Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 16th Apr 2012 08:26 UTC
Internet & Networking "The principles of openness and universal access that underpinned the creation of the internet three decades ago are under greater threat than ever, according to Google co-founder Sergey Brin. The threat to the freedom of the internet comes, he claims, from a combination of governments increasingly trying to control access and communication by their citizens, the entertainment industry's attempts to crack down on piracy, and the rise of 'restrictive' walled gardens such as Facebook and Apple, which tightly control what software can be released on their platforms." That governments - east and west - are trying to destroy the open web, that we know. As for Facebook and Apple... Well, all I know is that it is completely and utterly impossible to check what information Apple has about you. Unlike Google (more here) and to a lesser degree Facebook, Apple provides zero means to see, export, or delete the information they have on you, associated with your Apple ID or otherwise. In 2012, that's just sinister.
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hypocrisy, thy name is Brin
by maccouch on Mon 16th Apr 2012 13:53 UTC
maccouch
Member since:
2012-03-14

oh come on, the full interview is full of BS.

Some points are true, the Govs censorship- including the US - & the media companies approach to piracy but the finger pointing to Apple and Facebook are just bollocks. Basically he just put them there to get a not so thinly way to launch a media uproar about them.

He actually complains that other search engines can't search Facebook? really? facebook is, for all intents and purposes, the largest private- discussion forum on the world. WHy should that be "searchable" by third parties? Would he like to open up gmail contents to outside search engines? really curious on much users it would have after that change. There's a lot of criticism one can point to facebook, but an excess of privacy is not one of them.

And also, he points out that FB has been "sucking out" users from gmail for a long time and that you can't extract your info from facebook? The last time i check the only way for you to get your info out of gmail was using their non standard implementation of IMAP to download your entire gmail account to your pc, spending a day reordering things and cleaning up, and then uploading to you new
mail server that actually complies with the f***ing standards. I wouldn't call that "correct and user-friendly exporting of data".

Besides facebook i guess you could also find out other mini-internets that are not searchable by third-party search engines: maps.google.com and plus.google.com just popped into my mind..

the Apple cheapshot is also off-mark. Apples restricts on iOS what apps you can install, not what content you can access. As long as it is on the web, i can "safari" my way to it. And why the f**k should my apps be searchable by google?! Didn't understood that one. We may agree that Apple's policy of not allowing side-loading on iOS devices is "incorrect" or "not-user-friendly" but that has nothing to do whatsoever with the internet censorship Brin is talking about.


"Apple provides zero means to see, export, or delete the information they have on you, associated with your Apple ID or otherwise. In 2012, that's just sinister." - Thom Holwerda

About apple this really doesn't make a lot of sense. Apple is not in the business of data mining and does no money from advertising ((don't really count the invisible/tiny business of iAds )). Apples does its money the old fashion way: it sells you products that you want to buy.

The only times i needed to use my AppleID was when i purchased something on itunes store or app store. And now if you want to use iCloud. Not sure if you need to provide it anywhere else.

So i guess the only things that you would get on Apple list of what it knew about you was your list of Apple purchases. I agree that it should be made available on appleid.apple.com for instance, but i would'nt exactly call it "sinister".

What was sinister for me was discovering my google record in google's dashboard somewhere in 2008/2009 and discovering that they had recorded everything i ever searched since 2004. You could pretty much make a day-to-day picture of me just by following their records.

Oh, the whole privacy issues of iCloud concern me, but my focus would be if that data was encrypted and properly secured, as apple is notoriously bad at web stuff, not exactly if apple was data mining it. Not saying it can't happen, just saying that untill now it was never a part of Apple business strategy.

Edited 2012-04-16 13:57 UTC

Reply Score: 3

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

About apple this really doesn't make a lot of sense. Apple is not in the business of data mining and does no money from advertising ((don't really count the invisible/tiny business of iAds )). Apples does its money the old fashion way: it sells you products that you want to buy.


Apple uses that data to better understand how to extract money from you. Google does it to better understand how to extract money from advertisers. I don't see the difference.

What was sinister for me was discovering my google record in google's dashboard somewhere in 2008/2009 and discovering that they had recorded everything i ever searched since 2004. You could pretty much make a day-to-day picture of me just by following their records.


If it dated back that far, then you turned the tracking feature on yourself. Only very recently did Google turn it on by default for NEW ACCOUNTS ONLY. In other words, you willingly turned it on, and now you;re complaining? Even though you can see all the info and delete it?

Cry me a river.

Reply Parent Score: 4

maccouch Member since:
2012-03-14

"Apple uses that data to better understand how to extract money from you. Google does it to better understand how to extract money from advertisers. I don't see the difference. "

Untill now i have seen no such behaviour from apple. nor any proofs of it. Again, not saying that i can't happen, just saying that, in the present, i don't think that is credible.

