This site does not track you
That's about as simple as I can make it.
This site has no forms where you could enter your name.
This server does not set cookies.
I maintain no mailing lists. Follow me on Twitter if you want to know when I update content.
In order to make ads what Google calls "more useful to you", they track the series of pages that a browser views. Pages on my site, and the pages you earlier viewed on other sites. Put another way: If you let them track who you are, then they can customize the ads to show what their automated system thinks will be interesting to you.
Controlling Ad Personalization
Why am I seeing these specific ads? Click on the small right-pointing triangle at the upper right of any Google AdSense or Infolinks ad on my pages. That will take you to a page explaining why that ad appeared for you.
If you have turned off ad tracking, as I recommend, it will explain that the ad selection was based simply on page content and your apparent general location as based on your network address.
Turn off ad tracking: You should go to Google's Ads Settings page and turn off ad tracking. If you are not signed in to Google in your browser session or on an Android phone, you can still personalize ad behavior for that browser and device only:
If you set these preferences when you are signed in, either on an Android phone or within a Chrome session on a tablet or computer, then the settings apply across all signed-in sessions.
Block pop-up ads: The Chrome browser blocks pop-up ads by default. Here is how to turn that protection off and back on: Block or allow pop-up ads in Chrome
As for privacy on the Internet in general
All unencrypted communication by Internet, telephone, and fax is subject to interception and archiving. Belief otherwise is folly. Belief that stern corporate announcements will force people to delete your misdirected e-mail messages is arrogant folly. Judging by the silly disclaimers that so many corporations require at the ends of outgoing messages, arrogant folly is awfully common.Government
It is easy for governments to intercept traffic because Internet and telephone traffic must pass through a limited number of backbone interconnection points. The governments simply obligate the telecommunications companies to provide access, or even to do the data collection on behalf of the government. Yes, this process was greatly expanded in the U.S. during the Cheney/Bush administration, but it had already been underway for many years. See, for example:
- The Puzzle Palace, James Bamford, 1982, a detailed and early description of the NSA.
- Body of Secrets, James Bamford, 2001, an update to The Puzzle Palace
- The Shadow Factory: The NSA from 9/11 to the Eavesdropping on America, also by James Bamford.
- A February 16, 2007 report on PBS.
- An article in Wired magazine.
- An article at cryptome.org.
- Chatter, Patrick Radden Keefe, 2006, more general in scope than Bamford's books.
See my information security pages and especially my Just Enough Crypto page for details on cryptographic protection of Internet traffic.
See my page on government surveillance of Internet traffic and other communications for details on government violation of your privacy.
For anonymous browsing, you could try using an anonymizer web proxy, although that only obscures the server's view of things. Your ISP still sees exactly what you're doing unless the anonymizer also uses SSL/TLS.
TOR (The Onion Router) can provide much better protection if used very carefully.
To my cyber security page