Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 25th Jan 2012 22:45 UTC
Google Google has updated its privacy policy - in fact, it has consolidated a mess of over 70 different privacy policies each covering an individual service into one, simpler policy. You'll now be treated as a single account, and data will be shared between Google services to make search results and ads more personalised (I assumed they already did that - makes sense).
Order by: Score:
Alternative perspective
by Tony Swash on Wed 25th Jan 2012 23:33 UTC
Tony Swash
Member since:
2009-08-22

Check out an alternative perspective

http://gizmodo.com/5878987/googles-broken-promise-the-end-of-dont-b...

oh - and by the way check out the video demo of how Google has 'improved' search.

http://www.focusontheuser.org/video.php

Way to go Google.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Alternative perspective
by WildSubnet on Thu 26th Jan 2012 00:50 UTC in reply to "Alternative perspective"
WildSubnet Member since:
2012-01-24

Gizmodo (and to a lesser extent all of Gawker Media) have been on an anti-Google crusade for about a week now. It's actually getting laughable. I can only imagine it's either in response to some sort of perceived slight by Google or an effort to increase page hits.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Alternative perspective
by rjamorim on Thu 26th Jan 2012 00:54 UTC in reply to "RE: Alternative perspective"
rjamorim Member since:
2005-12-05

Shoot the messenger and not the message, eh?

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Alternative perspective
by WildSubnet on Thu 26th Jan 2012 16:05 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Alternative perspective"
WildSubnet Member since:
2012-01-24

Google doesn't need me to shoot the messenger. I just don't think them creating a single privacy policy and streamlining their accounts is a big deal or "evil" as Gawker calls it. I think it is common sense and somewhat surprising it has taken them this long to do it. Streamlining their privacy policy actually makes it easier to see what Google is doing and for people who care about it to make a decision about sticking with Google.

If privacy is your concern, Google hasn't been the service for you for quite a long time.

Reply Score: 6

RE[2]: Alternative perspective
by testman on Thu 26th Jan 2012 01:51 UTC in reply to "RE: Alternative perspective"
testman Member since:
2007-10-15

Gizmodo (and to a lesser extent all of Gawker Media) have been on an anti-Google crusade for about a week now.

Google Defence Force to the rescue then? ;-)

Seriously though, they have crusades against Facebook, Apple, Google and others every few months or so. It just takes a controversial slip-up from them to fire them up. Once their fury has subsided, they move onto other things.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Alternative perspective
by Tony Swash on Thu 26th Jan 2012 12:14 UTC in reply to "Alternative perspective"
Tony Swash Member since:
2009-08-22

Here are couple of points for for consideration:

a) It is clear, particularly if you watch the video I linked to in the opening comment, that Google is artificially tweaking search results to favour its own social offering. What is happening is that Google+ links are being prioritised over, say, Twitter links even when the Twitter link is full of data and the Google+ plus link is to an empty space, and that this is being done when Google has access to both sources of data. This is not happening because Google is being 'shut out' of any data source, Google has the data that shows that the Twitter link is the richer source on the topic being searched but it chooses to downplay it below Google's own but inferior data sources.

This seem to me to be a degrading of the usefulness of Google search, and it is being done simply to help Google marginalise a competing services. Is that good or bad? Is that something Google should get away with without a fuss or should there be an outcry to try to get them to stop doing such things?

b) A deeper issue, and one that underpins the above issue, is the long term effects of Google's core business strategy. Google's only source of significant revenue is the collection of data on user activity on the browser and desktop based web and the selling of advertising based on that data. This has a number of implications.

One implication is that Google's revenue source, desktop search, is very threatened by the rise of mobile device internet activity, particularly where that mobile activity replaces desktop activity. Currently Google's annual income, compared to it's total revenue, is very small and what there is comes predominately from iOS search. Android so far has been a very poor generator of revenue for Google. The rise of app based as opposed to browser based web access also poses issues for Google unless it can ensure the insertion of Google ads into apps. This to me is some part of the explanation as to why Google seems so relaxed about the very low level (compared to iOS) of app purchases for Android devices and the much greater dependence on free apps funded by ad income for Android app developers. On the whole I don't much like advertising, and I don't like it shoved in my face, and I don't like it saturating my computer experience. Ads seem to be more intrusive on small mobile devices and I would not want to see the mobile device ecosystem becoming dependent on and saturated by ads and so my personal interest clashes with that of Google.

