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Forums > Social Discussion > Google Chrome - and other privacy issues re. Google

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FireTom


Stargazer


Total posts: 6650
Posted:Google seems to overtake Microsoft on the fast lane... unfortunately not in regards of courtesy but in regards of spying on its users...

Creating a full profile of me, based upon my browsing habits, is not what I prefer my browser to do and experts fear that at some stage I could be identified by what I enter and how I do it... much like a digital fingerprint.

So far I am using Google for most - if not all - of my searches, hence I am strongly reconsidering being part of a 'silent support group'...

I shalt look for alternatives to Google...

EDITED_BY: FireTom (1222664582)
EDIT_REASON: tile edited - topic expanded


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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ben-ja-men
GOLD Member since Jun 2003

ben-ja-men

just lost .... evil init
Location: Adelaide, Australia

Total posts: 2474
Posted:Um can you support your claim of Google spying on its users?

Most people are apathetic when it comes to privacy, just look at the initial outrage over Facebooks beacon program, that last all of what, a week?

http://www.slideshare.net/mzkagan/what-the-fk-social-media
br>
does a great job of explaining whats going on in the internet in 2008.

Oh and Google rock, they are one of the few companies that has ethics when it comes to data privacy. Just because you could be identified from your browsing habits doesnt mean that Google are not doing everything they can to protect your privacy ....

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2006/jan/19/20060119-105801-2649r/


is an example of Google telling the US government to get stuffed when asked to reveal searches.

And so what if you can be identified? If your not doing anything illegal then who cares? and if you are .... well shame on you


Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourself, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous and talented? Who are you NOT to be?

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FireTom


Stargazer


Total posts: 6650
Posted:The "what have you got to fear, if your actions are lawful?" approach is a lame one, to me.... even more than that.

No government and especially no private company has the right to collect my private data - no matter how much they promise NOT to use it or to sell it to third party.

IF they would not use it or sell it to third party, WHY would they collect this data in the first place? I'm OKAY with entering my preferences EVERY TIME I am looking for information. I don't need optimized customer care, it's OKAY for me to specify my search terms and NOT to receive personalized ads at the right hand side of the screen or such... if that protects my private data.

FACEBOOK, Hi5, MYSPACE and crap of this sort - to me - so far has been the pivoting point... I ceased using Hi5 because of the soooo obviously lame bait and the amount of spam I received from other users.

I can't access Facebook with my primary browser (FF) because I blocked most cookies from ad companies. The kicker is that I allow Facebook and Myspace to put cookies, still can't access the sites as I prohibit other parties to set cookies...

What does that mean?

MySpace and Facebook are using third parties to set cookies on my computer...

On a sidenote: At this stage we are facing a huge data security scandal in Germany at this point. Insurance companies (amongst others) were using third parties (namely Call Centers) to verify their customer data. They supplied the Call Centers with said data, who in return promised to scrap it, once the job's been done...

Well surprisingly they didn't live up to their promise to scrap it and kept the data, sold it to other companies... errm, we're talking about personal information (name, address, date of birth and... jupp - bank account informations). This resulted in marketing calls (same Call Centers) and contracts - the clients never accepted - subsequently to withdrawals from their bank accounts... They only took 20 - 50 bucks per transaction, small amounts... but from thousands of clients at a time.

These companies ALL have privacy policies, no less than Google, why on earth should I trust Google more than my private liability or health insurance company? Why?

Does anyone grant me $ 1.000.000 in case I prove them to have abused or sold my data?

We are receiving warnings to actively destroy our hard drives, when we scrap old computers, as the data on these drives can easily be recovered... if the data on my private computer can easily be recovered, then the data of a Google computer can easily be recovered too...

Currently there is another (financial) scandal of (sensitive) bank data that's been sold by former bank employees... The company can promise me whatever they want. What are they actively doing to prevent theft of my data? What are they paying me in compensation, if my privacy is violated?

Of course we need to draw a line somewhere. Of course I need to reveal my personal data to ... say government agencies or insurance companies.... but why should I be forced to do the same for Google? Or Microsoft?

Originally Posted By: bendoesnt mean that Google are not doing everything they can to protect your privacy

Tell you what: the best protection for my privacy is not to gather these informations in the first place.

You got curtains in front of your window? If so, WHY? If you got nothing to hide from your neighbors or anyone passing by, then why the heck you put curtains? If you got something to hide, well shame on you... wink

Tell you what: human beings have a natural desire for privacy - some more, some less, but in general we all do... does it mean we got something to hide?

