Google rolls out new privacy policy amid howls

Mar 01, 2012
Members of US group Consumer Watchdog dress as members of the "Google Track Team" ahead of an antitrust hearing on Google in September in Washington, DC. They pretended to track unsuspecting people to draw attention to Google's privacy policies. Google rolled out its new privacy policy Thursday allowing the firm to track users across various services to developed targeted advertising.

Google rolled out a new privacy policy Thursday allowing the firm to track users across various services to develop targeted advertising, despite sharp criticism from US and European consumer advocacy groups.

Google contends the move simplifies and unifies its policies across its various services such as Gmail, YouTube, Android mobile systems, social networks and Internet search.

"The new policy doesn't change any existing privacy settings or how any personal information is shared outside of Google," Google privacy chief Alma Whitten said on the Google Blog Thursday.

But critics including European privacy agencies and US consumer watchdogs argued the new policy, which offers no ability to opt out aside from refraining from signing into Google services, gives the Internet giant unprecedented ability to monitor its users. And some say it violates EU privacy protections.

"Calling this a 'privacy policy' is Orwellian doublespeak," said John Simpson of the US advocacy group Consumer Watchdog.

"Google isn't telling you about protecting your privacy.Google is telling you how they will gather information about you on all its services, combine it in new ways and use the fat new digital dossiers to sell more ads. They're telling you how they plan to spy on you. It's a spy policy."

A coalition of European and US consumer advocacy groups made a last-ditch appeal to Internet search and advertising giant Google on Wednesday to delay the changes.

In a joint letter to Google chief executive Larry Page, the Trans Atlantic Consumer Dialogue urged Google to delay implementation of the changes, saying it would "combine data from all of your services... into a single profile without user consent and without any meaningful opportunity for users to opt-out."

The French consumer data protection agency CNIL warned this week that Google may be in violation of European privacy norms.

US Federal Trade Commission chairman Jon Leibowitz has said Google is forcing users to make a "brutal choice" -- ending its use of the service or complying with the new monitoring scheme.

The Electronic Privacy Information Center said it is appealing a judge's ruling that dismissed its legal challenge to Google's privacy policy. The group says Google is violating a settlement it reached with the FTC requiring the company to protect user data.

Technology analyst Shelly Palmer said Google had gone too far.

"I don't think any single thought about the aggregation of data or the use of technology has ever made me as uncomfortable as (Google's) announcement," Palmer said in a blog post.

"On its best day, with every ounce of technology the US government could muster, it could not know a fraction as much about any of us as Google does now."

Google announced in January it was revising its privacy policies and changing how it uses data from users of its services to provide more personalized search results and advertisements.

The Mountain View, California-based firm said the changes are designed to improve the user experience across the various Google products, and give the firm a more integrated view of its users, an advantage enjoyed by Apple and Facebook.

"Our new privacy policy gets rid of those inconsistencies so we can make more of your information available to you when using Google," Whitten said.

"So in the future, if you do frequent searches for Jamie Oliver, we could recommend Jamie Oliver videos when you're looking for recipes on YouTube -- or we might suggest ads for his cookbooks when you're on other Google properties."

Digital media analyst Rebecca Lieb said the move is important for Google's business plans.

"Google needs a 360 degree view of the customer now more than ever," she said. "Why? Because Facebook's already got it. Or is at least a lot closer to having it than Google is if all Google's information is separately warehoused. Facebook is currently better positioned than Google to 'know' what videos you're watching on YouTube, which Google owns!"

Explore further: Dutch student sells his data for €350, but at what price privacy?

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

French regulator warns of Google privacy policy

Feb 28, 2012

Google's new privacy policy appears to violate the European Union's data protection rules, France's regulator said Tuesday, just two days before the new guidelines are set to come into force.

S. Korea urges Google to improve privacy

Feb 28, 2012

South Korean regulators Tuesday voiced concerns over Google's controversial plan to merge user data from YouTube, Gmail, Google+ and other services in individual comprehensive profiles.

Google revising privacy policies, data use

Jan 25, 2012

Google said it is revising its privacy policies and changing how it uses data from users of its services to provide more personalized search results and advertisements.

