Create a temporary youtube account with which to watch youtube videos anonymously via Duck Duck Go.

<hidden> anonymous
Created: 3 years and 8 months ago • Updated: 3 years and 8 months ago
Youtube video search result said "We can't play this video anonymously because google doesn't allow anonymous viewing."

Right now, if you watch the video and you have a Google account, Google tracks your view.

How about DDG transparently creating a temporary Google account, so Duck Duck Go Users can watch videos anonymously under that "burner" account without being tracked by Google?

(Edited for clarity based on comments. Thanks for the feedback)

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anonymous
That doesn't make sense, if you use any YouTube account you're still monitored by Google.
posted by <hidden> • 3 years and 8 months ago Link
anonymous
You wrote: " if you use any YouTube account you're still monitored by Google"

That is correct. But if it's a temporary account with no connection to other personally identifiable information about you as an individual, then data gathered from the account is in effect useless for tracking you.

Google would know someone at that account watched the video, but they couldn't necessarily connect that data with your personal data profile.

If you're interested in rough ideas as to how this might be implemented, feel free to check out my response to the comment below.

Thanks for responding!


posted by <hidden> • 3 years and 8 months ago Link
anonymous
As severuscold said, they track your IP and probably the user-agent too, like in 99% of websites.
DDG doesn't track you but it can't modify the behaviour of other websites.
If you really don't want to be tracked for normal browsing you could use Tor.
Hope this helps.
posted by <hidden> • 3 years and 8 months ago Link
anonymous
Yup, I wonder if forwarding the request through a VPN would help with the IP part.

Also, couldn't DDG modify the request in flight by overwriting the youtube video url with a URL that hits them first? Then they can fiddle with the request and forward an anonymized version on to youtube.

Hmmm....
posted by <hidden> • 3 years and 8 months ago Link
severuscold
You don't need an account to be able to watch videos from/on youtube.

It doesn't let you watch videos because duckduckgo is letting you surf anon. Just allow the video to play on the duckduckgo site, or just head to their website, that simple.
posted by severuscold Translation Manager3 years and 8 months ago Link
anonymous
Right, so you wrote:

"It doesn't let you watch videos because duckduckgo is letting you surf anon. Just allow the video to play on the duckduckgo site, or just head to their website, that simple."

The tradeoff of hitting play is that your view is tracked by google.
So the idea is to allow users to watch youtube videos without being tracked.

If DDG created temporary google account with which you can watch the video, because the account could be temporary and randomly assigned to different duck duck go users, the tracking data google gets from it could have no connection to you as an individual.

One way of implementing video view anonymity might be to launch a private browsing window, where duck duck go creates a new google account behind the scenes, and loads up the video. When the private browser window closes, so does the temporary account.

Another way to implement it would be to use a temp google account, play the video on a duck duck go server, and then "stream" the video to the current browser window, untrackable by Google. This might conflict with Youtube EULA though.

These are just two possible implementations. There may be simpler ways to do it, but the general idea is to use temporary accounts preventing google from tracking you when want to watch a video on the Duck Duck Go site.

There are existing services that offer temporary email accounts. So this is just applying that principle to to this use case.

Hope that clarifies things.
posted by <hidden> • 3 years and 8 months ago Link
severuscold
Even if they created an anon youtube account, your IP would still get logged for security reasons. It's just the way its been made. Unless of course google created something like that.
posted by severuscold Translation Manager3 years and 8 months ago Link
anonymous
Maybe DDG could forward the request through VPN on their end to hide the requesting IP from Google.
posted by <hidden> • 3 years and 8 months ago Link
Qqwy
Instead of a 'secret youtube account', DuckDuckGo could go ahead and mirror commonly-watched youtube videos.
For people that do not know what 'mirroring' means: Basically, DDG will download the video to their servers, and then let people watch it through their (non-youtube, non-tracking) player at a later time.

The drawback to this approach is of course that it takes lots of space to save videos.

--
Another thing I would like, is if the Video results would not only consist of YouTube videos, but instead also use Vimeo, DailyMotion, Veoh, and possibly other sources. YouTube certainly is the biggest, but by no means the only or the best video sharing platform for each kind of search query.
posted by Qqwy 3 years and 8 months ago Link
anonymous
Second the other sources. As for implementation method, I imagine there are a lot of engineers who would be better at that than I. But to get around the mirroring, which might break EULA for some sites, maybe they could forward the request through a VPN to hide the IP from google. If someone who specializes in networks has any insight, I'd be curious what the best way to implement it would be.
posted by <hidden> • 3 years and 8 months ago Link
anonymous
I just looked at the source and they seem to be caching the video placeholder images already.

Code:
<img 
     class="detail__media__placeholder" 
     src="//images.duckduckgo.com/iu/?u=https%3A%2F%2Fi1.ytimg.com%2Fvi%2F6q68UFUNKGA%2Fmqdefault.jpg&amp;f=1">


And then iframing with no cookie if you watch on DDG.

Code:
<iframe 
    class="detail__media__vid" 
    src="https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/6q68UFUNKGA?wmode=transparent&amp;iv_load_policy=3&amp;autoplay=1&amp;html5=1"
    frameborder="0" 
    scrolling="no" 
    allowfullscreen="" 
    webkitallowfullscreen="" 
    mozallowfullscreen="">
</iframe>


So I wonder if it would be possible to modify the URL so it hits DDG's server, then forwards the real URL to youtube through the VPN.

Anyway, if anyone knows how to make this work, do share. :)
posted by <hidden> • 3 years and 8 months ago Link
Qqwy
There are multiple services out there that instantly let you download the .flv (the actual video file YouTube and similar flash-based solutions use) when you enter a YouTube URL. DuckDuckGo could create a system like that as well. This file could then be forwarded to the user from a DuckDuckGo server.

In this case, the system would work on-demand, and thus not have such a big space usage, as video files will be removed from the server, X minutes after a request.
posted by Qqwy 3 years and 8 months ago Link