No it doesn't. We all do have a RIGHT to privacy and issuing us the "reversal of proof" (term?) IMHO is outrageous. Why would I have to proof that my privacy is to be protected? And if I claim that right, why do I automatically face suspicion?

Why is it not the other way round?


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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Stout
SILVER Member since May 2004

Stout

Pooh-Bah
Location: Canada

Total posts: 1872
Posted:I'm more concerned about my wife finding out where I've been online than I am about google wink

I installed this thing called CCleaner, wipes out all cookies, clears browsing history and cache..yada yada, with one click.

I'm not going to switch over to google chrome simply because IE works just fine. I tried FF and just figured, big whoop, a browser I can customise to look like the dashboard of a pimpmobile. Now why would I want a computer simulation when I have one of those IRL ? OK, I'm making that last bit up.

I checked out chrome on another board, and the consensus was pretty much "who cares " There is a feature called "incognito" that's supposed to protect the user's privacy, but in six years of using IE, I can't say I've had any privacy "issues"

Maybe my browsing history isn't that interesting. I'm well aware of the targeted ads by google but I've become adept at ignoring those. I'm not getting any spam, mainly because I use disposable email addresses and very rarely give out my primary email address to anyone.

I also don't use online banking and I've only ever used my credit card to purchase something on one site...HoP so I'm not spewing any (much)sensitive information out through my keyboard. When i do order "stuff" I do it by telephone so there's no third party handling information that's, frankly, none of their business.

I don't use social networking sites like Myspace and Crackbook and if i were to, I'd really think about what information I put out on those sites. If the demanded a first and last name, or mailing address, I'd simply make one up.

Removing and destroying your hard drive before recycling a computer is only prudent, like shredding your bank statements before recycling those and if people need some sort of warning to get the message across, then so be it.


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Doc Lightning
GOLD Member since May 2001

Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA

Total posts: 13920
Posted:Originally Posted By: FireTomGoogle seems to overtake Microsoft on the fast lane... unfortunately not in regards of courtesy but in regards of spying on its users...

Creating a full profile of me, based upon my browsing habits, is not what I prefer my browser to do and experts fear that at some stage I could be identified by what I enter and how I do it... much like a digital fingerprint.

So far I am using Google for most - if not all - of my searches, hence I am strongly reconsidering being part of a 'silent support group'...

I shalt look for alternatives to Google...

Dude, have you lost your tin foil hat?


-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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UCOF
SILVER Member since Apr 2002

UCOF

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: , United Kingdom

Total posts: 15414
Posted:www.ccleaner.com


awesome

grin


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bender
GOLD Member since Nov 2001

still can't believe it's not butter
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Total posts: 6979
Posted:I will judge an application on it's own merits, not by who made it! 'sif all companies are consistent in all their products and services. Largely i agree with Benjamen regarding google's ethical behaviour with privileged information - but I must stress that u can't be half-ethical and the handling of http://www.google.cn
is where google lost my vote on that.

Chrome is damn fast, but does not integrate key FF extensions that i love, like closed tabs list, foxmarks, IETab etc


Laugh Often, Smile Much, Post lolcats Always

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ben-ja-men
GOLD Member since Jun 2003

ben-ja-men

just lost .... evil init
Location: Adelaide, Australia

Total posts: 2474
Posted:Originally Posted By: FireTomNo government and especially no private company has the right to collect my private data - no matter how much they promise NOT to use it or to sell it to third party.

Firstly privacy is a privilege NOT a right. Look at celebrities they have no privacy their lives are splashed over trashy magazines. Its a shame that this is the way it is but it IS the way it is.

Originally Posted By: FireTomIF they would not use it or sell it to third party, WHY would they collect this data in the first place?

To give better results and improve your experience, this is what the majority wants

Originally Posted By: FireTom I'm OKAY with entering my preferences EVERY TIME I am looking for information. I don't need optimized customer care, it's OKAY for me to specify my search terms and NOT to receive personalized ads at the right hand side of the screen or such... if that protects my private data.

your in the minority. Being able to look at trends in peoples search allows them to prove better rankings.

Originally Posted By: FireTom
MySpace and Facebook are using third parties to set cookies on my computer...

