Screenshots - Google Toolbar Continues Tracking Browsing Even When Users "Disable" the Toolbar via "Manage Add-Ons"
Google Toolbar Tracks Browsing Even After Users Choose "Disable" - Ben Edelman
This page gives screenshots showing that Google Toolbar continues tracking a user's browsing even after a user specifically disables the Google Toolbar via the IE8 "Manage Add-Ons" dialog box. All testing occurred on January 21, 2010.
See also discussion in main article, as well as a screen-capture video.
The Google Toolbar - Installed
I activate IE's Manage Add-ons feature. (Screenshot taken from video at 0:06.)
Selecting Google Toolbar
I choose the Google Toolbar entry in the list of add-ons, and I press the Disable button. (Screenshot taken from video at 0:11.)
Selecting Google Toolbar - Additional Components
A second Internet Explorer popup appears, offering the options shown below. I leave the checkboxes in their default settings, just as shown here, and I press Disable to close the dialog box. (Screenshot taken from video at 0:12.)
I browse various pages on the Whitehouse.gov site. (Screenshot taken from video at 0:35.)
Google Toolbar Continued Tracking My Browsing
Although I had asked that the Google Toolbar be "disable[d]," my network monitor revealed that Google Toolbar continued to transmit my browsing to its toolbarqueries.google.com server. Indeed, as I requested various pages on the whitehouse.gov site, Google Toolbar transmitted the full URLs of those pages. See the "issues" line (highlighted in blue (reflecting my browsing to the www.whitehouse.gov/issues page) as well as the "video" entry seven lines above. (Screenshot taken from video at 0:44.)