Autodesk Privacy Statement: “Do Not Track” and Similar Mechanisms

Autodesk just Borged Netfabb and, in the process of merging their address lists, asked me to update my info and agree to their very detailed Privacy Statement. You should take a look at it; the link will open in a new tab / window / whatever, so you don’t lose your place here.

Have you noticed how those “statements” always have a very long and firmly fixed line width that doesn’t adapt to your window size, use various shades of light-gray-on-white typefaces in the smallest sizes, and continue for pages and pages. I don’t believe in coincidences, either.

Here’s what they think of my Do Not Track browser setting (emphasis added):

“Do not track” and similar mechanisms

Some web browsers may transmit “do-not-track” signals to websites with which the browser communicates. Because of differences in how web browsers incorporate and activate this feature, it is not always clear whether users intend for these signals to be transmitted, or whether they are even aware of them.

Participants in the leading Internet standards-setting organization that is addressing this issue are in the process of determining what, if anything, websites should do when they receive such signals. Autodesk currently does not take action in response to these signals. If and when a final standard is established and accepted, we will reassess how to respond to these signals.

For information about cookies, web beacons and similar technologies, please read our Cookie Policy.

After plowing through much of their “statement”, I decided Autodesk doesn’t do anything I need to know about and, seeing as how Netfabb gradually faded from my attention when their web service joined Microsoft’s Azure cloud, I declined to “confirm my preferences” and didn’t click the big blue button. I doubt such inaction will remove my email address from their list, but it’s the only choice they offer.

Because I can’t tell if a website really wants to track me, I block ads, disable Flash, and destroy all cookies when I leave their site, Just In Case they inadvertently deployed all that crap. I’m sure they never intend to serve malware through an ad slot brokered on their site, but mistakes do happen, and I’m glad to assist them.

If you’re seeing ads on this page right now, they come from WordPress and I get a small cut. You should start using an ad blocker right now; if your browser doesn’t permit you to block ads, change browsers. If you worry that reducing my advertising revenue will compromise the quality and quantity of what you see here, send me a sack of money through Paypal. Fair enough?

Also: Linux, dammit.


  1. #1 by Red County Pete on 2016-02-13 - 11:43

    I started with NoScript and the AdBlock variants when I was on dialup. Amazing how much bandwidth is chewed up by ads, and how much life is more enjoyable without the intrusion/malware/psoriasis.

    US weather service uses Flash for the radar loops, so I keep it installed, but “off” unless I actually need it. They used to use Java, so Flash was actually an improvement.

    I need to evaluate Gnucash* to tell if I’ll need a Token Windows Box, but the laptop I’m getting Real Soon Now will be a remarketed Dell running Linux.

    Intuit thinks that Windows or Mac is the only way they should support Quicken, with Windows in a VM as their preferred option for Linux machines. (Hello, Mac/unix? ) Arggh.

    • #2 by Ed on 2016-02-13 - 13:19

      US weather service uses Flash for the radar loops

      We use that heavily for bike ride planning (“Can we get back before the rain arrives?”) and the NWS site runs Flash without permission, but everything else asks for permission. I fear HTML5 will undermine the blocks that prevent autoplay video junk; that’s the price of progress.

      • #3 by Red County Pete on 2016-02-13 - 17:43

        prevent autoplay video junk

        NoScript seems to block these fairly well, with memorizable preferences. My Subie dealership has something in Ogg format that is currently blocked.

        without permission

        My site-specific stuff is in NoScript, with on the whitelist, but Pale Moon’s Add-ons menu settings takes precedence. I normally keep it in “Never Activate”, switching to “Ask” or “Always” fur the duration. Switching back to “Never” stops any other activations immediately.

        I’m hoping that NWS comes up with something safer than Flash, but getting rid of Java was a good step forwards.

  2. #4 by Ken Davidson on 2016-02-15 - 09:15

    I one day took pity on the “your blocking my ads denies me income” plea and turned off ad blocking as an experiment. It was back on in less than a day. The ads started making sites unusable. Doing it tastefully and with restraint might work OK. Get greedy and you get nothing.

    • #5 by Ed on 2016-02-15 - 09:33

      I feel your pain… [sigh]

      Around here, WP pays me under 60¢/day for 500-ish ad impressions/day, call it 0.1¢/impression: that loot goes into the overhead of a “free” blog. The, ahem, value proposition is not compelling, except that they’d charge me a buck a day to not show ads, whereupon this thing becomes a money sink instead of a break-even spot for my shop notes.

      The least awful solution for me requires everybody else to run an ad blocker, which obviously doesn’t help WP finance my writing jones. I don’t see any solutions that don’t involve too much irrelevant hassle I absolutely don’t want.

  3. #6 by Jim Register on 2016-03-06 - 20:20

    I used to see the little quad of ads for various click-bait stuff on your site. Now, when I visit with my phone, the whole space is taken with a single ad for

    I guess they figure your glowing testimonials will bring in lots of new business…

    Thought you might find that amusing while I go look for an alternative browser.

    • #7 by Ed on 2016-03-06 - 20:52


      I infer from the collapse of “my” ad revenue that selling ads on blogs isn’t nearly as promising a monetization option as in days gone by (I love it when I can make my voice do that). That said, getting rid of those horrible chum-box ads seems like a step forward.

      EFF’s Privacy Badger seems to do at least as well as the usual ad blockers: it kills all trackers and the ads that deliver them. In the unlikely event somebody produces a plain old ad again, you’ll probably see it. I’ve been using it in Firefox to good effect, anyway.