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back to article Boffins: Punters can't get a grip on online privacy tools

Privacy tools that offer a means to prevent advertisers from tracking the activity of surfers online are largely ineffective, according to a study by computer scientists. Boffins at Carnegie Mellon University’s CyLab ran a series of lab tests involving 45 participants that revealed all nine privacy tools had usability and …

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FAIL

Way to miss the point

Sophos equates hidden tracking activities with loyalty cards?

How do you stop web tracking? No-one really knows - you probably can't eradicate it 100% without making the web useless.

How do you stop loyalty card tracking - don't use the card - 100% effective and simple.

I think the reg should be looking for a new regular expert commenter on security issues - sophos clearly isn't taking it seriously any more.

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FAIL

Extremely bad example

Chester Wisniewski is entirely incorrect in his comparison.

First, a loyalty card is 'opt in'. It is not forced on you, just to enter the store.

Second, it is 'opt out' every time you make a purchase as you can opt not to use it, on a per visit basis.

As well, a loyalty card does not track where someone goes after they have used it when making a purchase.

People want the choice to decide for themselves.

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Holmes

Further to your extremely bad example...

A Tesco loyalty card will only really track what I purchased whilst inside the Tesco store. If we were to use the analogy with online tracking... Tesco's loyalty card would be able to report back the shops I visited after leaving Tesco, what time I went home, as well as all my leisure activities such as when I went out again for a walk in the park or to read a newspaper in the local coffee shop.

Also occassionally when I walked back into a Tescos store all the signs and price labels would convert to Swedish as it detected the last visit I made, I made enroute through a doorway located in Sweden.

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FAIL

Furthermore

I use a Tesco loyalty card registered to my mum. My mum gets the points, Tesco get some bum data: seems fair.

That doesn't work with online stalking.

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