Google's business model, the collection of data on user activity on the browser and desktop based web and the selling of advertising based on that data, works for Google where it can collect the maximum amount of data about user activity. This means that all internet activity that generates significant user activity which cannot be collected by Google is seen as a threat by Google, as is any attempt by users to remain private in their internet activity. It's response is to either pressure data owners to open their kimono or to try to kill their business by using their large advertising revenues to fund free competing products and services which do collect user data for Google. I don't much like that, it seems anti-innovative to me. And I particularly don't like it when Google deploys an additional weapon of false search results to promote it's own offering and undermine the offerings of those it perceives as it's competitors.

I suppose the bottom line for me is that I don't want the internet dominated by an advertising agency. I don't much like like advertising and I try to avoid it where I can and I don't want to see ads inserted into my every internet activity.

Similarly I don't much like the idea of people collecting data on my activity unless I explicitly approve it. Sometimes I don't much care (for example when Google scans my emails for key words) but the more Google joins up everything so as to watch everything and the more Google tries to become an all pervasive layer in all internet activity the more uneasy I get.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Alternative perspective
by gan17 on Thu 26th Jan 2012 14:55 UTC in reply to "RE: Alternative perspective"
gan17 Member since:
2008-06-03

Genuine question here. Apologies for the ignorance since I haven't used an iOS device in a while.

Lets say I have an iPhone and am accessing my gmail account and having a chat with a mate on gtalk with a newly created Google account (one that automatically creates a G+, youtube..etc account for me as well, if my understanding is correct). What sort of "privacy issues" would I need to worry about if, say, I was on Mobile Safari at the same time doing a search on Google or Youtube. Is my browsing "tied/polled" to my actual Google "profile", even though I'm accessing the mail and talk/jabber services via separate apps and never logged into any google service via the browser?

Again, apologies if this seems a dumb question.

Edited 2012-01-26 14:56 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Alternative perspective
by Beta on Thu 26th Jan 2012 17:17 UTC in reply to "RE: Alternative perspective"
Beta Member since:
2005-07-06

What is happening is that Google+ links are being prioritised over, say, Twitter links even when the Twitter link is full of data and the Google+ plus link is to an empty space, and that this is being done when Google has access to both sources of data. This is not happening because Google is being 'shut out' of any data source, Google has the data that shows that the Twitter link is the richer source on the topic being searched but it chooses to downplay it below Google's own but inferior data sources.


I require proof of your theory. Twitter publically shut off their fire hose to Google and then moved to JavaScript based URLs… so how does Google get this data now?

If you don’t recall so far back, Google often featured Twitter URLs in results until that change.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Alternative perspective
by Thom_Holwerda on Thu 26th Jan 2012 17:30 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Alternative perspective"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Imagine the shitstorm if Google HAD included Facebook and Twitter results without their consent. I can see the Grubersiegler™ blog-o-tron posts now.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Alternative perspective
by Tony Swash on Thu 26th Jan 2012 18:34 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Alternative perspective"
Tony Swash Member since:
2009-08-22

Imagine the shitstorm if Google HAD included Facebook and Twitter results without their consent. I can see the Grubersiegler™ blog-o-tron posts now.



Thom - please, just watch the video I linked to and then tell us that you think Google is doing good here - that it is improving search for users. As you can see in the video, or through your own experiments, we are only discussing data that is freely available to Google, data whose collection offends no one, which is being hidden and demoted in Google search results in order to direct people to Google services. Do you really think this OK?

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: Alternative perspective
by Thom_Holwerda on Thu 26th Jan 2012 19:14 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Alternative perspective"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

o you really think this OK?


I don't like it, so I turned it off. Also, social networking is really fcuking boring. I just don't care.

However, you know just as well as I do - but you probably won't admit it - that Twitter, Facebook, and the Grubersiegler™ blog-o-tron would have stirred up just as big a shitstorm had Google included FB/Twitter data without authorisation.

Just as every Apple fart is being blown way out of proportion, so is every Google fart. I can assure you no regular person gives two shits about this.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Alternative perspective
by Tony Swash on Thu 26th Jan 2012 18:31 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Alternative perspective"
Tony Swash Member since:
2009-08-22

"What is happening is that Google+ links are being prioritised over, say, Twitter links even when the Twitter link is full of data and the Google+ plus link is to an empty space, and that this is being done when Google has access to both sources of data. This is not happening because Google is being 'shut out' of any data source, Google has the data that shows that the Twitter link is the richer source on the topic being searched but it chooses to downplay it below Google's own but inferior data sources.


