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gotitbro
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startpage.com

Post by gotitbro » Fri Mar 17, 2017 10:52 am

StartPage (www.startpage.com) is a website that displays search results from Google while removing any personally identifiable information.
They claim to protect the privacy of a user by not storing any cookies, IP addresses and other data though they do show ads.

I found that they are detecting the usage of adblockers on their site by loading this URL:

Code: Select all

https://www.startpage.com/js/abp.js?adType=1&advertiser=1&advertising=1
as you can see this is created specifically for detecting the use of an adblocker. This URL is blocked by ?adtype= filter in EasyList.

This is a concern as one of the major factors for using this site is protecting your privacy by not submitting any information to the search engines. This behavior is very indiscreet of a company which claims to protect the privacy of its users at any cost.

I request anyone who reads this to submit a request regarding more information about this behavior and ask why a company which claims to be a proponent in protecting user privacy is carrying out such indecent tasks.

The report can be submitted on [email protected], or a complaint can be submitted through here: index.php?/Tickets/Submit/RenderForm

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smed79
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Post by smed79 » Fri Mar 17, 2017 11:02 am

Code: Select all

https://www.ixquick.fr/
https://www.ixquick.de/
https://www.ixquick.eu/
https://www.ixquick.com/
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barbaz
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Post by barbaz » Sat Mar 18, 2017 5:11 am

Thanks for the heads-up.

informaction: https://forums.informaction.com/viewtop ... 18&t=22656

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Post by gotitbro » Sat Mar 18, 2017 11:12 am

@barbaz I also tried finding the mention of adblock on their website but couldn't. They still haven't responded to multiple requests of information for this breach of privacy. And nice work with finding the tracking pixels.

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Post by smed79 » Sat Mar 18, 2017 11:25 am

barbaz wrote:Temporarily use another search engine, such as DuckDuckGo,
Not easy to convince me (that they do not do the same thing)
- viewtopic.php?p=106152#p106152
- https://github.com/easylist/easylist/issues/284 (added as a custom filters)
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Post by barbaz » Sat Mar 18, 2017 4:13 pm

smed79 wrote:
Sat Mar 18, 2017 11:25 am
Not easy to convince me (that they do not do the same thing)
Where do you see DuckDuckGo tracking adblocker usage?

Those links show that DuckDuckGo is checking the browser type from the user-agent string. But the browser type is anyway sent by the browser with every request.

Not so for the adblock status. No sane browser sends a "X-Im-Using-An-Adblocker: 1" type request header everywhere.

It would seem to be far less invasive to check the browser type (not even version!) than to track whether user has an adblocker, wouldn't it?

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Post by smed79 » Sat Mar 18, 2017 4:33 pm

barbaz wrote:Where do you see DuckDuckGo tracking adblocker usage?
I mean by the "same thing" tracking in general.
barbaz wrote:It would seem to me to be far less invasive to check the browser type ...
Maybe u're right but It's up to EasyList Authors https://easylist.to/2011/08/31/what-is- ... cking.html
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Post by barbaz » Sat Mar 18, 2017 4:54 pm

smed79 wrote:
Sat Mar 18, 2017 4:33 pm
It's up to EasyList Authors https://easylist.to/2011/08/31/what-is- ... cking.html
As far as 'Will EasyPrivacy block any of this?', true that. :-)

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