Privacy. Mr Pritchard Please

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This post has 18 Replies | 3 Followers

Posts 389
Batman | Forum Activity | Posted: Thu, Oct 15 2020 10:40 AM

Everyone knows, or should know, that there is no such thing as privacy today. 

What I do not understand is WHY? We all know (or should know) Facebook and Google track us across the pages of the internet, with uncountable others snooping. Granted, most of this is probably more benign than not; but, the question remains: WHY? Why do WE allow all these people to sift through our daily lives? "Because we have to" is not a viable answer. It may be the truth; but, should it be? WHY are we allowing this unlimited power to take over? 

Now, here is the big question. I was introduced to a webpage that sees what webpages have hidden in them. I was rather surprised to discover that Faithlife has some, shall we say, curious, trackers. Again, some of these are necessary to keep our login credentials, so we dont have to constantly log-in. Some are for advertising so they know what they think we might be interested in, to try and sell us more stuff we most likely dont need, to make more money, that they probably dont need. 
But, there are some things that are "standard" in the internet business, that is leaving me scratch my head as to WHY?

Before I go into detail, I must state, that as far as some pages go, Logos/Fathlife, etc, is not the worst offender by any stretch of the imagination. We can leave that to Facebook, Google and the like. 
But, here is what I did find:
*6 Ad trackers (which is one less than the average webpage, btw). Trackers belonging to AdRoll, Inc. Facebook, Inc. and LinkedIn, Inc.
*8 3rd party cookies which is more than double the average of 3 per website. A tracking cookie belonging to LinkedIn, Inc.
*Canvas Fingerprinting was detected which is designed to evade his technique is designed to identify users even if they block third-party cookies. It can be used to track users' behavior across sites. This technique was used by six percent of popular sites in Sep of 2020. A script belonging to Sift Science, Inc. doing this here. It secretly draws the following image on your browser when you visit this website for the purpose of identifying your device.
However...
While Blacklight accurately detects the presence of canvas fingerprinting on a website, it cannot determine if the purpose is user behavior monitoring or for fraud prevention or bot detection.

Session Recording was NOT found (Thank you)
Keystroke logging was NOT discovered (Thank you)
It does report to Facebook that we visited. WHY?
Does allow Google Analytics to follow us across the internet
Logos/Faithlife 

Blacklight detected this website sending user data to Alphabet the technology conglomerate that encompasses Google and associated companies like Nest. The Silicon Valley giant collects data from twice the number of websites as its closest competitor, Facebook. An Alphabet spokesperson told The Markup that internet users can go here if they want to opt out of the company showing them targeted ads based on their browsing history. The site sent information to the following domains doubleclick.netgoogle-analytics.comgoogletagmanager.com.

LinkedIn

Blacklight detected the inspected website sending user data to LinkedIn, which is owned by Microsoft. Primarily known as a career-focused social network, the company has branched out more broadly into advertising. In 2019, it purchased Drawbridge, which a company spokesperson told The Markup allows LinkedIn to “infer a member’s association to their devices” in what’s called an “identity graph.” At the time of the acquisition, a LinkedIn executive told Ad Exchanger the company hoped Drawbridge will fill in some of the blind spots LinkedIn has on its users.

The site sent information to the following domains adsymptotic.comlinkedin.com.


WHY is all this being allowed by Faithlife? Don't you get enough money off us from the software itself? 
I don't like being paranoid, but, I honestly have to say, I would not mind seeing an anti-privacy revolution, that prohibits this stuff, and from sites like Faithlife in particular. 

Logos/Faithlife attempts to be transparent, and does state in the privacy policy much of this. However, WHY? Quite frankly, in my opinion, LinkedIn, for example has no business getting my information. I do not have a LinkedIn acct. and it's none of their business who I am or what I do. I have no dealings with them. So, WHY should they get automatic rights to me?

More importantly, WHY do WE allow ANY website or company to do this? This is just wrong. Or, am I just wrong? 

 
To test this or any website, www.themarkup.org/backlight was used to discover what is actually being used. The fact that they find privacy invaders does not necessarily mean they are malicious. But, I do want to know WHY; aside from marketing. 

Posts 11433
DMB | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Oct 15 2020 10:54 AM

Spelling on your link: https://themarkup.org/blacklight 

And agree, though you didn't pose the question on the software itself.

