1. I’ve just finished watching the 1st episode, but I’m excited to see the rest! I plan to share this doc series with quite a few people — I hope they’ll watch, I think they will 🙂

  2. To the question, Where do you go when you want to waste time? I entered, honestly, “gutenberg.org” – but no trackers. So I entered, honestly, “openlibrary.org” – but no trackers. Finally, I entered, not so honestly, “feynmanlectures.caltech.edu/” and there were some trackers.

    Now, when I look at “My Data”, I see the feynman response described as the place I go “for laughs.” “Wasting time” is a concept different from “for laughs”. So I was puzzled, and now wonder how other responses are being interpreted back there in “the smoke-filled room”.

    • Your comment reminded me that the way I get my news, did not work, either. I use a news feed from Bing (not my choice), that I started using when I got Windows 8. I get to choose all the sites where my news will come from — CBC, CTV, BBC, Huffington Post, Salon, etc.

      How would I enter THAT … ?!

  3. Dear producers of Do Not Track,

    I just watched the episode released April 28, and this is to report that the algo whatevers in your system have not given any accurate info about myself. This is a highly valuable project, so I suggest tweaking up the system. A friend who also engaged in this good initiative, was flabbergasted and concerned that in his case, your program resulted in very accurate info about his personal computing history. Yet not so in my case for some reason.

    In my case, the part where the program draws from participants’ Facebooks to compile “likes”, strangely – despite my having submitted name, email and password info – featured data about somebody else unconnected to moi. My age as stated by the video was off by about 30 years, and I don’t recognize the “likes” pattern at all. The personality profile was inaccurate as a result. On farcebook, I offer virtually no info about moi. I totally faked the age as being over 100, and except for a very few references am virtually a non- entity. And I’m a lousy candidate for accurate tracking, as I totally eschew any health-damaging wireless technologies, and have never used a cell phone and will never do so due to the concomitant health damage these cause, and the security threats they represent.

    However, despite the need for tweaking in my case, this is a very worthwhile project – eh?

    Chris Anderson

    • Hi, Chris!

      Episode 3 will use the data of the host, Richard, if you don’t have sufficient data in your Facebook profile. We mention that in the interface, but you aren’t the only person to miss it. If we could have a time machine we would have made this more obvious – alas we are working on our other episodes 🙂

  4. Great comments by the Media lab folks; great project!

    • Thank you! Ethan and co are inspirations.

  5. Why did the video suddenly turn to German with French subtitles? I only speak English, somebody’s tracking is not working.

  6. I really like this documentation and this website at all. But what I don’t like is that it’s enormous confusing. Everywhere is something to read and watch and after a while your’re just lost in the content on the website.
    I would like a clearer storytelling and not that big amount of uncategorized further information everywhere.

    • Thanks for the feedback. We’re trying to build something that works for both people who want a quick experience, and for those who want to “dive deep” and find other material. It’s a challenge!

  7. thanks for this brilliant frigging expose. I am old (57) can’t believe it, anyway I buy with cash, have no cell phone, save my pennies, have payed all my credit cards (which I don’t use) and finally use an old Mac book that I bought for 200 bones from about 7 years ago. I found an app which says that I can do “private browsing’ on Safarie…. which I do. I really don’t know if this works but let me tell you working with Windows for years was an absolute nightmare. Now friends are telling me that Apple is starting to feel the same way. I say stay with what works, no updates, just the basics.

    • Gasp!

      Charlie, aren’t you afraid you might become alienated from society? No thoughtful texts from cell phone providers inviting you to advance to their latest model? No friendly calls from credit collectors so you can ask them how the weather is where they are? And refusing to accept and install the attentive and loyal upgrades to your computer’s OS . . ..

      Wow! Things could really turn lonely for you as you slip into your old age.

      In fact the isolation might be happening already.

      You mentioned saving your pennies.

      But if you’re from Canada, haven’t you heard the news about the coin being declared obsolete? Didn’t you receive a reminder when you logged in online to check your bank balance or to pay your bills back then?

      This is important stuff.

      For instance, as a cash customer myself, the other day I got a real dirty look from a Timmies employee when I could only come up with five pennies in place of the rounded nickel I needed.

      I found them in my car’s obsolete ashtray—I mean, if I was a nicotine addict, that would be another bonus of staying current: online shopping for e-cigarettes and their associated materials.

      But then being tracked for it . . .. Gosh, it’s good thing that type of thing can never show up on my healthcare records . . ..

      Hey, cheers from a possible soulmate here,

      P.S. Sorry I don’t have a personal website to link, but maybe later I’ll drop my PO box number. Just imagine what I could add to my postcard and stamp collection it this thing goes viral world-wide.

