(Adapted to next stage of essay)


Setup:

1. Tools/Options/Advanced/Tell web sites I do not want to be tracked

2. Tools/Clear Recent History/Everything

3. Tools/Options/Privacy/Show Cookies/Remove All Cookies

4. Then go for example to http://marketing.apnewsregistry.com/ [apnewsregistry.com] [apnewsregistry.com]

5. Go look at Tools.Options/Privacy/Show Cookies

Voila!

__utmz

211664137.1301603676.1.1.utmcsr=(direct)|utmccn=(direct)|utmcmd=(none)

__utma

211664137.1337932741.1301603676.1301603676.1301603676.1

__utmc

211664137

__utmb

211664137.1.10.1301603676


Yes, __utmb is a session cookie. But:


In the context of Non-Tracking, the normal logic behind session cookies is not good enough. I'll leave it to my betters to show the proof, but "tracking" is a data-inbound event, so even if that session cookie becomes invalid later, a company sufficiently motivated to make a big show of "Do Not Track" while simultaneously getting trackable inbound info can do it, but it wouldn't all be stored in the cookie, it would be the cookie + other steps.

Basically, it's impossible to prove a company "isn't tracking you" - we're too far down the slippery slope by now. Call it Godel's Revenge. We're stuck with our Fishbowl, so we're thrashing around how to socially deal with it.


(Later AnonymousPsychopath remarked that the session cookies have expired - see timestamps.)


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(Responding to HairyFeet that the unusual browser setting makes you *more* trackable.)


Nice post.

Elsewhere I took a strongly worded stand vs a well meaning AC about session cookies, and "left it to my betters to work out the details". You provided one - the mere (rare) existence of the bit set to on itself.

I know about the Panopticlick method, but that felt "too easy" - so let's work on sneakier tricks. Using the principle of the 20-Questions Narrowing Down theme, can they narrow it down to "you" say within four page clicks? Sure, the homepage might not be enough, but there could be 10 ways of rendering the second page, and only "you" trigger a certain sequence by page #4?

My point still stands, you can never prove they aren't tracking you. It becomes a social issue now.


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Except it doesn't even seem to work for me - see my post above for the apregistry. What good is a method that's so buggy you can't rely on it? What fallacy is that, that they promote a feature yet for ____ % of the population it "just happens" not to work?


((What doesn't seem to work for me? I forgot the context.))


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