:tools: Scheduled maintenance

Heads up! Downtime for the Forums, related to the NodeBB upgrade, is planned for Thursday, December 14, starting from 10:00 UTC.
Please make sure to finish all your posts before this time. The downtime should only last for a few minutes.

Major Privacy Problem

  • I'm really concerned about this privacy problem:

    Up to Opera 47 all data were deleted, when the option "clean browser history" was pressed/used, now with Opera 48 cookies and local-datas were deleted, but the entries/names of the visited sites are still present,
    even when select the option "from install/start"
    and so everyone can see which site you have visited, and this is totally against privacy. The only way to delete all datas is to close the browser (after pressing clean-browser-history) and this makes no sense at all, this has nothing to do with privacy-protection and is not practical and also not acceptable!

    Most opera users don't know the problem!

    To the opera developers:
    please respect the privacy of your users and remove this major privacy problem. When we pressing "clean-browser-history" then no data should been left, no cookies, no local-data, and no entries elsewhere in the browser, no visible entries should been left.

    THX.

    BitRat

  • I've responded to a few posts recently about this. In your cookies settings is the option 'Keep local data only until I quit my browser'. This option keeps any local cookies, even when you delete browsing data or attempt to manually delete. If you select the cookie option 'Allow local data to be set (recommended)' (personally, I say not recommended), local cookies will only delete when they have expired. All of the major browsers have cookies set in this exact same way. I ran a test and, for example, in Firefox local cookies aren't deleted when clearing browser data and manually deleting doesn't delete them either. These options for cookies have been this way in browsers for many years now including Opera. This tells me that the way Opera handles cookies is the same as every other browser. If it's a security breach, as you say, then all browsers are breaching security. I don't understand why people need to keep deleting cookies after every site they visit (I assume that's what you are wanting to do) as you collect more each site you visit. Cookies are needed as a lot of websites wont function without them. If you think the cookies on your browser are tracking your every move, then the only option is to stop using the internet! ;-)

  • To some users, any record of the names or content of visited sites left in the browser may prove an "embarassment" when/if other users share the system. In a few locales, certain leftover names or content records in a browser may have fatal potential. Not knowing the poster's reasons for wanting the browser records completely cleaned upon demand, it's hard to be critical. I do share the opinion that a browser function or settings label should accurately reflect reality, and an option to 'clean browser history' should indeed clear all the forms of browing records since each of them constitutes part of its true browsing history. Only clearing some of the data under such a label forms a misleading impression of security; this is even more true if there are not co-located alternate controls for records-removal that might act to reinforce a user understanding of the incompleteness of the original function.

  • Local data is for off-line access to web apps, especially, so that for example you can still read online Office documents or Gmail messages that you've seen before even though you have no internet where you actually are now. (Obviously not new mail or changes to the documents that colleagues have made since you last looked at them, though.) If that's not you - if you never use web apps or always have an intenet connection (because you are using a desktop and never move the computer, perhaps) then you could turn it off. When you do access Gmail it may be a little slower that way since nothing will be stored on your system, but it will still work.

    (And yes, sites also use local data to autofill forms, or in place of cookies.)

  • @blackbird71 said in Major Privacy Problem:

    To some users, any record of the names or content of visited sites left in the browser may prove an "embarassment" when/if other users share the system.

    Sure but all cookies including local ones are deleted if you clear browsing data and close down the browser. If someone is using a shared system, I'd suggest not allowing the browser to store logins, passwords etc.

  • @cozza However, @bitrat's complaint was that with Opera 48, in his experience, the "clean browser history" setting is not fully deleting "entries/names of the visited sites" - they were still present until he closed the browser, though other data might have been deleted. That would indicate a change in browser performance with the new version, since he indicates all such data was cleared by using that function without him having to close the browser using Opera 47. Consequently, the former interpretation of "clean browser history" would no longer seem to describe what is occurring, and this could leave users of former versions with a false sense of privacy about fully clearing their browser data under the new version.

    It would be helpful if the OP would re-post here to give further details about just what/where he's seeing the entries/names he mentions.

  • I clean cache by Opera's internal method and close browser. I go to profile / cache it's full of cache files. Does the browser delete them when browser launched next time?

    Another thing - why does extensions trash disk with log files and whatnot sync~ even when nothing is synced?

