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Mozilla Labs Experiment Distills Your History Into Interests 158

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the enjoys-long-trolls-on-the-beach dept.
Barence writes "Mozilla is proposing that the Firefox browser collects data on users' interests to pass on to websites. The proposal is designed to allow websites to personalize content to visitors' tastes, without sites having to suck up a user's browsing history, as they do currently. 'Let's say Firefox recognizes within the browser client, without any browsing history leaving my computer, that I'm interested in gadgets, comedy films, hockey and cooking,' says Justin Scott, a product manager from Mozilla Labs. 'Those websites could then prioritize articles on the latest gadgets and make hockey scores more visible. And, as a user, I would have complete control over which of my interests are shared, and with which websites.'" This is the result of an extended experiment. The idea is that your history is used to generate a set of interests which you can then share voluntarily with websites, hopefully discouraging the blanket tracking advertising systems love to do now.
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Mozilla Labs Experiment Distills Your History Into Interests

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  • interesting take. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by stewsters (1406737) on Friday July 26, 2013 @09:08AM (#44390601)
    It makes sense if advertising companies were nice people, but please never turn this on by default. Most likely they will just add the info that you supply them to their trove of tracking data.
    • Re:interesting take. (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Coryoth (254751) on Friday July 26, 2013 @09:20AM (#44390731) Homepage Journal

      It makes sense if advertising companies were nice people, but please never turn this on by default. Most likely they will just add the info that you supply them to their trove of tracking data.

      It could work; it's not sending any data that couldn't be extracted from your history anyway (which they are largely getting now via blanket tracking) so it's not especially detrimental to the user. On the other hand it is essentially doing the data mining and summarisation that the advertisers are going to have to do on the client side ahead of time. Getting your product to do some of your compute work for you may be enough of a carrot to get advertisers to end up taking this is preference to all the raw data collected by pervasive tracking.

      • by gstoddart (321705)

        It could work; it's not sending any data that couldn't be extracted from your history anyway (which they are largely getting now via blanket tracking) so it's not especially detrimental to the user.

        Well, depending on how much you are blocking cookies and trying to keep information out of the hands of advertisers and other internet douchebags, you may feel differently.

        If anything, I expect Mozilla to be leading in enabling privacy ... but if they're doing this, then they're just going down a road I disagree

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          The content and advertizing companies are already tracking us in ways that are frustrating and scary (https://panopticlick.eff.org/). This proposal is about making it easier for me to tell the advertizing companies what I want to see ads for. No more embarrassing ads about my fetishes when I visit amazon, firefox tells them what I want to see.

          This could be a good thing.
          • by gstoddart (321705) on Friday July 26, 2013 @10:01AM (#44391095) Homepage

            This proposal is about making it easier for me to tell the advertizing companies what I want to see ads for.

            I don't wish to see ads, and I block at my router and browser as many other things as possible.

            You may think it's nice, but I believe this is a terrible idea -- it should be private by default and require action to make it send anything more.

            The last thing I want is Mozilla deciding they're just like Google and Facebook and that my browsing history is their resource to be monetized.

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by washort (6555)

              The last thing I want is Mozilla deciding they're just like Google and Facebook and that my browsing history is their resource to be monetized.

              This is Mozilla trying to build tools to let users monetize themselves if they so desire. Your browsing history is your resource. The experiment so far has been collecting this data and showing it to the user. The concept being explored now is whether to add a button for letting you send this data to a website. The idea is that this lets you share your interests w

              • Why would you WANT your browser to determine what you like? I KNOW what I like. If I want my browser or a website to know what I like, I will TELL THEM.

                Why not record your dreams and have them send to everyone you know by default. No thanks, if I want you to know my dreams, I will TELL YOUR. And then ONLY the parts I want YOU in particular to know and not every fucking website.

                Really, you are like saying how much easier it would be for a rape victim to have the rape happen at a time of their choosing then

        • by Coryoth (254751) on Friday July 26, 2013 @10:24AM (#44391275) Homepage Journal

          It could work; it's not sending any data that couldn't be extracted from your history anyway (which they are largely getting now via blanket tracking) so it's not especially detrimental to the user.

