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What the hell? Videos on Unity website demand targeting cookies

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Romano, Aug 27, 2020.

  1. Romano

    Romano

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    upload_2020-8-27_17-54-38.png
    I'm not the smartest cookie in the box, but can't Unity just host this content themselves or get another provider? What's the point in giving cookie options on your site if users can't view the content without giving up their data anyway?
     
  2. Joe-Censored

    Joe-Censored

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    I'm sure the answer is simple economics. Cheaper and easier to host where they are doing so than if they self hosted the content. The number of people impacted by the cookie issue is probably extremely low.

    Though I'm curious why you'd create an account and post of the Unity forum if you're so concerned about Unity tracking your usage of their site. Doesn't make much sense to me.
     
    Blundig likes this.
  3. Ryiah

    Ryiah

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    One of the main features of a modern browser incognito window is that it blocks tracking cookies. I tried visiting the blog entry where the video you tried to view is located and it's still playable within the incognito window of both Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox.

    https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/browsers/incognito-browser/
     
    Jmonroe likes this.
  4. AcidArrow

    AcidArrow

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    You can consider sharing of personal data to be worth it / make sense for some services and nonsensical for others. Not sure why you’re implying he’s being hypocritical, or how you think that devalues his argument.
     
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  5. Ryiah

    Ryiah

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    He's not implying anything of the sort. He's simply saying it makes no sense to him. I suspect the OP simply doesn't want companies he doesn't trust to have access to his data. Unity doesn't sell data making them a safe company for now.
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2020
  6. Romano

    Romano

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    If I was concerned about being tracked it would be about the third party site that the videos are hosted on, not Unity. It would indeed not make sense to be concerned about what you said.
     
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  7. Romano

    Romano

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    Thanks, I know about incognito mode. The point of my post wasn't to seek workarounds though, it was to draw attention to how illogical it is for Unity to host their videos on an unnamed third party site, effectively forcing you to give your data to an unknown third party. It's not going to keep me up at night, but a company like Unity can and should handle this a bit better.
     
  8. Stardog

    Stardog

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    It's stupid that they require targeting cookies to play a 5 second feature video.

    They should fix it.
     
  9. Ryiah

    Ryiah

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    Just to be certain we are both looking at the video at the link below, right? Because the play icon in the middle makes it very clear that it's YouTube. I can't imagine someone familiar with the concept of a tracking cookie wouldn't be able to recognize the distinctive icon.

    Or are you simply referring to the fact that they don't tell you who is behind the message that tracking cookies must work?

    https://blogs.unity3d.com/2020/07/23/unity-2020-1-is-now-available/

    Edit: Okay, I just visited YouTube with all cookies disabled (I was able to confirm it was working by the volume resetting every time I refreshed) and the video played just fine. I'm wondering if the whole tracking nonsense is not YouTube but rather Unity.
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2020
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  10. EternalAmbiguity

    EternalAmbiguity

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    I use uMatrix and I played around with the settings a bit.

    I don't even get the "we need to you enable cookies" popup until I enable geolocation.onetrust.com (which uMatrix automatically blocks for good reason). I just have a blank space.
     
  11. Ryiah

    Ryiah

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    Is the following link showing a YouTube preview image and play button? Or a blank space?

    https://www.youtube.com/embed/yYjqJvd8lQI


    On my end the video will still play with all cookies blocked.
     
  12. EternalAmbiguity

    EternalAmbiguity

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    firefox_2020-08-28_08-23-15.png

    Yup, it's fine. Cookies blocked, still playing. It's definitely a thing with Unity, either directly or through one of their third party links.
     
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  13. Romano

    Romano

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    This is what's visible, no play icon:
     
  14. Ryiah

    Ryiah

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    Right, you were referring to the fact that it shows a message stating that tracking cookies are required. A message that isn't accurate in the slightest as shown by the fact that you can go to YouTube with cookies disabled or blocked and still play the video.

    In fact I'm willing to bet you can see the video in the spoiler below.


    I spent some time skimming through the source for the blog post and the source for the YouTube page. Unity's blog post entry has references to geolocation while YouTube's page has no references to it that I was able to find.
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2020
  15. Romano

    Romano

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    It's great that it works when linked directly from youtube, but my issue is that it doesn't work on Unity's page without agreeing to targeting cookies.
     
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  16. EternalAmbiguity

    EternalAmbiguity

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    Right. That's solely a Unity thing.
    firefox_2020-08-28_23-20-02.png
    The only links at the top of the page that don't have that source are "Get Unity," "Asset Store," the forums, and Answers.

    I went to a random other blog and found the same behavior.

    I looked at the page source for instances of "onetrust." Found this link.

    https://blogs.unity3d.com/wp-content/mu-plugins/blogs-cmp/css/one-trust.css?ver=1.0

    If you look near the bottom there's a whole buncha stuff saying "blocked-video". So it's definitely this onetrust.