  • @blackbird71 I no longer have Opera 47 to verify that was the case, unfortunately. Still, as I've said before, in the cookie settings is the option 'Keep local data only until I quit my browser'. That tells us local data remains until the browser is closed. Also, this setting has been in browsers for many years, long before Opera 47. Whilst I've never paid much attention to cookies, I have always deleted browsing data before closing the browser (I also block 3rd party cookies). I'll also say again, all the other major browsers I've tested behave in exactly the same way. Apologies for having to repeat myself.

    I agree we could do with some more info from the OP, especially a bit of info about his browsing habbits - are they on a shared system? How long do they keep the browser open before closing (is it hours?)? How many tabs are they likely to have open? It might explain why they would want local cookies deleted whilst the browser is open.

    @rudrick You need to make sure the cookie setting (Settings / Privacy & Security) 'Keep local data only until I quit my browser' is checked. If you clear browsing data (make sure Cookies and other site data is checked) and close Opera, it should clear all cookies.

  • @cozza said in Major Privacy Problem:

    @blackbird71 I no longer have Opera 47 to verify that was the case, unfortunately. Still, as I've said before, in the cookie settings is the option 'Keep local data only until I quit my browser'. That tells us local data remains until the browser is closed. Also, this setting has been in browsers for many years, long before Opera 47. Whilst I've never paid much attention to cookies, I have always deleted browsing data before closing the browser (I also block 3rd party cookies). I'll also say again, all the other major browsers I've tested behave in exactly the same way. Apologies for having to repeat myself. ...

    I operate my browsers much like you in terms of how I deal with browsing site-data: I keep 3rd-party cookies shut off, use 'keep local data until I quit the browser', and use an extension (C&C) to periodically clear cookies, history, and/or cache manually at times during a long browser session. Nevertheless, from the standpoint of best privacy practice, there's nothing quite like shutting the browser off from time to time (with appropriate settings) to clear all stored data.

    That said, I do wish all browsers contained a master function button that guaranteed all history, personal data (other than passwords), and site-data caches were immediately cleared upon pressing. I believe this is what the OP thought existed in past Opera versions, though like you, I have none of those older Opera versions installed on this system to verify.

    I also believe part of the problem lies in the interpretation of the words 'history' and 'data' in browser settings titles. Some might believe (as does the OP) that history consists of all prior site-data from a browsing session; others may believe that term only refers to a cached list of visited site URLs. The 'data' term likewise can be very open-ended in terms of what is specifically meant in a setting title. Superimposed on all this interpretation confusion are the apparent occasional changes that seem to occur with the chromium engine and superimposed browser layers in terms of how data/history is actually stored and cleared in any given version. Hence the user need is created for a clearly-defined 'Clear All Data' browser button that truly removes everything.

  • Well, under Clear browsing data I have everything ticked and choose to delete from 'the beginning of time'. Can't do much more than that. I also use the extension Disconnect to block trackers. The irony with this extension (and most if not all extensions), it needs permission to access my browsing data! I'm sure this is just so it can monitor and block trackers but, still, this is why I don't run lots of extensions (Opera eliminates the need as it has native features other browsers don't). The Click&Clean extension you use (I assume it's this one) will be accessing your browsing data too. I used that extension for a while but, for my needs, it didn't really provide more than ctrl+shift+del does. Btw, no master function to delete all data has existed in Opera (or other browsers) as I would have used it. I believe, to the best of my knowledge, Opera is functioning the way it always has.

  • @Cozza,
    It's not about the settings in the browser, they're all set correctly for me, it's not about what cookies or offline data is needed.
    I'm concerned with security, protecting our privacy.

    I have selected the option "Delete local data when closing the browser", as well as the option "Since installation" under "Clean Browser History"

    BUT:

    If you do not close the browser, then all entries of the "Offline Data" and "Cookies" are retained. The data appears to be deleted, but not the entries. Everyone can then see which websites you have visited.

    This is a problem when several people are working on a computer. If you forget to close the browser, the next one can see your browsing history (the entries), and that's a "no go"!

    In order to preserve the privacy, it is sometimes necessary to delete the browsing history, otherwise your cookies and other data will be read out from other websites and you will be profiled by yourself. Most cookies are used to spy on you, not to make your life easier.

