Microsoft says Google is bypassing its cookie stopping technology too

Feb 21, 2012 by Bob Yirka weblog

(PhysOrg.com) -- Shortly after the world learned that Google has been bypassing user preferences on Safari based browsers to allow advertisers to leave unwanted cookies on their devices, Microsoft put out a press release deploring the practice and gleefully announced that devices running Internet Explorer had no such problems. Microsoft is now backtracking on that announcement and has put out a new one declaring that Google is in fact doing the same thing with Internet Explorer 9 that it has been doing with Safari.

But of course, it’s not that simple. With , it was a very clear situation of using a sneaky method to bypass users wishing to prevent being placed on their devices. While the same result can be had by Google, or other companies to circumvent IE9’s blocking schemes, the reasoning for doing so is not necessarily the same. It all comes down to how goes about disallowing vendors from leaving cookies. Specifically, IE9 follows the P3P Compact Policy Statement, which is basically the honor system. Sites that wish to leave a cookie send a little tiny message to the browser promising that they won’t use them to gather personal information. Unfortunately, the sending machine can simply lie to bypass the blocking facility. Or, they can simply send a nonsensical message if they choose. Either will work just as well. Thus, it appears that not only Google, but virtually any other site that wishes too can very easily bypass the IE9 cookie blocking feature.

But, of course that’s not the end of the story. Google says that P3P is outdated and Microsoft should stop using it because other sites are forced to try to bypass the control feature if they wish to allow users to use modern browser features such as those provided by Google+ or popular facilities like Facebook’s “like” button.

In response, Microsoft says it has contacted representatives at Google and asked them to stop circumventing their privacy controls and has created a “fix” for users that wish to stop cookies being placed on their IE9 devices, and as an aside said they believe Facebook is just as guilty as in trying to circumvent its blocking facilities. They also point out that users can use IE9’s Tracking Protection Lists feature to block specific websites from leaving cookies on their machines.

It’s not clear at this point if Microsoft, or Apple for that matter will institute permanent changes into their software, but it seems likely as lawmakers have begun looking into the issue and may force changes if they are not made willingly.

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User comments : 22

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TS1
4 / 5 (8) Feb 21, 2012
"But, of course thats not the end of the story. Google says that P3P is outdated"...blablablabla...

Google just does not respect peoples wishes to keep their cookies out of the PC. D*ckheads. (Yes I admit this last expression will likely bring counter opinions from Google worshippers, to whom I say: if you want someone to worship, join some church. I do not care which one.)

On another hand there are plenty of other search engines.
jamesrm
2.7 / 5 (7) Feb 21, 2012
pot calling kettle black?

http://cyberlaw.s...ode/6715
Microsoft's cookie syncing script would, in some cases, function as a cache cookie and respawn the MUID cookie.
Microsoft's targeted advertising opt-out button was invisible in Chrome and Safari.
Microsoft's approach to segregating advertising data does not meaningfully protect user privacy.

dogbert
3 / 5 (12) Feb 21, 2012
Browsers which allow bypassing cookie settings were designed to allow that bypassing.

The question should not be "Why is Goole bypassing the settings?" The question should be "Why does Apple and Microsoft design their browsers to allow bypassing security settings and are Apple and Microsoft bypassing these security settings?"
Lurker2358
2.6 / 5 (10) Feb 21, 2012

The question should not be "Why is Goole bypassing the settings?" The question should be "Why does Apple and Microsoft design their browsers to allow bypassing security settings and are Apple and Microsoft bypassing these security settings?"


Of course.

Microsoft even has worms built into their operating systems, even the older ones, which alert them to unlicensed copies of the OS (if it goes online). the computer science teacher at a local high school got in trouble for this, because they found out that the school was putting multiple copies of a windows OS on computers without the proper licensing.

All of these tech firms are continually spying on you.

If Microsoft can do that, they can essentially take a copy of any file on your computer at any time, with or without your consent.
kochevnik
1 / 5 (2) Feb 21, 2012
I thought Micro$oft was a game platform these days.
tadchem
1 / 5 (5) Feb 21, 2012
Microsoft has been a favorite target of programmers for many years. Google was just next in line. The UNIX/LINUX users make sport of finding bugs, weaknesses, workarounds, etc. in MS products.
Objectivist
not rated yet Feb 21, 2012
The honor system... right.
PoppaJ
1.7 / 5 (6) Feb 21, 2012
Listen up Google, Facebook and all you other "lagit" sights. If I say no cookies I mean no cookies. Now because you have violated the user trust you can expect a huge class action lawsuit. You should have been better companies. I hope you are wrecked and disappear.
Callippo
1.8 / 5 (5) Feb 21, 2012
Google is notoriously annoying. For example, it's update service (which is installed with whatever application from Google) is using virus stealth techniques to survive all attempts for uninstalation. Of course it doesn't just check Google web for updates, but it collects the various information about users and their activities there too. If nothing else, the abundant saving of cookies drains your nootebook bateries during browsing, because it requires repetitive activity of HDD.
jdw
3 / 5 (2) Feb 21, 2012
Firefox is still the strongest browser that's available for the Windows platform, when configured with the correct bells and whistles, for keeping unwelcome bits of data at bay.
Excalibur
3 / 5 (12) Feb 21, 2012
If nothing else, the abundant saving of cookies drains your nootebook bateries during browsing, because it requires repetitive activity of HDD.

