I used to think that this browser is safe and does not track me. Then I did little experiment - i went to specific webpage on Opera and next day I found ads for it on Facebook app. How did it happen? Does Opera send my history for ad companies?

  • 1
    Check this Website if it got Google Analytics or other tracker in it. Opera won't send it to facebook but google does.
    – Cyberduck
    Oct 21, 2020 at 7:54
  • You've just described the typical and expected function of a ad network. It's not the browser; it's the sites you visit.
    – schroeder
    Oct 21, 2020 at 8:42
  • 3
    Does this answer your question? How did Google know I looked something up? Oct 22, 2020 at 4:24

1 Answer 1


Every single browser tracks every single user! They need telemetry and analytics for a better understanding of the user's habits.

Actually, I think if you conduct the same experiment with a different browser, you will probably get the same result. Facebook, Google, and all the "others" have what it's called "activity trackers" which means that they can track you even if you're not using directly their services (typically, Facebook will track you even if you are not on Facebook).

Technically this could be done via the "like" button, for example, any website that offers a "share", "like" or whatever feature specific to Facebook, lets Facebook track you! More generally, every one (Facebook, Google,...) use also what's called "Web beacon" or "tracking pixel" which is:

An HTML code snippet that is loaded when a user visits a website or opens an email. It is useful for tracking user behavior and conversions. With a tracking pixel, advertisers can acquire data for online marketing, web analysis, or email marketing. With log file analysis, long data evaluation, or using appropriate analytical tools, this data can be used for different purposes, for example retargeting.

This said, and to answer your question, the fact that you were tracked, is probably more related to the web page you visited and not to the browser you used.

  • "Every single browser tracks every single user" - Technically, it is not the browser which does the tracking but the way browsers work makes tracking by third parties possible. The issue is therefore not if one trusts a specific browser vendor since this is a problem independent of the specific vendor. And the main point of privacy focused browsers is not that they don't track themselves but that they implement mechanism to explicitly prevent tracking by others (but they don't provide 100% protection against this). Oct 21, 2020 at 10:09
  • No technically the browser itself tracks you. Easy setup a proxy and open a browser. And I agree with the rest of what you said. Oct 21, 2020 at 10:47
  • I think we are arguing over the word "tracking". For me tracking is not sending cookies or similar but using these information to create profiles of users. The browser only is the technical vehicle to allow the tracking, but it is not doing the tracking. No user information are collected and associated in the browser, but this is done outside the browser but third parties. If the browser itself would do the tracking all the cookie stuff etc would not be needed since for the browser it is already visible without these what sites somebody visits. Oct 21, 2020 at 15:24
  • Yep I think we are not talking about the same "tracking" regarding browsers. I'm not talking about cookies and stuff.. Indeed a browser doesn't use cookies "for itself" ! But they do track for example plug-ins / extensions used, as every piece of software used by millions of users, Mozilla, Google.. They do need telemetry to know how their products (Firefox, Chrome..) are used. Oct 22, 2020 at 3:55
  • But telemetry is not the kind of tracking which results in ads based on what sites the user visit. Thus this is not the kind of tracking the user asked about. Oct 22, 2020 at 4:22

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