Bug 660340 - Due to constant threats on privacy, epiphany should allow the user to have multiple separate session running
We need to quickly find a way to preserve our privacy on the Internet.
With the recent threats of the various big internet companies on our privacy, it would be a great enhancement if epiphany allowed to have separate navigation contexts (cookies, HTML5 storage, cache) at will, and easily.
Some companies, especially facebook, and I suppose Google could do that as well, can use all kind of methods to track a user usiquely. using cache, HTML5 storage or cookies. I wonder if they can use the cache as well, but I heard it could be prevented. Firefox does.
One solution to counter these privacy threats is to have a different browser, or different browser profile, for each of the web sites we load. This is however very inconvenient, and it should made easily possible.
First let define the concept of session. A session is almost like a separate instance of the browser. It share bookmark and preferences with other session, but have separate cache, separate set of cookies and separate HTML5 DOM storage.
I imagine the following behaviour, based on the document.domain of the toplevel document:
If a page is loaded without referrer, and the domain is not associated with an existing session, start a new session for that domain
If a page is loaded without referrer, and the domain is a domain that is already associated with an existing session, then prompt non intrusively:
"You already opened a session on example.com." Choices: [ Start a new session ▼ ] [Use this session] [[ New anonymous session ]] [ Replace existing session ]
If the session is started anonymously, it would not be considered for reuse
If a page is loaded using a link from an existing window/tab, and the domain is the same, then share the session
If a page is loaded using a link from an existing window/tab, and the domain is NOT the same and, then a non intrusive message is displayed:
"You are now visiting example2.com. Do you want to continue your session from example1.com?" Choices: [ Start a new session ▼ ] [Share previous session]
The "Start a new session" dropdown menu changes if the example2.com is already associated with a session or not. If example2.com is associated with a session:
[[ New anonymous session ]] [ Replace example2.com session ] [ Use existing example2.com session ]
If example2.com is not associated with a session:
[[ New anonymous session ]] [ New example2.com session ]
The choices in [[xxx]] (as opposed to [xxx]) is the most privacy enhancing one, and would be the default if the user choose in the preferences
[x] allow me not to be tracked
The messages are non intrusive, they can be displayed as a banner on top of the page. The page is first loaded with the default choice, and if the user decides to use the other choice, the page will be reloaded accordingly (or the session will be reassigned).
This setting can traditionally be used to set the do not track header
Every settings should have a setting "do not prompt me again" that could be reset at some point.
About embedded content: Because toplevel pages do not share the same session (toplevel page opened at example.com have a different session than toplevel page opened at blowmyprivacy.org), if a page from example.com have embedded content from blowmyprivacy.org, the embedded content would not be able to track the user, except within the example.com website.
It is possible to imagine global settings that would hide some complexity:
[ ] When I load a page, always associate it with its existing session. [ ] When I switch website, always reuse the existing session of the new website.
This user interface might seem complex at first, but it is far less complex than letting the user deal with different browser profiles by hand. Unfortunately, I don't think we can abstract privacy that easily. Keep in mind that all of these settings would be enabled only if the user choose to enable privacy settings.
I am ready to contribute to the implementation of this highly important feature (important for our future and our privacy). Do you think an extension might be able to do all of that, or do you think the browser code should be modified?
Further possible enhancements:
Add another choice for anonymous sessions using Tor (or I2P)
Add the possibility to have multiple session registered with the same domain. This would enable the user to have different profiles for the same website.