[clug] Private Browsing?

Eyal Lebedinsky eyal at eyal.emu.id.au
Mon Jun 24 01:34:37 UTC 2019

On 24/06/2019 11.12, Bob Edwards via linux wrote:
> On 24/6/19 10:22 am, Eyal Lebedinsky via linux wrote:
>> On 24/06/2019 10.09, jhock--- via linux wrote:
>>> Hi Elay,
>>> I use ToR browser and don't have this problem. I think, and I'm happy to be corrected, that your history is being tracked by cookies. Maybe you could try deleting all cookies, turn off cookies and run the same tests to see if the results change.
>> I clearly stated that I cleared everything, using the preferences tab:
>>      Privacy & Security
>>      Clear Data
>>          Cookies and Site Data
>>          Caches Web Content
>>      Clear History
>> One possibility is that some history is kept by the PB window. Visiting eBay in
>> the standard window does NOT show my recently viewed while the PB window shows it.
>> Is there a different history repository kept by the PB window?
> Hi Eyal,
> I would agree with your assessment as to what is happening here. Kind
> of makes sense. The PB window creates an alternate cookie etc. store
> and doesn't share that with your main session, or with other PB
> sessions, but will retain it until the PB window is closed.
> You do need cookies to work, even within a PB session, otherwise you'll
> break the web.

Fair enough, but how come I can clear everything and my visit is still tracked
when I close/open a tab (in the PB window which was left open).

As if the PB repository is hidden (preferences show zero items everywhere)
and cannot be easily cleared.

> Whether that PB cookie etc. store exists on disk or in memory, I don't
> know (but it's all open-source, so we could take a look...).

If kept in memory (likely) then I still need to close the PB window, not just
the tab, which was not clear to me. BTW, this is only a matter of interest for
me, no real issue as this is my private machine.

I can add that the first time I noticed this is when I logged into Facebook
(probably for the first time in over 10 years) and after logging out, my picture
was showing whenever I browsed to Facebook (not logged in) to look at other

And don't start me on FF leaving documents in /tmp even after being shut down...


> cheers,
> Bob Edwards.
>>> John.
>>> On 24 June 2019 09:21:29 GMT+10:00, Eyal Lebedinsky via linux <linux at lists.samba.org> wrote:
>>>> Something I notice when using firefox (FF) is that some sites remember
>>>> me or my history,
>>>> and FF seems to be aiding this. I want to understand what is going on.
>>>> For example, I go to ebay, browse some items, and a panel shows "Your
>>>> Recently Viewed Items".
>>>> I close that tab and open one again and it still remembers this (never
>>>> logged in). OK.
>>>> I now start ff, then add a Private Browsing (PB) window and open ebay,
>>>> browse items in a few tabs,
>>>> close the ebay tabs (PB window left open) and clear data and history
>>>> (via preferences, showing zero
>>>> cookies, data and cache).
>>>>   -> A new ebay tab still shows the history.
>>>> I now close the PB window (FF still running) and open a new PB window.
>>>>   -> A new ebay tab does not show the history.
>>>> It seems that what I do with FF allows the site to remember or forget
>>>> my browsing, regardless of
>>>> clearing history/data. What else can I clear?
>>>> My question is: where/how is this history kept?
>>>> TIA

Eyal at Home (eyal at eyal.emu.id.au)

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