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re: How to feel about <a ping>? VIEW POST

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re: There is a thing I don't understand: why is tracking an issue? What is letting someone know that you clicked on a link somehow related to "privacy"?
 

It lets websites gather information about you.

But if you mean why that's a problem if it doesn't visibly affect the user, that's a good question. I don't care about it nearly as much as I used to, but the thought of third parties having that level of personal information about us is unnerving, since they can use it against us (for example, social media sites can filter what you see based on it so you don't see what everyone else does, or they could display a different price on an item if they know who you are and know you can afford it, etc). In the worst case, data like that can be weaponized (eg. 1984-style, here's an article talking more about the common worries: wired.com/insights/2014/08/armed-r...).

 

But if you mean why that's a problem if it doesn't visibly affect the user
Yes, my comment is aimed at that. I should have clarified.

It lets websites gather information about you.

Nevertheless, I don't see a problem here. You're hitting someone else's server just by visiting their site. A server that someone has to pay for you to use for free. They can infer a lot of things based on just your request, if they want to. It's like walking into a store and feel your privacy being violated by their CCTV cameras.

the thought of third parties having that level of personal information about us is unnerving

It's not personal information. In any case they're inferring your behavior. That's something that can be done even without js. They're not installing a spyware on your device without your explicit permission.

social media sites can filter what you see based on it so you don't see what everyone else does

They don't need to track your clicks for that. It's outright censorship and a decision deliberately made by the people that run the site, or a decision pushed by a government. If it's morally acceptable would a different discussion.

Sure, tracking can be used for evil, but that's a deliberate decision made by the people running the websites, not a platform's problem.

Don't get me wrong, I get the concerns about privacy, but I find the line between a healthy concern about privacy and paranoia to be blurry, especially with the recent massive marketing campaign made by vpn companies.

A smartphone silently recording everything you say without any explicit permission is scary. Someone tracking what links you click in their own website is not.

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