Monday, November 28, 2005

Block Google Analytics cookies

CustomizeGoogle 0.39 has a new optional feature that blocks all Google Analytics cookies, on any website.

Using this feature makes you more anonymous. But your visit on a single webpage can still be logged. This way, both Google and the owner of the website knows that someone visited the webpage, but it's difficult to track all pages you're visiting. Also, it's really really hard for Google to know that you visited both Website A and Website B.

You can read more about the feature at CustomizeGoogle.com.

13 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Would ii be possible to reverse the changelog so that the most recent version is at the top?
You would start with the first version at bottom and have the newer versions near top. This way people don't need to scroll to the bottom of the page to see the changes.

Thanks
Andrew

6:38 PM  
Blogger CustomizeGoogle said...

Done.

7:59 AM  
Anonymous Vincent said...

It is great to have people working on strengthning our privacy on the net, would it be against google or against anything else.

8:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This extension also blocks the use of Urchin Software which runs independent of Google's server. It appears that is blocking the cookies regardless of whether or not they are Google Analytics or Urchin Software.

There are two ways you could block Google Analytics without affect Urchin Software users:

1. Block the javascript file coming from Google Analytics.
2. Block the gif file from Google Analytics.

The second solution is probably the most effective one because unless the gif is requested, it doesn't matter if the cookie is set.

I am assuming that the main objection to Google Analytics is central web analytics service instead of analytics in general. If that is the case, the extension cuts the cloth too wide and affects non Google Analytics usage.

BTW, I can't find a link to the source of the extension. Where do I download the source instead of the .xpi files?

5:20 AM  
Blogger CustomizeGoogle said...

I guess that most people doesn't care if it's Urchin Software or Google.

I understand your point that the information isn't sent to Google in the first case. However, why did Google use the same name for the cookies? Seems as a big misstake if it's true. Soon, all anti spyware software will be blocking the same cookies as CustomizeGoogle do.

Source code:
Download the .xpi file, rename it to .zip and unzip it.

7:55 AM  
Anonymous Razvan Antonescu said...

Ok. I presume that everybody knows what server side stats do and they can be fooled only using a proxy.

So most of the users of this extension will have their "privacy" vulnerable.

On the other side side this is obviously against Google. But why? Cause they make money out of it? So what? Who said that they are a charity foundation?

You have a lot of free good services in return for a small part of your "privacy" that is used to enhance Google experience and of course to increase the revenues of a few people.

And another thing. Nobody cares about what a particular John Doe is doing on the net unless is on the FBI most wanted list. Your "private" data will be just a small anonymous part in some general marketing strategies

Just my .02

10:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a great extension! For future build, could you also add a "Delete" button for Gmail?

Here is an extension that i currently use that is implemented using GreaseMonkey

https://addons.mozilla.org/extensions/moreinfo.php?application=firefox&id=882

12:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was using customize google fine but with the newer version and more
options and firefox 1.5, the options window being as wide as it can
still is not wide enough. I cannot maximize it or scroll to see it
ends.
a screenshot of what I am talking about is here
http://www.periferral.com/scrap/google.jpg

As you can see, I dont have room or a scrollbar to view the other
options. I think somewhere there is the option to OK the changes you
made but I cant see that either. So I can only work with the default
options.

please help. thanks

8:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i agree with Razvan Antonescu. You will lose your free services. I hope all those that use this software get blocked from google, and their google accounts deleted

9:26 AM  
Blogger Jobin said...

This is a great extension and I love it.But is it 'ethical'?Forgive me if I am wrong,but Google provides a lot of great services and what we do is, remove the ads and insert their competitor's links too.

9:21 AM  
Blogger posthaste555 said...

Thanks for this fantastic extension! Hooray for free software, in the public interest.

Question: Does this extension anonymize (to the extent possible) use of the google toolbar as well as google.com site searches?

Perhaps the 2 just use the same tracking technology...?

5:53 AM  
Blogger Suresh said...

What does the feature "Anonymize the Google cookie UID" do? I have this feature enabled and have the google domain cookies set to session only. gmail works fine after signing in which is great. When I open a new tab and go to www.google.com, I see that I am already signed in - would be nice if the Google uid cookies were not sent. If I issue a search query, will the CustomizeGoogle extension ensure that the Google UID cookie isn't sent in the search request that is issued? Again when I look at the search results, I see that I am signed in, so the Google uid cookie isn't getting anonymized. Confused...

5:17 AM  
Blogger Suresh said...

What does the feature "Anonymize the Google cookie UID" do? I have this feature enabled and have the google domain cookies set to session only. gmail works fine after signing in which is great. When I open a new tab and go to www.google.com, I see that I am already signed in - would be nice if the Google uid cookies were not sent. If I issue a search query, will the CustomizeGoogle extension ensure that the Google UID cookie isn't sent in the search request that is issued? Again when I look at the search results, I see that I am signed in, so the Google uid cookie isn't getting anonymized. Confused...

5:17 AM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home