Im pretty sure that you agree to that in the terms of service

Originally Posted By: FireTom
These companies ALL have privacy policies, no less than Google, why on earth should I trust Google more than my private liability or health insurance company? Why?

the difference is that the corporate culture of Google is such that their corporate motto of dont be evil gets acted on.

Originally Posted By: FireTom
We are receiving warnings to actively destroy our hard drives, when we scrap old computers, as the data on these drives can easily be recovered... if the data on my private computer can easily be recovered, then the data of a Google computer can easily be recovered too...

this is a half truth, yes data can be easily recovered if you just delete it however if you overwrite it, it is IMPOSSIBLE to recover it .... even you could do this is you really wanted .... Google is one of the most tech savvy company's on the plant and tells the US government they wont give up data when the court tells them to, you can rest assured that they will protect the data on old computers.

Why you ask because Google understands that they need to ensure that their users privacy is protected to give their users the best experience possible. If there was a big scandle Google would lose a big chunk of their user base who are their revenue stream. Hence it would be very bad for business if they where not to protect your data.

Originally Posted By: FireTomNo government .... has the right to collect my private data
Originally Posted By: FireTom
Of course we need to draw a line somewhere. Of course I need to reveal my personal data to ... say government agencies

so which is it?

Originally Posted By: FireTom
Tell you what: the best protection for my privacy is not to gather these informations in the first place.


do you have a credit card? credit card companies data mine your information and sell it to marketing companies. Do you have a passport? The new passports and credit cards have RFID tags in them (an unsecure wireless technology that was designed to track cattle and boxes in warehouses) Do you ever go to a shopping mall? how many video cameras do you think you appear on? If you plan to have a child you best do it before RFID tagging becomes mandatory for new borns, the process has already been approved in the US by the FDA http://www.silicon.com/research/specialreports/protectingid/0,3800002220,39124983,00.htm?r=1
br>
you might want to put your tin foil hat back on wink

Originally Posted By: FireTom
We all do have a RIGHT to privacy

really? how come celebrities don't share this right?

EDITED_BY: ben-ja-men (1220581627)


Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourself, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous and talented? Who are you NOT to be?

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ben-ja-men
GOLD Member since Jun 2003

ben-ja-men

just lost .... evil init
Location: Adelaide, Australia

Total posts: 2474
Posted:Originally Posted By: Stout
I'm not going to switch over to google chrome simply because IE works just fine. I tried FF and just figured, big whoop, a browser I can customise to look like the dashboard of a pimpmobile. Now why would I want a computer simulation when I have one of those IRL ? OK, I'm making that last bit up.

most people switch over to FF, Opera, etc because IE is notorious for having security vulnerabilities that other browsers do not, it makes you less likely to get hacked


Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourself, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous and talented? Who are you NOT to be?

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Stout
SILVER Member since May 2004

Stout

Pooh-Bah
Location: Canada

Total posts: 1872
Posted:Naaa, the tinfoil hatter version of what RFID's are all about goes like this...

The near future, the very near future,,,,,,,IT"S ALREADY HAPPENING !!! has implanted RFID chips containing ALL your information. Credit...cash has been eliminated, it's all on the chip now. Your ID ( driver's licence, passport etc. ) all your medical information, insurance, pretty much EVERYTHING ABOUT YOU!!!!! forcibly implanted in your body.

This chip is is constant two way communication with a satellite.....two way,,,,, means this thing is always transmitting your location to THE GOVERNMENT!!!!!!

Now suppose you're a "dissenter" > You know, you go to a protest or complain about the quality of gruel THE GOVERNMEBT!!! is forcing you to eat....Why, they just "turn it off", effectively turning you off. You become a persona non grata who's forced to eat cockroaches "off the grid " off the floor in an abandoned warehouse while waiting for the black clad agents to torture you with tasers.

Really...it doesn't work that way, but try telling it to someone who's treated all those sci-fi movies as prophecies.

Like Zeitgeist

Re FF, I guess I haven't been hacked, or known anyone who'd been hacked. So far all this stuff that came with the computer has worked fine within my expectations....so far.


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Lurch
BRONZE Member since Nov 2003

Lurch

old hand
Location: Oregon, USA

Total posts: 929
Posted:Well FT does bring up some valid points. Google is data mining, and they're insanely efficient at it. They already know more about you than you'd ever imagine possible. It makes little difference if they know a bit more. Search trends are already saved, they 'try' to keep anonymity but that's not entirely effective by any means.

