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I block everything Google, including Google APIs, as I don't like to to have Google tracking all of my usage on the Internet. Is there any way to use Stack Exchange without Google APIs?

I usually am browsing with Windows 7 and Firefox, but of course not Firefox with StackExchange.

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    What, exactly, is broken when you block Google things? – Undo - Reinstate Monica Sep 23 '13 at 1:12
  • Well, can't see any of the login links, e.g. log in with Stack Exchange Google facebook Yahoo!. – user234810 Sep 23 '13 at 1:16
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    At least that would fix this bug :D – Undo - Reinstate Monica Sep 23 '13 at 1:48
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    if you have a smartphone chances are you already being tracked/tapped 24/7 regardless you block any google content rt.com/news/nsa-smart-phones-spying-563 I'm personally thinking of switching over to the good ol' nokia 3310 lol – Michael Sep 23 '13 at 2:18
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    @Michael I am well aware of the NSA, but it doesn't address my issue with Google. – user234810 Sep 23 '13 at 2:33
  • Most importantly, if you block google, you can't participate. You can't submit a comment or a question, and at least some of the time you can't log in (captcha). – mc0e Apr 19 '15 at 13:20
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Yes.

...Unless you're talking about the copy of jQuery hosted on Google's CDN, which is not exactly an API but does have the name "googleapis" in its URL. In that case, the answer is a qualified "no".

Since the entire point of loading that from a CDN is to minimize load time by using the version most folks already have cached somewhere, it's not a particularly effective way for anyone to track you. But if you insist on not using it, there are ways to avoid using it without breaking things.

See also: Stack Exchange's heavy reliance on external scripts

  • How can the script be grabbed without revealing my fingerprint? My understanding is that Google uses fingerprints to track users. – user234810 Sep 23 '13 at 2:43
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    Setup your hosts file to route calls to the CDN to your localhost version. TA-DA – random Sep 23 '13 at 3:01
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    In theory, yeah, they could be logging some information about your browser and OS configuration, @Paul. In practice, it's set up for heavy caching (something like a year expiration date) and there's no guarantee they'll be able to capture anything other than the information on one particular site you visited once. If this is worrying, use the tool I link to or the technique random suggests. – Shog9 Sep 23 '13 at 3:17
  • @Shog9 this is a quite popular extension you can add as well disconnect.me It disables any js tracking: "Disconnect lets you visualize and block the invisible websites that track you." apis are not included though i reckon... – Michael Sep 23 '13 at 4:08
  • @Shog9 actually after trying out this is possible. It's only disabled by default (google api blocking). – Michael Sep 23 '13 at 4:26
  • @Michael is there a way to get disconnect.me without paying $0 or more through a credit card, paypal or bitcoin? Paypal doesn't let me pay $0. Also, an obligatory question: are you affiliated with this site? – John Dvorak Sep 23 '13 at 5:34
  • @JanDvorak no i'm not in any way affiliated with this site. What you see on the website is nothing more than a donation box. You can just add it by clicking on "Get Disconnect" on the homepage. – Michael Sep 23 '13 at 6:09
  • @Michael ah, right, sorry - tunnel vision. – John Dvorak Sep 23 '13 at 6:12
  • @JanDvorak not a problem :) – Michael Sep 23 '13 at 6:14
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    @random certificates could be an issue later though – Nick Craver Sep 23 '13 at 10:02
  • Just print one out and put it in a cheap frame. No need to get all fancy feast – random Sep 23 '13 at 16:05
  • The jquery library and the captcha facility are the critical bits I'm aware of. – mc0e Apr 19 '15 at 13:22

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