    • Charlie one thing you might want to consider is a VPN or Virtual Private Network.

      Keep in mind that “private browsing” mode on Safari only exists to not remember sites you visit. Sites can still drop cookies on your computer, and other surveillance methods still work in these modes. “Private browsing” is mainly so that others can’t see what sites you visit if they happen to look at your browser history.

  8. During Episode 1 of Do Not Track, you told us that your favorite newssite was http://www.realclearpolitics.com, and that one of the site you went looking for funny content was http://www.drudgereport.com

    Your trackers or your programming led you astray somehow. drudge report isn’t for funny content. I actually entered gutenberg.org for “wasting time” – but the website found no trackers there, and proposed to use a site I know nothing of.

    And, “wasting time” is not a synonym for “funny”.

    • Project Gutenberg (gutenberg.org is one of the few really honorable sites out there along with archive.org and wikipedia)

  9. This is such an awesome project and presentation. I am experiencing job envy. Kudos to the entire team who produced this. I plan to watch all 7 episodes.

    Michael Thorner

  10. Very nice to tackle these abstract subjects.. Ideal for class situations – and a great choice to go multilingual.

    I did see a glitch – yes I have a px , but I do not run Windows..
    I run Linux! More penguins please 🙂 (also because they are just so cool)

    Keep up the good work..


  11. Well done to the production team (camera, lighting, editing, music, catering, transport, costumes – particularly the indoor cap)! Interesting and thought-provoking.

  12. So so interesting. Graphically gorgeous.

  13. It would be about time for politicians to start thinking about this whole big data / profiling thing before it gets out of hand (and I mean really think what this all means not just do useless politics crap as it’s usual).
    Companies build huge databases with data about us that secret services never even dreamt of (who will ultimately benefit of all this for free of course). In a matter of a few years every agency in the world will have full profiles about us, not only financial, work related, or family stuff but perhaps psychological profiles, sexual orientation, medical histories etc. It’s not far fetched at all, just think of sites we visit and searches we do. They already have the data and are just working on better and better methods of creating the reports.

  14. Franchement, c’est génial vos reportage interactif, je suis vraiment fan!!
    C’est quoi les technos utilisées pour compiler vos vidéos avec des config?? C’est génial !

    Et le sujet parfait pour de l’interactif en plus c’est juste sublime.


  15. Love that there is something like this, and interactive at that, on the internet finally! It’s one thing to read, and research about all of this, but it’s another thing to actually have a visual, and be apart of it! Kudos!

    Also, I was wondering if at the end of all the episodes, or even in the last episode, if there will be some type of collective data shown from all the users that participated throughout the series? (Also, it says in your FAQ that you think about 100 people will participate… I think you need to add a couple zeros to the end of that! As this is spreading like wildfire all over the web!)

    • Yes, Danyel we will definitely be publishing some of what we have learned.

  16. Interesting … Great project – heard about it on the bbc radio (international) this morning – the interview hooked me. I’ll stay tuned for sure!

  17. While I truly appreciate and respect your initiative, I think you very much play a mad FUD game: Fear/Uncertainty/Doubt. Even the person speaking about surveillance makes a very serious, sad face to make the point. You clearly aim to scare the shit out of 98% of the people who will participate in your initiative.

    The first episode is certainly not journalism – it’s totally biased, and looking at the next episodes doesn’t indicate you will shine light on the other side of the coin. What about giving another perspective?

    I help tons of client to use digital analytics in an ethical way. I abide by the Digital Analytics Association code of ethic at http://www.digitalanalyticsassociation.org/codeofethics (I’m also a former board member and advocate in the field of digital analytics). Of course there’s scary things going on, there’s unethical practice, there’s clueless people abusing their privilege of data, there are criminals too… just like in any industry where some companies are not good corporate citizens.

    What if there was no tracking? While the early days of the Internet stems from government, defence and academia, the so-called Internet Economy stand on one thing: money. The sites you visit wouldn’t be as good as they are without tracking, Amazon wouldn’t as good, the news website you visit wouldn’t be free, your entertainment certainly wouldn’t be the same – heck, Google, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, iTunes, CNN, eBay – nothing – including your mobile experience – and even the technologies you use on this website wouldn’t be the same!

    If ever you want another perspective, I would be happy to introduce you to the Digital Analytics Association, to business leaders who take tracking seriously and can explain why they do it.

