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Originally Posted By: rharv
For Apple products the default search engine is Google...
You can skate around this if you want, but that was what I meant.


So in practical terms, a Mac user wishing to avoid this form of "Apple tracking" can go into their browser's preferences and select a service other than Google as the search engine.

Concerns about cell phone towers etc. are another matter entirely.

Last edited by Mark Hayes; 12/24/21 10:45 AM.
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Originally Posted By: Gordon Scott
Originally Posted By: rharv
the Mac default Google, just like MS makes the default Bing

And Firefox also defaults to Google.


I was thinking maybe there's a system-level default you could set for all browsers that let you set their defaults to it, but looks like you have to set it for each one.

Last edited by Mark Hayes; 12/24/21 10:51 AM.
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Originally Posted By: Mark Hayes
Originally Posted By: rharv
For Apple products the default search engine is Google...
You can skate around this if you want, but that was what I meant.


So in practical terms, a Mac user wishing to avoid this form of "Apple tracking" can go into their browser's preferences and select a service other than Google as the search engine.

Concerns about cell phone towers etc. are another matter entirely.


Yes cell towers are different, unless your iPhone is tied to your Mac (convenience)

As I said, tracking happens, it has to.
I don't think either OS is more malicious than the other, I'm actually impressed knowing what they both 'could' do.

I personally feel Google is much more intrusive than either MS or Apple, but popular OSs support Google/Chrome (and Chrome is the most popular browser by far), so here we are


I do not think that by changing your SE preference in your browser you will eliminate all tracking though, regardless of the OS

Another interesting point; try uninstalling safari on your Mac .. no so easy, kinda like IE or Edge on MS

Last edited by rharv; 12/24/21 11:40 AM.

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Originally Posted By: rharv
I do not think that by changing your SE preference in your browser you will eliminate all tracking though, regardless of the OS


Hardly. Most tracking is done by websites you visit, however you find them. There are people who disable cookies entirely to try to thwart it, but that can make browsing extremely difficult.

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Originally Posted By: Mark Hayes
There are people who disable cookies entirely to try to thwart it, but that can make browsing extremely difficult.

I tried that and I can confirm that it makes browsing difficult. My solution now is purging cookies between nosy sites and ordinary sites.

I have a "known nuisance domains" hosts file, that forces many unwanted domains to 0.0.0.0, so they get ignored. Occasional sites ask me to disable my ad-blocker, but strictly it isn't an ad-blocker and it's on my name-server, not my desktop. I've recently found one site that protests over and over, so now I just don't go there.


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I have read through this thread again and I am amazed by the various dislikes on the subject of tracking and perhaps privacy in general.

Other than banking information, and perhaps government identification what do I have to keep secret?

They can put a damn webcam here in my music room and stream that live to the whole world for all I care. I really have nothing to hide.

On the original subject, I find some search engines more useful than others for certain subjects. I just want to choose the one that I default to.

I am finding that I am required to pay more every year to log on to meaningful websites that have professional information, especially about medical subjects.

I am finding computers of all types, desktops, Main Frames, and cell phones are becoming very intrusive and distracting. Yes, I need them and use them every day but they are also a PITB!

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They all track every user in some way or form, it is how they make money by targeting advertisements. I don't believe the ones that say they don't.


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It appears that I have been successful in banishing Bing from my computer.

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Originally Posted By: Planobilly
It appears that I have been successful in banishing Bing from my computer.

Billy

The old Banished-Bing trick, eh?

Care to share the torture you went through to achieve this? grin


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Hi Trev,

In Google settings in search engines, you need to select Google in Search engine used in the address bar.

You also have to delete Bing. I assume anytime a new Microsoft download happens I will need to redo the settings. So far so good at the moment.

I assume you can go to www.bing.com if you want to use bing for some reason.

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Originally Posted By: Mark Hayes
Originally Posted By: rharv
I do not think that by changing your SE preference in your browser you will eliminate all tracking though, regardless of the OS


Hardly. Most tracking is done by websites you visit, however you find them. There are people who disable cookies entirely to try to thwart it, but that can make browsing extremely difficult.


Found this recently, which kind of points out a different vantage point.
Yes Apple helped fix it, but also the OS was (likely) what allowed it.

https://www.wcvb.com/article/woman-says-airtag-used-track-her/38679851

Tracking happens many ways and we are all vulnerable regardless of OS.
Important thing is to weigh your options and configure to meet the choices.
That was pretty much all I was saying. It may not be Apple that is tracking you, but one of the Apple features allowed *someone to do so.
Going Apple/Mac is not bulletproof, neither is Windows.
Search Engine tracking is low on the priority list for me.
Location tracking, however, is a bit higher on the priority list for me, and also happens, especially on mobile devices.
The OS tendency (both Apple and MS) to want to tie your devices together is a pretty good sign they are tracking you.
Sure it's nice to have your devices share access to data, but it comes at a cost some never think about.



