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Why does Firefox feed so much data to Google?
A while back, I discovered a Google plugin hidden within Firefox. I figured maybe one thing was fine until I realized that Widevine actually did some bad stuff to your OS, since it needs to access the internal OS to block screenshots and screen recordings. Today, I discovered that geolocation also uses Google servers, and in the process of turning it off I also discovered that there is this "Safe Browsing" that also uses Google. Looking even further, even some of the privacy things redirect to Google. I haven't even mentioned that the default search engine is Google. Even if Google paid you to make them the default, you could create a prompt on the first launch asking for search engine, with Google selected by default but another search engine (like DDG) recommended. All of this Google software is likely sucking on our data.
Now while writing this post, I noticed something even worse. Why are Google servers on the filter whitelists? This is uncool. I understand, maybe your website needs to detect Firefox to function correctly, and antifingerprint would break it. But WHY GOOGLE? All of this seems to be going against the goal of privacy. How are you supposed to expect a random person to go directly to about:add-ons, disable Google Widevine, go to about:preferences, disable safe browsing, go to about:config, enter the "danger" zone confidently, and delete Google from the 10,000 times it appears in the config?
All Replies (12)
And also Google Analytics is on the website.
Can't help you here. Widevine is used by Netflix, Hulu and all the Streaming Services to protect their content. If Firefox dropped support for that, it work decrease their user base by i dunno, 90%. You can contact their support team to answer questions here
You can disable DRM through the Preferences page: Watch DRM content on Firefox. However, as far as I know, the use of the DRM plugin does not "phone home" about what you watch.
My understanding is that connections to SafeBrowsing do not use the cookies set by Google during normal browsing but a separate one, so the requests are not directly linked. But you can turn off Safe Browsing through the Preferences page if you like: How does built-in Phishing and Malware Protection work?
As you know, your precise location is not given out without your approval. You generally don't need to share that: in most cases the website can do well enough when you type in your zip code and it doesn't need your GPS coordinates. If you do want a site to have that level of detail, Firefox can ask the OS for your nearby wifi hotspots and send that data to Google to retrieve your location. Again, I don't think this is linked to your Google web browsing cookies.
Google offers a number of useful services and Firefox attempts to balance the benefits of those services with a separation from how Google tracks your browsing. If you discover a leak where they cross over, you should file a bug report: https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/
Sure, I see some people are fine with using Google. But why is it whitelisted in the config? Did Google pay you to do that or something?
I'm sure you know Google pays to be the default search engine. That is the primary way that Firefox is financed.
But why is it whitelisted in the config?
The ReCAPTCHA address? You've probably encountered that annoying picture grid on numerous site. When that is blocked, chaos ensues as those sites become unusable.
I'm talking about google-trackwhite-256. What is that and why is it whitelisted?
Also, is there a reason you don't just fake successful completion of the recaptcha to the website, and replace the thing with "ReCAPTCHA Blocked?" The purpose of that embed is to detect robots, and Firefox clearly isn't a robot.
Okulungisiwe ngu matthew34
Now that Google has stopped the funding, can DDG be the default search engine in America?
the google search deal continues: https://www.forbes.com/sites/barrycollins/2020/08/13/mozilla-extends-critical-firefox-search-deal-with-google/
But what is google-trackwhite-256 and why is it whitelisted?
that's a "list of tables to use when checking whether or not a tracker is part of the same entity as the page": https://wiki.mozilla.org/Security/Tracking_protection
firefox tracking protection protects you from google's tracking while you're browsing the web but not while you're on google's own web properties.