Google defends privacy plan to US lawmakers

Jan 31, 2012

Google, facing pressure from US lawmakers over a new privacy policy, said Tuesday it remains committed to protecting consumer data as it creates a "seamless and easy" Web experience.

Recommended for you

Researchers uncover likely creator of Bitcoin

2 hours ago

The primary author of the celebrated Bitcoin paper, and therefore probable creator of Bitcoin, is most likely Nick Szabo, a blogger and former George Washington University law professor, according to students ...

White House updating online privacy policy

6 hours ago

A new Obama administration privacy policy out Friday explains how the government will gather the user data of online visitors to WhiteHouse.gov, mobile apps and social media sites. It also clarifies that ...

Net neutrality balancing act

Apr 17, 2014

Researchers in Italy, writing in the International Journal of Technology, Policy and Management have demonstrated that net neutrality benefits content creator and consumers without compromising provider innovation nor pr ...

User comments : 56

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Dr Rex Dexter
2.7 / 5 (3) Mar 01, 2012
Add CCleaner, plus Eraser 5.6 or better, and use regularly set on a random 7 pass overwrite. Use a second browser without "signing in" if you must have real anonymity for searches. (There are programs like Anonymiser available, as well. (Check: majorgeek.com for the best tested Opensource/Freeware & shareware programs)
Deathclock
2.2 / 5 (10) Mar 01, 2012
"Google isn't telling you about protecting your privacy.Google is telling you how they will gather information about you on all its services, combine it in new ways and use the fat new digital dossiers to sell more ads. They're telling you how they plan to spy on you. It's a spy policy."

So what? Do you want these free services to stay free? They have to make money somehow, this isn't a charity...

Also, usually people being spied on don't have a choice in the matter... calling this "spying" is ridiculous.
crass
5 / 5 (5) Mar 01, 2012
"So what? Do you want these free services to stay free? They have to make money somehow, this isn't a charity..."

They wernt already making tons of money then ...
Modernmystic
1.7 / 5 (6) Mar 01, 2012
"Google isn't telling you about protecting your privacy.Google is telling you how they will gather information about you on all its services, combine it in new ways and use the fat new digital dossiers to sell more ads. They're telling you how they plan to spy on you. It's a spy policy."

So what? Do you want these free services to stay free? They have to make money somehow, this isn't a charity...


I'd pay google a sub to not spy on me.

Deathclock
1.9 / 5 (9) Mar 01, 2012
"So what? Do you want these free services to stay free? They have to make money somehow, this isn't a charity..."

They wernt already making tons of money then ...


What are you talking about? Try a complete sentence next time.
Deathclock
1.8 / 5 (5) Mar 01, 2012
"Google isn't telling you about protecting your privacy.Google is telling you how they will gather information about you on all its services, combine it in new ways and use the fat new digital dossiers to sell more ads. They're telling you how they plan to spy on you. It's a spy policy."

So what? Do you want these free services to stay free? They have to make money somehow, this isn't a charity...


I'd pay google a sub to not spy on me.



That would be a good option.
Turritopsis
1.6 / 5 (7) Mar 01, 2012
Google makes money first and foremost just as every Internet website does. The consumer pays $50 a month for Internet service. The consumer spends 40% of Internet usage time on a Google website. Google receives 40% of your $50 Internet service fee. Google makes $20. (this is not exactly the way funds are divied but I'm not their CFO. I'm not privy to exact figures, but this is how Internet subscription is divided up. Subscription fees go to the websites being visited.)

Maximize profits. That's the goal here.

On top of their cut of subscription fees, Google is collaborating with other websites who are paying google to advertise their products and services to the people that would most likely choose to use the said products and services.

Google is spying on its users, collecting personal and private information, and using that information to custom fit ads to the user.
crass
5 / 5 (3) Mar 01, 2012
I use a self installed script from someonewhocares dot org / hosts. There is also a link to a text file at the side that can be downloaded and installed. It blocks a lot of unwanted content and stops tracking scripts that google employs.

There is also noscript and addblock for firefox which does not help tracking companies.

