foobar on computers, software and the rest of the world


Google anonymises IP addresses in their logs? Not really...

, posted: 12-Sep-2008 13:51

A few days ago it was reported that Google is finally going to anonymise IP addresses in their logfiles. This should ensure some privacy for us all, right? But apparently, the anonymisation Google will perform is not all it's made out to be. All it will do is erase the last 8 bits of the address. And what's worse, the cookie information will be left largely untouched, allowing continued tracking of browsing sessions.

I said some while ago that Google is getting too big and that we should do something about it. It's not necessary that we allow this one entity to develop an almost complete record of all our online activities.

Consequently, for some time now already I have disabled Google cookies on my browser. In addition, I block their ads using the Adblock extension for Firefox. That way, there is not even a request sent to their servers, which would give them an indication about my IP address or me visiting some particular page.

Basically, I am trying to stay completely off their radar.


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Comment by knoydart, on 12-Sep-2008 14:58

Another way is to use a proxy, something like Scroogle. You get googles search function without the tracking.


Author's note by foobar, on 12-Sep-2008 15:01

@knoydart: Sure, that helps. But consider that it is about more than just search. For example, every time you visit a site that serves Google ads (that's a WHOLE lot of sites right there!) you will get a Google cookie (and send it, if you have one already). From that moment on, Google can track your path across the Internet quite thoroughly, because there are so many sites out there that show Google ads.

All of this without ever having visited their search page.


Comment by knoydart, on 12-Sep-2008 15:11

ah well, will just hand over my data to google, prob a cats wisker better than handing your data over to someone like phorm as the Isps are in the UK


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New Zealand


  • Who I am: Software developer and consultant.
  • What I do: System level programming, Linux/Unix. C, C++, Java, Python, and a long time ago even Assembler.
  • What I like: I'm a big fan of free and open source software. I'm Windows-free, running Ubuntu on my laptop. To a somewhat lesser degree, I also follow the SaaS industry.
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