Privacy and Security



  • I just read on another security forums that to have privacy, from let's say Google, they suggested not to use any browser based on Chromium. I had the impression a company like Vivaldi would remove all the data spying, fingerprinting and remote logging that Chrome does with Google but now I'm wondering if Google is not putting some of their spy code deep in the source that can't be removed or easily found.

    I was always wondered why Google doesn't really care about people using their Chromium code like Opera, Brave, Vivaldi, others. While they don't care because the market is tiny vs Chrome, I'm now suspicious that Google still benefits some how from the data of those users.

    I would be great if Vivaldi could make a feature page that explains the security and privacy they have over using something like Chrome. I know Brave is doing this and it is very successful as people are more concerned about privacy today than in the past.

    At least the Google Phishing and Malware protection that is on by default must be sending your browsing history to Google in order to work. Or maybe it just downloads a local copy of all the infected sites to your system and does the comparison locally. If not, and it is sending them remotely, this stuff should be disclosed on Vivaldi and maybe not even turned on by default. I'm more afraid of Google than hitting a malware site today based on the power and information they control now.


  • Moderator



  • @Gwen-Dragon

    Thank you, but it is not clear there how Vivaldi is using the SAFE API.

    Locally or remotely.

    Local:

    1. Vivaldi downloads the list of all the dangerous sites, locally, for example, every day, or every X hours. It then checks this locally in your system.

    Or

    Remotely:

    1. Vivaldi sends the URL each time to Google remotely, and the list is hosted by Google.

    The second option would not only be faster regarding user experience, but would also avoid sending your browsing history to Google. The second one, would add network latency, making requests slower and now Google knows your browsing habits. It is not clear how Vivaldi does this.

    Turning it off is not a good option when you don't have an alternative service.


  • Moderator

    @terere said in Privacy and Security:

    but it is not clear there how Vivaldi is using the SAFE API.
    Locally or remotely.
    Local:

    Vivaldi downloads the list of all the dangerous sites, locally, for example, every day, or every X hours. It then checks this locally in your system.

    Or
    Remotely:

    Vivaldi sends the URL each time to Google remotely, and the list is hosted by Google.

    I will ask the devs in chat now.


  • Moderator

    Safe browsing API specs: https://github.com/google/safebrowsing



  • @Gwen-Dragon

    Thanks, I assume they are using it locally then with this:
    https://developers.google.com/safe-browsing/v4/local-databases

    It would make sense for privacy but more important, speed vs. using a remote API that adds latency and round trips for each request.



  • @terere said in Privacy and Security:
    [I just read on another security forums that to have privacy, from let's say Google, they suggested not to use any browser based on Chromium]

    LOL this is very funny, affirmed by Big-G...

    [I'm wondering if Google is not putting some of their spy code deep in the source that can't be removed or easily found]

    They don't need it (even if in the past thay do it)...

    [I was always wondered why Google doesn't really care about people using their Chromium code like Opera, Brave, Vivaldi, others. While they don't care because the market is tiny vs Chrome, I'm now suspicious that Google still benefits some how from the data of those users]

    This probably because it's a company, and because of this they think of profit, first of all. Sad but true, concentrating efforts on other projects costs money, time and resources...

    [I would be great if Vivaldi could make a feature page that explains the security and privacy they have over using something like Chrome. I know Brave is doing this and it is very successful as people are more concerned about privacy today than in the past]

    This is a good idea.

    [At least the Google Phishing and Malware protection that is on by default must be sending your browsing history to Google in order to work. Or maybe it just downloads a local copy of all the infected sites to your system and does the comparison locally. If not, and it is sending them remotely, this stuff should be disclosed on Vivaldi and maybe not even turned on by default]

    Good point...

    [I'm more afraid of Google than hitting a malware site today based on the power and information they control now]

    I understand that point of view but, again, face the reality... Google has nowadays more information than anyone else. That's why NSA knocked at Big-G doors and forced them to give their own data. No mistery about that, if you think just a moment, you can easly find why. Indeed, if an institutional organ needs (in the past) special laws to control citizens, Big-G does not need (and does not break the Law) because we "give it" the ability to do that, every day, and (many times) in real time, using the service they provide us. Look at the amount of service they provide, it is almost impossible to avoid their services.

    PS
    It's not to understimate you're post. Yours was a technical question, and it's a good question. I wanted only to focus on a certain aspect of the issue. :wave:



  • I’m not afraid of the NSA or the government. I don’t do anything illegal and I actually trust them more than Google now. I’m scared of Google and private employees tapping into data. Nothing can guarantee you that employees at Google, or their CEO does not use your data against you for what ever reason. Political or legal issues, others. You would expect trust from companies like Google or Facebook because they are so big. But not really. I have received information from people that I trust, some even worked at Google on how some people can make decisions on Google and track you down, or even use data against you if somehow they decide you are a threat to them (in a commercial way).