    It is also not very convenient to close the browser every time to get rid of the garbage.

    @blackbird: You have understood me. In Opera 47 that was not a problem, because you have not seen these entries, in any version before Opera 48.
    It may be that the entries are left over, but we could not see them ... (internal database)

    I hope the Opera developer team corrects the problem with the visible entries. All data must be deleted if you use "Clean Browser History" (depending on the settings!) If I select everything, then everything must be deleted; not only the data, but also the entries.

    Why else do you use "Clean Browser History"?

  • So, you're basically saying there's a bug, and the bug is that the "clear browsing data" function doesn't flush the local storage entries from the "All cookies and site data" dialog?

    (Where the entries only get flushed/removed on exit of the browser, either because the flushing is delayed till exit or there is no flushing and they'e just no longer there on startup because the data and entries are gone from the files.)

    To me, it sounds like a simple UI issue.

  • @burnout426
    Maybe just a bug of the UI, maybe a real problem !?

    Anyone can check the bug itself:
    Clean your Browser History and close Opera. Now restart Opera and visit some websites, such as a major online retailer, a well-known daily newspaper, and the page of a computer magazine (or something else)

    Now clear the browsing history (maximum privacy settings); now look at the settings under "Cookie Management", here you can see all the cookies and offline data you left while surfing,
    => press "delete everything" and "finish" and all entries will be deleted;
    Close the window of the "Cookie Management" and open it again immediately => and all entries are back ... and that is not acceptable.

    The only way to delete the entries is to close the browser => that is completely unnecessary and makes no sense.

  • I've just discovered that if you want privacy, Opera is not the browser for you.

  • If you want privacy, you use a private window.

  • @bitrat said in Major Privacy Problem:

    @burnout426
    Maybe just a bug of the UI, maybe a real problem !?

    Anyone can check the bug itself:
    Clean your Browser History and close Opera. Now restart Opera and visit some websites, such as a major online retailer, a well-known daily newspaper, and the page of a computer magazine (or something else)

    Now clear the browsing history (maximum privacy settings); now look at the settings under "Cookie Management", here you can see all the cookies and offline data you left while surfing,
    => press "delete everything" and "finish" and all entries will be deleted;
    Close the window of the "Cookie Management" and open it again immediately => and all entries are back ... and that is not acceptable.

    The only way to delete the entries is to close the browser => that is completely unnecessary and makes no sense.

    Yes I can confirm. To me, it's a bug that should be fixed.

  • I can confirm using Firefox, deleting browsing data doesn't remove all cookies either (I have found other browsers to behave the same). However when I manually removed them, they seemed to stay removed. Although manually removing worked, it is a huge faff and not something I would want to have to do every browsing session. @bitrat have you reported this to Opera? I don't think they read the Opera Forums.

  • @bitrat said in Major Privacy Problem:

    This is a problem when several people are working on a computer. If you forget to close the browser, the next one can see your browsing history (the entries), and that's a "no go"!

    If I get you correctly, you are saying unless you close the browser, your local cookie history would be available to anyone who knows where to find them? Is that the main point of your argument? Personally, not an issue for me as I always delete the data and close the browser after use. Also, what if someone closes the browser but forgets/doesn't know to clear the data? Local cookies would go (if selected in privacy options) but everything else would remain, including browser history. Personally I prefer the Firefox approach that allows all data to be automatically deleted when closing the browser as having to delete data every time before closing is quite annoying.

  • @cozza said in Major Privacy Problem:

    @bitrat said in Major Privacy Problem:

    This is a problem when several people are working on a computer. If you forget to close the browser, the next one can see your browsing history (the entries), and that's a "no go"!

    If I get you correctly, you are saying unless you close the browser, your local cookie history would be available to anyone who knows where to find them? Is that the main point of your argument? ...

    I think he's saying that the data details get deleted, but not the entry titles for each site visited, He wrote: "...If you do not close the browser, then all entries of the "Offline Data" and "Cookies" are retained. The data appears to be deleted, but not the entries. Everyone can then see which websites you have visited."

  • If you are sharing a computer with others without each one having its own user to access that computer then your privacy will always be zero.

Log in to reply
 

Looks like your connection to Opera forums was lost, please wait while we try to reconnect.