          Well, depending on how much you are blocking cookies and trying to keep information out of the hands of advertisers and other internet douchebags, you may feel differently.

          Mozilla has said this is something you can opt out of, so it's no worse than blocking cookies etc. (and, in fact, is probably easier).

          How about you develop tools to keep my information out of the hands of those 3rd parties? Instead they just seem to be looking to become yet another broker of your information.

          Looked at the right way, this is almost exactly that. Presume for a moment that it works (a big if) and advertisers take to using this instead of pervasive tracking. Now we're is a place where we have a single central point of data release to advertisers; you can turn it off; you can potentially drop in a plug in that publishes a hand-crafted/approved list of "interests" instead of mining your history for it; etc. If it works it does give more control to users over their privacy.

          The reality is that information is currency these days, and people will mine for this sort of data because it is valuable. You won't have much luck just blocking everything because the incentives to find a way around whatever blocks are put in place are high. So, assuming information is going to be given, trying to give the user more control over what information is handed over seems like a good thing. I doubt this particular plan will actually work, but I expect something along these lines will happen eventually.

          • by ultranova (717540)

            The reality is that information is currency these days, and people will mine for this sort of data because it is valuable.

            Knowledge is power, like it has always been.

            You won't have much luck just blocking everything because the incentives to find a way around whatever blocks are put in place are high.

            You won't have much luck just blocking everything because Mozilla, just like every other browser, leaks information like a sieve. And why wouldn't they? You're the product, the advertisers are the customers.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      How about we eliminate the ability of our browsers to track and report on everything we do? Surely you can see the profound privacy concerns that arise when the browser is the main data gathering device? The marketing/data/ad companies that already try this kind of thing are not trustworthy and will still track visitors no matter what information Mozilla sells them or what agreement not to track they sign.

      We don't need to worry about a website trying to track us and selling anything and everything they can

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Githaron (2462596)

        Without a proxy of some sort, how are you going to prevent websites from tracking you? At the very least, web servers need a IP address to send its content to on request. There is no way for the browser to disable the web server's ability to log that data request. If they can log the data, they can share that data with third-parties in order to get a better idea of the interests of those that IP address. If you want your sessions to persist across mutiple visits/requests from that website, some sort of sess

    • by KitFox (712780) on Friday July 26, 2013 @09:47AM (#44390983)

      The use of Adblock and similar to help reduce (not remove) blanket tracking combined with this means that it becomes opt in and as a "product", the user is still valuable and thus still "fed" free stuff.

      I think one of the more interesting considerations is that if this takes off and more militant anti-blanket-tracking occurs, perhaps we can have more control over what the advertisers try to decide about us. For example, a ferret owner researching baby food for a sick ferret is highly unlikely to want to get flooded with a massive number of "your new baby!" ads and coupons for diapers and cribs and wipes. (True story, mind you. Owned ferrets. Researched three baby food items from Google. Within a month, I could have saved thousands from all the discounts and coupons I was offered for baby stuff. Gah.)

      Quite sure it won't stop advertisers from knowing when somebody is pregnant based on them buying blue rugs and lotion [forbes.com] though.

      • "The use of Adblock and similar to help reduce (not remove) blanket tracking combined with this means that it becomes opt in and as a "product", the user is still valuable and thus still "fed" free stuff."

        Precisely. This returns control to the user as it's completely opt-in.

    • This parallels the Mozilla "ping" fiasco of a few years back. In that case, someone at Mozilla labs came to the conclusion that people were always going to be tracked somehow, and all the gyrations of cookies, 1x1 pixel images and so on was just producing a lot of waste traffic. If it's going to happen anyway, why not make the tracking process as technically-efficient as possible? Thus they proposed that each site could have a meta link for a server to "ping" with minimal packets on a page load. Naturally,

      • by dveditz (11090)
        Why was ping a "Mozilla" fiasco? It was a WHATWG specification, never shipped enabled in a Firefox final release, but is currently supported by Chrome.
    • by RJFerret (1279530)

      Websites are already tailored to users' interests, that's how we got there in the first place, we searched for what we were interested in, and that site came up. Duh. Other interests (my taste in porn) is not relevant to the transaction. I don't need to see sex toy ads (not that I ever see ads, thank you ad blocking Hosts file) when searching for some game or pastime for my niece.

