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Author Topic: Google Ends Privacy  (Read 12312 times)
Deozaan
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« Reply #25 on: January 26, 2012, 01:26:48 AM »

Also one should realise too that you can view the profile Google has built up on you and request that they no longer use targeted ads.

Silly question, but how do you view it ?

https://www.google.com/dashboard/
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JavaJones
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« Reply #26 on: January 26, 2012, 02:07:37 AM »

I'm with Josh and Deo: I willingly signed up for these services and can choose to cancel them at any time should I be dissatisfied with the utility/privacy balance. This change is expected and reasonable *given how Google has operated for years, which we all knew about*. It's not as if Google suddenly became this big information aggregator and it's all weird, new, and scary. They may be consolidating *more* info in a single place and associating some with others, but it was all there before. Frankly if it helps make the services better, I'm in favor.

And the beautiful part is this: if it *doesn't* help make the services better, Google will eventually lose market share and we'll all jump on some new bandwagon that does it bigger and better. That's the simple truth that everyone upset at Google seems to ignore. Nobody forces anyone to use Google's services. Is it frustrating to some that Google forces you to have a G+ account to use an otherwise unrelated but still useful service like Youtube? Yup. But if you don't like it, use Vimeo. Perfectly valid alternative. Does it bother some people that Google's search results now incorporate social influences by default? Yes, in fact I'm one of them. But A: I can turn that off (thankfully) and B: if I don't like it, I can use one of the many fine alternatives already mentioned in this thread.

And let's not forget that other organizations have been doing similar things for ages. Want to download the Windows 7 beta? Oh, I'm sorry, you need a Windows Live ID. Want to use Skydrive? Same. How about Hotmail? Your hotmail *is* a Live ID. How about Yahoo? Oh, yep, same. Yahoo Mail, Flickr, etc. etc. all use a Yahoo ID to login. And let's not be naive and think that *they're* not all aggregating their data behind the scenes. If MS is *not* using data from their other services to influence search it's either because A: they haven't figured out how to do it yet (given their many blunders in the Internet space this would not surprise me) or B: they don't think it's the solution to the problems they and Google both have as search engines for the "wild and wooly west" of the Internet (e.g. spam, scams, etc.). It's certainly not because they're worried about your privacy.

In the end it seems like this sums up people's complaint pretty well: "Google provides a lot of awesome services for free and I want to use them, but they have control over the systems and their functioning and don't always change them in ways I like, and worse yet they insist on collecting data on me so they can make money from my use of their services." So basically people want something for nothing.

- Oshyan
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Josh
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« Reply #27 on: January 26, 2012, 03:37:49 AM »

I think everyone should watch this video and then question whether Google knowing your "favorite music" is the biggest of their worries. Watched this in my CISSP class.

http://video.google.com/v...ocid=-2160824376898701015
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« Reply #28 on: January 26, 2012, 05:06:29 AM »

I think everyone should watch this video and then question whether Google knowing your "favorite music" is the biggest of their worries. Watched this in my CISSP class.

http://video.google.com/v...ocid=-2160824376898701015

That was cool! The Trojan horse stuff was hilarious. cheesy

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4wd
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« Reply #29 on: January 26, 2012, 05:23:27 AM »


Thanks Deo!

Yep, as I guessed, pretty bland smiley
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Edvard
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« Reply #30 on: January 26, 2012, 05:24:08 AM »

Also one should realise too that you can view the profile Google has built up on you and request that they no longer use targeted ads.
Silly question, but how do you view it ?
https://www.google.com/dashboard/

Wow, they have almost nothing on me. tellme

I read another story on this, and AFAICT, these things only cross-breed when you are logged in to a Google service.
Quote
I don’t have a Google Account, but use Google search. Am I affected?:
No. The new policy only applies to people who have a Google Account linked to services such as Gmail, Picasa or YouTube and are signed in.
What if I have account but am not signed in?:
Google can only integrate your information if you are signed in. For example, if you’re signed in to your Gmail account on one tab, and then decide to look up a clip on YouTube on another tab without signing out of your e-mail, the data will be integrated. If you sign out or look up a YouTube clip on a different browser, the data won’t be integrated.
(emphasis mine)

So just to test it a bit, I logged into the dashboard using my Gmail ID (which I am only using for job searches).
Checked a few things and looked at what they reported about my Gmail in a different tab.
Logged out of Gmail.
Back on the Dashboard page, I refreshed; Lo and behold, it went back to the login page, which means logging out of Gmail logged me out of my account's dashboard as well.
So it seems you can opt-out if you log out (though they no doubt track searches to IP addresses...).

