Privacy on the Web

Dated Jan 4, 2021; last modified on Mon, 18 Jul 2022

One can use curl -v <url> to see all of the redirections and cookies set. found that generating a tiny URL for Zoom links gives a URL that first goes to redirect.viglink.com.

I tried this on https://tinyurl.com/yyte6pqv, which points to https://www.c13u.com/socioeconomics/2020-11-21-experiments-in-social-economics/, but didn’t observe any 3rd party cookies. tinyurl.com did set a cookie, but that’s probably expected.

proposes Federated Learning of Cohorts, which aims to enable ad-targeting based on people’s general browsing interest without exposing the exact browsing history.

Stripping tracking parameters in URLs, e.g. Facebook’s fbclid=, has been implemented in Firefox 102 .

A top comment in , where FB changed URLs from https://www.facebook.com/random.username/posts/10208327509806082 to https://www.facebook.com/VICE/posts/pfbid02XdVziPTwhmPU9XzBqkRvU5o7NPXUicAJgVy8kf1a1W51hU7EmgMmCigo9rZWxCjDl claims that the new FB URLs circumvent features like Firefox’s stripping of tracking URLs. I don’t follow; the URL is served by www.facebook.com, and thus no need for 3P tracking parameters.

I usually “trust” HN’s top comments, but in this instance, the top comment seems unfounded. Cue in Gell-Mann’s amnesia .

  1. URL shorteners set ad tracking cookies. Luke Miles. ylukem.com . news.ycombinator.com . Jan 2, 2021.
  2. Federated Learning of Cohorts. Xiao, Yao; Karlin, Josh. wicg.github.io . chromium.googlesource.com . Mar 3, 2021. Accessed Mar 14, 2021.
  3. Ask HN: What is with the new URLs on facebook.com? | Hacker News. news.ycombinator.com . Jul 16, 2022. Accessed Jul 16, 2022.
  4. New Firefox privacy feature strips URLs of tracking parameters. Lawrence Abrams. www.bleepingcomputer.com . www.mozilla.org . Jun 28, 2022. Accessed Jul 16, 2022.