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Last Comment Bug 844823 - Add a tutorial section on User Tracking to privacy_help.xhtml
: Add a tutorial section on User Tracking to privacy_help.xhtml
Product: SeaMonkey
Classification: Client Software
Component: Help Documentation (show other bugs)
: Trunk
: All All
: -- normal (vote)
: seamonkey2.19
Assigned To: rsx11m
Depends on: 631566 845353
Blocks: 847182
  Show dependency treegraph
Reported: 2013-02-25 06:40 PST by rsx11m
Modified: 2013-03-11 07:18 PDT (History)
4 users (show)
See Also:
Crash Signature:
QA Whiteboard:
Iteration: ---
Points: ---

Proposed patch (11.93 KB, patch)
2013-03-03 20:03 PST, rsx11m
no flags Details | Diff | Splinter Review
Proposed patch (v2) (10.67 KB, patch)
2013-03-07 04:36 PST, rsx11m
iann_bugzilla: review+
Details | Diff | Splinter Review
Final patch (v3) (10.66 KB, patch)
2013-03-10 18:35 PDT, rsx11m review+
Details | Diff | Splinter Review

Description rsx11m 2013-02-25 06:40:28 PST
+++ This bug was initially created as a clone of Bug #631566 +++

(Quoting bug 631566 comment #14)
> (In reply to rsx11m from bug 631566 comment #10)
> > the feature descriptions aren't long enough to warrant their own sections,
> After watching the presentation by Gary Kovacs on (linked to from
> the Firefox site for "Do Not Track") I'm tempted to change my mind on this.
> The user tracking stuff has indeed reached scary dimensions and it seems
> this should be addressed at least to some extent. I think this is beyond the
> scope of this bug on the pref pane documentation, given that it may open a
> few cans of worms (not just for the discussion on benefits vs. dangers of
> tracking, also with respect on how to effectively reducing it, which likely
> won't work just with DNT and cookie settings but also would have to include
> add-ons like ABP, assuming that they block tracking along with the
> underlying ad placements). Thus, I'll spin off a follow-up bug once we are
> done here to extent privacy_help.xhtml with a general discussion.
Comment 1 rsx11m 2013-02-25 07:14:29 PST
Suggested title: "How do Websites Track Me?" and would fit quite well after the "What Are Cookies?" section which provides the background on primary and 3rd-party cookies. There is a review on the Collusion add-on by greylanternlight who kindly gave a list of privacy add-ons: Better Privacy, NoScript, Ghostery, AdBlockPlus, Request Policy and Privacy Choice. I don't think though that specific add-on names should be listed in the general help, rather a generic hint to search for add-ons in the Privacy & Security section (which returns a rather long list, though).
Comment 2 rsx11m 2013-03-03 20:03:54 PST
Created attachment 720514 [details] [diff] [review]
Proposed patch

This patch adds a new section "Why and How Are Websites Tracking Me?" with a general discussion on tracking pros and cons, then followed by a section on the mechanisms of user tracking, followed by a section on how to prevent it.

I've got the information from the sources mentioned in bug 631566 comment #10 and from the general discussion on fingerprinting in bug 572650, along with a bit of common sense (or so I hope).

This patch also links up "Tracking" in privsec_help.xhtml with this new section, and "malware" with glossary.xhtml (yet to come with bug 847182). Everything else in this file a white-space changes caused by rewrapping the respective paragraphs.
Comment 3 rsx11m 2013-03-05 06:32:18 PST
Comment on attachment 720514 [details] [diff] [review]
Proposed patch

Minor issue found:

>+  <li><a href="using_priv_help.xhtml#cookies">Cookies</a>: The power of
>+    tracking cookies is their persistence across sessions. Thus, when you
>+    restart &brandShortName;, the identifying cookie will still be sent to
>+    the website performing the analytics. One measure against third-party
>+    tracking is to prohibit third-party cookies altogether; another option
>+    is the restriction of cookies to the current session only. Some websites
>+    may no longer function correctly, but you can add exceptions to such sites
>+    in the Data Manager or with the Cookie Manager from the Tools menu.</li>

The reference to the "Cookie Manager" at the end is wrong as we do no longer have a separate Cookie Manager (despite the menu item still being named as such) but it's part of the Data Manager now.

I've change the end of the paragraph locally to
>+    the Data Manager or with the Cookie Manager options in the Tools menu.</li>
and will add that change to the next patch unless you want it differently.

The entire Cookie Manager/Data Manager thing should be cleaned up in bug 599097, a respective note is already on top of this list item to revisit it later.
Comment 4 rsx11m 2013-03-07 04:36:18 PST
Created attachment 722172 [details] [diff] [review]
Proposed patch (v2)

(In reply to rsx11m from comment #2)
> This patch also links up "Tracking" in privsec_help.xhtml with this new
> section, and "malware" with glossary.xhtml (yet to come with bug 847182).

Since Stefan wants to have further references from other parts of the help text to the glossary, I'm going to move the "malware" part to bug 847182 which is a better place, rather than as a drive-by fix here. The "Tracking" link remains.

(In reply to rsx11m from comment #3)
>+    the Data Manager or with the Cookie Manager options in the Tools menu.</li>

Comment 5 Ian Neal 2013-03-10 15:45:47 PDT
Comment on attachment 722172 [details] [diff] [review]
Proposed patch (v2)

>+<p>Websites are frequently interested to know by whom and how they are used.
This sounds awkward perhaps "Websites are frequently interested in how they are used and by whom."

>+  <li><a href="nav_help.xhtml#plugins">Plugins</a>: Rare plugins are a welcome
>+    identifier for browser fingerprinting. Thus, if you need such plugins for
This doesn't sound right either, perhaps "Obscure plugins make browser finger printing easier"?

r=me with those addressed.
Comment 6 rsx11m 2013-03-10 18:35:28 PDT
Created attachment 723305 [details] [diff] [review]
Final patch (v3)

Thanks Ian, comment #5 addressed.
Comment 7 rsx11m 2013-03-10 18:35:57 PDT
Push for trunk, please.
Comment 8 Ryan VanderMeulen [:RyanVM] 2013-03-11 07:18:19 PDT

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