Monday, February 20, 2012

Microsoft: Google tricks IE into tracking users through cookies

Talk about companies with their hands in the cookie(s) jar...

Microsoft is accusing Google of circumventing default privacy settings in certain browsers. Last week, Ars Technica reported that only Safari was affected by this. Now, Microsoft's realized the same exploit script Google is using on Apple's browser also works in Internet Explorer.

Google has since fired back, claiming that Microsoft's privacy policies are "outdated."

Read on... this is an interesting one...

In Internet Explorer, Microsoft's Platform for Privacy Preferences Project Compact Policy Statement, or "P3P Policy" is required for any third-party cookies to work. This statement essentially makes the browser/application/whatever "promise" that it won't use cookies to track the comings and goings of the user.

Microsoft is claiming a simple script (one in which a certain line reads "this is not a P3P policy") is being sent by the search giant to trick IE into allowing the tracking cookies through the door.

Google released a lengthy statement to Ars Technica on the matter, chiding Microsoft's privacy protection schema as counter-intuitive to modern web functionality.

Still, Google... "Don't be evil."

Remember that one?

Good luck sleeping tonight...

The updated article cites Carnegie Mellon privacy researcher Lorrie Faith Cranor, who says Facebook and "many other sites" also engage in P3P trickery.
"Facebook's 'Like' button, the ability to sign into websites using your Google account 'and hundreds more modern Web services' would be broken by Microsoft's P3P policy, Google says. 'It is well known that it is impractical to comply with Microsoft’s request while providing this web functionality,' [Google Senior VP of Communications and Policy Rachel] Whetstone said. 'Today the Microsoft policy is widely non-operational.'"
How important is it to you to keep your browsing habits a secret? (I sense many reading this are blushing right now. :3 )

Where do we draw the line? Where can we draw the line? Is surveillance-free browsing worth giving up in spite of the increasingly social and open Internet?

SOURCE: Ars Technica

1 comment:

  1. To me these were exciting Google Tricks :) thanks for sharing such a nice Column :)