    The only thing I can think of is the whole "this video is not available in your country" thing, but that happens on Youtube's end. I see no reason for Unity to be blocking video access based on geolocation and other cookies.

    Edit: relevant link: https://community.cookiepro.com/s/article/UUID-c5122557-2070-65cb-2612-f2752c0cc4aa
    Also:
    firefox_2020-08-28_23-20-02.png
    That's the latest blog. You can see that I have every cookie disabled (I've also disabled those for Unity itself), but the video is clearly playing. I had to enable that geolocation.onetrust.com, and I had to "enable" targeting cookies--though, again, I'm blocking all cookies.

    The only thing I can think of is that they're seeking consent for something Youtube assumes consent for, and thus blocking the video until you've said it's allowed.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Aug 29, 2020
  17. Kiwasi

    Kiwasi

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    Doesn't Unity host all of their videos on YouTube? If you really need to, just go watch the videos on YouTube. Honestly its a better interface for watching most of Unity's content than Unity's own website.
     
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  18. AskCarol

    AskCarol

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    Hey everyone! Sorry you aren't able to view our content properly.

    The blocking overlay is coming from Unity and it has nothing to do with Youtube or any other video hosting platform. It has been implemented due to CCPA and GDPR compliance. We’re aiming to block any Performance, Functional or Targeting scripts and cookies if the visitor does not consent to them and videos hosting platforms trigger their own scripts, thus videos need to be blocked by default.

    That said, we are aware of the modern browsers functionality to block third-party cookies, but we’re unable to identify situations when the visitor is using that so we need to consider cases where visitors don’t use that functionality and have not given consent to be tracked.

    I hope this helps to clarify things. Happy to answer any other questions regarding this.
     
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  19. Kiwasi

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    Its weird that no other site has needed to go to such measures. What is special about Unity?

    Just curious what the logic was.
     
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  20. EternalAmbiguity

    EternalAmbiguity

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    https://www.adrianjock.com/gdpr-embed-youtube-videos/
    Has something like this been considered?

    Heckuva lot of nonsense at the beginning, but it boils down to changing "youtube.com" to "youtube-nocookie.com". Just tested it with the video from the blog post in question and it works fine--mostly.
    no_cookies.png
    Weird thing is pausing and then resuming the video DOES pop up a few cookies from google.com, though I have no idea what they're for.
     
  21. FargleBargle

    FargleBargle

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    Let me explain this in simple terms: The videos on Unity's store are there to PROMOTE SALES. Fewer views, due to stupid rules, or technical problems, will have the effect of REDUCING SALES. Requiring tracking cookies to be enabled before allowing users to see ADVERTISING is a STUPID RULE. We can go watch the same videos on YouTube or the vendors own sites without enabling tracking cookies, so why do we need to do that on the Unity Asset Store? It's an extra hoop users are forced to jump through before GIVING YOU THEIR MONEY.

    I don't know how much the store operators know about sales psychology, but speaking just for myself, I've come to the store a number of times looking for inspiration, and might have made impulse buys based on good video demos, but after running into problems viewing the videos, my enthusiasm for the products melted away before I pulled the trigger. Whatever the economics of hosting the videos are, I hope they take into account the potential lost sales that are no doubt happening as a result.
     
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  22. Ryiah

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    You are aware that the video was from one of their blog posts and not actually in the store itself, right?
     
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  23. Antypodish

    Antypodish

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    Funny thing is, on my mobile I am unable to see videos anymore, posted on the Unity forum.
    Accepting, cookies or not, I see only consent button popping out.
    So definatelly things are broken by far mile.
     
  24. Mauri

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    He isn't wrong, though, as this also applies to the Asset Store:

    as-cookie-example.png
     
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  25. Moonjump

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    I was considering spinning off something from one of my games to make a product for the Asset Store for the first time, but as videos will be vital to showing off the asset, the current cookie situation has put me off. I have also not bought some assets because of it, especially as I could not find them on YouTube even with the exact asset name.

    My computer and iPad both allow me to view videos on many websites without changing that setting, so I don't know what is different about the Unity Asset Store.
     
  26. EternalAmbiguity

    EternalAmbiguity

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    Anyone who has something on the Asset Store should check if the youtube no-cookie version works without asking about privacy settings.
     
