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GoogleAds shows me country/city-specific ads. I use fresh ws-DVM and gateway with default settings

Everything works fine, leaks-checking sites show no leaks and my ip according to exit relay I’m using. Anyway, Google keeps showing me ads in my native language, sometimes city-specific (even if I open sites from new fully updated disposable WM). Maybe I wouldn’t pay attention, if it was in some “big” languages, or if I was living in a big city, I would just think it’s because tor randomly picked exit node close to me. But circuits in tor-control-panel and IP-checking sites show, for example, German or US ip, close to googleads banner in my native language, which is anything but popular. I see those not every time, sometimes it’s broadly-aimed english ads like “install facebook” and such. But it happens way too often to be just coincidence.

I thought it might be because I have that layout in Qubes language-panel, and it is somehow detectable through JS. Deleted it, restarted gateway, created new disposable vm. Same result. I don’t think it’s time-related either, because I share timezone with many other countries, most of them have more tor users than mine.

More to say, I never used that machine without Whonix, and even never searched/surfed anything country/language specific, so I don’t think Google imprinted my PC and tied it to my other activity.
To me, it looks like it is an ip-leak. But I don’t know how it is possible, because I didn’t tinker with gateway/workstation settings, everything works on defaults, out-of-the-box, and I’m updating them regularly.

It really feels devastating, looks like all my efforts to be a little anonymous was futile because of some google magic. Or maybe I’m just stupid and screwed something up.

Please, tell me if there is something else to do?

Welcome to the community.

I never see Google Ads. But then again, I virtually never run JS or change setting from “Safest” in Tor Browser and never perform any changes to default settings i.e. always US/English version of Tor Browser etc.

Highly unlikely it’s an IP leak, particularly since your tests show Tor exit nodes and no confirmed leak was ever demonstrated in Whonix.

Far more likely that the surveillance capitalists are using methods like:

1. Network, Browser and Website Fingerprint

& fingerprinting techniques from this list (incomplete list BTW):

2. Data Collection Techniques

To narrow down either your likely locale or language (broadly speaking) and present stuff they think the person surfing that page would be interested in.

To test this, set up another clean Whonix-WS, absolutely no customizations, highest security settings, no JS etc. and do random browsing. Highly unlikely in that case you’ll see the same effects.

Since the vast majority of fingerprinting in the literature is based upon JS, that’s probably the likely culprit i.e. being too generous in allowing it for various websites.

Basically, if websites insist upon not displaying their shit without JS, find an alternative for the same information if possible.

It’s also possible whatever you are searching for / reading etc. is highly specific to various parts of the world, and Google’s mega databases know by default to present ads relating to that specific area for that reason i.e. nobody is interested in that issue/topic/activity outside of a particular place (or mostly in that place).

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Hello, [torjunkie]!
Thank you for the quick response. The problem is, that without JS I can’t even post here, and most sites won’t work without it.
But it’s fine, because I just figured out it was probably just false alarm. I usually didn’t browse sites that have GoogleAds, so when I saw one with ads targeted at my country, when site has absolutely nothing to do with it, I checked ads on this site again and again, with new chains and VM’s. And now, after I started deliberately browse some other sites with GoogleAds, I confirm, that it seems like people from my country for some reason just adore that first site. It still showing me ads in my language, but other sites mostly don’t.
I just panicked when I saw that “SuperSale in my_city_name!”, persisting after days, chains and new clean VM’s. It’s not even the capital or the most populous city of my country, very strange.
But now I’ll just try to forget about it :slight_smile: You can delete this topic (or leave it, maybe someone will have same problem). And my acc too, because I forgot disposable email I used with it, I thought name and password would be enough to login :slight_smile:

Having the opportunity, I want to thank you all guys, you’re doing great and very important work. Hope I can contribute one way or another.

Thank you, Patrick. I’m already calmed down. Sorry for bothering. You’re a legend <3

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