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:
The point of this post: be careful out there, and don’t trust everything these companies say about privacy.