy the passion with which you commenters make your cases.

  18. Paul S. in CT said on April 30, 2021 at 3:46 pm
    Reply

    WEBRTC… I guess OpenGL 1 will fix THAT nuisance!

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