Adobe phones home, and omniture tries to be clever

padlocking your cookiesI was just reading over at Uneasy Silence that the new CS3 studio likes to ping an a service every time you open your CS3 applications, I wouldn’t be surprised if it does the same when you close them too – but that is unconfirmed. I will have to take a look at this when I get back to work after my vacation. Anyway…..

Privacy has been a big issue as of late, and Jeff Atwood has some good thoughts on some of the recent events too. I’m not a big fan of tracking cookies, and no, I am not a tin-foil hat kinda guy, but after Facebook got busted with what Beacon was doing and the user base revolted, I started getting a little more vigilant about cookies and what domains I block. I tend to delete all my cookies regularly anyway, but as I looked at them I found more and more that not only do I not know where they came from, but I do not know what they are doing. So I have started a block list on all my browsers that I regularly use – fortunately that’s just Firefox and Flock. I still use IE 7, but not on a routine basis; especially since it isn’t a Mac app. This only has to do with Adobe in that I don’t really need them tracking all of my usage.

Omniture is a large analytics firm bent on world domination…. Okay, no, not really. They are all about delivering trending data to their customers for improving their targeted content delivery systems. Sounds fine right? Sure, but I didn’t agree to it and didn’t ask for it. It is very much like spam, but at an application level. If I wanted to help Adobe I would have said so, and since I didn’t this bothers me. So I added entries to block all the Omniture sites and cookies.They seem to be trying to get clever by making a domain name look like an internal IP as well, so you would see something like http://192.168.111.2o7.net, and possibly not think anything of it. This really seems like a blatant attempt at deception just in case a user has something running to catch it, but doesn’t really look to hard and just passes it by. Nice try, I blocked the 2o7.net domain too.

Here is a link to block the beacon ad tracking as well, by using the block site plugin for Firefox and adding http://*facebook.com/beacon/* to my block list and I am off and running.

It’s not like any of this is a huge invasion of privacy, it simply boils down to the fact that these ad services and click trackers are getting increasingly invasive, and I have made a decision to be more active in what information I allow sites to track and view. I don’t agree with how it could be or is used, then I will simply block it or not use that site. In the case of Facebook, it’s really a non issue since that site is nothing special; actually it’s a big fat waste of time, so I don’t use it for anything really – just wasting time.