I require proof of your theory. Twitter publically shut off their fire hose to Google and then moved to JavaScript based URLs… so how does Google get this data now?

If you don’t recall so far back, Google often featured Twitter URLs in results until that change.
"


I suggest you watch the video that I linked to before which is here

http://www.focusontheuser.org/video.php

This demonstrates pretty definitively, using only results from Google (i.e only using data sources completely open to Google) that Google artificially ranks Google services such as Google+ above other sites (such as Twitter or Facebook) even when those non-Google sites clearly have vastly better and more up to date data.

I personally think the video is pretty damning but I urge you to watch it yourself, it only last nine minutes, and make your own mind up. Tell us if you think what it shows Google doing is good or bad in your opinion.

One can also download the 'Don't Be Evil" bookmarklet for most browsers with circumvents Google's new degraded search function.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Alternative perspective
by Beta on Thu 26th Jan 2012 19:33 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Alternative perspective"
Beta Member since:
2005-07-06

Google artificially ranks Google services such as Google+ above other sites (such as Twitter or Facebook) even when those non-Google sites clearly have vastly better and more up to date data.

I personally think the video is pretty damning but I urge you to watch it yourself


I made my mind when its a video produced by… Twitter, Facebook & MySpace.
Companies competing for the same social space that also PUSHED GOOGLE AWAY FROM MAKING THEIR CONTENT INDEXABLE. They asked for this. Maybe they should ask for inclusion again rather than trying to manipulate public opinion.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Alternative perspective
by Tony Swash on Thu 26th Jan 2012 19:44 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Alternative perspective"
Tony Swash Member since:
2009-08-22

"Google artificially ranks Google services such as Google+ above other sites (such as Twitter or Facebook) even when those non-Google sites clearly have vastly better and more up to date data.

I personally think the video is pretty damning but I urge you to watch it yourself


I made my mind when its a video produced by… Twitter, Facebook & MySpace.
Companies competing for the same social space that also PUSHED GOOGLE AWAY FROM MAKING THEIR CONTENT INDEXABLE. They asked for this. Maybe they should ask for inclusion again rather than trying to manipulate public opinion.
"

So did you actually watch it? How can you possible make your mind up based not on the content of the video but on who made it? That's so absurdly narrow minded.

If you did watch it do you think what Google is doing is OK?

The whole point of what was demonstrated in the video is that the data from places like Twitter and Facebook that is being demoted in search results is all 100% accessible by Google, it's data Google already has but which it chooses to obscure in search results in order to attack another company. Do you really think that is OK?

Facebook and anybody else should have the right to not share data with Google without Google artificially demoting their search results in order to put pressure on them and to promote Google services.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Alternative perspective
by Beta on Fri 27th Jan 2012 10:53 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Alternative perspective"
Beta Member since:
2005-07-06

Facebook and anybody else should have the right to not share data with Google


They have that right, they exorcised their data from Google.

without Google artificially demoting their search results

Which is exactly the problem, how does Google with its algorithm ‘fairly’ rank data that’s opaque to them.
These companies cannot have it both ways.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: Alternative perspective
by Tony Swash on Fri 27th Jan 2012 16:19 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Alternative perspective"
Tony Swash Member since:
2009-08-22

"Facebook and anybody else should have the right to not share data with Google


They have that right, they exorcised their data from Google.

without Google artificially demoting their search results

Which is exactly the problem, how does Google with its algorithm ‘fairly’ rank data that’s opaque to them.
These companies cannot have it both ways.
"


I fear you are being obtuse - perhaps deliberately.

As I pointed out and as the video demonstration makes abundantly clear, Google is demoting search results that relate to its competitors (for example Twitter) even when it has all the data.

The free bookmarklet 'Don't Be Evil' that is associated with video I linked to rectifies the distortion Google has incorporated into search results and it does so by using Google's own system and data that Google already has. None of the down ranking of competitors products highlighted in the video is the result of Google lacking, or being shut out of, data.

So let me reiterate and make as clear as possible - this has nothing to do with anybody with holding data from Google. Google is deliberately distorting search results even when it has data in order to prioritise its own social offering and down ranking competitors.