I am not sure about subing google. They make enough money.
Turritopsis
1 / 5 (2) Mar 01, 2012
Google is playing market middle man. Google is maximizing profits. Users are getting custom fit advertisements (of products and services they may actually require or enjoy).

It seems like a win-win-win (Google-ThirdParty-User) scenario.

So why feel violated?

The third party is acting as a solicitor coming directly to your door. Google is pointing the way. Google is violating a moral code here.

This could all be fixed by allowing the user the choice: opt in/out of advertising services.

The users that opt in benefit from a great variety of products and services Google introduces them to.

The users that opt out benefit from an advertisement free Internet experience.

This is the fairest of solutions. Let's see if Google will provide that option for its users.
Skepticus
5 / 5 (2) Mar 01, 2012
I use the routing in google maps to plot routes for 25 destinations. Before the policy change, it used to take a second after adding a destination. Now every new destination takes around 15 seconds, with the page say "loading..". I guess they are busily passing my destinations to ads servers, or who knows..!
Turritopsis
1 / 5 (2) Mar 01, 2012
I think we've all come across an advertisement on the Internet of a product and/or service we wanted. Advertising is not bad. Ads that are customized to you are even better.

I think what Google is doing benefits the user. Google is doing the market leg work for you and showing you things that you may enjoy. This shouldn't be looked at as a negative. Google is acting as a personal shopper, checking things out you may like. They present it to you in the form of an ad. You make the final choice on whether to make the purchase. I think it is a positive.

But, to satisfy those who find it to add negativity to their Internet experience, Google should instate an opt out of advertisements choice. This way, everyones happy.
hyongx
5 / 5 (2) Mar 01, 2012
I just don't like the fact that there is nothing I can do about their changing privacy policies. I can either stop using the services, or just deal with it. I don't really like either of those options.
Deathclock
4.1 / 5 (9) Mar 01, 2012
Google makes money first and foremost just as every Internet website does. The consumer pays $50 a month for Internet service. The consumer spends 40% of Internet usage time on a Google website. Google receives 40% of your $50 Internet service fee. Google makes $20.


What the hell are you talking about?

Are you completely insane? This is NOT how it works... at all... not even close. You pay your ISP... that's where it ends. Your ISP does NOT pay every single website you go to according to the percentage of your bandwidth... your ISP doesn't pay any website anything.

You're horribly confused.
Deathclock
3.9 / 5 (7) Mar 01, 2012
I just don't like the fact that there is nothing I can do about their changing privacy policies. I can either stop using the services, or just deal with it. I don't really like either of those options.


You're not special... if you don't like their service you can stop using it, as you stated. Why do you think that you should be afforded any other alternative? It is THEIR service, they own it, they can operate it however they want. If you don't like it you can choose not to use it.

I don't understand people's sense of entitlement these days...
Deathclock
3.7 / 5 (6) Mar 01, 2012
But, to satisfy those who find it to add negativity to their Internet experience, Google should instate an opt out of advertisements choice. This way, everyones happy.


They do offer an "opt-out" choice... it's called don't type www.google.com into your browser.

Why do people feel they are ENTITLED to this service under their own terms instead of under the terms of the owner and provider of the service?
Deathclock
3.3 / 5 (7) Mar 01, 2012
Negative ratings for stating that the owner of a service should have control over that services terms of use... bunch of goddamn socialists on this website.

Let's dumb this down so you guys can understand... If you have lollipop I have no business telling you how you can or cannot lick that lollipop, because it is YOUR lollipop. If you have a lemonade stand and you want to take a picture of everyone who buys your lemonade my choice as the consumer is to buy your lemonade and let you take my picture or to not buy your lemonade... buying your lemonade without having my picture taken is NOT AN OPTION, because you own the service and you can set the terms of its use. Who the hell am I to tell you "no, you will sell me your lemonade and I will not let you take my picture"... You are under no obligation to sell me your lemonade, and Google is under no obligation to let anyone use their service. If you don't agree with their policy you are free to not use the service, period.
wiyosaya
5 / 5 (1) Mar 01, 2012
In my opinion, targeted advertising makes any search service virtually worthless. When I search for something, I want unbiased results to turn up near the top. However, with the way google works - you PAY to have your company come in at the top of search results - all of us will just get PAID for items in the top of the set of search results.

