Integrating with "Forget about this domain" featur

Various discussions related to Adblock Plus development

What about "forget about this site"?

Postby Reve » Tue Jul 14, 2009 12:23 pm

Would it be possible to make this partially work with Firefox 3.5's wonderful "Forget about this site" feature?

According to an earlier poster, the "browser:purge-domain-data" notification lets you know which domain is being cleared.

I expect this could only work for rules which match a specific domain. Basically, if a rule matches a.com or *.a.com, then doing "forget about this site" for a.com would clear hits for that rule.

This is likely to just match a limited set of domains, and might be rather difficult to implement, so I'm not sure whether it's possible or worth doing, but I thought I'd at least suggest it.
Reve
 

Does it respect the max history age?

Postby Reve » Tue Jul 14, 2009 12:36 pm

Does ABP respect the value for the maximum number of days to keep history for? For example, Firefox 3.5 recently made this apply to form data as well, and this seems like the preference that should be used as reference - in particular, some users may make it very short (maybe even "0").

You could definitely use this preference to do at least:

1) If it's set to zero (or if they select not to remember browsing history), disable logging of hits in ABP

2) Use at least the "last hit" value to check against this date, and clear values which are older (for those sites you may have visited a long time ago but not any more). This is particular important for privacy-concious individuals who might have dropped this down to a lower value (wasn't it originally something like 7 or 14 days?)

Ideally it would automatically cut old entries off the list as they expire, but that might be difficult to do without actually sacrificing privacy instead - I'm guessing you only log the last hit date and not all hit dates, and you'd have to log each hit date that way.
Reve
 

Postby Reve » Tue Jul 14, 2009 12:43 pm

Wladimir Palant wrote:That was my original thinking - however, particularly for element hiding filters (and for other domain-restricted filters that are increasingly used now) this is not true. If the filter only matches on one domain the last hit date gives away when you visited that domain last time - this is basically the same kind of information that you have in your browsing history. I am not sure what your reasons are for clearing browsing history but I guess that the same reasons should apply to ABP hit statistics.

Ahh I seem to have skimmed this without really taking it in. If, as you say, domain-restricted filters are increasingly used, this seems to make my idea of it working with the "forget about this site" option more relevant.

Sorry for the numerous posts - I felt it was better to split the two previous different issues into two separate posts, and I can't edit the first one to add this comment as I'm not registered.

Thanks again - AdBlock Plus 1.1 looks like a really major release (changelog is heowge!) and I appreciate the considerations being given to privacy.
Reve
 

Postby Wladimir Palant » Tue Jul 14, 2009 4:36 pm

Purging hit data for a particular domain sounds like a good idea - but recognizing whether a filter "belongs" to a domain is everything but trivial. For example, it is clear that "banner$domain=example.com" belongs to the example.com domain. But what about "banner$domain=example.com,example.info"? Or "banner$domain=~example.info" (which will match on example.com as well)? And it isn't limited to the domain option. While "@@||example.com^" clearly belongs to that domain, "@@example.com" isn't as strict and might match anywhere.

It would be an option to integrate this feature with the proposal in https://adblockplus.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=3966 (only clear if last hit was on this domain) - but the idea is to save the address of last hit strictly as an opt-in feature.

As to the other proposal (only save hits for the interval for which history is being kept) - I'm not sure about it. This setting is often being decreased for reasons of performance rather than privacy. Since hit counts don't have a performance impact, one would need an Adblock Plus specific setting rather than reusing a global one.
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Postby Reve » Tue Jul 14, 2009 4:59 pm

Thanks for your helpful reply.
Wladimir Palant wrote:recognizing whether a filter "belongs" to a domain is everything but trivial.

I assumed it wasn't trivial, but I was wondering whether it was "hard but doable" vs "almost impossible".

Assuming the rules for domain matching can be sorted out, I don't think we need to worry too much about the potential performance of this - "forget about this site" is usually a rare action to be taken by a user, and due to what it already clears, can take a little while - a delay of no more than, say, one second in the worst case would probably be acceptable here, I'd guess.

[edit - put it all into one post]

Wladimir Palant wrote:It would be an option to integrate this feature with the proposal in https://adblockplus.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=3966 (only clear if last hit was on this domain) - but the idea is to save the address of last hit strictly as an opt-in feature.

I'm not sure that matching when the last hit is for the domain is a good idea - I'm not sure if what that would gain would be particularly significant (all you'd need would be to visit another site which matched the rule).

As you've said you'd have to enable that option, as it's got privacy implications, I don't think sacrificing privacy in that way would make up for the gains implementing this would achieve.

Wladimir Palant wrote:As to the other proposal (only save hits for the interval for which history is being kept) - I'm not sure about it. This setting is often being decreased for reasons of performance rather than privacy. Since hit counts don't have a performance impact, one would need an Adblock Plus specific setting rather than reusing a global one.

I think it makes a good setting in general, as a "remember stuff I did for X days" setting. Even if there's no significant performance cost for leaving them, this seems semantically like the right default setting to have.

Not that an ABP pref is a bad idea here, but I feel it would be better if it defaulted to this X days figure, and the ABP pref could be set to override this (like you've got a hidden pref to cancel clearing hits on clearing search history).
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Postby Wladimir Palant » Tue Jul 14, 2009 5:20 pm

Reve wrote:I'm not sure that matching when the last hit is for the domain is a good idea - I'm not sure if what that would gain would be particularly significant (all you'd need would be to visit another site which matched the rule).

Same issue is caused by ambiguous rules that are restricted to multiple domains - Adblock Plus doesn't remember individual hits, only the total number. So it is impossible to tell after the fact which hits belong to which domain.

Yes, a default value like "keep hit statistics for 180 days" was what I was thinking about. It will make hit statistics somewhat less comparable because hits on filters like "pagead2" will never be cleared but I guess that's not really an issue.
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Postby Wisdom » Fri Jul 31, 2009 11:40 am

Why not simply offer an option to disable hit statistics?

You shouldn't do any hit statistics if you are really concerned about privacy. By the way hit statistics may not always directly point out where you visit. You may have a hit count on a porn site for example even if you never browse a porn site.
Wisdom
 

Postby Ares2 » Sun Aug 02, 2009 12:44 am

Wisdom wrote:Why not simply offer an option to disable hit statistics?

There already is (and it's not new): https://adblockplus.org/en/preferences#savestats
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Postby Wisdom » Tue Aug 04, 2009 11:01 am

Ares2 wrote:
Wisdom wrote:Why not simply offer an option to disable hit statistics?

There already is (and it's not new): https://adblockplus.org/en/preferences#savestats


Thanks I knew it. I should be clearer: Add that option in the GUI interface of ABP. The best location seems to be just above/under the option of "Reset hit statistics..."
Wisdom
 

Postby Wladimir Palant » Tue Aug 04, 2009 5:33 pm

See https://adblockplus.org/en/faq_project#options - I am pretty certain that most users don't care about hit statistics and don't even know what those are.
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