The issue of Twitter, Facebook and others making their systems opaque to Google is the reasons that Google sees such systems as a threat. Google is driven to pry open all doors, if it finds a door locked then it attacks that hidden data source and if it cannot pry the door open it tries to kill the owner of the door by offering an alternative and free product. All of Google's PR talk, like much that it says, is intended to sound reasonable but to conceal the real dynamic at work. The irony is that Google realised that the constant use of the word 'open' was all that was needed to confuse and demobilise much of the constituency that would have normally been expected to call Google out on it's actions.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Alternative perspective
by testman on Fri 27th Jan 2012 05:57 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Alternative perspective"
testman Member since:
2007-10-15

I made my mind when its a video produced by… Twitter, Facebook & MySpace.
Companies competing for the same social space that also PUSHED GOOGLE AWAY FROM MAKING THEIR CONTENT INDEXABLE. They asked for this. Maybe they should ask for inclusion again rather than trying to manipulate public opinion.

Judging by your posting history, it's pretty clear you made your mind up long before watching the video.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Alternative perspective
by Beta on Fri 27th Jan 2012 10:49 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Alternative perspective"
Beta Member since:
2005-07-06

Judging by your posting history, it's pretty clear you made your mind up long before watching the video.


Cute. Judging by your posting history, mine doesn’t matter.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Alternative perspective
by Tony Swash on Fri 27th Jan 2012 16:32 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Alternative perspective"
Tony Swash Member since:
2009-08-22

"What is happening is that Google+ links are being prioritised over, say, Twitter links even when the Twitter link is full of data and the Google+ plus link is to an empty space, and that this is being done when Google has access to both sources of data. This is not happening because Google is being 'shut out' of any data source, Google has the data that shows that the Twitter link is the richer source on the topic being searched but it chooses to downplay it below Google's own but inferior data sources.


I require proof of your theory. Twitter publically shut off their fire hose to Google and then moved to JavaScript based URLs… so how does Google get this data now?

If you don’t recall so far back, Google often featured Twitter URLs in results until that change.
"


This is worth a read concerning Google's misdirection regarding Twitter data

http://parislemon.com/post/15664060982/misdirection-doublespeak-non...

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Alternative perspective
by BallmerKnowsBest on Fri 27th Jan 2012 22:02 UTC in reply to "RE: Alternative perspective"
BallmerKnowsBest Member since:
2008-06-02

One implication is that Google's revenue source, desktop search, is very threatened by the rise of mobile device internet activity, particularly where that mobile activity replaces desktop activity.
(...)
It's response is to either pressure data owners to open their kimono or to try to kill their business by using their large advertising revenues to fund free competing products and services which do collect user data for Google. I don't much like that, it seems anti-innovative to me.


I'd rather see a thousand "innovative" silo-curators run out of business, than see the internet dragged back to the days of AOL when public content was walled-off into various incompatible silos. The "innovation" that you're so eager to see flourish is essentially the Web 2.0 version of file format lock-in - but even worse, because at least 3rd parties could build converters to get around format lock-in.

Your rationale seems to be little more than: closed silos are a threat to Google, and Google is evil, so closed silos must be good for everyone else. That's extraordinarily myopic - curated silos aren't just a threat to Google, they undermine everything that allowed the Internet to win out over glorified BBSes like AOL. Though maybe you consider that an "anti-innovative" outcome too...

You want to talk about implications? Speaking of AOL, one of the reasons they were initially successful was exclusivity agreements with content producers (E.g. several major print magazines initially eschewed websites in favor of areas on AOL). How long do you think it's going to be until Apple tries to pull the same thing - E.g. write a nice fat cheque to Facebook, so that Facebook can only be accessed through the iOS app & every other platform gets locked out? Or say, Amazon decides to limit their services to Kindle users. Would you consider that innovative? And if Google opposed that, would you consider that "anti-innovative"?

(See? Two can play the "loaded questions" game)

Not to mention that fact that having the internet dominated by Software-as-a-Service silos is probably the fondest wet dream of Big Content. Simply because it gives them the opportunity to control content on the Internet in the same way they've controlled content on traditional media. Viva la innovation, right?

This means that all internet activity that generates significant user activity which cannot be collected by Google is seen as a threat by Google, as is any attempt by users to remain private in their internet activity.


Riiiiiiiiight, I can't the number of accounts I've read where Google beat the doors of providers of members-only sites, or a private intranets, or any webmail systems outside of GMail, etc - and tried to run them out of business unless they opened up their system to public indexing.

Reply Score: 2

...
by Hiev on Wed 25th Jan 2012 23:56 UTC
Hiev
Member since:
2005-09-27

The way I see it is that Google has redefined the "Search in the internet" for "Search in Google".