      People were creeped out when gmail came along "reading" your email to target specific ads based upon what other people wrote t

    • I know I'd immediately set it to share None of My Interests with None of The Sites. And then I'd probably go into about:config and look at disabling the feature at a lower level just in case someone finds an exploit in it.

    • This ONLY makes sense if you think the way to stop rapists is for all women to freely have sex all the time with would be rapists.

      For sane people, this makes no sense. If I do NOT want to be tracked, I do NOT want my browser to do it for me.

      And if I wanted to feed my interests to websites, ALL that would be needed is a simple form which is used to fill an OPTIONAL header with whatever I wanted to add.

      There is NO NEED to analyze my browsing behavior to get my interests UNLESS you are trying to get around

  • Search and replace (Score:3, Insightful)

    by chinton (151403) <chinton001-slashdot@@@gmail...com> on Friday July 26, 2013 @09:10AM (#44390611) Journal
    s/article/ad/g

    s/content/ad/g

  • by jarle.aase (1440081) <jarle@jgaa.com> on Friday July 26, 2013 @09:11AM (#44390617)
    And I definitely don't want my browser to spy on me. There are already too much of that going on.
    • by gl4ss (559668)

      And I definitely don't want my browser to spy on me.
      There are already too much of that going on.

      yeah.. everyone getting a newspaper that provided just news that didn't bother them.. that would be pretty fucked up.

      what's even more fucked up though is mozilla thinking this would do anything. mozilla is a browser. such interests service could be provided by say facebook for whoever is interested and mozilla could just focus on building better filters.

      • by sirsky (53613)

        It's obvious who came up with this idea too. It certainly wasn't one of the developers thinking it would be "a good feature to add". It was some suit in an office that had this 'great idea', ran out and said "CODE THIS"!

  • by Anonymous Coward

    How 'bout no! [youtu.be]

    Why do we continue to allow these nit wits to think that we are OK with them spying on us to bolster their profits?

  • by TWX (665546) on Friday July 26, 2013 @09:12AM (#44390631)
    ...I mean, Avenue Q already told us what the Internet is for...
    • by JanneM (7445)

      Yes - but what kind, right? There are many girls with cups and other specialities you may not want to stumble upon accidentally - or particularily be on the lookout for, interests depending.

      Seriously, this kind of thing would be a good step toward a system where you will have control of what to release to sites and advertisers; and where you may actually want to do so, since it benefits you along with them.

      • by gstoddart (321705)

        Seriously, this kind of thing would be a good step toward a system where you will have control of what to release to sites and advertisers

        Tell you what, build me the "nothing at all", and let absolutely everything else require a positive action from me.

        The only think I want sites to see is an http request for the page, and the only thing I want advertisers to see is absolutely nothing.

        • by JanneM (7445)

          And that would be one feasible setting. I expect a fair number of people to choose to disclose nothing at all.

          But if I am in control over what is disclosed, I would probably elect to show some information. Keywords on the kinds of thing I'm interested in and that sort of data. If I control the information flow I'd be happy to use it to get better, more relevant information back.

  • Once upon a time we were all going to have a 'user agent' that was local to our computer that performed all sorts of mediation for us, sort of an Arthur Treacher [wikipedia.org] (look it up you young whippersnappers) role; this is one instance of that idea.
  • apt-get install sensible-browser

  • by pipatron (966506) <pipatron@gmail.com> on Friday July 26, 2013 @09:14AM (#44390649) Homepage

    I have a revolutiounary idea!

    How about giving users the ability to visit different "web sitez" or what you call them, depending on their interest?

