Changing language settings

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Changing language settings

Rhoslyn Prys-2
I'm finding this statement to be problematic:

Changing your language setting to English will make you more difficult
to identify and enhance your privacy. Do you want to request English
language versions of web pages?

Comment Spoof Accept-Language prompt

I'm not sure if I believe this is true. Do we have any facts to support
this statement?

Rhos

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Re: Changing language settings

Francesco Lodolo [:flod]
Il 20/12/17 11.33, Rhoslyn Prys ha scritto:

> I'm finding this statement to be problematic:
>
> Changing your language setting to English will make you more difficult
> to identify and enhance your privacy. Do you want to request English
> language versions of web pages?
>
> Comment Spoof Accept-Language prompt
>
> I'm not sure if I believe this is true. Do we have any facts to
> support this statement?
Not really, and it's been pointed out in the bug, e.g.
https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1039069#c25

It might be true if you speak a minority language and live in US, not
really if you live in a remote village of a non English speaking country.

Note that this is not a feature exposed by default, it's behind a
preference in about:config and ported as part of TOR browser.

Francesco
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Re: Changing language settings

Eduardo Trápani
On 20/12/17 07:51, Francesco Lodolo [:flod] wrote:
> Il 20/12/17 11.33, Rhoslyn Prys ha scritto:
>> I'm finding this statement to be problematic:

Me too.

>> Changing your language setting to English will make you more difficult
>> to identify and enhance your privacy. Do you want to request English
>> language versions of web pages?
>>
>> Comment Spoof Accept-Language prompt
>>
>> I'm not sure if I believe this is true. Do we have any facts to
>> support this statement?
> Not really, and it's been pointed out in the bug, e.g.
> https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1039069#c25

The bug title is:

"Warn the user that customizing the preferred language list
(Accept-Language) can be used for fingerprinting"

and that's ok. The problem is that it then turned into:

"Tell the user that en-US is a better choice to avoid fingerprinting"

Warn the user is ok, and then let him/her choose. But and educated
choice would not be to use en-US, but the same language of the region
the user is in. That will "dilute" the fingerprinting value of the
accepted language.

It's like trying to hide yourself. Choosing en-US in a zh-TW region, I
don't know how that would help avoid fingerprinting.

I would go back to the title, letting the user decide which locale is
more appropriate. And no, it's not always en-US, unless you are actually
in the US or you're using Tor or a VPN with the exit node in the US.

> It might be true if you speak a minority language and live in US, not
> really if you live in a remote village of a non English speaking country.

I disagree. If you live in a remote village in Uruguay, your IP will say
so, and using en-US will instantly make you a minority (es-* being the
majority).

That change only makes sense for the Tor browser, where the IP does not
tell about the origin. Or for users using a VPN.

> Note that this is not a feature exposed by default, it's behind a
> preference in about:config and ported as part of TOR browser.

Well, I just filed https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1426413 
because I noticed that that preference had silently changed my accepted
languages list.


Eduardo.
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