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Old 07-13-2013, 07:12 PM   #1
MattW
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Amazon outdoing PRISM

So Amazon's 1Button App for Chrome and Firefox not only sends each and every website you visit to Amazon servers, it also reports your Google searches (plus results) to Amazon and Alexa.

And despite what their privacy statement says, because this data is sent to an Amazon URL your browser automatically and very helpfully includes the cookies Amazon uses to identify your account, so this information is everything but anonymous -- in fact, it allows Amazon to store your entire browsing history, Google searches (and, as a bonus, execute arbitrary Javascript code on any third party website).

Now, I'm not getting into the whole Is-Amazon-Evil-Or-Not Debate (in fact, I think very highly of their customer service and have been a loyal customer for years), but whichever way you look at it, this is just wrong.

The apologists might say that Amazon doesn't make use of this data, but why does it then collect it in the first place? And by doing so compromises its customers privacy and security since the 1Button App can easily be modified to allow third parties to spy on you (and even read the content of your SSL encrypted HTTPS webtraffic) as shown here:

http://blog.kotowicz.net/2013/07/jea...-1-button.html

Matt
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Old 07-13-2013, 07:17 PM   #2
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The apologists might say that Amazon doesn't make use of this data, but why does it then collect it in the first place?
What will the don't-give-a-damn-ists say?
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Old 07-13-2013, 07:23 PM   #3
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What will the don't-give-a-damn-ists say?
Something like; "Duh. Old news." And; "If you want privacy, stay off the internet."

I actually know a few folks who do exactly that.
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Old 07-13-2013, 07:27 PM   #4
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What will the don't-give-a-damn-ists say?
Probably something snarky like "What will the don't-give-a-damn-ists say?"

Just a guess.
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Old 07-13-2013, 08:14 PM   #5
BeccaPrice
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does the Do Not Track add-in for Firefox negate this?
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Old 07-13-2013, 08:43 PM   #6
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does the Do Not Track add-in for Firefox negate this?
Probably not. If it did, that would mean that one extension could control the behaviour of another.

The 1Button App even undercuts a website's CSP (protection against XSS, i.e. malicious third party java scripts), because the 1Button App Javascript code gets executed by the browser directly without checking security limitations (the thinking behind this is that the user trusts the extension because he has installed it).

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Old 07-13-2013, 09:01 PM   #7
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I would not install this app in the first place, but in many ways this is no different from the ever present javascript from Google, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, etc. Every time you go to a site with that social networking and/or advertising crap javascript on it, it's phoning home especially if you have clicked to keep your browser logged in to those sites unless you use something like noscript to disable all javascript. I usually disable almost every source of javascript unless the page won't render.

Last edited by bgalbrecht; 07-13-2013 at 09:06 PM.
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Old 07-13-2013, 09:28 PM   #8
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Old news... Don't like it? Don't install it.

I know we've been down this path before, but this is why I've got AdBlock, Ghostery and BetterPrivacy loaded. Ain't a perfect solution (should be blocking Javascript), but it's better than nothing.

Privacy on the Internet has been gone for a long time. Get used to it.
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Old 07-13-2013, 10:27 PM   #9
JD Gumby
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I know we've been down this path before, but this is why I've got AdBlock, Ghostery and BetterPrivacy loaded. Ain't a perfect solution (should be blocking Javascript), but it's better than nothing.
...yet no NoScript? Weird. :P

And it's just a browser toolbar, really, the type of thing we've been quietly and gently asking our less tech-savvy relatives to STOP INSTALLING THAT CRAP EVERY TIME I TURN MY BACK!!!!!, er, sorry 'bout that, for the last 15+ years.

At least it has one positive aspect, unlike Yahoo, Google, Ask.com, etc., toolbars - I don't think Amazon have been scummy enough to bundle their toolbar with other software and make it a very easy-to-miss opt-out.
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Old 07-13-2013, 10:59 PM   #10
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Add me to the 'it sux' mob!

When an employee (or ex emp) bellows out loud about this and other intrusive/invasive/snooping etc conduct, be it by companies or governments, they get called names, even 'traitor'.

Yeah right ....

If companies and governments want the info on a person or a population in their own country or another country then why not be up front about it. Why hide or try to hide their conduct.

Yeah ... it sux!!

PS Carrier pigeons have never been better placed to make a comeback, lol
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Old 07-14-2013, 01:17 AM   #11
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Until Amazon has the power to arrest and indefinitely detain me for things I buy, I'm not too worried about targeted advertising and the like.
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Old 07-14-2013, 01:34 AM   #12
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I would say that the real answer is to make improper use of the data a Felony and have very high civil penalties awarded, if/when anyone gets caught misusing the data collected. The same for ignoring an opt out or lack of opt in violation. Additional penalties for any corporate coverup.

Luck;
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Old 07-14-2013, 03:23 AM   #13
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Forgive my stupidity but what is Amazon's 1Button app? Is it an iOS app?
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Old 07-14-2013, 03:50 AM   #14
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I've never heard of it, either, so you're not alone .
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Old 07-14-2013, 04:04 AM   #15
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So Amazon's 1Button App for Chrome and Firefox ...
and additionally it is explained in the link in the first post.
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