In my opinion, this makes gaggle's search service worthless. It used to be that you got good results from gaggle and other search services. Now, results are becoming less and less meaningful as time rolls on. Personally, I use gaggle very little these days. While it was once good, it is now a behemoth bent on internet domination at the price of quality service.
Deathclock
2.8 / 5 (5) Mar 01, 2012
In my opinion, targeted advertising makes any search service virtually worthless. When I search for something, I want unbiased results to turn up near the top. However, with the way google works - you PAY to have your company come in at the top of search results - all of us will just get PAID for items in the top of the set of search results.


I agree with you.

But I have yet to find a better alternative, so I will continue to use Google until I find a better alternative or until their policy is sufficiently undesirable.

I don't understand why you are giving me all the 1 ratings though, especially since I agree with you... are you actually a socialist? Do you actually think that Google, a private company, should not be allowed to set the terms of use of their own service?
wiyosaya
1 / 5 (1) Mar 01, 2012

I don't understand why you are giving me all the 1 ratings though, especially since I agree with you... are you actually a socialist?

Dude - stop being a total ditto head and spouting republican BS - PLEASE. Is that all you can do? Do you have a mind of your own?

Think for a minute.

Do you want people who can afford to pay to put their product in your face doing so even if they are CRAP compared to the products of people who cannot pay to put their superior product in front of you?

If so, IMHO, you are a glutton for punishment. That is what this is all about. It is about marketing and false advertising, and the abuse that being able to pay to put a crap product in the top search results is all about.

gaggle does not screen the products that are advertised through them. I am sure it is conveniently in their "acceptable use policy" that if you, the user of their service, get ripped off as a result of following their ads, it is not their fault.

Come on man, WAKE UP!
Turritopsis
4.2 / 5 (5) Mar 01, 2012
Do you actually think that Google, a private company, should not be allowed to set the terms of use of their own service?


They reserve the right to set any terms of use they choose.

Smart business is one where customers are kept happy. So if Users aren't happy with the terms of Use, then the company loses Users.

The company is free to do what it will, but if the users aren't happy with what the company chooses to do then the company fails.

Smart business is of the type that retains customers and gains customers. Stupid business is business that causes customers to leave.

They do offer an "opt-out" choice... it's called don't type www.google.com into your browser.


This the last thing Google wants. The problem with unfair terms of use is that this is exactly what happens.
Deathclock
1 / 5 (1) Mar 01, 2012
I agree with all of that, Turritopsis.
Deathclock
4 / 5 (4) Mar 01, 2012
Dude - stop being a total ditto head and spouting republican BS - PLEASE. Is that all you can do? Do you have a mind of your own?


I have no idea what you're talking about. I am not a republican, I don't think of things in terms of partisan politics... I am not even that familiar with politics... I couldn't even tell you what a republican or democrat would think of this issue. Stop making assumptions about me.

Do you want people who can afford to pay to put their product in your face doing so even if they are CRAP compared to the products of people who cannot pay to put their superior product in front of you?


No, I don't. What does that have to do with what a private business is allowed or not allowed to do with their service?

That is what this is all about. It is about marketing and false advertising, and the abuse that being able to pay to put a crap product in the top search results is all about.


It's none of your fucking business how Google operates...
Deathclock
3 / 5 (2) Mar 01, 2012
gaggle does not screen the products that are advertised through them. I am sure it is conveniently in their "acceptable use policy" that if you, the user of their service, get ripped off as a result of following their ads, it is not their fault.


It is not their fault... why the hell would it be? They are under no obligation to "screen" the companies who advertise with them, why would they be?

Come on man, WAKE UP!

Think for a minute


I am more awake than you have ever been and I think more than you ever have.

My personal desires have no bearing on the practices of a company that I do not own, why would they?

Newsflash: You don't own Google, you have no right to tell them how they can or cannot operate. All you can do as the consumer is choose to use their service or not.

