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Privacy Question

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Posted by Ken
May 14, 2022 at 11:18 PM

 

I know that privacy and data security are topics that are often discussed when we talk about programs, especially cloud-based apps.  And I know that we have covered issues like encryption and location of data servers as well as the terms and conditions of use.  One item that I do not believe we have discussed is web beacons and similar technologies.  I know little about them or how they are used and wanted to know if there are cases where these are as common as things like cookies, or if apps that utilize them should generally be avoided if one has concerns.

I would prefer to keep the conversation on a general level if possible because I do not know if this is a common practice that I am just not that aware of, and I do not want to single anybody out if it is.  I also know that the range of what is or is not acceptable with privacy and security is quite large among forum members, so I do know that some may have less tolerance for certain terms of agreement than others.  That is also okay, but right now, I could not place things like web beacons on that spectrum, and I would like a better understanding as I look at the various new apps that keep appearing (and some old ones I may be reconsidering as well).

Thanks,

—Ken

 


Posted by MadaboutDana
May 17, 2022 at 10:38 AM

 

I confess I know nothing about web beacons. As a Mac user, I tend to rely on Safari’s increasingly heavyweight suppression of naughty trackers to protect me (as well as MalwareBytes and AVG!). A couple of colleagues use Brave, the browser, which also suppresses tracking naughtiness as well as ads.

Ken wrote:
I know that privacy and data security are topics that are often
>discussed when we talk about programs, especially cloud-based apps.  And
>I know that we have covered issues like encryption and location of data
>servers as well as the terms and conditions of use.  One item that I do
>not believe we have discussed is web beacons and similar technologies.
>I know little about them or how they are used and wanted to know if
>there are cases where these are as common as things like cookies, or if
>apps that utilize them should generally be avoided if one has concerns.
> >I would prefer to keep the conversation on a general level if possible
>because I do not know if this is a common practice that I am just not
>that aware of, and I do not want to single anybody out if it is.  I also
>know that the range of what is or is not acceptable with privacy and
>security is quite large among forum members, so I do know that some may
>have less tolerance for certain terms of agreement than others.  That is
>also okay, but right now, I could not place things like web beacons on
>that spectrum, and I would like a better understanding as I look at the
>various new apps that keep appearing (and some old ones I may be
>reconsidering as well).
> >Thanks,
> >—Ken

 


Posted by Amontillado
May 17, 2022 at 12:00 PM

 

This is why I like plain text email. Nothing hides in it.

 


Posted by Ken
May 17, 2022 at 05:07 PM

 

I’ll elaborate a bit more from what I learned since posting, which is not a lot, but should give a bit more context.  My limited understanding is that things like web beacons, clear GIFs and single pixels can be found in web pages as well as email.  And while not a common as cookies, they are used a lot, and it seems that not everybody uses them for nefarious purposes.  It still does not make me a fan of the technology, but if a company discloses that they use this technology, I suspect that in practice it is not much different that cookies, but as I said, I have limited knowledge about this technology.

—Ken

 


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