  27. FargleBargle

    FargleBargle

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    You are aware that this problem also affects the Asset Store? The example originally given may be from a blog post, but when I click on nearly every listing on the Asset store, I'm faced with that exact same image, since a video link is usually the first thing you see in an asset listing. I don't really care about their blog posts, but if this is a widespread problem on Unity's sites, including the Asset Store, they need to fix it - if not because a few people are complaining, then maybe because it's costing them a lot of potential sales. I'm trying to help them. :rolleyes:
     
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  28. Ryiah

    Ryiah

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    I am now.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2020
  29. FargleBargle

    FargleBargle

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    I just noticed today that YouTube videos on Unity forum pages get the same treatment. They used to work just fine, and I visit forum pages with video examples often enough I would have noticed earlier if they hadn't. It doesn't seem to affect Vimeo videos though, so it looks like something to do with Google analytics. What it amounts to is blackmail, pure and simple: either surrender your privacy, or we won't show you any of our content. This is reprehensible behavior in my view, and both Unity and Google are to blame. Google wouldn't get away with this - and they don't on other sites, including their own - if Unity didn't play ball. It looks like a payoff was made, and now Unity users are getting "special" treatment. Thanks a ******* lot. :mad:
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2020
  30. EternalAmbiguity

    EternalAmbiguity

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    Woah there, calm down.

    Did you read the thread? Unity's settings are there because Google is more intrusive than Unity feels comfortable being, so Unity has the users explicitly state their consent before showing these videos.

    Just to check what you're saying about the forum, I'll link a video.


    Edit: Not seeing anything requesting one change the settings before viewing.
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2020
  31. Antypodish

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    Have you tried on mobile?
     
  32. FargleBargle

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    Sure I read it. But please consider the possibility that they're LYING. All I know is that I can go to YouTube, or any other site hosting YouTube videos without changing my browser cookie policies, but Unity requires that I change them to allow tracking cookies before viewing these videos. Saying they're doing this to protect their users just doesn't pass the smell test. So I'll calm down when I get an explanation that makes more sense - or when they stop this ridiculous policy. :rolleyes:
     
  33. EternalAmbiguity

    EternalAmbiguity

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    I have not. Does it show up there? What about this?



    Edit: Hmm, not even appearing. NVM.

    Okay, suit yourself. You could also pre-emptively disable such things in your browser too.
     
  34. FargleBargle

    FargleBargle

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    I'm not sure what you mean here - turn tracking cookies on? That's not an acceptable solution. We shouldn't be forced to give up our privacy to view content on Unity's sites. As I stated earlier, if YouTube allows me to view these videos on their own site without changing my cookie policies, why do I need to do it here? If you meant something else by "pre-emptively disable such things in your browser", please enlighten us. If there's some other way to make these messages go away, and allow these videos to be viewed, let us know how you do it. o_O
     
  35. EternalAmbiguity

    EternalAmbiguity

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    I said "disable," not enable.
    Don't wanna shill, but Firefox and uMatrix will stop it. You don't have to give up any privacy.
     
  36. ippdev

    ippdev

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    I do not see video. I see a grey rectangle asking me to give up my privacy if I want to see the content. On Brave browser here. I will not click through and give them access. I abandon other sites content as well that do this. I just have this old fashioned idea that I am not somebody else's product. If yer gonna make some cash off my eyeballs I want a cut of the profits.
     
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  37. EternalAmbiguity

    EternalAmbiguity

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    That's a shame (that you're getting the blocker).

    Just a reminder, you can use certain browsers and extensions to block these cookies from being downloaded. There are many websites (such as Youtube) which are not asking you for permission like Unity is, so either way you're safer with a browser extension that will block the cookies. In such a case, even if you "accept" cookies here, they won't be downloaded.
     
  38. FargleBargle

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    Maybe I'm just dense, but I don't see how you can enable tracking cookies while disabling all cookies. They're either enabled or disabled. They can't be both. Unless uMatrix spoofs the cookie permissions somehow, which I haven't seen in their documentation. I currently use uBlock Origin, by the same vendor, and haven't found a setting that allows me to view the videos while still actually blocking these cookies.
    So according to Unity, they are preemptively blocking videos from sources that contain tracking cookies... unless users consent by enabling those tracking cookies in their browsers. They don't offer an option to turn their "protection" off and let users deal with the cookies using their own security functionality, but instead ask them to compromise that functionality to view these videos. I'll be happy to be proven wrong on this, but so far, I haven't seen anything convincing.
     
  39. EternalAmbiguity

    EternalAmbiguity

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    No, no, that's exactly what happens.

    https://forum.unity.com/attachments/firefox_2020-08-28_23-48-33-png.689913/

    Once you say "okay, you can allow cookies," it tries to download them, but if you're blocking them, they don't get through (and this does not prevent the video from being viewed). I have no idea how you'd handle that in uBlock Origin but it's simple (if tedious for new websites) in uMatrix.
     