RE: Android phones -
Quote
I have an Android phone. How does this affect me?: Because you have to sign in to your Google account to do anything except for browse the Web and make phone calls, Google will be able to track practically anything you do on your phone using Google services.

So even on the phones, it's limited to what you do while logged in, and apparently you can browse and call without that happening.
Troubling news, but not unexpected, and seemingly easily circumvented.
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Eóin
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« Reply #31 on: January 26, 2012, 09:27:28 AM »

Quote
I have an Android phone. How does this affect me?: Because you have to sign in to your Google account to do anything except for browse the Web and make phone calls, Google will be able to track practically anything you do on your phone using Google services.

So even on the phones, it's limited to what you do while logged in, and apparently you can browse and call without that happening.
Troubling news, but not unexpected, and seemingly easily circumvented.

The great thing about Android is that you don't have to use the Google services, you can use any of the plethora of alternatives. In fact if you go a step further and install a ROM like CyanogenMod you can opt to not have a single Google app installed on the device to begin with.

[edit] Also people should checkout - http://www.google.com/int.../en-GB/privacy/tools.html

There you can opt out of search personalisation, targeted ads, etc.
« Last Edit: January 26, 2012, 09:35:46 AM by Eóin » Logged

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Jibz
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« Reply #32 on: January 27, 2012, 04:40:25 AM »

+1 (pun intended) to Josh, Deo and Oshyan.

Some years back this would have gotten me upset, but when I read this the other day I was merely surprised because I had assumed they already did this. It seems odd for a company to not aggregate data from its various divisions -- like Oshyan says, I think you can rest assured MS, FB, Yahoo etc. all do this.

I've also checked the data they have on me from time to time, and it boils down to the fact that I am interested in technology, programming, puzzles and MMOG, which shouldn't be a surprise to anyone.

I doubt I will ever click an add, but if I have to have some on my screen, I'll take some for compilers and debuggers over life insurance and viagra any day.

The only thing that worries me a bit about the whole thing is the way social search gives you a narrower view of the world. If you are interested in something, social search could show you only results that match your view on the subject, which lessens the value of the information. On the other hand it has the potential to greatly increase the effectiveness of searching, for instance youtube is slowly getting better at showing me videos I might actually watch.
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TaoPhoenix
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« Reply #33 on: January 27, 2012, 02:22:18 PM »

It's hard for me to get worked up about these privacy issues.. I'm not sure why, they just don't seem to bother me.

Now I happen to think google is out of control and harmful for other reasons i have written about -- and believe that their greed and need to dig their nails deep into every thing in order to ensure they can never be dislodged from their position as an unstoppable advertising machine is disgusting.  But the privacy stuff is the least of my concerns..

The basic problem is that email is "carefully written to X people", while what you watch on YouTube is "sorta private". *So Far* Google has been almost sane about how they use your/me data. But the "Mayan Doomsday" of security breaches is when Google decides to mashup your YouTube history into your forced G+ profile which then pulls your entire contact list in as "Friends".

The whole concept of a privacy breach is that you initially think something is under control, only later to find the company decided "Nah, we can get $50 for this snip of info, let's sell it!" Except they sold it to a moron company, and then it leaks, then it goes Streisand Effect when you try to shut it down.

Then on the side for dessert people graft your name to ridiculous stuff just for the lulz.

"Mouser denies ever having carved open a hole in a cantaloupe and turned it into a pomegranite ice cream scorpion punch bowl!"
"I never said that!"
"So you're not denying it?"
"Uh, wait, what?"
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40hz
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« Reply #34 on: January 27, 2012, 03:27:16 PM »


"Mouser denies ever having carved open a hole in a cantaloupe and turned it into a pomegranite ice cream scorpion punch bowl!"
"I never said that!"
"So you're not denying it?"
"Uh, wait, what?"

 Grin Grin Grin Grin Grin

Not even TaoPhoenix's 200th post and already I'm becoming a fan. Thmbsup

 Grin
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Tuxman
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« Reply #35 on: January 27, 2012, 04:22:42 PM »

It is so amusing how people are mad about Google's continued reluctancy to stop their data misuse but don't see a reason to just stop using Google services. Oh well... people are stupid.