Hell, Latanya Sweeney took the 1990 US Census (which is supposed to be completely anonymous) and could uniquely identify 87% of the people in the US based off three fields, Zip code, Gender, and Date of Birth. Any hopes of keeping you anonymous on the net have long since flown out the window.

You have to remember that these are PRIVATE companies collecting this data. And they have every right to because YOU give it to them. Or it's pulled and collected from public records. Freedom of Information doesn't apply, and they can sell said data to anyone they please, including the government. I'm not sure how well it works outside the US, but I know for a fact for a little under $10, with just a name and birthday I can find out pretty much anything I could want to know about you. Age, gender, birthplace, parents, siblings, children, spouse, social security number, drivers license number, Insurance numbers, every phone number you've ever had, every address you've ever lived at, your driving record, criminal record, work history, tax history, banks accounts, income, sexuality, movie tastes, book tastes, etc.

Changing your habits now wont change what's already in the system, and theres no way to take it out... So you better buy a lot more tinfoil


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Doc Lightning
GOLD Member since May 2001

Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA

Total posts: 13920
Posted:Originally Posted By: ben-ja-men[quote=FireTom]the difference is that the corporate culture of Google is such that their corporate motto of dont be evil gets acted on.

You are correct. The founders of Google are normal guys just like the rest of us. They just got very lucky and had a very good idea. They also go to Burning Man on a pretty regular basis. They aren't faceless corporate fat cats.

Google has faced a lot of difficult ethical decisions because Google works on the very idea that the program MUST record your usage patterns in order to provide any meaningful results. Rather than doing a search, Google works like Amazon in that it makes recommendations based on your search terms and based on what other people searching for that term clicked on. It also takes into account how many links to that site use your search term and a few other variables.

As to a right to privacy, the U.S. Constitution treats privacy as a right. Ben, the reason celebrities have no privacy is not because they don't have the right; they do. But in choosing their careers, they waive that right.


-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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Lurch
BRONZE Member since Nov 2003

Lurch

old hand
Location: Oregon, USA

Total posts: 929
Posted:They don't waive that right Doc, they just put up with things that would make most of us snap. They still have a right to privacy, the Paparazzi for example know their laws, and for the most part follow them faithfully, all the way to the edge. You can take all the photos you want from public property, if you happen to have a view into someones backyard, and they happen to be doing something risky back there, sucks to be them.

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ben-ja-men
GOLD Member since Jun 2003

ben-ja-men

just lost .... evil init
Location: Adelaide, Australia

Total posts: 2474
Posted:Stout - if you look at how the technology works your identity can easily be stolen with the right equipment


is an example of how your data can be stolen with current technology, in the demo they have to get close to you (nice and easy on the subway) but if you boost the magnetic field the RFID emits a stronger signal that can be captured from further away

besides who needs an RFID tag to track people when they have mobile phones.

Originally Posted By: Doc LightningBen, the reason celebrities have no privacy is not because they don't have the right; they do. But in choosing their careers, they waive that right.

Really is that a standard clause in a movie contract? From a legal perspective im pretty sure that individuals have to consent to waiving their rights for them to actually be waived.


Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourself, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous and talented? Who are you NOT to be?

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Seye
SILVER Member since Mar 2005

Seye

Geek
Location: Manchester, UK

Total posts: 1261
Posted:Originally Posted By: UnscrupulousChavOffersFootwww.ccleaner.com


awesome

grin
The also make this...

Quote:
Defraggler
www.defraggler.com

Has someone run this on HoP recently? It could explain the apparent lack of Cantus for the last couple of weeks.


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FireTom


Stargazer


Total posts: 6650
Posted:Ben: it's not that celebrities (or people of public interest) have no right to privacy. Dunno where you take this from...

Privacy (objectively) is not just a "privilege", it's a "right" and if you check legislation you will find sufficient evidence for this claim.

Anyway: Even IF celebrities would NOT enjoy the right thereof, it wouldn't mean that I have to surrender it.

Celebs in this context is a weak argument, as they make most of their money by selling their privacy. There is an entire industry based upon celebs privacy and there is a lot of money involved in this business. But the only ones making money by selling my data... are other people... umm

Personally I don't care whether Google is run by "faceless fatcats" or the "guys next door", same way I don't care whether it's the Mafia, a junkie or the CIA that takes my money or privacy unlawfully.

Point being (trust me on this one) is that most

Originally Posted By: Mikeare normal guys just like the rest of us.