    Of course, Google has our data, but there is no reason why we should make it even easier. Having all your browser history is concerning because it shows the behavior of a person or even whole company, their ideas, their thinking, what they are working on, when they are online, at home or work, how much money they have, education. I could go on and on. It is horrible how easy it is to create person profiles.

    Even if you don’t do anything illegal, privacy is a right we have as individuals. Data is the new oil and companies like Google or Facebook base their empire on using others people data. They don’t have a product on their own. You are the product. I would seriously prefer to pay for something like Chrome or Gmail vs giving them my data for free.

    As for Google has all your data, I try to avoid using Google as much as I can. We are creating a monster. Google is a monopoly in a lot of things now, web, video, browsers, and probably cloud services soon. This is a danger for a neutral and open Internet. I don’t want to make them bigger and richer but prefer to support smaller companies. Competition is good for us consumers.

    Said this, I use Brave on Android. Gmail and most G apps are disabled on my phone. I don’t use Google search anymore either unless required, I use Startpage or DuckDuck Go and I’m happy for most things. (starpage is google results anyway but with privacy). On my desktop, I use Vivaldi, not Chrome.

    The only reason why Brave is getting so many users is because they focus on privacy and security. So Vivaldi can also tap into those users. Lucky for us, the world is a bit more privacy concerned now. This is truer in Europe and outside the US, where people do care about their privacy today. The ones that don't, it is usually because they are not aware how far reaching this is. Like Google recently caught recording users audio on Android....



  • I am not afraid either, but it is very hard to escape from tracking on sites like YouTube. Two things annoy me that I cannot figure out how to stop:

    1. Spam from a certain channel that I have never knowingly subscribed to, and am not subscribed to now.
    2. Notifications from videos on which I have commented keep on coming and I don't know how to clear them. Deleting YouTube cookies does not help.

    Opting in is always easier than opting out. It seems the only way to stop the abuse is not to log in. I thought I already deleted my FaceBook account, but whenever I visit the site from a link, I see the login dialogue.



  • @Pesala said in Privacy and Security:

    I am not afraid either, but it is very hard to escape from tracking on sites like YouTube. Two things annoy me that I cannot figure out how to stop:

    1. Spam from a certain channel that I have never knowingly subscribed to, and am not subscribed to now.
    2. Notifications from videos on which I have commented keep on coming and I don't know how to clear them. Deleting YouTube cookies does not help.

    Opting in is always easier than opting out. It seems the only way to stop the abuse is not to log in. I thought I already deleted my FaceBook account, but whenever I visit the site from a link, I see the login dialogue.

    This is why I'm not logged to Google. I use Youtube without login. Youtube still suggests related videos, so it means they do a bunch of tracking and view behavior even without having a Google account. The only drawback is that I cannot set videos to watch later, or upvote/downvote/comment. Google is forcing users to log in to use some features now.

    When I use Google, I always log out immediately as well. I don't want Google to save my searches, (they probably do it anyway). But this is getting harder now as I have to log into Google for some things. (webmaster tools, analytics).

    The solution I found it to use another browser where I'm logged in, and I only use that browser for that. Sadly, Vivaldi does not have a feature to launch some bookmarks or sites on Incognito, or better, have different profiles. Otherwise, this would be wonderful.

    As for Facebook, you should not click the Like button or visit Facebook from your primary Vivaldi browser. Facebook tracks all your browsing behavior, even if you don't log into Facebook, or if you log in once and then log out, they already save all your cookies and browser fingerprinting.

    Facebook is nasty and they even track people without a Facebook account. I'm also sorry to inform you this, but you cannot delete your Facebook account. Try to log in again, and you will see you can restore all data with one single click. Facebook NEVER deletes your data ever. Once it is on Facebook you can never delete it. This is also very nasty and invasive because you cannot opt out anymore.

    The only way is to replace you content with garbage data, (overwrite your images with dummy images, text, etc.) but Facebook has systems in place that detect similar data and revert it or block the account. So use different content. I'm shocked that Facebook was not sued in the EU for this yet. It is your data and you can't delete it. All they do is hide it. Facebook even tried to own users data. They once changed their TOS so all data you upload to Facebook is their copyright and property, and they can use it how ever they want. But they received a significant backlash from the public for this, so they reverted that policy (which they introduced in secrecy).

    If Google is bad, Facebook is the master evil of privacy. Said all this, it seems strange that Microsoft is the less malicious of all of tech companies. Probably because they are not in Silicon Valley, as most Silicon Valley companies love your data. There is something with California companies that makes them spy on users. Not sure why, but the trend is there and very visible.


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