    So for example, if I am interested in hockey, and live in Sweden, I could type in, say, "www.swehockey.se" in some sort of text input field in the browser.

    This way, you wouldn't actually have to send any information at all to some unknown third party!

  • By creating several Firefox profiles and then browsing in private mode with no saving of history and and not allowing the setting of cookies be they third part or not may well be the way to go. Up to now Mozilla & Firefox were the good guys, but up to a few weeks ago so were the NSA, FBI, CIA and others.
    • by pipatron (966506)

      :D

      up to a few weeks ago so were the NSA, FBI, CIA

      There are few times I actually smile when I write a smiley, but this is one of them.

    • by gstoddart (321705)

      but up to a few weeks ago so were the NSA, FBI, CIA and others

      Not really ... they've always been organizations willing to stomp on your rights and a few laws to achieve their own ends.

      This has been true for decades. The only difference is now someone has confirmed it, but nothing at all changed with Snowden's revelations.

      • As something did change. Thanks to Justin Amash and others, we are now aware which 217 Representatives are ok with NSA violating the constitution, and which 205 Representatives are not.

  • by pla (258480) on Friday July 26, 2013 @09:16AM (#44390691) Journal
    The idea is that your history is used to generate a set of interests which you can then share voluntarily with websites, hopefully discouraging blanket tracking advertising systems love to do now.

    You guys just really don't fucking get it, do you?

    I don't want to make it easier for you to target me with ads. I don't want to share personal information with you. I don't want to give you yet another way to track me ("Oh, look, Mr. 18-25YO woodworking rugby-watching green-tea-drinking VI-using lesbian-fetishist on FireFox-17-with-Flash-11.101 has come back to the site!"). I don't want to "build a relationship" with you. I don't want to get your newsletter. I don't have the least interest in the viability of your business model outside the ad revenue you won't get from me. I will answer any obligatory signup questions with completely bogus info, though the throwaway email address I give you will at least work - Once.

    I will find you through Google. I will visit the pages on your site that I searched for in the first place. If you have a site that appeals to me in general, I may casually browse around for a while (though if I visited with a specific goal, probably not). I will block ads, cookies, most scripts, and tracking bugs the whole time.

    Have a nice day.
    • by Seumas (6865) on Friday July 26, 2013 @09:27AM (#44390801)

      Exactly this. Why in the hell would I want to share my set of interests with other websites?

      I mean, I'm a middle aged American male. I like porn, videogames, and technology. That's hardly a secret and I don't care that some people know it -- but there's something sort of gross about just handing it over to some entity so they can better monetize me. Especially when I'm just old enough to still remember a time when people did shit on the internet for the sake of doing it or even back in the BBS days when sysops would pay tons of money and spend tons of their own time building communities and services just for the sake of helping people and offering services. Money be damned.

      Now, every mommy-blogger and twitter-user absolutely has to plaster ads everywhere and make two pennies off the twelve people that visit their blog every few weeks.

      I'm all about capitalism and competition surfacing from the free marketplace . . . and if your service has value to me, I'll be glad to pay a little for it if you give me a the option . . . but there is just something particularly off-putting about constantly being eye-spammed and tracked (or not, even) and monetized every second you are online.

      • I mean, I'm a middle aged American male. I like porn, videogames, and technology. That's hardly a secret and I don't care that some people know it

        Absolutely. You're an adult and it's the 21st century. You don't have to hide that you like technology. Long gone are the days when kids are beat up for this sort of thing.

      • by Salgak1 (20136)

        And then, there's the retaliation. Someone WILL make a plug-in to hack this. Generating a random "interests" file for each new web-page accessed. Because the tracking is getting BEYOND ludicrous. At least with a randomizer, we might see something interesting from totally out of the blue. . .

        As opposed to the current way of doing things. . .

        Example, a pal of mine needed a new wiring harness for his tractor. Last week. He searched, found what he needed, and ordered. Interest complete. He's STILL

      • Hum, depends.