You really are a socialist.
Skultch
3.5 / 5 (2) Mar 01, 2012
This is nowhere near political. A company is changing their relationship with their customers and it is clearly legal. DeathClock is 100% right on this; you people publicly crying about this must feel some sort of entitlement if you want this to be illegal. If that were to happen, Congress would have to make it illegal. That's exactly the kind of regulation that conservatives and libertarians fight against. And they call D_C a Republican. smh

wiyosaya - Learn more; post less. You aren't convincing anyone of any thing, so you might as well improve yourself first and stop worrying what others do and think.
Modernmystic
1 / 5 (1) Mar 01, 2012
They reserve the right to set any terms of use they choose.


False, they are constrained by the law like any private citizen. They can't for example require you to sell yourself into slavery for the use of their services. I'm not suggesting that's what they're doing here, but I do suggest what they're doing isn't cut and dried legal and I'd like it heard before a judge.

Another example is that you can't waive personal liability, if you could no one could ever sue a doctor...ever.

So if Users aren't happy with the terms of Use, then the company loses Users.


I've started signing out...

The company is free to do what it will


Within the bounds of the law, yes.

Skultch
3 / 5 (2) Mar 01, 2012
They're telling you how they plan to spy on you. It's a spy policy."


LMAO - If they're telling everybody, IT'S NOT SPYING. hahahaha smh

This is rhetorically similar to people calling copyright piracy theft. It's PIRACY! We agree on definitions of things for good reasons, people. Stop trying to manipulate us with word games and hyperbole and we might pay more attention to your opinions.

Look. If they had a govt sanctioned monopoly, this would be different. Use yahoo or bing or whatever, I don't care. Know this, though; if you complain in public without actually changing your behavior (stopping usage or petitioning legislatures), people WILL think less of you, and rightfully so. No one likes an ineffectual complainer.
Modernmystic
1 / 5 (2) Mar 01, 2012
LMAO - If they're telling everybody, IT'S NOT SPYING. hahahaha smh


So long as we're agreeing on definitions, does that mean the United States wasn't spying on the Soviet Union in the 50s because the Soviets KNEW they were?
Deathclock
1 / 5 (1) Mar 01, 2012
LMAO - If they're telling everybody, IT'S NOT SPYING. hahahaha smh


So long as we're agreeing on definitions, does that mean the United States wasn't spying on the Soviet Union in the 50s because the Soviets KNEW they were?


Did we TELL them ahead of time, or did they FIND OUT after the fact? There is a big difference.
Modernmystic
1 / 5 (1) Mar 01, 2012
LMAO - If they're telling everybody, IT'S NOT SPYING. hahahaha smh


So long as we're agreeing on definitions, does that mean the United States wasn't spying on the Soviet Union in the 50s because the Soviets KNEW they were?


Did we TELL them ahead of time, or did they FIND OUT after the fact? There is a big difference.


No, there was no practical difference. They knew we were flying U2 planes since the first day we did it. They weren't radar invisible. Same with the SR-71. Same with satellites.
Aran_G
not rated yet Mar 01, 2012
Ghostery addon for FF helps rid u of google and other Co.'s attempts to track you, for a page that requires 'certain trackers/feature only available if the trackers are allowed', then you can disable the blocking temporarily, just one of the myriad ways to circumvent such.
(p.s FF's better privacy addon also helps)
Skultch
not rated yet Mar 01, 2012
I'd like it heard before a judge.


Start with showing a law or precedent that applies. You won't even get an initial hearing without that. I won't be looking it up, because I'm confident it doesn't exist. Prove me wrong and I'm on your side.

No, there was no practical difference. They knew we were flying U2 planes since the first day we did it. They weren't radar invisible. Same with the SR-71. Same with satellites.


Then, no, it wasn't spying. It was military reconnaissance or a new usage of the word spying.

http://dictionary...p;ch=dic
Modernmystic
3 / 5 (4) Mar 01, 2012
Then, no, it wasn't spying. It was military reconnaissance or a different usage of the word spying compared to this example.

http://dictionary...p;ch=dic


Well they charged Gary Powers with espionage...and I for once agree with them. I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree. The dictionary says nothing about data collection having to be in secret, just that it's done. So I guess dictionary.com and I will both agree to disagree with you.
Deathclock
3 / 5 (2) Mar 01, 2012
I'd like it heard before a judge.


