Archive for the 'Current Events' Category 3rd Party URL Referrer Real Talk

Wednesday, January 21st, 2015

So yesterday, just before the State of the Union speech, a poorly detailed story was released about how is sharing visitor data with various 3rd party services.

What is happening is that uses a quick and dirty parameter search (age, zip code, certain status) for the initial search for health insurance plans. That URL with the personalized parameters can be passed as a referrer URL to the external services (analytics, testing, image serving, etc.) the Web site uses.

I looked at last night and saw the same behavior. As a long time online marketer, I can confirm this behavior is NOT unique to and THIS URL REFERRING BEHAVIOR CAN AND DOES happen elsewhere on nearly every modern Web site. In fact, I’ve written about it extensively on this very site.

Aside from the status parameters used in the particular site search, any webmaster can see what you searched for on a Web site site, and what your IP address is and other client information. 3rd Party Services as of January 20 2015
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Where the pearl clutching should happen (Note to journalists: There are places to look *hint* *hint*) as there are some legitimate questions as to why certain 3rd party services are being used on the site or why the search is executed the way it is and/or URL parameters aren’t obscured (I’d have to think the site creators were afraid of a site performance hit on the latter).

Update: A few days after the brouhaha, started obscuring the URL parameters. As of this writing, Zip Code is still intact in the URL, but your IP address gives webmasters that information anyway. Here’s a screenshot of the new URL.

healthcaregov obscured url

This Blogged YouTube War

Wednesday, July 19th, 2006

Politics aside, I’m finding it hard not to take a real good look at what’s happening in the Middle East via blogs, YouTube and other content aggregation types of services. Here’s some of the gems I’ve found…

-Beirut - (YouTube) - This guy decides that he needs to get some McDonalds in Beirut, so he takes us on a driving tour of the city and gets his BigMac. Soundtrack included. Kinda long, but some neat footage of the city.

-War - (YouTube) - Video of a family apparently fleeing for a shelter in Israel.

-War3 - (YouTube) - Features video of an Arab Israeli family and a toddler daughter, huddled inside during a rocket attack in Haifa. There’s footage of rockets overhead, contrails in the sky.

-Ah Corniche - (YouTube) - Tourist video of the Beirut coast, from June 2006.

Also check out TTLB’s Mid East Crisis Page which lists both Israeli and Lebanese blogs.

[tags] YouTube, Video, Middle East, blogging [/tags]

All Smarty, all of the time

Friday, June 4th, 2004

Well, who would have thunk it…hometown boy horse Smarty Jones has a blog.