        Today, the biggest problem I see with ads is the fact that the vast majority of them involves lies, misinformation or even attempts to install malware. I would not block then if the ad was honest and harmless (eg something like a simple-text ad "Hey, are you looking computers right? I can get some that interests you on my site" instead of a animated flash-ad "OH NO!!! YOUR PC IS INFECTED, INSTALL ME NOW FOR FIX IT!!!!!")
      • This is the genius of it all. Take advantage of greed and the desperation people seem to have for their reality TV moment.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I will find you using Duck Duck Go. FTFY.

    • by Bucc5062 (856482)

      Oh, if only you were part of the 99%, not the 1%

      In this case 99% of the users of the "Web" don't care about tracking, ads, what is captured or anything other than "does it work". They cannot be bothered turning this or that off or figuring out how to block ads. the 99% run apps on Facebook, click on ad links, and blithely share information to the underworld of marketers.

      The 1% are those like yourself (and me to an extent), that don't want or need help finding things on the web. We don't like leaving brea

    • You guys just really don't fucking get it, do you?

      Oh they get it. They realize that the internet isn't the bastion of freedom it was twenty years ago when the "world wide web" was created by some hippy academics who envisioned free and near-instant global information exchange, breaking down cultural and geographical barriers and uniting humanity in common cause. None of that means jack shit compared to profit.

      You aren't a citizen of the world, you're a content consumer. Now bend over and take one for Team Profit. They really do get it. They're not idealist

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Hatta (162192)

      I don't want to make it easier for you to target me with ads.

      I will find you through Google.

      Huh?

      • I can understand the distinction. It's pretty obvious because I share similar sentiments.

        I don't want advertisers to push their products on me. I don't want to be made aware of something shiny that I could be spending my money on instead of saving towards my long-term goals. I don't want them to wear down the finite reserves of willpower that we all have against temptation by better finding the things that might tempt me. I don't want all their little neuromarketing tricks designed to guide me to just k

    • by Anonymous Coward

      If you loudly proclaim you don't want the site to ever get your money when you block all ads and tracking, then why would the site want you there? There needs to be some financial incentive. It'd be like sitting at a restaurant, partaking of their free water and bread, and then when it comes time to order you say you're not interested and leave.

      • by pla (258480)
        There needs to be some financial incentive.

        No, really, there doesn't.

        "Oh, what a cute little botfly larva! Sure, you can nom on my flesh for a few days, little guy!"

        I suppose in the interests of accuracy, I probably shouldn't have said I don't care about your business model - More accurately, if your business model depends on people not noticing you parasitically extracting as much PII from them as you can, you can consider me openly hostile toward that.


        It'd be like sitting at a restaurant, parta
    • I've been browsing more and more in Incognito mode... at least (in theory) my Google searches don't trigger a rash of new ads. I've a family member on my wife's side who needs medical treatment, and i make sure I hit incognito mode with the searches for info for them.

      I hate that my searches on my phone now show up on my desktop. I hate that a joke query on my ipad for a porn site that happens to be close in name to a place i wanted to visit now ends up on my desktop google. I hate that google tried to tie d

    • by Darinbob (1142669)

      This is Mozilla. What you want is irrelevant to them.

  • One that completely randomizes what it sends to sites as my "interests" while simultaneously blocking whatever content that causes those servers to send.

    • by pipatron (966506)

      Or it could be put to good use. For example, you could program the interest list to only show that you're very very interested in a particular political party during election time, as a way to spam your agenda to the advertisers and inflate some polls.

      Or when I recently was looking for a very specific piece of hardware, second hand because it has not been manufactured for a long time. I could have programmed my "interest filter" to only show that hardware as my interest, maybe the ad-trawlers would've foun

  • Mozilla is proposing that the Firefox browser collects data on users' interests to pass on to websites
    Tell you what Mozilla, if I want to give information to a web site, I'll give to them myself.

    Don't start becoming advertising douchebags and enablers of assholes on the internet -- a web site should receive only what I tell them. I block their ads and cookies so they don't know anything more about me than necessary.