Start with showing a law or precedent that applies. You won't even get an initial hearing without that. I won't be looking it up, because I'm confident it doesn't exist. Prove me wrong and I'm on your side.


Agreed.

No, there was no practical difference. They knew we were flying U2 planes since the first day we did it. They weren't radar invisible. Same with the SR-71. Same with satellites.


Then, no, it wasn't spying. It was military reconnaissance or a new usage of the word spying.

http://dictionary...p;ch=dic


Right, it's not spying if there is no attempt to conceal your actions. That's like a person in the mall claiming I am spying on them in the food court because I happen to glance in their direction...

(though, I thought the SR-71 was stealth, and was a spy plane, but I don't know tbh)
Skultch
not rated yet Mar 01, 2012
(though, I thought the SR-71 was stealth, and was a spy plane, but I don't know tbh)


They shot missiles at it, but they couldn't reach the same altitude. We knew that would happen. Satellites were the only reason they stopped flying, so it makes sense that no StA missiles have ever been developed that could shoot it down. ICBMs don't have nearly the accuracy that would be needed.
Skultch
5 / 5 (1) Mar 01, 2012
Well they charged Gary Powers with espionage...and I for once agree with them. I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree. The dictionary says nothing about data collection having to be in secret, just that it's done. So I guess dictionary.com and I will both agree to disagree with you.


Yeah, for the noun, it doesn't mention the secrecy. It does for the first verb form (5.....secretly or furtively...).

Whatever. That the article is using hyperbole, was my point, and since most would assume spying is done is secret, I think it was deliberately misleading.
Waterdog
not rated yet Mar 01, 2012
This type of thing is why I don't use google unless absolutely necessary. There are other good search engines out there.
Deathclock
1 / 5 (1) Mar 01, 2012
This type of thing is why I don't use google unless absolutely necessary. There are other good search engines out there.


such as...
Turritopsis
3 / 5 (2) Mar 01, 2012
After some research I've found that about 96% of Googles revenue comes from advertising. Without ads there would be no Google. I think for all the positives Google provides for Internet users dealing with a few annoying ads is a small tradeoff.

Google would be gone if advertisers were cut out.

I retract my first three uninformed comments under this article.

A special thank you to Deathclock is in order for inspiring the search.
Deathclock
1 / 5 (1) Mar 01, 2012
Very respectable turritopsis, you're a stand-up guy. I am sorry for how rude my initial response was.

Others here (perhaps myself included) would do good to follow your example and investigate things for yourself rather than becoming entrenched in a defensive posture during an argument.
kaasinees
2.3 / 5 (3) Mar 02, 2012
They do offer an "opt-out" choice... it's called don't type http://www.google.com into your browser.

Does not work like that, many sites have google analytics and google ads and now the new google 1 button. Facebook and google track you even if you dont enter their websites.
wiyosaya
not rated yet Mar 02, 2012
I am more awake than you have ever been and I think more than you ever have.

My personal desires have no bearing on the practices of a company that I do not own, why would they?

Newsflash: You don't own Google, you have no right to tell them how they can or cannot operate. All you can do as the consumer is choose to use their service or not.

You really are a socialist.

If the practices of a business harm any individual, then it is everyone's right to know and to prevent that company from continuing to engage in such practices.

But since you can only mouth "socialist" to defend your viewpoint, I suppose that you see nothing wrong with practices that harm others in the name of profit.

Whether or not my beliefs are socialist, it is my opinion that practices that harm others in the name of profit are problematic. In fact, there are laws against harming others in the name of profit.

gaggle is starting its own downfall. In my opinion, they are already irrelevant.
wiyosaya
not rated yet Mar 02, 2012
They do offer an "opt-out" choice... it's called don't type http://www.google.com into your browser.

Does not work like that, many sites have google analytics and google ads and now the new google 1 button. Facebook and google track you even if you dont enter their websites.