Edited 2012-01-25 23:59 UTC

Reply Score: 5

On privacy and sharing
by WorknMan on Thu 26th Jan 2012 00:26 UTC
WorknMan
Member since:
2005-11-13

One thing that everyone needs to realize is that, if you put something online, it WILL be shared. Just like the content industry hasn't figured out that piracy can never be stopped, your personal info will be passed around just as the latest Snoop Dogg album is, and no law is going to change it.

The internet makes it possible to share information, and doesn't give anybody the ability to decide what gets shared and what doesn't. This is good sometimes, but also bad sometimes. Love it or hate it though, it is what it is. Moral to the story - if you don't want it shared with anybody, don't put it online. If you only want it shared with certain people, you BETTER make sure it is encrypted, and hope that those few people you decide to share it with won't pass it around.

Reply Score: 3

That explains it
by benb320 on Thu 26th Jan 2012 01:12 UTC
benb320
Member since:
2010-02-23

Earlier today I checked plane fare prices from west jet (which involved a google search). Then on youtube there was an ad for west jet and other airlines. I was like ... that's some coincidence...?

Edited 2012-01-26 01:14 UTC

Reply Score: 1

Comment by testman
by testman on Thu 26th Jan 2012 01:48 UTC
testman
Member since:
2007-10-15

If you don't want Google or Facebook to know something, don't tell it to them. You don't shout your secrets in a crowded mall either, do you?

You don't have full control over your personal data. If someone tags you in Picasa, or even writes your name in the description, that's some personally-identifying data right there. Then, someone adds your email, photo, address and phonenumber to their smartphone and synchronises that with their Google Account:

PICASA: "You (and 7 other people) say this is THOM HOLWERDA."

So cross-reference this with your page-visits and Google searches, and they've got a pretty good idea of who you are.

You cannot tell me with a straight place that having this information all under one roof and in the hands of a private organisation cannot be a good thing.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by testman
by WorknMan on Thu 26th Jan 2012 06:37 UTC in reply to "Comment by testman"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

Then, someone adds your email, photo, address and phonenumber to their smartphone and synchronises that with their Google Account:


Yup, and Facebook has the same thing on their mobile app. Even if you don't give them your phone number, address, etc, somebody else will if they have you in their contacts and use the sync feature.

Reply Score: 2

v RE: Comment by testman
by daedalus on Thu 26th Jan 2012 10:18 UTC in reply to "Comment by testman"
RE: Comment by testman
by tomcat on Fri 27th Jan 2012 03:25 UTC in reply to "Comment by testman"
tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

You cannot tell me with a straight place that having this information all under one roof and in the hands of a private organisation cannot be a good thing.


Uh, yeah, I can. The less information that Google has about us, the better. Why? Because, despite what Google says publicly, they cooperate with governments to spy on citizens. How would you like it if you were a Chinese citizen using Google to search, and they shared information about you with the repressive Chinese government? Or reported you to Homeland Security? Their privacy policies are a flaming pile of dog crap, given these realities.

Edited 2012-01-27 03:25 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by testman
by testman on Fri 27th Jan 2012 05:53 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by testman"
testman Member since:
2007-10-15

Uh, yeah, I can. The less information that Google has about us, the better.

Ah shit, I've just realised why there's all this misunderstanding about my comment.

What I'd meant to say was:

You cannot tell me with a straight face that having this information all under one roof and in the hands of a private organisation is a good thing.

One too many bevs and too much sun yesterday, I think.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by testman
by tomcat on Fri 27th Jan 2012 21:59 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by testman"
tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

"Uh, yeah, I can. The less information that Google has about us, the better.

Ah shit, I've just realised why there's all this misunderstanding about my comment.

What I'd meant to say was:

You cannot tell me with a straight face that having this information all under one roof and in the hands of a private organisation is a good thing.

One too many bevs and too much sun yesterday, I think.
"

No worries, mate. Thanks for the reply.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by AaronMiller
by AaronMiller on Thu 26th Jan 2012 01:48 UTC
AaronMiller
Member since:
2011-05-23

"You don't shout your secrets in a crowded mall either, do you?"
... Okay, well now I have to try that.

Reply Score: 1

Comment by Coxy
by Coxy on Thu 26th Jan 2012 07:30 UTC
Coxy
Member since:
2006-07-01

"... We can provide more relevant ads too. For example, it's January, but maybe you're not a gym person, so fitness ads aren't that useful to you, ..."

No ads are useful to me which is why I use adblock.

I don't want personalised search, or my youtube account linked to google's. Thta's why I don'T have either.

Thnaks, but no thanks.

