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Author Topic:   Not silver - Internet privacy - behavioral tracking & manipulation
Scott Martin
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Posts: 11377
Registered: Apr 93

iconnumber posted 03-09-2013 02:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This is a first rough draft of something that a discussion the moderators are having about the problem which is developing with the changes to Photobucket.

I am not sure my thoughts are well or thoroughly being communicated ...
I am not sure it will be appreciated by our members ....

So as I ruminate, I thought I would post it anyway .....

You might also find this WSJ article relevant Is Smart Making Us Dumb?


    Not silver - Internet privacy - behavioral tracking & manipulation

Unlike the Silver Salon Forums which is free and public, there are very few sites/apps/things on the Internet that are really free. Free generally means sacrificing your privacy. At the SSF we do what can be done to protect your privacy. More later....

If what others do on the Internet, was done in the real world to track (stalk) you (or your kids) .... Most people wouldn’t stand for it.

And now with ubiquitous facial &/or voice recognition, registered discount cards, etc., the real world is fast becoming a place full of stalkers. At your brick & mortar store checkout if your face/voice isn’t being recorded, please know it soon will be. The reasonable excuse will be security and that partial truth only hides the larger truth about what they earn by behavioral tracking of you and selling that info.

If you are unfamiliar with "Collusion" a Firefox plugin... You might want to consider it... it will begin to open your eyes.

Gary Kovacs of Mozilla (Firefox) gave a very interesting talk at Ted and introduces us to Collusion. Watch the video here: Gary Kovacs: Tracking the trackers

If you want to get/try Collusion for Firefox get it here.

At the SSF one of the reasons we don’t accept banner advertising is to protect members’ privacy. Members who use third party photo hosting sites (like: photobucket) to host photos for posting at the SSF, may inadvertently be helping the stalkers. Increasingly these third party photo hosting sites are using technology, similar to the tech in banner adds, so they can stalk/track you with the hosted photos. Since the photos are not hosted at the SSF they can do behavioral tracking of visitors at the SSF. It’s the third party photo hosting sites tracking you and not the SSF.

The Silver Salon Forums has over ten years of photo postings.... slowly we are replacing the images from third party photo hosting sites with direct links to copies of the photos now stored at the SSF. It will take time to convert all old photo postings. And this is a never ending process since with each new post there will be new images posted from third party photo hosting sites. As the third party photo hosting sites convert to the stalking/tracking technology they are making it more difficult for us to capture posted images.

We ask (but don’t require) members use private personal web space to host photos. Most ISP’s give their customers at least 10 megs to store images/info. It is strongly recommended that members use private ISP web storage.

For your, and other SSF member’s, safety/privacy find out what your ISP provides in the way of private confidential storage space and make sure your ISP isn’t using your "private storage" to behavioral track you and your friends.

I could write a book but this is the Silver Salon Forums, so an in depth discussion of Internet privacy - behavioral tracking & manipulation is off subject.


You might also find the Duckduckgo page Dont Track Us interesting/informative.

And then there is How-to stop getting tracked in your Browser.
Ads following you everywhere? Stop those and worse.


As it regards the Silver Salon Forums, it looks like we will no longer be recommending Photobucket and need to discover a replacement for members who are not inclined to use the more private personal web storage provided by most ISP's.

What would you recommend?

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Sgt Silver

Posts: 41
Registered: May 99

iconnumber posted 03-09-2013 10:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Sgt Silver     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Also troubling:
So many businesses I call have Caller ID to tell them who I am. I'm speaking about business calls, but is still unnerving, particularly when I have to tell them I am who they already see that I am.


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Scott Martin
Forum Master

Posts: 11377
Registered: Apr 93

iconnumber posted 03-02-2014 11:29 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Today a new poster used Photobucket. No wonder since it was still on the How to post photos page.

After seeing over 15 trackers (see below) associated with viewing the hosted images, I felt it was time for Photobucket to go away.

Here are the trackers associated with the most recent Photobucket posted images:

  1. Amazon Associates - Advertising
  2. AppNexus - Advertising
  3. Casale Media - Advertising
  4. Criteo - Advertising
  5. eXelate - Beacons
  6. Glam Media - Advertising
  7. Google Analytics - Analytics
  8. LiveRamp - Beacons
  9. Lotame - Beacons
  10. NetRatings SiteCensus - Analytics
  11. New Relic - Analytics
  12. PubMatic - Advertising
  13. Quantcast - Advertising
  14. Quigo AdSonar - Advertising
  15. SAS Beacons - ScoreCard
  16. Research Beacon - Beacons

Those of you who are continuing to use Photobucket should switch to Picturetrail but know its just a matter of time before Picturetrail starts to do the same. In the thread (not silver) The Internet - Internet stalking - Privacy there is a long and rambling discussion about this sort of internet stalking.

As for where to put your photos, my recommendation is to use your ISP provided web storage. See another lengthy discussion: Photo hosting

The bottom line for this round of investigation is that personal FTP ISP file storage is the way to go and not the "free" image hosting sites.

If anyone can recommend a free site which is easy to use and is respectful of the user/visitors privacy, let me know so I might check it out.

I continue to recommend ISP provided private person web storage.

Near every ISP provides their users with storage space (usual 10 megs or more).
The basics: Set up a password for FTP. (Some ISP's include FTP in their dashboard.) Use one of the many free FTP file transfer protocol programs to upload your images. Paste the stored image's URL into your post using the forum image tags [img] [/img] before and after the URL.

To me, FTP is a solution that insures your and any forum visitors' privacy (unless your ISP is not to be trusted) and it is a process that is not going to change. I have been using FTP for images/PDFs/videos/MP3s/etc. since the 1990's and for decades it has been the same FTP program/protocol without change.

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