"Only very recently did Google turn it on by default for NEW ACCOUNTS ONLY. In other words, you willingly turned it on, and now you;re complaining? Even though you can see all the info and delete it? "

That's not true. I did no enabling. The only thing i did do, was browsing the web and doing search on google.com WHILE logged in to my gmail account. Something that i actually never thought was "wrong".

And the whole "info deletion" considering Google is rather suspicious to me. This is the company that set up gmail to not erase your email messages when deleted by an imap client but rather "archive them". This is the company that still keeps your email messages on their servers even though you set up "forward and delete on receival". This is the company that does 100% of its money by selling your data and profile to advertisers. So , again, i apologize if i don't exactly trust them on their "check what we know about your and delete it if you want"...

Edited 2012-04-16 14:23 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

maccouch Member since:
2012-03-14

just by curiosity i went to dashboard and check out their FAQ. read this:

What happens when I pause the service, remove items, or delete the Web History service?

You can choose to stop storing your web activity in Web History either temporarily or permanently, or remove items, as described in Web History Help. If you remove items, they will be removed from the service and will not be used to improve your Google experience. Web History items that you've deleted might show up in your Account Activity Report if the information was saved by Account Activity prior to deletion.

As is common practice in the industry, Google also maintains a separate logs system for auditing purposes and to help us improve the quality of our services for users. For example, we use this information to audit our ads systems, understand which features are most popular to users, improve the quality of our search results, and help us combat vulnerabilities such as denial of service attacks.


I'm sorry, you were saying what about being able to delete your google history from their servers?

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: hypocrisy, thy name is Brin
by phoudoin on Mon 16th Apr 2012 14:11 in reply to "hypocrisy, thy name is Brin"
phoudoin Member since:
2006-06-09

Apples restricts on iOS what apps you can install, not what content you can access. As long as it is on the web, i can "safari" my way to it.


And how do you know it?
If Safari tomorrow returns 404 on a url, or don't show some expected results pages of whatever search engine, how can you know it's not a safari filter?

You can't install alternative web browser. Why!?
How comes Apple can consider that the builtin web-browser is the best ever, the ultimate, the best one for *every* body?
And more importantly, why?

Until recently, I was believe it was just the usual arrogant our-is-the-best-for-all-period, but with the personal data *market*, I start to think different (pun intended).

Reply Parent Score: 3

maccouch Member since:
2012-03-14

"If Safari tomorrow returns 404 on a url, or don't show some expected results pages of whatever search engine, how can you know it's not a safari filter? "

because i use other devices besides iDevices?

on the whole you can't install other browsers/non-approved apps, i fully agree with you- you should have the option to do so, even if you needed to perform some esoteric commandline kung-fu to do it. But that has nothing to do whatsoever with the crocodile's tears from Brin about INternet censorship.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: hypocrisy, thy name is Brin
by JAlexoid on Tue 17th Apr 2012 11:48 in reply to "hypocrisy, thy name is Brin"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

The last time i check the only way for you to get your info out of gmail was using their non standard implementation of IMAP to download your entire gmail account to your pc

Why do I archive my GMail account using standard IMAP client? Opposed to Facebook's you can't even get a list of emails of your own "friends".

Apple is not in the business of data mining and does no money from advertising

Soe is WalMart and other retailers, but dear God how much information do they collect about you when you use their loyalty card and/or plain CC. Or should I remind you for who's benefit that information is gathered for?

PS: Siri only works because of data mining.

PPS: He's complaining about the fall of the open web, not privacy. So your characterization of Brin as a hypocrite is not correct.

Edited 2012-04-17 12:00 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

maccouch Member since:
2012-03-14

Why do I archive my GMail account using standard IMAP client? Opposed to Facebook's you can't even get a list of emails of your own "friends".


i don't have a facebook account for a couple of years now, but if i remember correctly there was an option of downloading your entire profile/pictures and commments in html format.

my beef with gmail is that for it to work "properly" with an imap client you have to go around setting up stuff and implementing gmail labs features and even so it might never act properly. it's not that you can't download, its that for years it was impossible to use it correctly the same way you would simply use a standard imap account. The fact that specific IMAP clients for gmail had to be designed (Sparrow for example) says a lot.

Standards for interoperability are extremely important. I get seriously pissed every time i discover some dumb company ignoring existing standards just so they can be "different". and lock you in in the process. (and yes, i know that apple does this some times. )

PPS: He's complaining about the fall of the open web, not privacy. So your characterization of Brin as a hypocrite is not correct.


No, he's complaining that the fall of the "open web" is defined by what google can index or not. Even if that measure is only the reverse of some kind of privacy. Facebook should not be indexed. Nor should any other social network or private foruns. In the same way, google own services as maps and g+ are not indexable by third party search engines. And yet he doesn't have a problem with this.

So, yes, Brin is f***ing hypocrite that took the opportunity of this article to take cheapshots at his adversaries. Which is a shame because the actual warnings about the govs and media companies messing with the net are serious and real issues that people should be warned about.

Edited 2012-04-17 17:10 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1