"God will save his fallen angels and their broken wings He'll mend."

Posts 24295
Forum MVP
Graham Criddle | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Oct 15 2020 10:54 AM

I don't have any answer to your questions but I do note in the privacy policy document you mention:

How to Reach Us

If you have a question about this Privacy Policy, or you would like to contact us about any of your rights mentioned above, please contact our Customer Service department.

Faithlife, LLC
Attn: Customer Service
1313 Commercial Street
Bellingham, WA 98229

By Phone:
+1 (360) 527-1700

By Email:
customerservice@faithlife.com
That might be a good route to follow to explore this further
Posts 31402
Forum MVP
MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Oct 15 2020 1:54 PM

Batman:
So, WHY should they get automatic rights to me?

Do they? Does blacklight distinguish between sites that conditionally receive data and those that automatically receive data? There is a big difference. Second question: does lacklight distinguish between anonymous data and identified data?

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

Posts 102
The Flanary's | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Oct 15 2020 2:47 PM

I agree wholeheartedly.
It does seem that FL being one of the last survivors in the field of Bible software should certainly address this issue.
 With the consolidation of Bible software, a list of users of Logos/FL would certainly be a huge chunk of "influential believers" worldwide if someone had a use for such a list...

Posts 9035
LogosEmployee

Batman:
*Canvas Fingerprinting was detected which is designed to evade his technique is designed to identify users even if they block third-party cookies. It can be used to track users' behavior across sites. This technique was used by six percent of popular sites in Sep of 2020. A script belonging to Sift Science, Inc. doing this here. It secretly draws the following image on your browser when you visit this website for the purpose of identifying your device.
However...
While Blacklight accurately detects the presence of canvas fingerprinting on a website, it cannot determine if the purpose is user behavior monitoring or for fraud prevention or bot detection.

Sift is used on the forums to prevent spam. I'm not familiar with the technical details of how they implement this. Did you see this script just on the forums, or at www.logos.com? AFAIK it's not used as tracker across all our sites, but just as one line of defense (along with CAPTCHAs and other tools) solely on the sites that are vulnerable to spam posts.

Posts 389
Batman | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Oct 15 2020 9:16 PM

Oops. I keep seeing it as backlight, so I type it as such.

I did a test on their page too. Of course, they claim nothing on their site. They say:

You have scanned the website for The Markup, the nonprofit news organization that built the very tool you are using to scan our website.

Howdy! You may have noticed that our website came up totally clean. That’s because we made a privacy pledge to collect as little information from our readers as possible. We don’t use cookies or pass our users’ data into the online advertising economy. Trust us, it was no easy feat to build a tracker-free website! Your privacy is worth it.

As a nonprofit newsroom, we rely on donations to fund our reporting. If this tool has been useful to you, or you want to help us produce more investigations holding big tech accountable, please join the ranks of readers who are funding our important mission. We're in this together -- and grateful for your support.




Denise:

Spelling on your link: https://themarkup.org/blacklight 

And agree, though you didn't pose the question on the software itself.

Posts 389
Batman | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Oct 15 2020 9:20 PM

This is more of a bringing to light question. As I believe I mention in my original post, I have reviewed the privacy statement, and state that it does mention, at least somewhat, much of this. But, I do believe this is an area that should be extremely transparent by Logos, and really all webpages and sites. 

Graham Criddle:

I don't have any answer to your questions but I do note in the privacy policy document you mention:

How to Reach Us

If you have a question about this Privacy Policy, or you would like to contact us about any of your rights mentioned above, please contact our Customer Service department.

Faithlife, LLC
Attn: Customer Service
1313 Commercial Street
Bellingham, WA 98229

By Phone:
+1 (360) 527-1700

By Email:
customerservice@faithlife.com
That might be a good route to follow to explore this further

Posts 389
Batman | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Oct 15 2020 9:22 PM

I believe the answer to both is no. 
But, I am not 100% positive. 

MJ. Smith:

Batman:
So, WHY should they get automatic rights to me?

Do they? Does blacklight distinguish between sites that conditionally receive data and those that automatically receive data? There is a big difference. Second question: does lacklight distinguish between anonymous data and identified data?