    Don't become sellouts to the marketing idiots and people who want to track everything we do.

  • I would rather much like the opposite filter: I would let the website know that I'm not interested in stuff like sports news or royal births, and the website would then not include such things in its content or ads. Currently I am forced to search for interesting things among a lot of totally boring stuff.

    Yes, I know this will never happen. Too bad.
    • by gstoddart (321705)

      I would rather much like the opposite filter: I would let the website know that I'm not interested in stuff like sports news or royal births, and the website would then not include such things in its content or ads.

      Not me ... I want a plugin that makes advertisers want to show me stuff for all kinds of shit I'm not interested in. I want them to think I'm a 97 year old lesbian with a penchant for snuff, jasmine tea, and kittens.

      And then I want to block their ads and cookies and ignore the fuckers.

  • And I don't want to tell websites I like porn.
  • Since it's already being done, why not? As long as it's optional, it shouldn't be an issue. You can manage your Google ad preferences here [google.com], by the way, including opting out of personalization altogether. Note that you have to be logged in either for editing your preferences or for Google to track you.

    The only drawback here is that it will take a lot of engineering effort as well as time to get Firefox's preference estimates to come close to being as good as those of established ad companies.

  • Great idea (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dishwasha (125561) on Friday July 26, 2013 @09:33AM (#44390859)

    I think it's absolutely awesome that Mozilla is helping websites to target me to only my stated interests. This will ensure that I can never be exposed to any other thoughts or ideas outside of my narrow viewpoints and will make sure that I never develop any new interests.

  • Like chocolate ice cream? Not a useful idea.

    Here's a better idea. Let browsers send less, not more.

  • Is not a good thing. We are supposed to branch out and see different perspectives and have new experiences. We don't need any help in finding the things we know we are interested in and know a lot about. We need help in finding information that we are totally unaware of.
  • NO! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Ol Olsoc (1175323) on Friday July 26, 2013 @09:43AM (#44390949)
    I remember times when I wanted to download some apps and drivers for a broken PC. I was using a Mac to get them. The website refused to allow me to download them, because I was using a Mac, therefore I would only want the OSX apps, and didn't need that driver. I ended up having to grab another PC to get the files I needed. That was just a simple act of determining what I needed by what browser I was using. Only it was completely wrong.

    I don't want a personalized experience. I want to see and get what I need. And I don't need some website determining for me what I need.

    I really, really don't need nor want personalized ads for things that I have already bought.

    I have an idea - how about Firefaux adding a "I can haz Leave me teh Hell alone!" option that is the default? Then if we want some website to know that we have an obsession with Goatse and the PowerPuff Girls cartoons, we can let them have that knowledge, and can receive ads for Depends, laxatives, and Kidz Bop music CDs to improve our browsing experience.

  • by pesho (843750) on Friday July 26, 2013 @09:46AM (#44390979)
    The reason I go to the web is to find _new_ information. Having my browser railroad me into certain website, because of what some algorithm perceived to be my interest is defying the purpose of web browsing. What happened to discovering things you never heard of, developing new interests and broadening you horizons? Wasn't this one of the promises of the WWW? How did we even end up with the idea of using the vast sea if information at our disposal to make ourselves as narrow-minded as possible? I won't even comment on the breach of privacy that this entails. Many have already discussed it.
    • by washort (6555)

      Having my browser railroad me into certain website, because of what some algorithm perceived to be my interest is defying the purpose of web browsing.

      You didn't read the article, I think. The proposal is about finding ways for users to have the option to share information about themselves with a site, rather than the site having to use tracking cookies to collect your browsing history.

  • by Junior J. Junior III (192702) on Friday July 26, 2013 @09:52AM (#44391019) Homepage
    Wow, now I can finally figure out what I am interested in! I never had any way of knowing this stuff before.
  • I read through the blog and then posted this comment back.

