Late last week the Wall Street Journal made quite a splash when it accused Google of tracking Safari users' activities without their knowledge. This past weekend Dean Hachamovitch, corporate vice president for Internet Explorer at Microsoft, penned a blog post that claims Google also circumvented the privacy settings of IE users.
P3P: CP="This is not a P3P policy! See http://www.google.com/support/accounts/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=151657 for more info."
Google has responded to Hachomovitch's lengthy post with its own statement that dubs Microsoft's P3P cookie technology "widely non-operational" and highlights the fact that it is not alone in its tactics to attempt to get around this technology. Google says that P3P didn’t have a huge impact when it was introduced in 2002 when P3P, but these days, it actually breaks cookie-based features, such as Facebook's 'Like' feature (incidentally, Facebook is another company that doesn't comply with P3P).
"Despite having been around for over a decade, P3P adoption has not taken off. It’s worth noting again that less than 12 percent of the more than 3,000 websites TRUSTe certifies have a P3P compact policy. The reality is that consumers don’t, by and large, use the P3P framework to make decisions about personal information disclosure," said Rachel Whetstone, Senior Vice President of Communications and Policy at Google. "A 2010 research paper by Carnegie Mellon found that 11,176 of 33,139 websites were not issuing valid P3P policies as requested by Microsoft. In the research paper, among the websites that were most frequently providing different code to that requested by Microsoft: Microsoft’s own live.com and msn.com websites.
What's more, Whetstone goes on to say that the reason all of these websites have decided against issuing valid P3P policies is because Microsoft said it was okay not to. Apparently that same Carnegie Mellon research paper from two years ago found that "Microsoft's support website recommends the use of invalid CPs (codes) as a work-around for a problem in IE."
- Tom's Guide: WSJ: Safari Loophole Allowed Google to Track Users via Ads
- Microsoft: Google Bypassing User Privacy Settings
- Parislemon: Google's complete statement on the issue.
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Another view from the Atlantic Wire: It's Not Just Google: Everyone Tracks Everyone on the InternetReply
2 problems here. Microsoft says its OK to bypass this stupid feature then goes out to attack Google for doing just that. More of a marketing pitch in my opinion. Next, Google defends itself when they are in the right as Microsoft said its OK. If they want to defend themselves, there are proper avenues to do this. They got lawyers for this exact reason. Makes for much more interesting news on Tom's.Reply
Buaa Buaaa concentrate on other things Microsoft.Reply
chicofehr2 problems here. Microsoft says its OK to bypass this stupid feature then goes out to attack Google for doing just that. More of a marketing pitch in my opinion. Next, Google defends itself when they are in the right as Microsoft said its OK. If they want to defend themselves, there are proper avenues to do this. They got lawyers for this exact reason. Makes for much more interesting news on Tom's.So because Microsoft breaks privacy that makes it Ok for Google to do it as well?Reply
There's an old saying - two wrongs don't make a right - no-one should be tracking you without permission
We know neither play fair. How about the other 99% of the people who browse the internet daily?Reply
"People seem to forget that Google isn't a search company that happens to sell advertising; it is an advertising company that happens to have a pretty good search engine.Reply
It doesn't matter if it's Google, Twitter, Yahoo, or The Atlantic. If you're using a service and you aren't paying for it, you're not the customer: you are the product. "
As said by TheAnonymouse in the comments on the page linked by jhansonxi a few posts above me.
Online privacy is a myth. Not that that's a good thing, it's really horrible, but we would be hard-pressed to change this. The hoops you need to jump through to be more or less truly private are ridiculous. Just as a start, get Firefox with No-Script and Add-Block, TOR and/or Advanced Onion Router, good firewall, and don't forget to set each thing up to be the most secure.
Then you need to deal with performance degradation just to get that semblance of privacy. What we've come to in the online world is disgusting.
There's also more that you can do, but you're faced with ever-increasing performance overhead. Of course, you could stick with basics like Firefox + No-Script+Add-Block and enjoy increased performance, but everything else is probably going to decrease performance.
Any other ideas?
jhansonxiAnother view from the Atlantic Wire: It's Not Just Google: Everyone Tracks Everyone on the InternetWait... people didn't know this? I figured out years ago that everyone will track everyone, it's human nature to want to know what others are doing and when you put that instinct combined with corporation sized power you get all this tracking and spying. I wonder how some people can stay so blind and think it doesn't happen at all.Reply
back_by_demandSo because Microsoft breaks privacy that makes it Ok for Google to do it as well?...There's an old saying - two wrongs don't make a right - no-one should be tracking you without permissionYou live on the wrong world if you want no tracking without permission :PReply
I can imagine the internal conversationsReply
High up Microsoft dude (HUMD) to his minions "Hey Minions!!! got anything we can slam google on?
Microsoft Minion "Hmmm, well, they got a bunk P3P cookie"
HUMD "Alright sweet!!!" /blog
High up Google Dude to his minions (HUGD) "Hey Minions!! MS is slamming our P3P cooki. WTF! are they right?"
Google Minions "Well sure, they told us we could! Plus, they're doin it too"
HUGD "Sweet!!!" /blog
HUMD to his Minions "Gdamnit Minions!!! why didn't you tell me this shit?!?"
Microsoft Minions "You didn't ask!! Stop acting like a teenager and let us do some useful work!!!"
Microsoft says that we should use IE9 to have privacy protection. Bunch of Hypocrites.Reply
They should release a patch for all IE browsers, not advertise ie9 features and bashing other products for they own benefit.