Originally Posted By: Mike They just got very lucky and had a very good idea.

isn't necessarily the case. Some of them got lucky with bad ideas and bad attitudes, just like that.

Pardon me, but only because someone is showing up at Burning Man doesn't tell me too much about whether he's to be trusted with my personal informations or not...

Problem is that (generally speaking and no offense intended) I observe US citizens to fall prey to government and corporate interests without much questioning the authority or right this is based upon.

I feel that the US turns a blind eye on the cowscrap flowing through the window, while they get sold glass beads at the main gate. Certainly it's not a conspiracy, it's just the way things work.

Originally Posted By: LurchYou have to remember that these are PRIVATE companies collecting this data. And they have every right to because YOU give it to them. Or it's pulled and collected from public records. Freedom of Information doesn't apply, and they can sell said data to anyone they please, including the government. I'm not sure how well it works outside the US, but I know for a fact for a little under $10, with just a name and birthday I can find out pretty much anything I could want to know about you. Age, gender, birthplace, parents, siblings, children, spouse, social security number, drivers license number, Insurance numbers, every phone number you've ever had, every address you've ever lived at, your driving record, criminal record, work history, tax history, banks accounts, income, sexuality, movie tastes, book tastes, etc.

Lurch: I'm happy that there is a topic where our opinions seem to overlap - proves the picture I have hug

Point being is that laws can regulate how this data is to be treated, whether it's lawfully stored and where. Legislation can do something for us and as we speak the German government is deciding on an update of the data protection laws.

Read the article here

Originally Posted By: DWThe business community is concerned that tightening regulations could damage Germany's competitiveness.

"The criminal activities of certain individuals should not be used as an excuse to destroy the balance between the need to protect consumers and the justified interests of the economy," Martin Wansleben, head of the German DIHK federation of chambers of commerce, told the daily Handelsblatt.

Schaeuble expressed sympathy for these fears and said that the government would be "careful to avoid any knee-jerk reactions" and that it would strive to achieve "the right balance."

It's delicate that our interior minister Schaeuble was facing harsh criticism for planning severe expansion of governments authority to dig into the populations privacy, however

I censored on Germanies business community and its "competitiveness" if it is merely based upon manipulation, fraud and fakery. We all know how little ethics there isin corporate business, just scary how many are ignorant sheep to this... rolleyes Yeah, I can hear you, Lurch.

To eradicate a 'contradiction': IMO the government has no right to know about my sexual preferences but certainly they have some right to know how much my salary is. Certainly I need to tell my insurance company my address and banking informations so they can withdraw the annual, but they got no right whatsoever to know what I'm doing in my leisure time.

What I'm trying to indicate is that there is a difference between case-relevant and case-irrelevant data. They should never be merged. I dislike the feeling that someone (who I don't know) knows all about me. I like to choose the confessor myself.


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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Stout
SILVER Member since May 2004

Stout

Pooh-Bah
Location: Canada

Total posts: 1872
Posted:OMG...."they're" actually using that scan only technology with credit cards. That's just plain stupid. Last fall, when I looked into this whole RFID and how it related to credit cards it was all about RFID + PIN meaning that even if someone did swipe your info, it'd be pretty much useless without the code.

Interestingly, I was driven to this research because a friend had seen the part of Zeitgeist that dealt with the RFID CT and then seen an ad for a microchip implanted card...and made "the connection"

I was going to mention Faraday cage wallets, but that was covered in the YouTube clip ( armadillo wallets ) My guess is this is going to go down as one of those dumb ideas that never really got off the ground.

The thing about the phone and tracking is that ( currently ) the phone's user has to actively tell the system to operate. Suppose I wanted to track you. I'd request the system to perform the action, a signal would be sent to the phone telling the user that Stout wants to know their location and that user would have to okay the process. What it does is reads the location by acting as a GPS receiver ( ie, NOT transmitting up to satellites ) and uses the phone network to phone the coordinates to the person making the request.

General Motor's On star system works in exactly the same way a ( GPS + phone ) as do those GPS based "anti-theft" devices you can buy for your car. Those, however don't require user input to allow the system to function ( obviously )

Every once in a while, there's an "incident" the latest being the kidnapping of Madeleine McCann in Portugal, where someone whose goal is to market the technology CTers fear so much, steps into the limelight advocating their product and how it can be used to "prevent" this sort of tragedy. The interesting thing is to read all the reader comments after one of those stories just to see the groundswell of public opposition to implantable microchips.

