Privacy Setting



  • https://vivaldi.com/blog/minor-update-to-vivaldi-1-9/ says, an opt-out of user counting was removed. Is there still any option to disable user counting (and comments said, even an unique id is sent!)?

    If not, i may stop using vivaldi, when i use a browser, i expect privacy. Counting, statistics and so on are part of this. I stopped using certain addons, because they connected google-analytics in their code ...



  • Or has anyone at least a working firewall rule?



  • @allo said in Privacy Setting:

    If not, i may stop using vivaldi, when i use a browser, i expect privacy.

    Comments Jon CEO & Co-founder Vivaldi. Image - 1 - Image - 2
    -Image - 3

    If counting the number of users is a reason for you to stop using Vivaldi, congratulations ... ( sarcasm )


  • Moderator

    @allo So, you have a problem with Vivaldi "counting" your install (and that's it, no private data is sent) but you're totally fine calling in to the (Google) Chrome Web Store on a daily basis to check for extension updates??

    Just asking...

    Edit: Arguments can be made for making this opt-in. However, as it stands, this is still very benign when you put it into perspective.



  • @xyzzy Actually i have a problem with both and am still hoping vivaldi will finally disable the stupid auto update of extensions, which is done by the chrome(ium) core.

    In firefox i update extensions when i want to, in chromium and vivaldi i am surprised by stuff being totally different without even a notification that something was updated. The only indication of the update are changed files in my backup log.

    And yes, phoning home every 24 hours with an unique id is spyware as well. And yes, firefox needs quite a bit of configuration until it stops doing similiar stuff ... but you can configure it to respect your privacy, i.e. see ffprofile.com.

    @JuniorSilva30 I read this and the privacy terms and I do not like this. You can argument "its only counting your installation", but you may be just too indifferent towards such things, because nowadays many softwares do not respect your wishes ... but that's something I thought vivaldi wants to change.

    I have my linux which doesn't send data like windows (not only 10) does, i have my firefox, which is configured not to use the google phishing protection (look up what the wrkey is), not to send addon statistics to addons.mozilla.org, not to load search suggestions, ... again have a look at ffprofile how many options you need to make your browser secure.
    Now chromium based browsers lack a lot of these settings, you called it, the extension autoupdate is a bad thing per se (i already had updates, where extensions afterwards suddenly injected ads into pages),

    So when vivaldi wants to be an improvement, it needs to stop such things. Closed source and phoning home is a no-go. I can patch firefox if needed (and I actually can patch it), but when i have reasons to suspect vivaldi to disrespect my privacy, my only option is to stop using and recommending it, as i never used or recommended google chrome (the closed source version).

    I hope this made the point a bit clearer.



  • @allo said in Privacy Setting:

    Closed source and phoning home is a no-go.

    To make this points even more clear: You may now argument about just counting users and vivaldi may abondon unique IDs or i could change the id every day. But this one is about trust.
    When the browser disrespect my wish with this option, how should I trust it to behave nicely for other things?

    As said, its closed source, so i need to trust it and cannot check myself. When it does things to lose the trust, it cannot be used at all anymore.


  • Moderator

    @allo: "Closed source" just means its proprietary. The code is open for anyone who wants, to read it. All of the Vivaldi files are human-readable.

    If Vivaldi does not count users, it has no basis to make the search and advertising deals with partners, whereby it receives the funds to exist.

    You are free to do as you wish - but there is no basis for your suspicion.



  • https://vivaldi.com/source/?lang=en_US
    the rest can be read from the .js files in Vivaldi\Application*


  • Moderator

    I'm sure that Vivaldi also want to know how many people install the Vivaldi browser and keep using it vs how many people install it and decide that it's not for them. Counting users simply provides validation that they're on the right track, provides indicators that they need to adjust their strategy, or possibly both if they seem to be keeping part of their user base happy and growing but not getting traction with others.

    When you're getting funding through business deals or doing your own business planning, it's also beneficial (and often essential) to have accurate/reliable data about the size of your user base and growth projections.

    Firefox counts Active Daily Installations:
    https://www.arewestableyet.com
    https://wiki.mozilla.org/ADI

    ...and more if you opt-in:
    https://wiki.mozilla.org/Firefox_Health_Report
    https://wiki.mozilla.org/Telemetry

    Other (nameless) companies want to grab as much data about each user as possible.

    Vivaldi is simply counting users, and that says a lot about them as a company. They're not gathering any data that's even sellable, and one has to respect them for not only being transparent but also for not being greedy or nefarious. In the end, they're only trying to stay viable as a business and to provide a product that will gain marketshare. In the end, it's for our benefit too.

    @allo I understand and respect your concerns, and down-vote me if you want, but I'm not attacking you or being critical of your views in any way. It's still your choice whether or not you continue using Vivaldi.

    Disclaimer: I don't work for Vivaldi and don't have any inside information. This is just my attempt to put things into perspective.



  • If Vivaldi does not count users, it has no basis to make the search and advertising deals with partners, whereby it receives the funds to exist.

    That may be a flaw in how the deal is negotiated. You may count downloads / updates instead. I do not really want to solve this here for you, because my position is beeing the user, who wants his privacy. Your position is to provide the privacy and still keep your funding. Which many software vendors manage to do ...
    I bet it is possible for vivaldi as well ;-).

    I'm sure that Vivaldi also want to know how many people install the Vivaldi browser and keep using it vs how many people install it and decide that it's not for them.

    May be. But some people do not want to be counted. Back in the days, software would have been found by Spybot search&destroy for phoning home without a warning. Today with apps the standards have lowered, but for a serious company it is still no good style ... and it seemed that vivaldi tried to have the position of the "good guy" with user friendly features.