Posts 389
Batman | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Oct 15 2020 9:25 PM

They do have a privacy statement, where they do the typical "We value your privacy..." But, still, Google and linkIn get all your information. At least, thats how I interpret all the yada yada yada statements. 

The Flanary's:

I agree wholeheartedly.
It does seem that FL being one of the last survivors in the field of Bible software should certainly address this issue.
 With the consolidation of Bible software, a list of users of Logos/FL would certainly be a huge chunk of "influential believers" worldwide if someone had a use for such a list...

Posts 389
Batman | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Oct 15 2020 9:36 PM

Thank you. So, the purpose is legit then, for captcha purposes? That's fair enough. As stated, some things are legit, but, to the average user, well, we don't know what the purposes are, and they may be innocent, and they may not be. I have a suspicion that anything dealing with Google, LinkIn or Facebook is less than innocent. Downright scary even. So, I appreciate your confirming the Canvas Fingerprinting is for legitimate purposes (although, tbh, captcha leaves a lot to be desired, since many people have a difficult time getting it to work properly). 

There are actually different results on logos.com vs. faithlife.com. Logos has more tracking cookies, but no more suspicious things (like Sift). 


Bradley Grainger (Faithlife):

Batman:
*Canvas Fingerprinting was detected which is designed to evade his technique is designed to identify users even if they block third-party cookies. It can be used to track users' behavior across sites. This technique was used by six percent of popular sites in Sep of 2020. A script belonging to Sift Science, Inc. doing this here. It secretly draws the following image on your browser when you visit this website for the purpose of identifying your device.
However...
While Blacklight accurately detects the presence of canvas fingerprinting on a website, it cannot determine if the purpose is user behavior monitoring or for fraud prevention or bot detection.

Sift is used on the forums to prevent spam. I'm not familiar with the technical details of how they implement this. Did you see this script just on the forums, or at www.logos.com? AFAIK it's not used as tracker across all our sites, but just as one line of defense (along with CAPTCHAs and other tools) solely on the sites that are vulnerable to spam posts.

Posts 11433
DMB | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Oct 16 2020 6:10 AM

Batman:
They do have a privacy statement, where they do the typical "We value your privacy..." But, still, Google and linkIn get all your information. At least, thats how I interpret all the yada yada yada statements. 

It's always best to not read the "Forget Your Privacy" statement; most (including FL) are exercizes in assuming the worst. I like FL's "those 3rd party adverts ... gosh, we don't know what's going on there! Take your chances!" 

Having spent so many years in big-data, and exploring how little info is needed to assume your identity, the best strategy is to assume multiple identities ... the algorythms presume multiple people ... or a very bizarre person.

"God will save his fallen angels and their broken wings He'll mend."

Posts 901
Brother Mark | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Oct 16 2020 8:54 AM

Winner of today's best (possibly intentional) slip:

MJ. Smith:

Does blacklight distinguish between sites that conditionally receive data and those that automatically receive data? There is a big difference. Second question: does lacklight distinguish between anonymous data and identified data?

Bold and underline added to emphasize the contrast between Blacklight and lacklight..... MJ if it was intentional, it is genius.

"I read dead people..."

Posts 4849
SineNomine | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Oct 18 2020 7:15 PM

Batman:

What I do not understand is WHY? We all know (or should know) Facebook and Google track us across the pages of the internet, with uncountable others snooping. Granted, most of this is probably more benign than not; but, the question remains: WHY? Why do WE allow all these people to sift through our daily lives? "Because we have to" is not a viable answer. It may be the truth; but, should it be? WHY are we allowing this unlimited power to take over? 

I block everything I want to block on every website I want to block it on. It's not all that hard these days. And there are many free (or cheap) and legal technologies that can make one very, very difficult to track on the Internet.

Also, Bob's last name is Pritchett, not "Pritchard".

“I want you to know how the people should behave in the house of God, which is the Church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth.” - 1 Timothy 3:15 (EOB:NT).

Posts 389
Batman | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Oct 22 2020 9:50 PM

Hey, I qualify! I am a very bizarre person.
But, you and MJ probably know that better than most here.Stick out tongue

Denise:

Batman:
They do have a privacy statement, where they do the typical "We value your privacy..." But, still, Google and linkIn get all your information. At least, thats how I interpret all the yada yada yada statements. 

