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Request to unblock instant.page #4023
1st/3rd-party sites affected:
The 7000+ sites using instant.page to make their site faster. The script is delivered to 76 millions end users per month.
How is it broken?
Description why it should be removed:
I don’t log IP addresses of users that fetch the script (it’s served through Cloudflare Workers, serverless, so I don’t have regular server logs), and even if I did because it’s put in cache for 30 days I couldn’t track which sites using instant.page a user visits.
Some see prefetching in itself as a privacy violation, because it informs the server of which pages the user is going to click next before they have clicked. But that’s 1) a very minor privacy violation, 2) not a common practice, to say the least, it’s in fact unheard of. A marketer has no incentive to make use of this potential data because they already have much more interesting data to look at that are much easier to retrieve (the actual links clicked and heatmaps from users that don’t have a content blocker).
instant.page is a great antidote to today’s slowness of the internet by cheating latency (the main factor in web slowness). It would be sad if it’s killed by content blockers because of a very minor and in fact theoretical privacy kerfuffle.
I know, I addressed that: it’s a theoretical minor violation of privacy, in return you get a much improved experience.
If there was a poll, the vast majority of privacy-oriented people would choose the improved experience over the theoretical privacy violation I’m pretty sure. It’s been popular on Hacker News and Reddit for instance and there’s been very very little complaints about the privacy aspect, it’s a fringe opinion.
408 comments, 4 complaining about privacy, or about 1%, on forums used by people who generally care about privacy. Please don’t ruin it for the other 99%.
Hacker News - 337 comments total, 2 complaining about privacy:
You can verify this for yourself with Ctrl + F and “privacy”.
Note also that detecting pages that are hovered over wouldn’t work from a tracking perspective because on mobile prefetches are done even when the user is only just scrolling, if they started touching their display on a link.
Again, no one tracks people this way.
I don't think it can be included to the list of 'tracking scripts' just becuase it's tracing mouse or preloading
If the aim of this list is to reduce data/bandwidth usage, then I agree. Otherwise, blocking scripts like instant.page for privacy/ads is a bad idea