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tomhudson's Journal: A facebook "Like" button that respects privacy 9

Journal by tomhudson

The current dynamic Facebook "Like" button doesn't conform to Canadian privacy laws, since users who access any site with that button automatically ping Facebook servers, and Facebook tracks their viewing the site - even if they're not currently logged into Facebook - via their Facebook user cookies.

It also tends to break some css layouts by injecting code into the page (and the occasional cascades of javascript errors). It also sometimes just breaks, because Facebook's servers don't respond in a timely manner.

The solution is to go back to a static button, along with a redirect, while keeping the total number of clicks to display stored locally instead of on Facebooks' servers.

This way, only people who actually click on the static button will actually trigger an interaction with Facebook servers.

As a bonus, pages will finish rendering quicker.

Next up - tackling the same privacy concerns wrt google analytics. For most people, awstats, maybe combined with a few perl scripts, gives more than enough information.

-- Barbie

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A facebook "Like" button that respects privacy

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  • . . . but I've been using the Disconnect extension for Chrome that claims to block Google Analytics, Facebook Connect, and a couple of other third party trackers. For Firefox, I only log into Facebook from a separate profile to segregate my other browsing from being tracked. I don't mind non-identifiable tracking, but the idea of Zuckerberg et al having access to a detailed browsing profile linked to my real identity is way too intrusive for my liking.
    • by windcask (1795642)

      Let me get this straight...you think that an extension for Google's browser is going to block Google tracking you?

      And unless you looked through the code and compiled it from source yourself, I doubt its 'open-sourcyness' is going to keep the binary from calling home more often than you'd like it to.

      Then again, maybe I'm just being cynical.

      • by tomhudson (43916)
        Well, they *could* run wireshark. Google has more to lose by gaming users in that sense, than in gaming them to believe that ads displayed with every email aren't just another form of spam.
        • by base3 (539820)
          Google could indeed--I agree that Google has a lot to lose should the hoi polloi get creeped out by something they do rather than what they could do.
      • by base3 (539820)
        Oh, I do get the irony. I just don't see the upside for Google in being caught out blatantly in any shenanigans they don't admit to in the case of Chrome.
  • I have no problem with Google Analytics. Every permutation I have found of their various domain names are listed in my /etc/hosts as 0.0.0.0 - problem solved.

    • by tomhudson (43916)
      I'm not talking about blocking them from tracking me, but about building web sites that don't facilitate "behavioural tracking". That means getting rid of files pulled from 3rd-party sites except when the user asks for it.

      So, GA would be out, and so would the javascript facebook like button.

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