Friday, April 1, 2016

Browser Interaction - Opera - Youtube - Danny Boy

This is going to be a boring post, but for me it was eyeopening. I cleared history on the browser Opera. I have also cleared out the other browsers in the unlikely event they share information. There were no open tabs when I quit Opera. I start Opera and tell it to go to www.youtube.com. Little Snitch will detect a "few" interactions with the web.
I tried this several times, usually there is a connection to sitecheck.opera.com, but not this time. When you see gstatic.com DNS is done, you see the Youtube tab in Opera.
The page is beginning to display. Some items are greyed out.


Doubleclick is owned by Google, or more precisely Alphabet. Sites that work with Doubleclick run a script on your browser when you visit. This results in what is known as a 3rd party cookie. Any other site that works with Doubleclick can detect the cookie and report the web pages you are viewing. This is the foundation of targeted ads.

At this point, I can type in Danny Boy at Youtube.







We aren't going to get an ad. If you see a connection to snlz.googlevideo.com you are going to get one of those ads that you can skip in five seconds.

It will take a few more runs, but I think this is not related to Danny Boy, regardless, after this we get to watch a video.


If you let Youtube keep playing there will be a few more connections to r*.googlevideo.com for every new video. Eventually Opera gets in the act of shipping out my browsing habits as well. So there you have it, on Christmas Eve, Stephen Northcutt listed to Danny Boy on Youtube and the whole world knew it before I published this post. Do they actually know it is Stephen Northcutt? No. They don't know it is me because I go to really serious efforts to conceal myself, here is a post about that. However, the odds are very high they know who you are and where you have been on the world wide web. I have a lot more research to do, but you can start with Panopticlick.


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