Google Circumvents Safari Privacy Protections – This is Why We Need Do Not Track

We knew this was happening – but now we have proof.

‘Earlier today, the Wall Street Journal published evidence that Google has been circumventing the privacy settings of Safari and iPhone users, tracking them on non-Google sites despite Apple’s default settings, which were intended to prevent such tracking.

This tracking, discovered by Stanford researcher Jonathan Mayer, was a technical side-effect—probably an unintended side-effect—of a system that Google built to pass social personalization information (like, “your friend Suzy +1’ed this ad about candy”) from the google.com domain to the doubleclick.net domain. Further technical explanation can be found below.’

It looks like this was a bit of a case where one division within Google was working on privacy issues – like the ‘no cookies’ option, while another was trying to inject the ‘social networking’ experience into Google (a bad idea, in my never-humble-opinion:  if I want to know what my friends are up to, I’ll ask them – I certainly don’t need Google to pop up a bubble to tell me what they thought of something) and ‘worked around’ the privacy policy with some creative coding.  This, of course, completely undermined all the privacy measures and blew up Google’s privacy policy.

Perhaps Google is getting too big to stay healthy…

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