Jack Yan
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The Persuader

My personal blog, started in 2006.



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17.11.2012

YouTube leaks again

Because of privacy concerns and the unethical way Google has gone about its interest-based advertising, I never connected my YouTube and Google accounts. In fact, I block the YouTube cookie on my desktop machine and my laptop.
   Which makes these findings all the more interesting. Six to seven months ago, despite taking all these precautions, YouTube still managed to track a series of searches and videos I watched. There’s nothing dodgy here that I’m ashamed of (though a few of you may think differently!)—but the question is: how did YouTube leak?

   Since I block the YouTube cookie, the only way of seeing this stuff is through the Huawei, which I’ve managed to crash to the point of the buttons not working once a week now. The browsers I use there cannot block certain cookies, so I’ve checked in to my YouTube account there.
   I went in two weeks ago to find that YouTube had turned on interest-based advertising—despite my switching it off at Aboutads.info. Assuming this is separate from the NAI advertising body (though it shouldn’t be), I switched it off in YouTube as well. Lo and behold, venturing back in today, I find they have turned it back on again:

   You’d think Google, after being busted on its unethical use of cookies last year, would be more careful when it came to its other properties. I know, it’s better for Google to show these versus other sites that keep things to themselves, but it still makes you wonder how buggy things are there—especially as there’s no way to file a bug report for YouTube.
   The point of this post: be careful out there, and don’t trust everything these companies say about privacy.

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Filed under: internet, USA—Jack Yan @ 01.13

One Response to ‘YouTube leaks again’

  1. jaklumen says:

    Well, this would explain a lot why the Recommended Videos list seemed to change as I saw it. I appreciate your highlights on privacy concerns, Jack; I admit I hadn’t immediately thought of that. What irritated me more about it at the time was how badly it disrupted the flow of how that module worked. Before, it seemed to solely operate on keywords. Granted, that system had its flaws (and many vloggers seemed to abuse that, with long, long taglists) to get more views. But it was jarring to see results that clearly were not based on the video I’d just seen, but were based on some random video I’d viewed days before– and such results were persistent.

    By the way, I do like your results– if anyone would be ashamed of them, well, I’d have to question their taste. ;-)

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