Reply Score: 4

Logical ?
by bowkota on Thu 26th Jan 2012 13:38 UTC
bowkota
Member since:
2011-10-12

I find it puzzling why you would assume that sharing your information between these services is natural ?

The FTC doesn't seem very happy either.

http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/news/2012/01/pascals-wager-googles-n...

Reply Score: 2

RE: Logical ?
by Thom_Holwerda on Thu 26th Jan 2012 13:45 UTC in reply to "Logical ?"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

I find it puzzling why you would assume that sharing your information between these services is natural ?


Microsoft already does this. Apple already does this. Facebook already does this. Twitter already does this. Amazon already does this.

So yeah, pretty natural.

The FTC doesn't seem very happy either.


You might want to read the linked article again. Key operator: "could". There's no word from the FTC AT ALL.

Reply Score: 0

RE: Logical ?
by Adam S on Thu 26th Jan 2012 14:42 UTC in reply to "Logical ?"
Adam S Member since:
2005-04-01

Facebook does the same thing, it's just all under facebook.com. Video, people, apps, pages, all in one place.

Google's the same, it's just under different domains. Not sure why they WOULDN'T do this.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Logical ?
by ndrw on Fri 27th Jan 2012 06:47 UTC in reply to "RE: Logical ?"
ndrw Member since:
2009-06-30

Sure they will do that. Information is their most valuable asset and the only source of their revenue.

There is a big difference between Google and Facebook (although quickly diminishing) - the scale. Building a complete picture of you is where the spread of the network matters a lot and Google is ahead of everyone in this regard.

Sure, your bank, your employer/school, Facebook, your network provider all can have more information than every single of Google services alone but this information is focused on a single (or few) topic(s). Google is currently the only company (although Facebook tries to become one too) that can build a complete picture of yourself.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by bolomkxxviii
by bolomkxxviii on Thu 26th Jan 2012 14:11 UTC
bolomkxxviii
Member since:
2006-05-19

Search = Duckduckgo
e-mail = hushmail
Bowser = Iron

Do what you can to protect yourself.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Comment by bolomkxxviii
by Sodki on Thu 26th Jan 2012 16:55 UTC in reply to "Comment by bolomkxxviii"
Sodki Member since:
2005-11-10

e-mail = hushmail


Let me see:

Hushmail offers private, secure free email accounts. Email is encrypted and spam/virus scanned.

Sure, sure, but how do we know for sure? Dropbox also stated that the files were encrypted, but they were not. The only way to be sure is not to trust external services and have your own infrastructure.

Reply Score: 2

Consolidation of data
by ndrw on Fri 27th Jan 2012 06:31 UTC
ndrw
Member since:
2009-06-30

Push for consolidation of data is worrying. Our credit card number, emails, search results, films we watch are not that sensitive when considered alone. But when someone starts putting all the bits and pieces together he/she can get a fairly complete picture of ourselves.

That's exactly what Google (and many others) wants (and people don't, if they only knew the implications).

There is no perfect solutions available yet (Mozilla, are you sleeping?) but there are some tools that can help us break/weaken the links between various services.

One is a good cookie manager, unfortunately it's hard to find one. I'm using CookieCuller add-on for Firefox but I could imagine a better one (easier to use and more powerful).

Another is an identity/profile switcher. Multifox add-on is pretty good (especially the older 1.3 branch, which does a better job in keeping the profiles separate) but lately its development has stalled a bit.

A browser like Firefox, which has an ambition to promote openness on the web, should really have such tools built-in and well integrated with each other and the core of the browser. But I guess this isn't the topic their sponsors are the most interested in working on.

Reply Score: 2

Lennie
Member since:
2007-09-22

Euh... Thom I wouldn't be so sure of that.

While I don't see an identifying cookie on google.com yet when you are not logged in.

I do see an identifying cookie on Youtube.com.

And I know very well they keep track of what I watch, because my Youtube.com homepage looks very different from yours I'm sure.

It is a small step to also add a cookie for google.com

It only takes one time one single element loading from google.com to be able to connect your youtube behaviour to your google.com behaviour.

They would have to specifically create it to be that way for that purpose, but it isn't complicated.

Reply Score: 2

Predictable
by benali72 on Sun 29th Jan 2012 09:16 UTC
benali72
Member since:
2008-05-03

This move by Google was long predictable. Both Google and Facebook will continue to change their "privacy" policies in their favor whenever they like. The only clause in their privacy policies that really means anything is the one that says "we reserve the right to change this policy at any time without prior notice."

Reply Score: 1