Outing the trackers

Earlier this month, I had written about Firefox and its new “Enhanced Privacy Protection”. If you follow me around, you know a couple of things:

  • I’m concerned about websites tracking me as I spend my time online reading various things. I want to be in charge and don’t want options that something or someone else has decided are good for me
  • I’ve used an advertising blocker for a long time. My current tool is uBlock Origin or the actual blocker built in and enabled in the browser I’m using

The browser I’m currently using is Opera and version 65 takes it to an interestingly new level. So, of course, I have its anti-tracking feature turned on. It’s actually the first thing you find in Opera’s preferences so you can’t miss it.

Now, that’s been around for a long time.

What’s new is the next step in openness. In the URL bar, there’s a little shield to let you know when blocking is active. It gets really interesting when you click on that shield.

I went to the landing page of a newspaper that I read online.

By this count, 23 ads and 10 trackers were blocked. Each of those would require a bit or a lot of bandwidth to download if they weren’t blocked. My internet access is slow enough as it is so I appreciate any opportunity to speed it up. In this case, by blocking. Opera claims “up to three faster” by using its tool.

I can’t confirm or argue the time claim except to note that it definitely appears faster when I load the page. And, maybe a calculated value isn’t all that significant; the fact that I think it’s faster is enough.

This window goes further.

When you click on the “List of blocked trackers”, you get a sense of just what is going on. Without this tool, I’d miss it completely.

At this time, because of the novelty and the ease to view this list, I’m spending time looking at what appears in this list. I recognize some but certainly not all of them. Just who owns them and what do they do?

All of this just affirms what I’m doing by using the blocking tools.

How about you?

OTR Links 11/28/2019

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.