(Written without Google.)
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Josh
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« Reply #36 on: January 27, 2012, 06:13:22 PM »

How exactly are Google misusing their data? Sources please?
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Tuxman
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« Reply #37 on: January 27, 2012, 07:02:25 PM »

Did you opt-in to their profiling? I have not. But they do.
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I bet when Cheetahs race and one of them cheats, the other one goes "Man, you're such a Cheetah!" and they laugh & eat a zebra or whatever.
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Josh
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« Reply #38 on: January 27, 2012, 07:27:43 PM »

Did you sign up for their services? If so, then you did opt-in.
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Tuxman
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« Reply #39 on: January 27, 2012, 07:31:52 PM »

Their cookie-based tracking does not rely on the existence of an account.
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I bet when Cheetahs race and one of them cheats, the other one goes "Man, you're such a Cheetah!" and they laugh & eat a zebra or whatever.
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zridling
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« Reply #40 on: January 28, 2012, 05:01:23 AM »

I haven't seen a Google ad on a page in many years. Doesn't anyone else use AdBlock?
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TaoPhoenix
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« Reply #41 on: January 28, 2012, 09:54:48 AM »



Not even TaoPhoenix's 200th post and already I'm becoming a fan. Thmbsup

 Grin

Your choice of replies:

<Elvis> "Thank you - Thank you very much" </Elvis>

Or -

<Evil Commander> So glad to have you aboard, Cadet. I have a 5,000 post history on the net. You are my latest accolyte. </Evil Commander>


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TaoPhoenix
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« Reply #42 on: January 28, 2012, 09:58:43 AM »

It is so amusing how people are mad about Google's continued reluctancy to stop their data misuse but don't see a reason to just stop using Google services. Oh well... people are stupid.

(Written without Google.)

Oh, I see a reason to stop Google use - I already am sticking with Yahoo Mail, which is much less connected to anything, and Intend to mostly sign out before going to Youtube, (damn work), and I try to use Startpage search which is (I think) Google data run through a double proxy.
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40hz
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« Reply #43 on: January 28, 2012, 03:00:20 PM »

This e-mail has started showing up in  GMail inboxes.

Quote
Dear Google user,

We're getting rid of over 60 different privacy policies across Google and replacing them with one that's a lot shorter and easier to read. Our new policy covers multiple products and features, reflecting our desire to create one beautifully simple and intuitive experience across Google.

We believe this stuff matters, so please take a few minutes to read our updated Privacy Policy and Terms of Service at http://www.google.com/policies. These changes will take effect on March 1, 2012.


Be sure to go to the link in the letter. It spells out Google's new policies. It's an interesting read. Less informative than it could be due to a liberal sprinkling of "may" and "may or may not" hedge-wording.

I had said before that, at the very least, Google's policies remove any anonymity you think you may have when working with their services and products.

The following, taken from their new policy, confirms that to be the case:

(Note: I took the liberty of highlighting the key areas thay merit a closer look in case you still have doubts.)

Quote
Log information – When you access Google services via a browser, application or other client our servers automatically record certain information. These server logs may include information such as your web request, your interaction with a service, Internet Protocol address, browser type, browser language, the date and time of your request and one or more cookies that may uniquely identify your browser or your account.


User communications – When you send email or other communications to Google, we may retain those communications in order to process your inquiries, respond to your requests and improve our services. When you send and receive SMS messages to or from one of our services that provides SMS functionality, we may collect and maintain information associated with those messages, such as the phone number, the wireless carrier associated with the phone number, the content of the message, and the date and time of the transaction. We may use your email address to communicate with you about our services.

Most disturbing is the retention of private user generated message content, which has no value whatsoever for Google's marketing - but which is very valuable for fishing expeditions conducted by various parties. Can you say: criticize your employer or the government and later face repercussions - and then wonder how they knew? Especially since you only did so in an email sent to your best friend?

A simple information request made as a favor - or through a subpoena - would be sufficient. Big Brother doesn't exactly watch you. But he does record every single word you utter and log every thing you do for later recall  - and evaluation.

It's called data mining. And it works.