It's always best to not read the "Forget Your Privacy" statement; most (including FL) are exercizes in assuming the worst. I like FL's "those 3rd party adverts ... gosh, we don't know what's going on there! Take your chances!" 

Having spent so many years in big-data, and exploring how little info is needed to assume your identity, the best strategy is to assume multiple identities ... the algorythms presume multiple people ... or a very bizarre person.

Posts 389
Batman | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Oct 22 2020 9:52 PM

I knew that. But, Oops, anyway. 


SineNomine:

Batman:

What I do not understand is WHY? We all know (or should know) Facebook and Google track us across the pages of the internet, with uncountable others snooping. Granted, most of this is probably more benign than not; but, the question remains: WHY? Why do WE allow all these people to sift through our daily lives? "Because we have to" is not a viable answer. It may be the truth; but, should it be? WHY are we allowing this unlimited power to take over? 

I block everything I want to block on every website I want to block it on. It's not all that hard these days. And there are many free (or cheap) and legal technologies that can make one very, very difficult to track on the Internet.

Also, Bob's last name is Pritchett, not "Pritchard".

Posts 11433
DMB | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Oct 23 2020 5:46 AM

Batman:
Hey, I qualify! I am a very bizarre person.

Well, you have to admit, Lexham in Gothem City sounds pretty suspicious. You'll be happy to be disappointed, that A-Company also touches base with the big-boys. A-Co just just doesn't seem to desperately try to dig into their customers.

"God will save his fallen angels and their broken wings He'll mend."

Posts 3285
David Taylor Jr | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Oct 25 2020 7:31 PM

Of course the simple answer is there is no such thing as a right to privacy contrary to popular belief.

That being said, nobody is forced to go to any website. We choose to. Most, if not all these days, tell you your data is being collected. If you don't want your data out there nobody is forcing you to use the internet.

Teacher, Ministry Leader, Student, Author, Husband

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Visit My Site: Reformed Truths

Posts 389
Batman | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Oct 27 2020 9:55 AM

David Taylor Jr.

Ok then, I assume since you have no right to privacy, you would be ok with Doubleclick, and the zillion other privacy invasion companies (who if their only goal is advertising, and nothing more nefarious, to set up cameras in your house to watch you 24/7. EVERYTHING you do? EVERYTHING you say? EVERY EVERYTHING? Afterall, according to you, you don't have the right to privacy. There's nothing you can do to prevent it, any longer. 
And take the other argument usually spewed out: Well, if you're not doing anything wrong, you have nothing to worry about.
People like to have privacy when they're going to the bathroom. There's nothing wrong with going to the bathroom, BUT YOU STILL WANT PRIVACY!

These advertisers need to be responsible. They DONT need to be in all our business. But, as long as people accept it, and say, "Well, it's not a right" and "Nobody forced you to", then, they'll keep doing so, and keep pushing the envelope. 

As far as "Nobody's forcing you to use the internet"; uh, yeah they are. If you don't have internet, you pretty much cant survive any longer. EVERYTHING is being done over the internet. Try applying for a job. "Go to our website to apply". Never mind they ask stupid questions, that are impossible to answer, until someone pipes up and says, "Hey stupid! How do you answer this question when it does not apply?" (Seriously. REAL question: Are you under 18? Yes/no. IF you are under 18, do you have a work permit. Yes/no. REQUIRED response. Well, I am NOT under 18. So how the heck does one answer that? STUPID! 
Just about every business is on the internet. 
even to apply for governmental programs, SS, Welfare (yes. How stupid is that? People cant afford to pay rent, but have to apply for aid online? Computer costs, and monthly internet costs?? Have to apply online. 
So, YES, we do HAVE to use the internet. Go to the library? Oh no! Then ANYONE can get your information

I really do not think you understand just how bad things can get, when you ignorantly hand out all your information, to just anyone and everyone. 
And, that we don't have too much of a choice. 
And, if you are one who somehow avoids the internet, guess what? EVERYONE ELSE uses the internet FOR YOU! Your bank, credit cards, job, government, stores, EVERYONE! So, your privacy is STILL at risk, and so is your information. 



David Taylor Jr:

Of course the simple answer is there is no such thing as a right to privacy contrary to popular belief.

That being said, nobody is forced to go to any website. We choose to. Most, if not all these days, tell you your data is being collected. If you don't want your data out there nobody is forcing you to use the internet.

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