Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 3rd Sep 2012 09:07 UTC
Microsoft "Microsoft this week updated its services agreement with subtle, yet potentially significant changes to its policy on privacy and dispute settlement. The company notified users of the changes in an e-mail sent Friday, informing them that the new Terms of Service would go into effect on October 19th. Apparently taking its cue from Google, Microsoft's revised policy allows the company to access and display user content across all of its cloud properties." Microsoft said, when Google announced an identical policy change: "Google is in the midst of making some unpopular changes to some of their most popular products. Those changes, cloaked in language like 'transparency', 'simplicity', and 'consistency', are really about one thing: making it easier for Google to connect the dots between everything you search, send, say or stream while using one of their services." Let me guess: no outraged blog posts from the usual suspects this time around.
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The difference is competence
by kwan_e on Mon 3rd Sep 2012 09:16 UTC
Member since:

The question is:

Should we be concerned over Google's competence, or Microsoft's incompetence?

In the context of data mining, social media and the cloud, is there an essential difference between competence in data mining and incompetence in security?

Reply Score: 3

RE: The difference is competence
by Yehppael on Mon 3rd Sep 2012 09:40 UTC in reply to "The difference is competence"
Yehppael Member since:

Both. Google is doing a lot of interesting things with the user data. Throw in Microsoft, poor guard for those results, and you get the privacy disaster of the decade.

I like Google's products, and a lot of their policies are quite good for the user.
There are moments though, and some specific services, that make me glad I don't mix my RL, with my online persona in any meaningful way.

Reply Score: 5

JAlexoid Member since:

Consider this - it's Google's core business pillar to keep the user data away from advertisers and make money by being the gatekeepers.

Reply Score: 11

by kurkosdr on Mon 3rd Sep 2012 09:59 UTC
Member since:

"that make me glad I don't mix my RL, with my online persona in any meaningful way."

They have a fix for that: Want to buy some apps from our Market? We need you credit card. Now they have you (even prepaid credit cards have real names).

Then there are always carriers that will happily hand over details if it's for their benefit.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Re:
by Lennie on Mon 3rd Sep 2012 16:44 UTC in reply to "Re:"
Lennie Member since:

That is exactly why I've been able to stay away from this, by not getting an Android phone.

It is currently one of the only two reasons I don't use/have an Android phone right now. All the other problems are fixed.

The release of Jelly Bean was the last round that solved some of the previous reasons.

I want to love Google, but they are and always will be privacy problem waiting to happen.

They even offered me a job, I could probably be making more money and have a bigger house or do even more technically interresting work.

But this was one of the reasons I didn't talk to them.

I think free services sponsored by advertising is a great thing. Websites like OSNews for example are great.

I even run a website is sponsored by advertising. Alexa claims OSNews is in the top 30,000 most populair websites worldwide, our site is in the top 40,000.

But I don't want my data analyzed. Google already does that when I do a Google search, but at least that is some what anonymous.

Edited 2012-09-03 16:54 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE: Re:
by Alfman on Mon 3rd Sep 2012 19:35 UTC in reply to "Re:"
Alfman Member since:


"even prepaid credit cards have real names"

I've used some prepaid credit cards, you can buy them as gift certificates over the counter without any questions... Admittedly the last time I used one was in high school, so I guess it's possible that the patriot act has since outlawed untraceable cards?

More to the point of the topic though, google stores a tremendous amount of indirect personal data. The geolocation service built into firefox 3.5 sends google data any time ANY WEBSITE invokes a geolocation query.

"Firefox 3.5 includes support for locating you based on your WiFi information using Google Location Services. In the transaction between Firefox 3.5 and Google, data is exchanged including WiFi Access Point data, an access token (similar to a 2 week cookie), and the user's IP address."

In theory, it would be feasible for google to invoke the firefox geolocation API programmatically from their own google analytics and adsense services deployed throughout the web and view the user's proximity to specific WiFi access points.

Opinions may differ as to whether this is a valid privacy concern, however one thing is certain, most users are not aware of how they're being tracked by google even on 3rd party sites (like osnews).

Reply Score: 2

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Reply Score: 0

Where's the government?
by oper on Mon 3rd Sep 2012 15:47 UTC
Member since:

Where's the government?
Shouldn't be there protecting people's rights and data?

Reply Score: 1

RE: Where's the government?
by WorknMan on Mon 3rd Sep 2012 16:17 UTC in reply to "Where's the government?"
WorknMan Member since:

Where's the government?
Shouldn't be there protecting people's rights and data?

In that case, you would be asking the government to do the impossible. The entertainment industry has been using the government for years to try and protect their own data (content), and haven't had much success. So if an entity like that, with all of its millions to spend on the problem can't keep a 15yo from sharing the latest Snoop Dogg album with several million of his friends, despite laws being passed to aid in the effort, why do you think the government would have any better luck trying to keep Joe Sixpack's personal information under wraps?

Newsflash: if people/companies want to share your personal/private info, they're going to do so. And there's nothing that you or the government can do about it. Why? Because the technology makes preventing sharing impossible. In some cases, it's great for us. In other cases, it comes back to bite us in the ass. That's just the way it goes.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Where's the government?
by oper on Tue 4th Sep 2012 07:22 UTC in reply to "RE: Where's the government?"
oper Member since:

you would be asking the government to do the impossible

Those "privacy policies" affect a lot of millions of people and they are abusive. For example, the government can declare them illegal.

Reply Score: 1

Comment by Drumhellar
by Drumhellar on Mon 3rd Sep 2012 16:01 UTC
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I think the lack of outrage is because it's already been spent on Google's changes.
Typically, when one company does something which others do later, people only get pissed at the first to do it.

Reply Score: 3

No affect
by arpan on Mon 3rd Sep 2012 17:05 UTC
Member since:

[quote]Let me guess: no outraged blog posts from the usual suspects this time around.[/quote]

I personally don't use any MS products, and so would not complain about this change, since it doesn't affect me. Very few tech savvy users use MS web products. Which is why subtle changes to those services (such as new TOS), aren't going to be reported as much.

Reply Score: 1

v Comment by squelart
by squelart on Mon 3rd Sep 2012 21:33 UTC
Comment by marcp
by marcp on Tue 4th Sep 2012 20:05 UTC
Member since:

Microsoft, Google, Yahoo, Facebook, Twitter - F#%@ you all.

I use services that respect my freedom of choice, freedom from oppression and my privacy.
To name a few:

... and libre operating systems. Shove your sick privacy policies up your ass. I vote with my wallet. I support those who don't try to $@!# with me. I pay them from my gratitude, not because I'm being forced to.

Enough said. Goodbye.

Reply Score: 1