Utter nonsense.

LuckyExplorer
1.5 / 5 (4) Feb 22, 2012
If some private person would do something like that, it is called a crime.

If Google or any other service provider does that, I'll call it crime too.

All companies and service providers have to accept user settings.
Otherwise they are a criminal organization, a Mafia!

For that, Google and all othets that bypass user settings should be sued!
PosterusNeticus
3.7 / 5 (3) Feb 22, 2012
Utter nonsense.


I believe Calippo/Rawa/whatever lives in a weird alternate universe, and that his internet connection somehow jumped the boundaries so he ends up posting here, in our universe. That's the only way I can explain the massive disconnect between reality and virtually every single word he says.
deepsand
3.2 / 5 (11) Feb 22, 2012
All companies and service providers have to accept user settings.

Actually, when one visits an online resource owned by another, the visitor is bound by the host's rules, just as is the case in the physical realm.

That does not, however, mean the the host can do whatever he pleases. For example, in the physical realm, while your host may demand proof of identity as a condition for your entering, he cannot rifle through your coat while it's hanging in his closet and steal your wallet.

Kinedryl
1 / 5 (4) Feb 22, 2012
If nothing else, the abundant saving of cookies drains your nootebook bateries during browsing, because it requires repetitive activity of HDD.
Utter nonsense.
Of course not: if you have cookies and cache disabled, you can browse whole day without hard disk spinning, which can save a battery a lot. I know about it quite well, because I'm browsing so with my netbook.

If you allow cookie saving, then every visit of page leads into saving of cookie and the requirement of disk drive activity. Is it so difficult to understand it? Nevertheless your opinion still got two upvotes (deepsand, PosterusNeticus).
deepsand
3.2 / 5 (11) Feb 22, 2012
The setting of a cookie is part of the HTML code on the page in question; it requires no separate file request. And, every page visit does not necessarily entail the setting of a new cookie. In all, the overhead involved in managing them is negligible.

And, even with cookies blocked, and caching disabled, your HD is still active, with data being swapped between RAM and the system swap file.

Furthermore, disabling caching actually increases the overhead, as files that need to be reloaded now need to be re-requested from the host.
PosterusNeticus
4.3 / 5 (6) Feb 22, 2012
Of course not


No, he was quite right to call nonsense on you. Eliminating the i/o related to cookies will preserve battery life in exactly the same way that blinking less frequently between meals will preserve your body's energy.
Eikka
1 / 5 (2) Feb 22, 2012
Of course not

No, he was quite right to call nonsense on you. Eliminating the i/o related to cookies will preserve battery life in exactly the same way that blinking less frequently between meals will preserve your body's energy.


Not if you consider that the hard drive is supposed to be stopped, and saving cookies every few minutes causes it to spool up and then keep it running through the whole browsing session.

The difference is that by allowing cookies, you have one extra motor constantly spinning 5400 rpm to wait for another cookie to be saved, sucking up the battery.
NotAsleep
not rated yet Feb 22, 2012
The Microsoft that created Windows 98 and Windows XP may have had the moral authority to questions Google on this issue. The Microsoft that took away our functionality to alter anything with Vista and Windows 7 does not. I find myself strangely pleased that companies are bypassing their ridiculous security procedures that were dumbed down for the consumer in an attempt to protect us from the big, bad internets...
PosterusNeticus
3.7 / 5 (3) Feb 22, 2012
Not if you consider that the hard drive is supposed to be stopped, and saving cookies every few minutes causes it to spool up


Why bother. Whatever. You go on believing whatever you like. Yes, there are tiny elves living inside your computer who make it work. Good show.
Excalibur
2.8 / 5 (11) Feb 22, 2012
Not if you consider that the hard drive is supposed to be stopped, and saving cookies every few minutes causes it to spool up and then keep it running through the whole browsing session.

The difference is that by allowing cookies, you have one extra motor constantly spinning 5400 rpm to wait for another cookie to be saved, sucking up the battery.

The HD runs continuously while you are active.

It only shuts down after a period of inactivity according to your Power Options settings.
deepsand
2.7 / 5 (12) Feb 22, 2012
The Microsoft that took away our functionality to alter anything with Vista and Windows 7 ...

Curious as to what you see as being "unalterable."

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