jlelse's Blog

Thoughts, stories and ideas

Privacy

My thoughts on Cloudflare Web Analytics

in 💭 Thoughts

Cloudflare currently celebrate their 10th birthday and launch a new product or feature everyday for a week. Today they launched Cloudflare Web Analytics. Until now you had to proxy your site through Cloudflare to use their analytics, because they collected those stats – “at the edge” – on their servers. But now they are adding an JavaScript-based option, similar to Google Analytics and all the new privacy-focused analytics services like GoatCounter and Plausible.

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Nothing to hide

in 💭 Thoughts

Tonight I spoke with my girlfriend on the phone and we talked for two hours about all kinds of topics. One topic was that I don’t think corona tracking apps, where the data is stored centrally, are a good idea because of privacy and stuff. My girlfriend, on the other hand, said why is privacy important at all? The argument that nobody needs to know what I do with whom, when, where and for how long was not convincing to her.

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I found a loophole to prevent those pesky cookie notices

in 🔗 Links

Mattias Geniar found a way to not have to display a cookie warning on his website and it’s surprisingly simple: Stop. Collecting. Everyone’s. Personal. Browsing. Data. On. Every. Website. I applied his amazingly simple trick to my website a while back and it seems that it still works. 😱

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in 💬 Micro

I just added a page that lists all the photos from this blog. It’s my alternative to using Instagram. Everyone can view my photos without the need to create an account, seeing advertisements and getting tracked. It was also a little challenge getting Hugo to filter and list all posts.

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Testing uMatrix

in 💬 Micro

I’m now trying to get used to the browser extension uMatrix. It’s a bit more advanced than uBlock Origin by the same developer and it let’s me select on which domains to allow or block cookies, css, scripts etc. I enabled the setting to block JavaScript by default, because I noticed that especially news sites sometimes load much faster (or at all) with JavaScript disabled and of course this reduces the amount of tracking a lot.

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Avast sells user's browsing data

in 🔗 Links

Stories like this are a great reminder to not install any “freeware malware protection” software and unknowingly opt-in to data collection. If possible switch to Linux, or if you want to stay on Windows, use the integrated Windows Defender. The data obtained by Motherboard and PCMag includes Google searches, lookups of locations and GPS coordinates on Google Maps, people visiting companies' LinkedIn pages, particular YouTube videos, and people visiting porn websites.

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Use system fonts to make your site load faster

Although it’s great to self-host your web fonts instead of using a service like Google Fonts (that may decrease the privacy of your site’s visitors, because Google can log IP addresses and other stuff), it’s probably not necessary to use web fonts at all. Every PC or tablet or phone has a lot of fonts already pre-installed, which are more than perfect for displaying your website (unless you take a lot of care about corporate design or your personal brand and require a specific font).

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Why I quit using Google

in 🔗 Links

Kyle Piira explains, why he stopped using Google. He used Google products for nearly everything: Emails, calendars, contacts, entertainment, news, web browser, online storage, domains, analytics, ads, … But one day he got an email that changed everything: “Your account has been suspended” It was only a second account but it made him rethink everything. He then switched to mainly FOSS alternatives. It’s definitely a great read! It also reminds me a little of my own rethinking.

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iPrivacy

in 🔗 Links

Matt Baer, the creator of the writing platform write.as, writes about Apple’s privacy focused marketing and how that doesn’t matter when your iPhone is full of apps like Facebook, Instagram or Google. Though I appreciate the ads for what they are, it’s silly to see iPhone advertised as a privacy panacea when every one has Facebook, Instagram, Google, Pinterest, and every ad-supported “free” app in the App Store installed on it.

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Google Alternatives for More Privacy and Less Monopoly

in ✍️ Posts

I hope I don’t have to explain why Google is bad, but just to give a few reasons to switch to alternatives: You’ll probably get better privacy because those alternatives collect less data about you, your data won’t get sold to advertisers or government organizations that easily and you help to prevent a monopoly. Sometimes alternatives are also just better than the Google product and don’t lock you in so much.

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Jan-Lukas Else