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What do you guys consider the dangers of tracking in general?

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Originally Posted By: rharv
Originally Posted By: Mark Hayes
Most tracking is done by websites you visit, however you find them. There are people who disable cookies entirely to try to thwart it, but that can make browsing extremely difficult.

Found this recently, which kind of points out a different vantage point.
Yes Apple helped fix it, but also the OS was (likely) what allowed it.
https://www.wcvb.com/article/woman-says-airtag-used-track-her/38679851

Whoa whoa whoa... AirTag tracking is a completely different matter from anything else mentioned. That's what people buy AirTags for, tracking things. Is there a problem with people using AirTags to track other people? Sure.

Last edited by Mark Hayes; 01/06/22 03:45 PM.
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That was kinda my point, your OS does enable tracking, it's up to you to handle.
Lots of people just do the default without thinking about it.

Both OS encourage you to share devices, and thus invoke a level of tracking.
Browser or SE doesn't really matter at that point.

/Didn't mean to single you out, just sayin', we're all tracked if we are on the grid at all (to some extent)
//I'm not a tin hat type of guy, just real about what happens, regardless of OS


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Originally Posted By: Planobilly
What do you guys consider the dangers of tracking in general?


In real world terms, today, I don't want to be psychoanalyzed and targetted for browser ads. It's amusing seeing a sudden proliferation of ads for things like audio editing software plugins when you just happen to have bought one, but it's the darker, more subtle stuff, intended to get into my head without me knowing or being able to block it, that I worry about.

More generally and futuristically:

Given the existence of information and a possible way to put it to bad use, it will be put to bad use. The more personal activity is automatically tracked, the more raw personal data there will be to analyze at some future date, when someone takes an interest in some revealing aspect of that Big Data that hadn't been noticed before. Big Brother may not be here yet, but let's not prepare a way for him by routinely logging petabytes and petabytes of random data about every one of us all the time. The bigger data mines we create, the more "gold" there will be to mine for, and eek.

There's a setting in iOS that lets your iPhone keep a record – viewable on a little map! – of everywhere you go. First thing I do with a new phone is turn that off. Do I expect anybody to be doing anything evil with my location history? No. Do I have anything to hide? No. But why keep information like that around?

Last edited by Mark Hayes; 01/06/22 05:30 PM.
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Originally Posted By: Planobilly
What do you guys consider the dangers of tracking in general?

Billy


Although it's slightly different, a friend recently posted about click-bait "quiz-like" stuff on social media, reminding us that some such posters analyse and store the responses and, over a long period, can build a large collection of data that helps analyse what you follow, the words you use, how often, in what contexts, where you likely live and so on. Over a long enough time, they can collect enough information to hack accounts, particularly if your passwords are not well chosen.

Whilst I think(!) the likes of Apple, Google, Facebook won't do that, some of the people who use the services are distinctly unscrupulous.

I have little idea how one can stop mobile 'phones tracking us. AFAICS one probably can't.

I spend quite a lot on the Internet, often doing research for other people and I also got fed up with being targetted with adverts that are in no way, shape or form applicable to me. Grumpy old man that I can be :-)


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Originally Posted By: Gordon Scott
............................

I spend quite a lot on the Internet, often doing research for other people and I also got fed up with being targetted with adverts that are in no way, shape or form applicable to me. Grumpy old man that I can be :-)


You are not a grumpy as me. I do all of the on-line ordering for myself, my wife, and sometimes a couple of other people. Some sites must think that I am the best dressed cross dresser this side of the Mississippi! I can get bras for half off! (What is a half off bra? One cup?)

Anyway I feel your pain! In my case it is a pain in the $@$%^%&%$#@!


Why is it that the people who tell me to calm down are the ones who tick me off in the first place!

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It is very possible for your activities to be tracked without you ever knowing.

Refer to this article: How often do people actually copy and paste from Stack Overflow? Now we know.

They set up their system to react every time someone typed Command+C, and realized there was also an opportunity to learn about how people use their site. They were able to catalog every copy command made on Stack Overflow over the course of two weeks, and came up with an incredible number of statistics.


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I'll try Startpage. My Swiss Cows seemed to be overloaded so I tried Bing, reluctantly. A little heavy-handed, I think.


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