True, newborns are RFID tagged, but that's to stop unauthorised removal from the neonatal ward, currently this is done with bracelets that sound an alarm when removed and I expect the same sort of public opposition to a scheme that would subject a newborn to invasive surgery " just for the heck of it )

Implantable RFID is also purported to be useful to track elderly people as they move about in their independent living quarters, but it's a really big deal to wire up a house or apartment to function in this fashion.

And of course, I do need to mention those geeks who willingly have themselves implanted with RFID chips that contain info like their computer logon passwords or their front door lock combination. They do this willingly, and are quite often cited by CTers as being "examples" of IT'S ALREADY HAPPENING!!!!

Hummm, curious, three guys wearing dark suits just picked up my trash...;)


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_Aime_
SILVER Member since Jan 2004

_Aime_

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Hastings, United Kingdom

Total posts: 4172
Posted:http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/common-google-chrome-objections/
br>link to one of the creators of google chrome adressing the privacy/data-mining issues around google chrome.

chrome is open-source, if you have the know-how you could go through every line of code to see exactly what this browser does every step of the way and customise it to your own needs.

chrome is a definite step forward in browsers. each tab in the browser window operates independently therefore if a page crashes it doesnt affect any other tab. this also means because each tab is a parallel thread it will be much quicker than ie+ff.

you have to remember that the version available for download is the first publicly available BETA version.

ive not used it yet because there is no linux version, but all my friends that have used it have given it glowing reports.

chrome and firefox are both open-source which means advancements in chrome will be plugged into FF and vice-versa which can only be a good thing for browser functionality.

[/simta]


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UCOF
SILVER Member since Apr 2002

UCOF

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: , United Kingdom

Total posts: 15414
Posted:I was thinking... f*ck me, when did Aimee go all techie!?!?



Then I read the last line wink


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_Aime_
SILVER Member since Jan 2004

_Aime_

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Hastings, United Kingdom

Total posts: 4172
Posted:Nah definitely wasn't me, I always start my sentences with capitol letters wink

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Lurch
BRONZE Member since Nov 2003

Lurch

old hand
Location: Oregon, USA

Total posts: 929
Posted:There is a problem with your logic though FireTom. They aren't "mining" your data, you are giving it to them. The only way for you to stop it, is to stop using the internet. Now admittedly they're primarily using the data to figure out how to sell you more stuff, because lets face it, there are billions and billions of dollars to be made every year.

Whether or not they have your name, they can use your patterns, your search queries, what websites you visit to figure out it's based off the information you already have. If you read some of the papers on algorithms for de-anonymising data it might scare you a bit.

I hope you don't have a cellphone. Especially a newer one with GPS enabled on it. Actually, it doesn't really matter if you enable it or not they can turn it on whenever they want. They can already triangulate off whatever cell towers you're hitting and get close to you. With GPS they can tell within about a foot. That also tells them where you frequent, what routes you take, what food you eat, where you shop etc. Tie that in with spending habits and they've got a fairly detailed list of what you're likely and willing to buy. It's not 'big brother' so much as 'big corporation.' They don't have the same privacy rules that the government has to follow.

You don't think walmart tracks everything you've ever bought? Or Amazon.com for that matter? It's just good business sense to know your customers. Every company keeps a database, and as companies are swallowed up by larger corporations those database grow and grow and grow.

It's sad, and it's scary, but these are the times we apparently live in, and it's going to be practically impossible to go backwards.


#homeofpoi -- irc.newnet.net Come talk to us we're bored frown

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Stout
SILVER Member since May 2004

Stout

Pooh-Bah
Location: Canada

Total posts: 1872
Posted:Lurch...are you saying the GPS locator function can be activated without the users permission or knowledge ? I understand about the triangulation process and how that works, and were someone to find themselves in a situation where they wouldn't want anyone to know where they were I'm assuming they would have the wherewithal not to use their phone.

But enabling the GPS without their knowledge is a different ballgame and I can see where there's situations where say, a parent would want to know where there child was even if that child didn't want to let the parent know at that particular time.

but still.

Nobody knows my buying habits I mostly use cash. Sure, they know where I park, and wholesale purchasers I make for things I use in my business but I've made a game out of revealing as little information as I have to. I'm not paranoid, I just enjoy avoiding advertising.