  40. FargleBargle

    FargleBargle

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    Looks like mileage varies for this. I tried adding uMatrix, but didn't see all of the same domains as shown in your example. I tried setting as many as I could to the settings shown, but the best I got was a YouTube video that wouldn't play - just a spinning buffering display. Worse, after setting it that way, I couldn't play YouTube videos on YouTube anymore either. There are obviously a few specific settings that need to be made for videos to play, but why should we all have to install this plugin, figure the settings out by trial and error, and then do the same for every other site we visit, just so we can watch videos here? I appreciate your efforts to provide a work-around, but this is still a problem Unity needs to fix. Making users jump through these kinds of hoops to access content will only serve to drive them away.
     
  41. EternalAmbiguity

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    Yeah to be fair uMatrix absolutely requires significant setup for every new website you go to, to find out what elements need to be enabled.

    Regarding Unity's site specifically--there's no "fix" for Unity without just letting regular Youtube cookies be collected without allowing the user to prevent it. The only thing I can think of is 1. trying out the "youtube-nocookie" embed URL I mentioned before, and 2. giving the videos an overlay that notes that their source (Youtube) uses cookies Unity has no control over, and only loading the video if the user says they're okay with that (it's functionally similar to how it works now) on the video--not changing some second set of settings.

    This is assuming they're not doing it for their own gain, but I really doubt Google's give Unity kickback on something like that. That's a little much for me.

    Edit: Just went to the latest blog post. See the attached image. There are a couple options ABOVE the ones shown - cookielaw.org and ggpht.com (uMatrix won't expand its window size to show these, I have to scroll). Very frequently when encountering video I'll have to enable stuff to get the video to be visible, reload and play the video, then enable stuff that only appears in uMatrix when the video appears (in this case, the googlevideo URL).

    But either way, you can see that the cookies are all blocked. Not ideal of course, but it allows the content to play without giving up ones data.
    uMatrix.png

    Edit Edit: Also, my uBlock settings are shown in the second image. Do note that you should only use these if you're committing to uMatrix and dealing with the inconvenience of reloading websites multiple times on first access to get your desired settings.
    uBlock.png
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2020
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  42. Ryiah

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    I prefer to consider that the people complaining the loudest are the least knowledgeable about web technologies and don't understand how embedding a remote resource into a website functions. Below is an image showing the embed within the source of the forum. Everything cookie related is coming from YouTube.

    Embed.png
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2020
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  43. APSchmidt

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    What will happen if we keep ignoring these videos and never watch them?

    I won't be punished if I don't watch the videos since I have no idea what is in it. On the other hand, the people who make money with these videos might not be happy.
     
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  44. xVergilx

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    I feel old. Back in a days nobody even cared to check if user wants their cookies to be collected / written.
    Since when did it became such a problem?
     
  45. Ryiah

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    Since we reached the point that the average person can use the Internet. Back in the early days most if not all of us were aware that visiting a remote server involved going through multiple servers and each of them recorded us as we went through. Cookies were never required to track people. They just made the process easier.

    Neither will you be punished if you're smart about it and use an incognito window. Incognito exists for the purpose of not being tracked. Cookies are only stored for the duration of the window. Once you're done with the site simply close the window.
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2020
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  46. FargleBargle

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    So how does this help us view these videos? Are you suggesting that every time we want to view them we go to the page source, find the embed code, and use it to chase down a viewable version of the video? Sounds like a huge PITA, and not very practical for thousands of Unity users to all have to do. Why keep defending and making excuses for this behavior? Even if we can figure out the cause, and come up with clever workarounds - that are still often annoying and time consuming - it 's still wrong, and needs to be fixed.
     
  47. Ryiah

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    Because you keep proving your ignorance and I don't need it contaminating other people.

    Extracting the embedded URL from the page source and trying to visit it with your browser won't change anything because once again the tracking cookie is coming through the URL and not from Unity. YouTube is the source of your problems. Aside from hosting the videos themselves Unity can't do anything to change this.
     
  48. APSchmidt

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    No difference; you have to accept the damn cookies. They are stored in your computer the time you let the widnow open which makes the whole process useless.
     
  49. Ryiah

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    You are aware of how a browser sandbox works, right? Incognito windows are unaware of normal windows and normal windows are unaware of incognito windows. Cookies do not pass between them.
     
  50. FargleBargle

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    Incognito gives me the same results.
    Funny, that's not what Unity is saying:
    Also, this change just happened recently, after Unity announced their new cookie policy, and we can still view embedded YouTube videos on other sites. I can deal with YouTube's targeting cookies - but not if Unity blocks the videos at their end before I have access. What were you saying again? Oh, right:
    I don't mind Unity blocking videos by default to be compliant with CCPA and GDPR, but they need to give users the choice to unblock the content if they still wish to see it, without changing their browser's overall privacy settings. A button allowing one-time access - much like what we used to get for potentially risky java based content - would solve the problem. What doesn't solve it is a banner saying I need to change my cookie policies.
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2020
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