tracking

General discussion about the FlashGot extension for Firefox

tracking

Postby cornchip » Tue Feb 03, 2015 4:39 pm

Are FlashGot downloads able to be tracked or traced in any fashion by a third party?
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Re: tracking

Postby barbaz » Tue Feb 03, 2015 4:56 pm

Well, Mozilla can track what addons you've got...
*Always* check the changelogs BEFORE updating that important software!
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Re: tracking

Postby cornchip » Tue Feb 03, 2015 6:26 pm

barbaz wrote:Well, Mozilla can track what addons you've got...


Sure, but can any other party tell if content had been or is being downloaded using FG?
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Re: tracking

Postby barbaz » Tue Feb 03, 2015 7:09 pm

oh... that I don't know.

Moving to FlashGot General.
*Always* check the changelogs BEFORE updating that important software!
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Re: tracking

Postby cornchip » Tue Feb 03, 2015 8:32 pm

barbaz wrote:oh... that I don't know.

Moving to FlashGot General.


Interesting. Thanks.
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Re: tracking

Postby sumguy » Wed Feb 25, 2015 11:30 am

As far as I understand, the short answer is no - there's no way for a third party site to know you used FlashGot, instead of just clicking on a link in your browser or using your download manger directly.

However, that doesn't mean you're not being tracked.

The first thing is that any site you download a file from knows your IP number, so you can be tracked that way. And if you're suspected of some criminal activity, that site, or the police, can find out who you are and where you live. There are methods like proxies, VPN, and Tor, that can make it harder - but not impossible - to track you via your IP number.

Secondly, FlashGot is not a download manager, it doesn't actually download any files itself. It's a link collector. It just sends a list of URLs to whatever download manager you use. It also sends the referring URL and the cookies that are active on that page. Cookies can be used by the page that sets them, to track you. Referring URLs can be used by the page you download from, to find out what site sent you there. This is true whether you use FlashGot or just click on the link in your browser. If you're concerned about being tracked, you should use browser addons to deal with cookies and referrer URLs. You can tell FlashGot not to send the referring URL and/or cookies to your download manager, using the Privacy tab in FlashGot options.

After that, what happens depends on your download manager. It may identify itself to the site you're downloading from, or it may pretend to be a generic web browser. It may or may not send the referring URL or cookies. But it won't send any information saying that you used FlashGot to collect the links.
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