Right now, these things have been perceived as fairly benevolent. Largely because egregious invasions of personal privacy have remained relatively rare - and were downplayed when reported.

But that's only because those who could most benefit from stripping privacy from all walks of personal life haven't felt sufficiently pushed against the proverbial wall to move on it. And the unfortunate truth is there's no guarantee they'll continue to feel that way in the future.

When you consider the huge degree of public disenchantment with politicians and the political process(mostly  over rampant corruption and excessive corporate influence mongering) governments worldwide have cause to be concerned. Because one message is now emerging loud and clear: "Business as Usual" is becoming less and less acceptable. And the public is getting fed up with it. The Arab Spring and Occupy movements are just the tip of the iceberg. There's a seismic shift starting. And when it finally goes into full swing - there will be some serious pushback by those who seek to maintain the status quo.

My biggest concern, with the heightened and heated level of rhetoric we're hearing in political circles, is the very real chance of us seeing our government switch into "wounded rhino mode." That's where the large and lumbering animal feels threatened, or becomes wounded, and lashes out with deadly and indiscriminate fury at anything and everything around it.

It's a very real concern...

Especially in an era where government sanctioned "shock & awe" is becoming the preferred response to everything: from a full-bore terrorist attack, all the way down to a local arrest for a minor felony.


No matter what town or city you're from in the USA, you'll see ninja-suited heavily armed police units responding any time an arrest is expected to be made. And that includes arrests for some of the most minor offenses imaginable.

Guess they need to do something to justify all the spending on "homeland security" training and equipment that's been used to militarize US local police forces in the last ten years.

The problem with tech like that is, once it's out there, it begs to be used. And often creates justification when justification can't be found.

So it goes. undecided

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mahesh2k
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« Reply #44 on: January 28, 2012, 03:32:30 PM »

I don't get one thing though - Why apple and google fanbois think that privacy breach  and patent trolling from Facebook, MS and other corps is evil but from their messiah companies isn't ? Is there something that I am seriously not paying attention to? What makes google no-evil corp? Or people are just choosing it as necessary-evil?

Google has enough personal information and influence on people which could be easily accessible by governments/political parties/mega corps, google ain't saint to avoid their money or involvement. In fact indian government is in process to use RIM and Google for monitoring outgoing data in sensitive regions. Besides that google also pays to people like chris pirilio, scoble and few others to promote their services. Considering google's trolling in kenya for stealing small business information, It's pretty much possible that they can easily penetrate into third world countries without any political restriction and do *any* evil and get away with it. So it's not paranoia against them. Anyone with internet access can easily verify this. I still don't understand If I'm missing something about google or these journalists/social media folks/fanbois are riding on google to benefit their career or needs?
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Josh
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« Reply #45 on: January 28, 2012, 05:00:24 PM »

I do not consider myself a fanboy of any company. I learned long ago that being in such a status dilutes your views on reality. Microsoft is nor more evil than Facebook, Apple, Google, <insert evil company du jour here>. All companies cross ethical boundaries and make people question whether the choices are for the good. I take a step back and examine these choices and determine if they are good for me. I consider the change in privacy policies to a single policy a good thing from a consumer prospective. I already expected data to be shared across Google Services. That is not something I would have expected otherwise. I want my data from gmail to be accessible in calendar. I want to be able to link google+ contacts to my gmail contacts to synchronize information. Social search? Who cares, I can opt out if I do not agree with it.
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mahesh2k
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« Reply #46 on: January 28, 2012, 05:09:37 PM »

Quote
I do not consider myself a fanboy of any company.
That post wasn't aimed at you or anyone here at DC, Josh. I hope others don't get that idea with my post. I need to add this in my previous post that that observation was from my experience with people like pirilio and the pro-posters at google+.
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Tuxman
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« Reply #47 on: January 28, 2012, 05:15:44 PM »

"Anyone at DC"? Who here is a Google fanboy? Bring me his head!
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I bet when Cheetahs race and one of them cheats, the other one goes "Man, you're such a Cheetah!" and they laugh & eat a zebra or whatever.
- @VeryGrumpyCat
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« Reply #48 on: January 28, 2012, 05:28:28 PM »

We are all DC fanboys  mrgreen
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Josh
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« Reply #49 on: January 28, 2012, 05:32:27 PM »

mahesh, I knew that when I wrote it. I just had to qualify my post before I stated my opinion.
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