    Stephane Hamel

    • Ah, but that just means you’ll want to watch the rest of the series! That’s exactly our objective, to show why it needs to be more transparent. Because by no means should we throw the baby with the bath water.
      What about tracking twitter feeds to evaluate and predict epidemic spreads? What about tracking to offer better and more adapted services to the public? We have an entire episode that focuses just on that – the multiple positive uses of data tracking and how it can help us rethink this as a new means of thinking about ourselves and society. What we ask, is for more transparency, so companies can offer better services and public can better evaluate personal limits and risks. The fear is not induced by us… The fear comes from the fact that there is an entire economy that is very comfortable in its opacity at the moment. You’d be surprised! In the last few days, I’ve had to defend the pertinent and useful use of trackers and third-parties on Radio-Canada’s own website! And to Radio-Canada journalists… In other words, we are delighted that this series can open a real conversation. With a transparent discussions about the positive and negative impacts of data tracking, and what we, as a society, wish for it to become.

    • Hi, Stephane Hamel,

      With respect,

      Re: Digital Analytics Association

      The Web Analyst’s Code of Ethics

      “TRANSPARENCY – I agree to encourage full disclosure of my clients/employer consumer data collection practices and to encourage communication of how that data will be used in clear and understandable language. To this end I will work with my clients/employer to ensure that the privacy policy is up-to-date and provides a clear and truthful reflection of our collection, use and storage policies towards digitally-collected data. Without divulging proprietary or competitive information, I will be transparent, honest, and forthright regarding the data collected and how it is used to improve the overall consumer and customer experience online,” (http://www.digitalanalyticsassociation.org/codeofethics).

      On accessing the above page on the Digital Analytics Association website (directly from you post) my version of Ghostry found 3 trackers.

      So, without using the Ghostry app, which I just discovered through the ‘Do Not Track’ experience, how would I have immediately received a warning that the DAA Code of Ethics webpage appears to be contributing to tracking me?

      For instance, please come again, where does the DAA think the onus on transparency should lie, and why?


      Melan Magill
      Clueless but Learning User

  18. Verdict apres le premier Episode:
    Ils m’ont localisé dans un autre pays, merci VPN
    Je n’avais que 3 Tracker !
    Et le courriel pour l’episode deux c’est retrouver dans la junk mail

    Pas si mal, je suis bien parti !

  19. when i use the no tracking add on firefox pages loda sooooo much faster thanks

  20. I have to say this documentary so far is great, and I cant wait to get a few of my friends following it along to compare what our experiences of this are… and I be interested in seeing what my experience is like compared to the aggregate of everyone else who is following.

    Do you have any plans to publish some aggregate stats/figures from this towards the end? Would be nice to compare my routine, and how much it is tracked, to the rest of the participants.

    Just one note: It would have been nice to have been able to select my preferred news site despite it not having trackers (BBC News) however I can see how that wouldn’t have helped with the narrative.

    • Usually you should be able to. Perhaps you were on the mobile version (which is more limited). I’ve tried with bbc on my computer and it worked…(I’ll try it again and keep you posted)

  21. your team has put in a great deal of effort in bringing out this new kind of interactive content. I really liked it.

  22. Another project to get into is the amount of discreditors that prowl Social media, Chat rooms and Forums to defuse,divert or sway opinions through abuse or deceptions.These are created to prevent real dialogue from happening. Facebook itself was caught manipulating data as a test to see soicial behaviour changes this past year.
    AS we all know through the Snowden documents these are paid employees through political parties, NSA, Corporations CIA and others with private interests. You might find your project attacts a few of them here. Don’t feed the trolls.

    • You’re right! And you’ll be particularly interested by our episode dedicated to social media and Facebook!

  23. Your own tracking is a bit suspect. My go to sites every day are The New York Times, The London Time, and Perhaps the Globe and Mail – not Vice, NHL and National Post.

    • John ,sounds like you visited on mobile. For technical reasons we had to pick some sites on mobile, but if you view on a desktop computer or laptop you’ll be able to enter your own sites.

  24. Great concept and everything played nicely for me, no buffering.

  25. Wenn ich die Episode 1 Seie aufrufe, sehe ich nur eine schwarze Seite. Das liegt daran, daß NoScript aktiviert ist. Daß euch das nicht aufgefallen ist, läßt darauf schließen, daß ihr selbst mit offenem Visier unterwegs seid – kein Wunder daß man dann getrackt wird. Schwarze Seite auch bei upian.com und bei arte.tv muß ich erst weit runterscrollen bis sichtbarer Text kommt. Wer solche Websites anbietet, bleibt normalerweise außen vor.

    • Das hier ist ein personalisierte dokumentar serie, wobei sie javascript und tracking verwenden um die ganze Thema zu erklaeren brauchen. Sonst waere es ein einfache video, subjektiv aber nicht persoenlich betreffend.

