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).
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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 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 Parent Score: 1

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

Shoot the messenger and not the message, eh?

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Alternative perspective
by testman on Thu 26th Jan 2012 01:51 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 Parent Score: 2

RE: Alternative perspective
by Tony Swash on Thu 26th Jan 2012 12:14 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 Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: Alternative perspective
by gan17 on Thu 26th Jan 2012 14:55 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 Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: Alternative perspective
by Beta on Thu 26th Jan 2012 17:17 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 Parent Score: 2

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 Parent Score: 2