back to article Google eyeballs planted on 92% of top websites

A new privacy study says that Google-controlled web bugs are tracking users on 92 of the net's top 100 sites and about 88 per cent of almost 400,000 other domains. Using a Firefox browser plug-in called Ghostery, three graduate students in the School of Information at the University of California, Berkeley recently examined …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. Anonymous Coward
    Joke

    (untitled)

    "Google Analytics was used by over 71 per cent of the domains. Google AdSense was used by over 35 per cent. And Google DoubleClick was used by over 26 per cent."

    Heading should have been googles eyeballs on 132% pf website

  2. Christopher Martin

    Noscript saves the day again?

    google-analytics.com is not on my whitelist...

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Linux

    SILENCE!

    ALL HAIL THE GOOGLE OVERLORDS!

    ....What is thy bidding my master?

  4. John Hawkins
    Black Helicopters

    Skewed statistics?

    I block google-analytics.com as well. I guess quite a few of us in the industry do and it would be interesting to know how much that affects the stats collected. At least for certain subgroups.

    Interesting that The Reg also uses google-analytics.com. Perhaps there's a message there somewhere.

  5. Tom Silver badge

    You cant count the noscripts....

    I'd say 30% of the users I know use noscript - once people realise that pages are loaded slowly because of the off site garbage that poor inept marketing people are encouraged to add to their site then they seen to take to NoScript like ducks to water.

  6. Edward Miles

    Is it hypocritical...

    ...to run google analytics on your own site, but have it blocked by NoScript on every computer you use?

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I hate to be a firefoxtard.....

    But since I was forced to use firefox and installed the noscripts plugin I have blocked all these trackers as standard.

  8. Dave

    Firefox Plugins

    My solution is to block all that stuff with the ubiquitous Firefox plugins. I assume (possibly naively) that this removes me from much of this tracking.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Lying toerags + Fix

    Oh please, they aggregate the sites visited to target their adverts. Saying the cookie is different so they cannot aggregate is a fat lie. They have the IP address right there, at the back end they can cross link it however they want and have already said what they do with it.

    http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2009/03/making-ads-more-interesting.html

    They have also already admitted to be able to retrieve the searches made for any given IP address.

    And their privacy director gives deceptive answers to questions like he doesn't know or more likely wants to mislead.

    THE FIX: TOnline in Germany change the IP address assigned to each user every night at about 2am. That is the fix to prevent IP address tracking. Setting firefox to only accept cookies from the site visited, and remove them on closing the browser is another fix. Going into the hosts file and blocking the analytics sites (all of them) is another essential.

  10. A J Stiles
    Thumb Down

    Not necessarily

    google-analytics.com is just one of the domains diverted by the name server on my LAN.

  11. Sonya Fox
    Flame

    I block them

    I'm paranoid about these idiotic tracking cookies. Its a shame that companies like Google have to make the net irritating, especially when simply turning off cookies, even third party cookies, makes it impossible to log into legitimate websites. Opera has a nice feature that lets you accept or decline cookies, and remember to accept or decline for that domain in the future. Its a pain in the ass but it beats accepting tracking cookies from the likes of Zedo, Google, and Doubleclick.

    Also, @AnonCow:

    They didn't mean all of those services together, a site can use AdSense AND Google Analytics, etc...

  12. Scott Evil
    Paris Hilton

    This very website has 3

    My Ghostery reveals:

    Quantcast

    Google Analytics

    Google Adsense

    Its everywhere

    Ghostery + No script FTW

    Paris because you dont have a busty cleavge avatar,and everyone loves boobies!

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    I am glad...

    ...that I AdBlock/NoScript the hell out of this stuff. I can see perfectly good reasons of a site to want to know about my return (e.g. shopping cart) and I have no real issue with them using their data to pick an add (you bought a torch, would you like batteries?)

    But aggregation across sites just raises way, way too many privacy concerns. The browser session may be shared with others, for example, do you want ads for STD services appearing when a pal borrows the PC? No.

    And that's just the simple example. Data mining, profiling etc would make it perfectly feasible to identify you as an individual. And what protections would their be against abuse? None really. You'd have HMRC scanning your record on Amazon and then fining you as the amount of your purchases did not match your tax return or something.

    Given the threat such web bugs pose, will El Reg be dropping Google Analytics etc?

  14. Francis Irving

    Open source Google analytics

    If you're a privacy freak website owner, then take a look at open source http://piwik.org/ to use instead of Google Analytics - surprisingly good. Unlike other open source web stats tools, it uses a javascript webbug like Google Analytics.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    correct me if I'm wrong

    windows host file:

    127.0.0.1 www.google-analytics.com

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @correct me if I'm wrong

    Seems ok to me.

    Would putting it on the router blacklist also work ? (I have a nightmare getting noscript, ABP etc on all the machines on my home network)

  17. John Ryland
    Gates Horns

    Too big to fail?

    How's this for a scary thought... with Google's dominance and integration is it getting too big to fail?

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    Someone has to say it....

    All yuor privacies are belong to us!

This topic is closed for new posts.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2020