How safe are RSS?


#1

So how safe are they? Can I use RSS for YouTube channels and not send my IP address or any other kinds of identifiable information to the site I am requesting from? What exactly is being sent?

What makes RSS good? Is it only because we can retrieve information from different sites without opening every one of them so everything updates and displays in one place?


#2

And a follow up: is there a decent news feed reader (in the making) for the L5?


#3

Oops, I maybe should have posted that follow up in another category.)


#4

I have never hear of tracking or anything like this with in pure rss feeds. Thought this dosen’t mean it’s impossible but it would surprise me. But you can’t get information form a server without telling it where to give the answer. So you have to give some on your ip.
Local feed reader means you give any site your ip. Having a hosted one would mean any RSS site would get the ip of your host server and your host server would get your ip when you load it from there. Also many feeds only have teasers in an you need to access the actual site to read the whole article. So your ip would also leak and trackers got in while accessing the site.

So i’m not quiet sure what the exact concern is.

I would categories it like normale web surfing. Maybe a little less tracked for full text feeds and hosted versions.


#5

That’s what tcpdump is for. :slight_smile:

Obviously anything to do with Google raises huge surveillance capitalism red flags.

From what I’ve seen of using YouTube directly i.e. not via RSS, there is a lot of creepy stuff going on there. There aint no such thing as a free lunch. You are the lunch. So caveat emptor.

Basically, yes. Also it can tell you what are the updates (the new content).


#6

i’m too “random” to use RSS or subscribe to snoop-tube service.


#7

RSS isn’t really a privacy technology. It’s just a way to keep up-to-date with content published on the Web. Like you say, to avoid having to remember to check each site and go to each site individually. However, there are less private ways of doing the same thing (social media platforms), so in that sense it might be a more private option.

I can think of a couple of privacy downsides to running a feed reader on your laptop or phone. Information about the times of day your machine is running and checking for feed updates will be leaked to the sites whose feeds you subscribe to. Information about what sites you subscribe to will be leaked to the network your machine is connected to when it checks for feed updates, because the network will see the requests going out to those sites.

if you use RSS for YouTube, the main benefit I can think of is that you can use RSS to ‘subscribe’ to a channel and be notified when it releases a video without logging in or even having an account. Also, normally every video a channel releases will show up in your feed reader, whereas if you subscribe to a channel in the normal way, “The Algorithm™” won’t necessarily show you every video the channel releases. It can also be used to catch videos that become unlisted after initially being made public for a short period. As @ramnasko said, YouTube will still get your IP address, or the IP address of your feed reader host, and it will still see if you’ve watched a video.