Famous browsers won’t let users turn off hyperlink auditing / digital information world


Website builders are able to spy on their users because “pings” are added directly to hyperlinks on web pages. When users click on the associated links, these “ping” URLs inform the third party of the users’ click behavior.

Many browsers have allowed this to be disabled when the “Ping” has been standardized as a hyperlink audit. As in Safari, a hidden preference was there, “defaults write com.apple.Safari com.apple.Safari.ContentPageGroupIdentifier.WebKit2HyperlinkAuditingEnabled -bool false”.

Whereas now all browsers in their latest versions have removed this option. So far, Chrome and Safari have removed it along with Chromium, Opera, and Microsoft Edge.

“I hope to raise awareness of this issue, with the ultimate goal of turning off hyperlink auditing in Safari by default. Apple says Safari is supposed to protect your privacy and prevent cross-site tracking, but hyperlink auditing is a wide open door to inter-site monitoring which still exists. “, explained Jeff Johnson in a blog post.

Unlike this, hyperlink auditing is disabled by default in Mozilla Firefox and Brave browsers.

Many users are concerned about their privacy and online tracking and expect browser developers to offer an option to turn off when they think their privacy is at risk. Unfortunately, the case seems to be another avenue when it comes to hyperlink auditing.

Read more: Google, YouTube, Facebook: the world’s most popular websites in 2019


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