Best Firefox add-ons [was "plugin(s)"]

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freakazoid
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Re: Best Firefox add-ons [was "plugin(s)"]

#61 Post by freakazoid » Thu Feb 25, 2021 12:36 pm

AdNauseum sounds like a terrible idea. I wouldn't want to reward sites by having it auto-clicking on any ads it encounters.

If you block ads to begin with, how can ad companies construct a profile?

Even the Lifehacker author couldn't get AdNauseum to work properly:
I confess, I couldn’t get AdNauseum to produce effective results on my Firefox installation—nothing appeared “clicked” in my vault—but the extension’s adblocking capabilities worked wonderfully. However, I have a pretty unique adblocking setup at home, which could explain my issues.
The author did like the adblocking capabilities, which is basically built on uBlock Origin, so that doesn't say anything new. Just stick with uBO and that should be enough.
is it stealth? ;)

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Midas
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Re: Best Firefox add-ons [was "plugin(s)"]

#62 Post by Midas » Fri Feb 26, 2021 4:41 am

freakazoid wrote:AdNauseum sounds like a terrible idea. I wouldn't want to reward sites by having it auto-clicking on any ads it encounters.
Your choice, which I respect. Myself, I couldn't care less.

freakazoid wrote:If you block ads to begin with, how can ad companies construct a profile?
I fail to grasp your intended implications, care to explain them?

freakazoid wrote:Even the Lifehacker author couldn't get AdNauseum to work properly:
I confess, I couldn’t get AdNauseum to produce effective results on my Firefox installation—nothing appeared “clicked” in my vault—but the extension’s adblocking capabilities worked wonderfully. However, I have a pretty unique adblocking setup at home, which could explain my issues.
The author did like the adblocking capabilities, which is basically built on uBlock Origin, so that doesn't say anything new. Just stick with uBO and that should be enough.
It's working alright on this side, as the previous screenshot confirms.

Freedom of choice is what I like most about freeware.

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Midas
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Re: Best Firefox add-ons [was "plugin(s)"]

#63 Post by Midas » Fri Feb 26, 2021 5:04 am

I'm sure ad-blocking also sounded terrible to some people at inception. So, here's a few quotes I find apropos...

AdNauseam is a free browser extension designed to obfuscate browsing data and protect users from tracking by advertising networks. At the same time, AdNauseam serves as a means of amplifying users' discontent with advertising networks that disregard privacy and facilitate bulk surveillance agendas.
As data hoarding corporations keep sabotaging the constitution of the Do Not Track standard, and ad networks keep selling our profiles behind our backs, we are left with no choice but to fight back. From the studios that brought you TrackMeNot, the browser extension that keeps searching to obfuscate your search queries, comes yet another data obfuscation plugin.
You can try to combat data-collection in all kinds of fun ways, including manually blocking or clearing the data companies have on you and preventing yourself from being tracked as much as possible with various adblockers, anti-tracking extensions, and privacy-themed browsers, but considering the number of systems out there tracking you, those methods can only be so effective. AdNauseum works on a different principle. As Lee McGuigan writes over at the MIT Technology Review:
AdNauseam is like conventional ad-blocking software, but with an extra layer. Instead of just removing ads when the user browses a website, it also automatically clicks on them. By making it appear as if the user is interested in everything, AdNauseam makes it hard for observers to construct a profile of that person. It’s like jamming radar by flooding it with false signals. And it’s adjustable. Users can choose to trust privacy-respecting advertisers while jamming others.
To throw ad networks off your trail AdNauseam "clicks" blocked and hidden ads, polluting your data profile and injecting noise into the economic system that drives online surveillance. The interactive AdVault allows you to visualize and explore the ads that AdNauseam has captured.
In January of this year, the Chrome store kicked out AdNauseam, an obfuscation and anti-tracking tool that unblocks ads from websites that have adopted the EFF's Do Not Track policy and promised to respect user demands for privacy.

Plenty of further reading stuff at https://adnauseam.io/press.html.

bitcoin
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Re: Best Firefox add-ons [was "plugin(s)"]

#64 Post by bitcoin » Fri Feb 26, 2021 7:37 am

Midas wrote:
Fri Feb 26, 2021 5:04 am
In January of this year, the Chrome store kicked out AdNauseam, an obfuscation and anti-tracking tool that unblocks ads from websites that have adopted the EFF's Do Not Track policy and promised to respect user demands for privacy.
that might be the best endorsement of all

freakazoid
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Re: Best Firefox add-ons [was "plugin(s)"]

#65 Post by freakazoid » Fri Feb 26, 2021 11:54 am

Midas wrote:
Fri Feb 26, 2021 4:41 am
I fail to grasp your intended implications, care to explain them?
The whole point of AdNauseum is to confuse ad companies by providing fake interest data via ad clicks. If you block the ads or don't click on the ads, ad companies can't construct an accurate profile without some form of browser fingerprinting so that's what I'm referring to. Granted that preventing browser fingerprinting is a neverending battle.

This extension is by the same authors of TrackMeNot, which floods Google search results with false info. This is also not a technique I recommend unless you don't use a VPN or something.

Like you said, if you believe that an option for a problem fits your needs, then by all means, keep using it.
is it stealth? ;)

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Midas
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Re: Best Firefox add-ons [was "plugin(s)"]

#66 Post by Midas » Sat Feb 27, 2021 6:35 am

I see. Sure, there'll be some downsides like the ones you point and they have to be considered.

I was never a user of TrackMeNot but can easily understand it may cause the unintended polluting of search results, something that is not a desirable outcome for most people.

But that result depends on a significant number of users engaging the add-on, a scenario I doubt very much has ever been the case. I have a hunch search engines would quickly take action should that come to be, plus I don't fool myself believing the power lies with the people on these matters.

Ads, OTOH, although generators of business revenue, are not something most people want to willingly engage with. For me, they are little more than parasitic noise bogging down my information channels, so I'd better not have to deal with them.

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