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  1. #1
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    What do you know about this program?

    I came across the program "Do Not Track Plus" (website http://www.abine.com/dntdetail.php), and it looks interesting, but I'd like to know if any of you has first-hand experience before I download and install it.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator satrow's Avatar
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    It's very useful, basically it adds cookies from the trackers to your browser that deny them further tracking. If you remove those cookies, tracking starts again though.

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    Bronze Lounger DrWho's Avatar
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    I hate adding more software to my PC, to do something that the PC can already do. That creates BLOAT and can also cause interference between programs.

    IF you just use Firefox as your Browser, there is a place there where you can select to NOT allow tracking.
    It's under "Options > Privacy".
    I always check that option whenever I set up Firefox for myself or one of my customers.

    Works for me!

    The Doctor
    Experience is truly the best teacher.

    Backup! Backup! Backup! GHOST Rocks!

  4. #4
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    Thank you, Doctor.
    I already have my FF set for private browsing, and to not allow tracking. But it's my understanding that checking the box to not allow tracking amounts to nothing more than a polite request to other sites, and relies merely on the good will of the site for compliance. My experience is that good will among websites (read "websites" as "businesses") does not exist.
    I believe that denying other sites the ability to track you, as Satrow points out (thanks for your reply, Satrow) is a better option.
    The purpose of my post is to determine if the program ("Do Not Track Plus") plays nicely with others (which is also one of your concerns).

  5. #5
    Super Moderator satrow's Avatar
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    Firefox and 'Do not Track':
    Will the HTTP header be turned on for all Firefox users by default? No, users will need to enable the HTTP header in order to send the signal that they would like to opt-out of tracking. We aim to make this as easy as possible for the user by creating a clear way to opt-out via the Firefox UI. An example could be a checking a box clearly labeled on the Firefox privacy pane.

    Will turning on the header block tracking? No. When the header is turned on it will send a signal to the website that the user would like to opt-out of tracking by third parties. This does not force an opt-out or currently require that websites comply. Our hope is that by implementing this header other browsers and websites will adopt and maintain it. It is the first step in developing a setting that clearly gives users a voice and a way to communicate with websites.
    https://wiki.mozilla.org/Privacy/Jan2011_DoNotTrack_FAQ

  6. #6
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    Thanks, Satrow. That's exactly my understanding of how the FF do not track function is implemented.

    As for "Do Not Track Plus", do you know if it "breaks" any web sites? Normally, I opt to have all cookies deleted when I finish browsing (I think that's what private browsing does in FF anyway). I assume that "Do Not Track Plus" adds cookies back at the next session, and so provides its protection whether or not I delete the cookies at the end of the session. Is this the case?

    Have you found any downers to using this program?

  7. #7
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    I've been using it for about three weeks with IE9 (32-bit, there's no DNT+ add-on yet for IE9 64-bit), and have yet to find anything which it breaks.

    But you can toggle it off quite easily if you think that may be the case:

    What do I do if a website or a video breaks?

    If you notice that a website isn't working properly with DNT+ enabled, it's probably because that site requires some tracking in order to function correctly. You can usually resolve this easily by clicking the toolbar icon. In the alert window, toggle the ON/OFF button to the OFF position. When the page is reloaded, all tracking will be allowed.

    If instead you want more control, we recommend unblocking the trackers one by one so that you can determine which company needs to be allowed. In this way, you can maintain the maximum level of protection.

    http://www.donottrackplus.com/faqs2.php

    Bruce

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    Thanks, Bruce.
    Looking at the FAQs link you provided, it's unclear to me whether the opt-out cookies that DNT+ places actually prevents sites from placing their own tracking cookies, or just notifies sites that I would not like to be tracked (which is what FF already does). Do you know?
    I might also ask this question of Abine tech support.

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    My limited understanding is that DNT+ goes further than the Do Not Track header, but I'm not sure exactly how:

    The Do Not Track header from which DNT+ derives its name is an HTML header that broadcasts a warning to ad networks not to follow you as you bop from site to site. The problem with it is that while it may have approval from the W3C and most browser vendors, the only enforcement mechanism is the honor system. Sudbury noted that DNT+ broadcasts the standard DNT header, but doesn't rely on it because the header lacks "enforcement on the FTC level."
    Do Not Track Plus add-on stops the tracking paparazzi

    Bruce

  10. #10
    Super Moderator satrow's Avatar
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    My understanding is, as intimated in my first post, that DNT+ adds cookies from the trackers themselves, which force the blocking of further tracking.
    Those cookies are what we call opt-out cookies. They protect you from targeted advertising because when these cookies are in place, websites are unable to put their own trackers. They signal to advertisers that you want to opt-out of receiving target advertising (it's like the "Do Not Call" list for targeted advertising). While regular cookies tell websites information about your online behavior, opt-out cookies tell advertising companies that you *don't want* to receive targeted advertising. They're the same cookies for everybody, so they can't be used to track you, and we keep them from getting deleted to ensure maximum opt-outs.
    Sorry Bruce, my OpenDNS settings don't allow me to visit CNet sites so I can't read those comments/reports.

  11. #11
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    Strange; is CNET evil?

    An Abine developer has been discussing this add-on with FireFox users until a week ago: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/fir...kplus/reviews/

    Bruce

  12. #12
    Super Moderator satrow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BruceR View Post
    Strange; is CNET evil?
    CNet download section - they've been bundling Adware/unwanted 'bonus' software with clean software for some time now I can hit the CNet news site fine.

  13. #13
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    Satrow and Bruce, here's part of a reply from the chat I had with Abine tech support after my last post:

    "We fight trackers in two main ways: 1, by blocking them, and 2, by opting you out of being tracked.
    .. .Here are more details on how Do Not Track Plus works: when you visit a website, that site tells your browser to contact all sorts of other companies to get information about what you do and who you are. Do Not Track Plus stops that data collection from happening by preventing your browser from communicating with these companies. We also set "good" cookies, called “opt-out cookies,” which signal to advertisers that you want to opt-out of receiving target advertising (it's like the "Do Not Call" list for targeted advertising). But while regular cookies tell sites information about your online behavior, opt-out cookies tell advertising companies that you DON'T want to receive targeted advertising. They're the same cookies for everybody, so *they can't be used to track you,* and we keep them from getting deleted to ensure maximum opt-outs.
    ...
    So in short, yes we do take an active approach to blocking these trackers."

    Pretty clear answer. I think I'll try it.

    Thanks for taking the time to help.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by satrow View Post
    CNet download section - they've been bundling Adware/unwanted 'bonus' software with clean software for some time now I can hit the CNet news site fine.
    I know CNET got some bad publicity over a single case a few months ago, when they included a toolbar or something without the knowledge of the program author, but I think it was really much ado about very little, and I believe it was quite quickly corrected.

    I use CNET to download updates every few days (their TechTracker which is now free is quite useful) and I've never acquired anything unwanted from CNET.

    If OpenDNS blocks them by default, I think that's a very good reason for me never to consider using OpenDNS.

    Bruce

  15. #15
    Super Moderator satrow's Avatar
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    More than a single case and still ongoing: http://www.raymond.cc/blog/direct-do...net-installer/ look for the direct link or create an account with them to access the direct download. Or go elsewhere.

    OpenDNS doesn't block anything by default.

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