    The easy solution is what was removed: Have a switch for it.
    The people you want to count are the people who do not change switches. The majority needs "good" defaults and possibly some not too invasive counting is okay as the default for them. But the powerusers should be able to opt out.

    Firefox counts Active Daily Installations

    I know. And it interacts with google a lot as well. People distribute big prefs.js files with settings to disable all this stuff ... and i would feel pretty naked without changing a lot of switches.
    But there are hundreds of switches, which the chromium browsers are missing. And that's why I am still mostly using firefox, even when they are making the experience for users worse from release to release.

    My hope with vivaldi is, that they start improving on the chromium core detail by detail to enable the user to configure the stuff which is taken away in chrome. And that it may be the alternative, when firefox will break many things in version 57, when they disable all "old style" addons and change their UI to be more like chrome (meaning you cannot change much of the UI with addons anymore).

    As mentioned, an manual addon update function would be great. Notify me and let me decide what i want to update instead of updating for me and then i am guessing which addon is the misbehaving one of the 10 updated ones.

    Vivaldi is simply counting users, and that says a lot about them as a company. They're not gathering any data that's even sellable,

    I expect you not to sell the data, but i also do not want my browser to send it without asking me. And "just an unique id once per day" is still too much. Did you read the snowden leaks? The NSA used the unique identifier in google cookies (transfered via TLS, but the NSA has its options ...) to track the users. So using vivaldi now means, that the agencies can know, that the ip is associated with the same user as another ip yesterday. Because vivaldi is sending voluntarily an unique identifier across the web.

    It's still your choice whether or not you continue using Vivaldi.

    It is and I do not need to hate vivaldi for this and if i decide not to trust vivaldi then, this is no threat, but just a decision for myself.

    To be honest, i do not know what's currently the best solution for a privacy aware browser. There are parts where you can question what the vendor is doing and parts, where you need a browser which can defend you against what web-trackers are doing.

    Chrome is not, Mozilla is best friend with google and curious itself ... some minimalistic browsers do not have such un-features but are lacking the option to defend yourself with addons.
    I mean cool something like midori doesn't contact google servers. And it supports the modern web. Ooops, it supports techniques like "canvas", but does not have addons like "canvas blocker" to prevent fingerprinting. So it is no good alternative either.

    In this respect, vivaldi is probably one of the best browsers. Little spying for the vendor, enough privacy addons. So this isn't the big "vivaldi is EVIL!" thread, but just some rant that vivaldi has the potential to do better than the others and then you read about it phoning home every 24 hours. So i give feedback instead of being angry without telling. I do not expect them to change ASAP just for me, but maybe the devs at least notice the feedback.

    And yeah, I have a bit of a mission ;-). While we will never fully win the privacy war, we can at least try to improve as much as possible and try to help others. When you ever saw a browser of someone without adblocker who never deletes cookies, you know why.



  • @xyzzy And i do not need to downvote your posting, i think it's quite informative and i see a bit the point you're (or the vivaldi devs) having, even when i do not agree on the current solution.
    Btw. is this some karma system here or just "agree / do not agree" with the votes?


  • Moderator

    @allo No worries. Some people are really bothered by down-votes. It's not a huge deal to me. Usually down-votes are used only when people take serious offence to a post, and it was certainly not my intention to offend you in any way.

    From your posts, you also used "you" to refer to me and Vivaldi as one and the same. I do not work for Vivaldi; I'm just a volunteer here and try help people out as best as I can. :-)

    As for privacy, it's important to me too but I try to keep things in perspective. FYI, often when you take things to an extreme to protect your privacy, you just end up giving your browser a totally unique fingerprint.



  • Browser security is hard and the big vendors build features faster than securing the features (which is mostly left to extension developers).

    Browser fingerprints are a big topic, but what's often overlooked is how reliable they are. If you never delete cookies, you're tracked without any efford up to the year 2038 by some sites.

    Your browser fingerprint ... panopticlick tells me I am unique each time I am there. So obviously you cannot track me with this fingerprint, as it changes all the time. Now you need to assume, that tracking companies try to find a stable subset of the fingerprint. Currently this probably means mostly canvas fingerprinting (which can be seen in the wild), which can be blocked with extensions.

    Things like the font list will need cleaning, like "this rare font was seen another time, even when this one was not installed (yet)" and you need to assume, that big data enables the companies to find the set of features in the data, which actually is unique but does not change too often.

    I would really like, when browsers like chromium or now vivaldi could expose as many settings as firefox, so we could create a vvprofile site as well ;-). I do not know the chromium source, if there are settings which are just not exposed or if they really only implement the most basic settings you see in the chrom(ium) and vivaldi settings dialogs.


  • Moderator

    @allo said in Privacy Setting:

    To be honest, i do not know what's currently the best solution for a privacy aware browser.

    Lynx?? :-)
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lynx_(web_browser)


  • Moderator

    @allo The number of settings exposed (and working) in Vivaldi will only grow.



  • @Ayespy Yeah, i think so. Opera was great and vivaldi seems a worthy successor. That's why I have my hopes here and that's why I care.
    I ignore what chrome is doing (or may stop doing), as I do not have much interest there and when i use it then chromium from my linux distribution where i am pretty sure that they patched the ugly stuff (as far as i know in the chromium project doesn't apply most of the chrome criticism).
    I am sometimes surprised, how much a good distro protects you, when they patch firefox not to load search engine favicons in the toolbar from the web but using a cached version ... but i am getting off topic here ;-).


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