    Mozilla may need to explore the question are they a marketing firm or a browser developer group. I see no value in having you, Mozilla, actively assisting marketing and advertising companies by collecting, synthesizing, and regurgitating my browser activity to websites.

    I already know my interests. I know my needs, and I do not need to be either "guided" to a targeted set of ads or have my interests displayed on a public device (be it phone or PC) f

  • "This guy sure loves porno!"
  • by gr8_phk (621180)
    Why the fuck can a web site already slurp up my browsing history? Never mind the browser pre-processing it into interests for them, I don't want them to have it at all. Please Firefox devs, plug the holes instead of making them more useful to web sites.
  • /. readers are not who they are trying to "help."

    We all know many people who don't know the first thing about where to go to find what they are looking for. They don't even use google...they are generally using their ISPs homepage because that's what was set up when they got interweb. To these folks, the site with the biggest flashing ad claiming to have what they are after must be okay...right?

    If this was an option in the browser that you had to opt-in to, fine. I certainly don't want it but it might help

  • Does the twisted logic behind this remind anyone else of MAD? I.e. Disarmament leads to war; nuclear buildup leads to peace. I actually think this a good idea. Your average person (outside of slashdot) thinks that ads are a great trade off for free websites, and no amount of nagging them about the panopticon society is going to change that. With this proposal, a least you get to keep most of your privacy. And, hey, no world war since the bomb. Unintuitive sometimes works.
  • Kamineko writes "Kamineko is proposing that the Firefox browser fucks off. The proposal is designed to prevent websites personalizing content to visitors' tastes, regardless of sites sucking up a user's browsing history, as they do currently. 'Let's say Firefox fucks off' says Kamineko, a dude from the internet. 'As a user, I would have complete control over which of my interests are shared, and with which websites.'"

    This is the result of an extended experiment. The idea is that Firefox fucks off and is jus

  • Seeing some search I did 2 days ago now following me around the internet is like 1984. eBay has started pushing activity-based sales at you, so now every time I log in I see ads for the laptop I sold a year or two a go. And, I'm sure like most people we do innocuous searches all the time. I dig around for new house info, but I'm not seriously considering one any time soon.

  • I don't want to be walled in based on what I've looked at before. I like running across off-beat articles on websites that pique my curiosity. It's half the fun of surfing.

    This proposal would try to decide what I'm "interested" in, and filter results and pages to that which I've seen before.

    That wouldn't be much fun at all!

  • by ThatsNotPudding (1045640) on Friday July 26, 2013 @12:32PM (#44392591)
    How about an automated browser session or even just a tab that randomly visits sites soley based on a well-crafted list of interests tailored such that they cut across the classic advertising pigeon holes to the point of providing untargetable or irrelevant profiles to advertisers ('where do I put a Rodeo Clown passionate about 18th century German opera and the taxonomy of Indonesian arboreal fungus?').

    At the very least, it would decrease their signal to noise ratio and serve up some mildly interesting adverts.
  • you can enter in your browser your intrests, which is transmitted in an Open format upon requests to web sites. You can whitelist/blacklist sites, and pick who gets to see what prefrences.

    The average consumer will buy into this, because they like relivant ads, they like shoping, and they like consumerism.

    Those who don't want to use it can just not use it.

    So instead of guessing what your into, just have the user fill it out. Then ad companies can target you for what you like, want, and mabey even need. It ad
  • This is why I've been using Duckduckgo instead of going straight to Google. This is why I fucking hate going to Amazon: I don't need a website second-guessing what I'm looking for! I have disparate interests; I follow links to weird shit put up by friends and acquaintances; I am perfectly capable of navigating a web page and using CTRL+F to home in on what I'm looking for. Your 'helpful' user agent GETS IN MY FUCKING WAY.

    I don't need my results pre-pruned to flatter my politics. If someone links me to the r

  • Seriously, what the fuck?! Companies that do shit like this are only going to hurt themselves in the PR department. Just STOP. You don't need to know every fucking thing about me. It's none of your fucking business.

If money can't buy happiness, I guess you'll just have to rent it.

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