That's where, for the well-informed, programs like AdBlock Plus come in to play.
Deathclock
3 / 5 (2) Mar 02, 2012
If the practices of a business harm any individual, then it is everyone's right to know and to prevent that company from continuing to engage in such practices.


How can google harm you if you don't use their service?

But since you can only mouth "socialist" to defend your viewpoint, I suppose that you see nothing wrong with practices that harm others in the name of profit.


Oh, I can and have been doing much more to defend my viewpoint, perhaps you haven't noticed.

Whether or not my beliefs are socialist, it is my opinion that practices that harm others in the name of profit are problematic. In fact, there are laws against harming others in the name of profit.


How can google harm you if you don't use their services?

gaggle is starting its own downfall. In my opinion, they are already irrelevant.


Google maintains strong growth, your opinion is what is irrelevant.
CardacianNeverid
3.9 / 5 (7) Mar 03, 2012
How can google harm you if you don't use their service? -Death

Weak argument since they have a virtual monopoly on all key aspects of the internet, including search, geolocation/mapping, gmail, youtube, social media, mobile devices through android, Motorola mobility and much much more. If you were to stop using all of these increasingly interconnected services, then you might as well not bother going online.
Modernmystic
1 / 5 (1) Mar 03, 2012
Newsflash: You don't own Google, you have no right to tell them how they can or cannot operate. All you can do as the consumer is choose to use their service or not.


While I agree with what you said about 98% it's important to be clear in what we say. We, as citizens, who live in the same society Google operates in most certainly CAN tell them how to operate.

Now I'm going to compare apples to oranges here, but I'm only doing it to illustrate a point I want to make sure doesn't get lost here. We can tell Google not to use slave labor, we can tell Google not to trade with nations we're at war with (problematic in this case but valid), AND we can tell Google not to invade the privacy of their users. The last is somewhat ill defined but I bet can easily come up with a scenario that everyone here would agree constitutes and invasion of privacy.

We can do all these things and not fall under the definition of socialist.
Modernmystic
1 / 5 (1) Mar 03, 2012
(cont.) Here's what we CAN'T do and not fall under the definition of socialist...

We can't tell them to include services simply because we want them, we can't tell them to give trade secrets to competitors, we can't break up the company because they're a "monopoly", we can't do about 98% of the things we can hypothesize that we could do to them for the "public good".
Eikka
5 / 5 (1) Mar 03, 2012

That's where, for the well-informed, programs like AdBlock Plus come in to play.


It's trivial for google to bypass adblock through affiliates, though. You don't know which service is forwarding data to google. Even the Firefox web browser is forwarding data to Google when you use it.

http://www.elperf...-google/
Turritopsis
3.3 / 5 (4) Mar 03, 2012
Google is funded through advertising dollars. The standard practices (non specific user geared advertising) was producing little revenue for the companies that advertise through Google (and keep google running).

The companies advertising through Google were getting little return on their advertising dollars.

In order to increase returns for the advertisers Google began collecting information from the user in order to CUSTOM FIT the advertisements to said user. More relevant ads means more sales. I will purchase something that I want over something I don't. Google works diligently in figuring out what I want.

If Google hadn't gone ahead with this customization the companies advertising through Google would have pulled out, leaving Google revenueless.

The custom fit ads benefit Google (they keep their ad revenue), they benefit the companies advertising (by increasing sales), and they benefit the user (by providing more relevant ads).
Eikka
5 / 5 (1) Mar 04, 2012

If Google hadn't gone ahead with this customization the companies advertising through Google would have pulled out, leaving Google revenueless.


Google is still the biggest billboard in town, whether or not they customize the adverts.

and they benefit the user (by providing more relevant ads).


