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Tag: Chrome

What can you use instead of Google and Facebook? [Updated]

In recent months I too have been moving away from Google. I ditched evil Facebook a couple of years ago and haven’t looked back. But I had been holding out for Google to follow through on their promises. They haven’t and it now feels like the Antarctic will melt before Google will change their business practices.

So, searches are now with DuckDuckGo, Ecosia, and StartPage. And recently, I’ve been switching from Gmail to ProntoMail. I no longer use Chrome, except on rare occasions when I need to access Google services. WhatsApp is an extension of Facebook, and so I’ve never used it. I use the much safer Signal and Telegram instead.

Tom Jackson, BBC »

If Google knows everything you have ever searched for, it has a detailed catalogue of your interests, hopes and fears. Facebook knows who your friends are, what you like and what you talk about online.

Online data scandals have raised concerns about the power that information brings. Facebook is facing a fine of $5bn for its part in the notorious misuse of data by political consultancy Cambridge Analytica.

Concern is growing. A survey by the Washington-based digital agency Rad Campaign and analytics firm Lincoln Park Strategies last year, for example, found three out of five responders in the US distrust social media when it comes to protecting their privacy.

I think as more and more people recognize that Facebook, Google, and others are simply using them, they too will look for alternatives.

UPDATE » Here’s a similar take the subject from TechAltar »

Apple neutered ad blockers in Safari, but users didn’t say a thing

Meanwhile many developers and users have been blasting Google for a similar plan in Chrome.

Catalin Cimpanu at ZDNet writes »

Over the course of the last year and a half, Apple has effectively neutered ad blockers in Safari, something that Google has been heavily criticized all this year.

But unlike Google, Apple never received any flak, and came out of the whole process with a reputation of caring about users’ privacy, rather than attempting to “neuter ad blockers.” The reasons may be Apple’s smaller userbase, the fact that changes rolled out across years instead of months, and the fact that Apple doesn’t rely on

and »

Apple realized it didn’t need web developers creating extensions for Safari directly, as they could simply leverage the apps in its App Store to provide Safari users with extra features.

and »

With the release of iOS 13, Apple ditched the old Safari Extensions Gallery for good, and officially announced it was deprecating legacy extensions. Currently, Safari users can’t install any legacy extension at all, regardless if it’s hosted on the Safari Extensions Gallery or not, or if they’re using iOS or macOS.

» Read more at ZDNet…

Firefox will perform DNS over HTTPS greatly increasing user privacy and security » Update » Google follows and will test DoH in Chrome

Even if you are visiting a site over HTTPS, your DNS query that your computer uses to look up the address of the site, is sent over an unencrypted connection. This means that even if you are browsing over HTTPS, a third=party could be examining the packets sent to and from your computer and know which sites you are visiting, even if the don’t know the contents.

DNS-over-HTTPS (DoH) encrypts the address look up of the site you want to visit. This increase user privacy and makes it harder for third-party eavesdropping. It also makes it more difficult for ISP-level blocking.

This extra layer of security ideally prevents third-parties, such as network service providers, from easily seeing the websites internet users visit, and prevents miscreants from tampering with domain-name look-ups. Though DoH provides more privacy than the status quo, it’s controversial where lack of privacy is assumed or required, such as monitored environments that insist on content filtering, among other reasons.

Back in July, the UK Internet Services Providers’ Association nominated Mozilla for its “internet villain of the year” award because DoH breaks DNS-based content filters put in place to deny access to explicit, obscene or otherwise objectionable websites. A few days later, the trade group reversed itself after online blowback.

» Read more by Thomas Claburn at The Register…

» How to enable DNS-over-HTTPS in Firefox at TechRepublic

» Google Chrome steps up their game and follows Firefox » ZDNet

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