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

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