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Stone
GOLD Member since Jun 2001

Stream Entrant
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Total posts: 2830
Posted:"Alta la vista, baby

wink


If we as members of the human race practice meditation, we can transcend our fear, despair, and forgetfulness. Meditation is not an escape. It is the courage to look at reality with mindfulness and concentration. Thich Nhat Hanh

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Lurch
BRONZE Member since Nov 2003

Lurch

old hand
Location: Oregon, USA

Total posts: 929
Posted:They certainly *can* be turned on without your knowledge or consent, whether or not they are I don't know. If for some reason someone wanted to hunt you down though, the cellphone should be the first thing you ditch.

Here, if you're genuinely interested you should check out this 'Privacy Is Dead - Get Over It' lecture here is pt 1 of almost 40.. but well worth the watch.




#homeofpoi -- irc.newnet.net Come talk to us we're bored frown

Warning: Please Do Not Jump On The Seals

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Stout
SILVER Member since May 2004

Stout

Pooh-Bah
Location: Canada

Total posts: 1872
Posted:Yep, if i was on the lam, I'd ditv=ch the phone for sure.

Re the Steve RonBom video, which is available in two parts on google video. A lot of people don't seem to realize that information they assume is provate is in fact public.

It's even more "public" if it's the government that's looking for it. I figure everyone's seen enough episodes of CSI to be aware that if "THEY" want to investigate you, then they'll do it. What are the chances that if the government went to my ISP with a court order demanding to see my online history, my ISP would refuse ?

I'm not worried about it though, because just what do I actually expect "them" to do with the knowledge about all those *interesting* ads I put on craigslist wink

So much of that information cited in the video is available to those willing to search for it. Freedom of Information laws have greatly aided this process. Credit rating, property ownership, motor vehicle ownership, all maters of public record if you're willing to do ( or pay someone to do ) the research.

It's the hacker stuff I'm more worried about, the identity theft where someone applies for credit in my name and goes on a spree. That's my reason for avoiding online banking and purchasing online. Were I to get more internet shopping involved, I make sure I got a separate card with a low limit, just in case my info went missing.

But with online advertising I'm having a hard time whipping a head of steam over it. I already get in website advertising that's obviously reading my IP and targeting me for the local market, big whoop, I mean could I possibly care that girls in Chicago are dying to meet me ? If some company is going to track my surfing and target me with ads of things I might actually want to buy. I don't see the problem.


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ben-ja-men
GOLD Member since Jun 2003

ben-ja-men

just lost .... evil init
Location: Adelaide, Australia

Total posts: 2474
Posted:Originally Posted By: Lurch



wow that was very eye opening, i just watched all 3 hours of it and yeah wow. i think i will be buying the book. thanks alot for posting the link, got any other gems?


Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourself, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous and talented? Who are you NOT to be?

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=Flashpoint=
SILVER Member since Sep 2004

=Flashpoint=

Pasta of Muppets
Location: in the interwebs..., United Ki...

Total posts: 2719
Posted:Its still all too easy to get off the grid, if you like smile

ohmygodlaserbeamspewpewpew!
ubbrollsmileubbrollsmileubbrollsmileubbrollsmile

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FireTom


Stargazer


Total posts: 6650
Posted:Just on a short note:

@ Aimee [simta]: Thanks for the link provided, however.

Originally Posted By: welt.deA feature of the Chrome browser that has been cause for concern is the Omnibox feature function that saves data from the user's movements and sends it directly back to Google.

As Bob Rice wrote in an article for Wired.com in May, although other browsers (such as internet explorer) have similar functions, Google is in a unique position to exploit the information it collects in that it already offers a number of web applications that store user data (such as calendar, map, gmail).

@ Lurch: I can't see the problem with my logic in this one. Maybe my views are twisted, yet it is not as if I would willingly surrender my data to these organisations, especially NOT in such way that I approve their processing.

Corporations (such as Google) provide a service on the Internet, namely searching. I am looking for something, they help me find it. They make money by putting sponsored links on top of the first page - I got no problem with that. So far I have not (consciously) fallen for ads put up on Google or Yahoo...

But when "they" start to analyse my habits and responses and custom tailor their ads and suggestions - it goes a bit too far, for my taste.

