I talked to the Wikipedia sysadmin some time ago and there is a plan
to switch to a new system which should be kept up to date more regularly.
In general I think the browser vendors response to concerns about the
user agent is to suggest using incognito mode.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Michael Catanzaro" <mcatanzaro(a)gnome.org>
Sent: Monday, September 28, 2015 11:39:31 AM
Subject: Re: Google Chrome User-Agent Extension
On Mon, 2015-09-28 at 10:42 -0400, Stephen Gallagher wrote:
> This bug was just brought to my attention:
> It appears that this extension is now installed by default on the
> Fedora Workstation release. I don't personally have a problem with
> this, but could someone please point me to where the decision was
> and discussed so I can update the BZ and close it out?
It's to allow sites to collect of statistics on the number of Fedora
users, in particular Wikimedia . (But notice the big red warning at
the top of the page, about that report not being maintained. I wonder
if we are still using this or not.) Note that for Firefox and
WebKitGTK+, we simply used patches rather than browser extensions.
The disadvantage is that it does of course make your browser
fingerprint more unique, which caused me to hesitate at first, but I
think the privacy concerns are quite minimal. Servers already know
you're using non-Ubuntu Linux, which is a very, very small class of
users.  is very likely to show that your browser fingerprint is
unique (or almost unique) with or without Fedora in the user agent. And
none of that matters, because sites can use several forms of
supercookies (e.g. using HSTS database abuse, or using IndexedDB;
probably also with WebSQL or localstorage, not sure) to identify you
uniquely irrespective of any of this. The only possibly-significant
harm is that it informs the server that you're using Fedora rather than
some other distro. We can debate whether that should be kept private by
default, but I don't think so. :)
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