  26. Ainsi, à 00:33 le 15 avril 2015, Traque interdite a déterminé que je me suis connecté à Traque Interdite à 06:33:28, au moyen de Firefox 31.0, et que mon point d’accès à Traque Interdite était… PE Ivanov Vitaliy Sergeevich.
    Ah ah ! Mon navigateur furtif était Tor et je suis passé sous le radar de donottrack-doc.com (le site web de la série) :p

  27. I found the first episode as soon as I saw it advertised on tv. My only issue is that you said that you were going to send me an e- mail, and you didn’t. Looking forward to following each couple of weeks.

    • I got the email 4/14 but it landed in my spam folder. So maybe it landed there…

  28. Ce sujet m’intéresse énormément et je suis très au courant de ce qui est mentionné dans l’Épisode 1.
    Il faut informer les gens, il faut que les gens sachent ce qui se passe à leur insu, oui. Mais pas de cette façon-ci svp.
    Entrez mon courriel pour participez – non merci!

    • Pour ma part, je trouve que le fait de s’investir personnellement en entrant son courriel permet de s’impliquer et donne plus d’impact. Je pense que la méthode est intéressante en soi, j’espère qu’il y aura également un compte-rendu là-dessus à la fin du webdocumentaire.

  29. It caught my interest to know more. So Esp 1 was interesting enough for me to want to know more.

    • Yay! Mission accomplished. There will be a new episode every two weeks. Let us know what you think of them!

  30. I couldn’t get the video to play using my normal firefox profile even with NoScript and uBlock disabled. I also couldn’t get the video to play with a default firefox profile (no add-ons).

    For some reason, Internet Explorer displays a blank page, but It’s not a browser I use, so I’ll not soend any time finding out why, as it seems to work on other sites…

    Chromium played the video but I wouldn’t want it on my system any longer than necessary.

  31. I think your documentary will be truly appreciated from both noobs and nerds.
    1 – Noobs will learn how data usage by service providers (Google, Facebook, and soon your bank and your health care) works and is questionable.
    2 – Nerds (data paranoids) will test their anti-tracking systems. I use Tor daily but sometimes also a Firefox+AdBlockEdge+NoScript.

    To be honest, when you use a lot of anti-tracking services, your digital experience on internet is somewhat weaken. A price to pay?

  32. I have ZenMate for Chrome installed, so I was pretty happy when your video told me I was in the USA, because that’s what ZenMate was set to, when actually I’m in the UK. Proved it’s working 🙂

    Try adding pop-up blocker and Adblock Plus so you don’t get any pesky advertising when visiting websites. Facebook and the Guardian look entirely different without advertising. I highly recommend it!

  33. And take this – something you should print out and pin on your wall, so you have something you can be proud of:

    your entry ticket to the big journalist arena, I guess. “Look, we are so cool, we are making a big story about tracking and we are tracking the people watching it and in the evening we laugh about how stupid all these idiots are”.

    You are right, many of the facebook noobs are really stupid, but making jokes out of stupid people is easy. making jokes out of people who are trying to be smart is more fun. wait and see.

    • We don’t think anyone is stupid. Some people are thinking about online tracking for the first time – being transparent about how this works, and being open about some of the contradictions and tough questions about the web economy, is a part of Do Not Track.

    • Your lack of reflection is breathtaking BIGBROTHER…

  34. Hopefully these screenshots will go a long way travelling the nets. Here is the monument of your LIES:

  35. What makes me really FURIOUS is the fact that I KNEW this before: of course this site is using google analytics and AT internet TRACKERS! ARTISTS!!! YOUR WORK IS WORTHLESS if you are not willing to fight for your and our rights! As artists and producers you can take the necessary measures and prohibit usage of your material if there are trackers on the presenting site itself. This, of course, needs real courage, this is a little bit more than producing nice pictures and some text. HYPOCRISY!!!

    • Our goal is to be transparent and show how tracking works. You can see our thinking on this here https://donottrack-doc.com/en/your-datas/

    • Did you understand the purpose of this project or are you just a troll ?
      This site tracks visitors to show them what others sites are using without telling them. If you prevent it fine, you are aware of the problem. But this site is not for you.

  36. great episode – it’s mind boggling how our daily interaction with the internet is used to collect all kinds of information about us without us knowing who is doing the tracking and for what purpose… the question is are we willing to pay a price for our privacy?

  37. Great initiative! I just watched part 1, and while it buffers a lot it does a great job at making clear how tracking exactly works.

  38. This looks like an interesting project, but I can’t get your video to work. It buffers really slowly, and then plays without sound, and because the player cannot be controlled, I cannot “rewind” to reply sections that are skipped. Good luck with the project. I recommend putting the videos on YouTube.

    • There may be a lot of people on the site right now. We can’t put the video on YouTube, on every episode, part of the content is video, most of the content is coming directly from the internet.
      Thanks for your interest.

    • It won’t even load for me, gets to 98% and stops.