Yes I do have a cellphone and in Germany we do have tracking 'services' - I find it a bit... "off" that you can track anybody at any given time without their consent. It's different with children and teens under the age of 18 - where parents still have "governing rights"... but generally it's quite alarming. Same way I do have a number plate on my motorbike and the government could trace my routings... but they (officially) don't, because they are prohibited to do so... Yes I do use the Internet, but I can't find a waiver on the start page that every user of the Web does surrender his right for privacy when browsing and surfing... Don't tell me that "everybody knows"! wink Because obvioulsy they don't...

However, corporations should have the same - if not even stricter - privacy rules to follow than the government - IMHO. There is a difference in keeping my shopping records (which is okay, I guess) and collecting external data...

"Freedom of information" - is NOT as if the freedom of information act would entitle private corporations to gather personal data... the freedom of information entitles YOU and ME to take a look into what data the government collected about us...

Freedom of Information Act

The biggest problem is that most people don't see a problem in all of this... it seems as if many people even feel fluttered and are far too easy on this topic - "oh, someone is interested in me... I feel 'important'"... rolleyes and it seems to be easier if someone just collects and concludes from data retreived...

Imagine someone showing up on your doorstep tomorrow in person - let's say it's either a guy of Amazon or better, of the FBI and he straightforward asks you about your age, sexual preferences, favourite colors/ music/ artists/ hobbies, (bad) habits, work, bank account details, car you drive, holiday you make, your dreams and desires... etc. I mean a comprehensive questionnaire ... would you happily answer all his questions (truthfully)?

If you say 'no' to this you should start to consider that after all, many of these informations are retreived by interpreting your browsing habits and the information you key into your board...

and this just is what my concern is about, belittle it if you like - doesn't change too much...

And it's not as to be regarded "stepping backwards" if we are to correct mistakes we did or allowed to happen in the past. This clearly is the slogan of the corporate world in order to scare and discriminate us into puppets...

It should be more than "okay" to step back if we notice that we have gone too far...


wink

EDITED_BY: FireTom (1221042484)


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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simta
BRONZE Member since Apr 2006

simta

compfuzzled
Location: hastings, England (UK)

Total posts: 1182
Posted:FT if you have a problem with that particular part of the browser YOU can change it, or if you dont have the know-how just wait around for someone else to do it, because its guranteed they will.

i dont think you can have a go at the data mining bits of google chrome simply because they made it open-source. in my mind it absolves them, those people that dont care will use the standard version of the browser and those that care will either change it/find an adapted version.


"the geeks have got you" - Gayle

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FireTom


Stargazer


Total posts: 6650
Posted:Point given, Simta - however I'm not a programmer, so 'open-source Chrome' might help as much as handing me a manual for a Space Shuttle...

Do we have to flag "Yes, I'd like to share all my bits and bytes with the rest of the world"? or which option is default?

When buying a new car, is there an option (not) to have this sticker in the mirrors (objex R closer than U think)? No it's not, because it's mandatory - because the consumers (and insurance companies) have pressed legislation to make it mandatory...

As long as we stand aside and accept such practices, turning a blind exe on them, they will go further.

Are you okay with that?

PS: I find it so funny that some people would rather vote for or against remote causes, but refer to "tin-foil hats" when it concerns them. Sure, Google is not Halliburton but it's part of a system that tries to set standards (to their only profit)... we need to counter these standards - or not... shrug

wink

(PPS: Disclaimer - It's not as if I regard it the end of the (free) world)

And I really would like to advise you to watch the YouTube vid, link posted on top of this page.

Is it really okay to you that I'm getting to know ALL about you, simply because you called me for whatever reason, or for some reason figured out your name? This information is accessible for anyone capable... Not sure how okay it would be for people to learn that their boss knows ALL about them or their landlord, or neighbor.... or stalker.

EDITED_BY: FireTom (1221047795)


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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simta
BRONZE Member since Apr 2006

simta

compfuzzled
Location: hastings, England (UK)

Total posts: 1182
Posted:the car example doesnt work in this case. you buy a car, you dont buy a browser.

its free to do a google-search, its free to download google chrome etc...

the only way to make money is through advertising, the whole internet is built on the premise. if advertising on the internet didnt exist in the way it does, and you had to pay to google-search or other sites on the net it would never have advanced to the point we are at now.

you might not be a programmer, but there are many out there with exactly the same concerns you have. once chrome release version is here there will be a version which cuts out all the data-mining, all you have to do is sit back and wait. in the meantime you can run firefox with noscript and the other plugins to insure your privacy is kept.


"the geeks have got you" - Gayle

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