That's where we disagree. I don't want to see advertisements. If I want to buy something, -I- will search for what products are available. Pushing your products to me just makes me inconvenienced and angry as I try to dodge the flashing ads and banners to get what I really want out of the web. It's negative value to me.
I_Dont_Have_A_Name
5 / 5 (2) Mar 04, 2012
Add CCleaner, plus Eraser 5.6 or better, and use regularly set on a random 7 pass overwrite. Use a second browser without "signing in" if you must have real anonymity for searches. (There are programs like Anonymiser available, as well. (Check: majorgeek.com for the best tested Opensource/Freeware & shareware programs)


and all of that will still be tied back to you. If you ** REALLY ** want to stay anonymous, don't ever sign in to anything... If that's not possible, suck it up. Using programs to overwrite your CLIENT SIDE ONLY drives or clear cookies haphazardly for no real reason other than retro-active paranoia
isn't going to solve anything. The best way to protect yourself is realize it doesn't actually matter. Why is everyone acting like a paranoid schizophrenic, assuming google knows **YOU**
They don't, nor do they care.
Deathclock
3 / 5 (2) Mar 05, 2012
That's where we disagree. I don't want to see advertisements. If I want to buy something, -I- will search for what products are available. Pushing your products to me just makes me inconvenienced and angry as I try to dodge the flashing ads and banners to get what I really want out of the web. It's negative value to me.


It doesn't matter what you want, Google is not a charity. Without ad revenue they will shut down, then you won't have the choice to use their services or not, the choice will be made for you.

Some people's sense of entitlement is unreal.
Deathclock
3 / 5 (2) Mar 05, 2012
and all of that will still be tied back to you. If you ** REALLY ** want to stay anonymous, don't ever sign in to anything... If that's not possible, suck it up. Using programs to overwrite your CLIENT SIDE ONLY drives or clear cookies haphazardly for no real reason other than retro-active paranoia
isn't going to solve anything. The best way to protect yourself is realize it doesn't actually matter. Why is everyone acting like a paranoid schizophrenic, assuming google knows **YOU**
They don't, nor do they care.


Agreed, people think they are special or something, but from any random Google employees point of view you are simply one among hundreds of millions in a database that no actual person ever accesses. Application software is written to mine data from the information contained in the database and that is used to automatically target adds to you... no human even sees your information, nor would they care to, you're not that interesting...
Deathclock
3 / 5 (2) Mar 05, 2012
Do you think some pimply faced pervert is sitting in a darkened room at Google headquarters on a Saturday afternoon with his hand in his pants looking up the usage history of John Doe from Witchita Kansas? NO ONE CARES ABOUT YOU, no human gives a rats ass about the information collected about your browsing habits, it's all handled by software, no one even sees it.
Eikka
not rated yet Mar 05, 2012

Some people's sense of entitlement is unreal.


What sense of entitlement?

Google continues to buy services like youtube all over the place and crushing the competition with its sheer mass, and I don't really have a choice to not deal with google. I don't even have a real choice to not being tracked by google even if I don't directly use their services, because other people are using them and forwarding data about me to Google.

It costs me more to avoid Google than caving in and accepting their rules and surveillance and their ad-pushing, because the alternative pretty much amounts to "get out of the internet".

That's no longer having a sense of entitlement. That's a sense of being blackmailed into giving Google what they want.

It's the virtual equivalent of living in a 19th century company mining town where, if you don't like the conditions, you can take a hike. There's plenty of other job opportunities out in the wilderness.
Eikka
not rated yet Mar 05, 2012
no human even sees your information, nor would they care to, you're not that interesting...


At least until you become interesting for political, financial, religious or publicity reasons.

Do you trust that Google will do no evil, ever?
Deathclock
3 / 5 (2) Mar 05, 2012

Some people's sense of entitlement is unreal.


What sense of entitlement?

Google continues to buy services like youtube all over the place and crushing the competition with its sheer mass, and I don't really have a choice to not deal with google. I don't even have a real choice to not being tracked by google even if I don't directly use their services, because other people are using them and forwarding data about me to Google.

It costs me more to avoid Google than caving in and accepting their rules and surveillance and their ad-pushing, because the alternative pretty much amounts to "get out of the internet".

That's no longer having a sense of entitlement. That's a sense of being blackmailed into giving Google what they want.


Oh please drama queen, there are thousands of other search engines and email providers and dozens of other video sites like youtube. There is no reason at all that you have to use Google services, stop playing the victim card.

More news stories