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  1. Thread Author  Thread Author    #1  

    Default is anyone else concerned?

    Lately, Google's reputation has taken quite a hit as their unofficial motto of "Don't be Evil" has been shown to be perhaps just a front as their recent WiSpy scandal, among other things, have surfaced to public knowledge. I've been doing some reading and, quite frankly, I just feel kinda weird knowing that my Android device (rooted HTC Evo 4G running Cyanogen 7) is turning its back on me and notifying Google of my whereabouts without my consent. What the hell else might it be doing? Oh, other than notifying the exact GPS location of the WiFi routers I frequently use? I donno, I've been reading the book "Search and Destroy: Why You Can't Trust Google" and it's all starting to kinda make sense to me. One of the largest corporations with, without doubt, the MOST amount of data ever gathered about any species in a large, secretive complex whose mascot is a massive Tyrannosaurus Rex - has been engaging in some unethical and suspicious activity that puts to shame any previous data-collecting endeavor from any prior organization or government in all of history. Think about it. Your search terms, linked to your IP address, linked to your router, linked to your house (using Street View which, Google claims, "accidentally" gathered emails and passwords through their project to make Street View what it is today, in over 33 countries) - are all likely stored in some remote database in their complex for who knows how long. Eric Schmidt, upon being questioned about the information gathered through WiSpy, even stated that they would not delete the "accidentally gathered" information "until ordered to do so." Really, Google? Wow, you've lost my trust and you really had the potential to be such a great company with great products. But when Google wants to literally be in every aspect of your life and "reach the creepy line but not cross it" (another quote from former CEO Eric Schmidt), I get a little worried.

    Does ANYONE else see this? Or am I missing something? Call me paranoid, but I once marveled at the look and utility of my HTC Evo 4G: a wonderful phone with a wide spectrum of functionality for everyday use - something that made life easier in just about every way. But now, after finding out more and more about the company we're all just supposed to trust because their own motto is "Don't be Evil" - I just see my phone as a traitor. As an agent to Big Brother. Something that, without my knowledge/consent, is sending information back to Google so they can keep a file on me that the CIA/FBI could only DREAM of having. Whose to say that down the line, Google won't be in cahoots with the government (if they're not already) to gather whatever information they may request through subpoean, etc.? It's scary how much they might already have, and that we Android users are voluntarily submitting more and more. I'm thinking about going back to Blackberry.
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  2. #2  
    Xopher's Avatar

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    You do realize that you have to check the box and give permission for location information, right? It even pops up and tells you that it is collecting the information the first time you go to do location-based information. It is hardly recording your location without your permission.

    Anytime you use a web browser (an any system), aggregate information is being collected. Google, Bing, Dog Pile, even your ISP. All of them collect information. Google just has the reputation since it has so many ways to collect data, and has such a store-house of it. Unless you are using an encrypted system through an anonymous proxy, data has been collected. The only hope is that data is scrubbed of information linking to the individual, like Google says it does.
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  3. Thread Author  Thread Author    #3  

    Default so...

    where's the option in gmail to prevent computer bots from scanning private messages looking for keywords to market towards advertisers? didn't see an option for that. in 2010, google made over 30% of its revenue through advertising. why did it take 2 years for a delete button to be implemented in gmail from the date of its launch? where's the option to not allow google to intermittently save drafts of emails being written on their remote servers for an "indefinite amount of time" regardless of if the email was ever sent or not?

    and how in the hell could they have "accidentally" gathered emails and passwords from open wifi networks using their innocent street cars? that was never an option either.
  4. #4  
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    No, I don't care. They just want to sell me things.
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    1) I don't care, they can know where I am, I have it on my Google account.

    2) they are a major company, they are not outside of our houses in white vans spying on us.
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  6. #6  
    Chrisy's Avatar
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    The thing is, you're opting in. When you click location you get a POP up. Read that and read Google's privacy policy.

    If you don't like it, opt out by not using Google or GPS apps.
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    Don't use Gmail for email if it's that much of a bother. Use an alternative such as yahoo or K9mail and opt out of the location services. Seems like your being a bit too paranoid.
  8. #8  
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    Who Cares im not doing anything wrong if it makes my life easier and they target products that i might like directly to me, fine. Don't be paranoid over big brother he's here to stay so get used to it there are better things to worry about...
  9. #9  

    Default

    I am very concerned.
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    It doesn't bother me none. I feel sorry for what info gets from me.
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    Each of us is just one data point of literally millions to them. Based on those numbers, I say, no big deal.
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    i side with the "it doesn't matter to me crowd". no men in black knocking at my door for any reason.
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  14. #14  

    Default

    OK, what if Google is/was safe, but is our information safe with them? Look at the issues Sony is having right now for example.
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    no concern whatsoever
  16. #16  

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    Quote Originally Posted by zer0xity View Post
    where's the option in gmail to prevent computer bots from scanning private messages looking for keywords to market towards advertisers? didn't see an option for that.
    You can't, it's part of the ToS for Gmail. Good luck finding a webmail client that doesn't these days.

    in 2010, google made over 30% of its revenue through advertising. why did it take 2 years for a delete button to be implemented in gmail from the date of its launch? where's the option to not allow google to intermittently save drafts of emails being written on their remote servers for an "indefinite amount of time" regardless of if the email was ever sent or not?
    Huh? They made a lot more than 30% of its revenue through advertising. It's a myth that you couldn't delete emails in Gmail (one even repeated in the book Googled, although set straight in the more recent In the Plex). The whole point of Gmail is to let you keep and search your entire email history (I can't tell you how often this has saved my ****...even getting files for customers from previous jobs that were half a decade old). Since the engineers didn't expect you to delete very often they didn't make an obvious and large delete button, you had to mark them and then find the dropdown menus that lead to the delete function. Of course lots of people want to be able to delete things, so eventually they moved the delete function to a more obvious button.

    and how in the hell could they have "accidentally" gathered emails and passwords from open wifi networks using their innocent street cars? that was never an option either.
    Because they were gathering information on where hotspots are. Pings from those networks help your mobile device narrow down your location without having to rely on GPS. They weren't actually parsing individual files, they were simply gathering whatever raw code was being sent out on unsecured wireless networks during the mapping process. The data was never turned into a form that could be accessed, so they literally don't know what they have, although undoubtedly with the millions of snippets there are passwords, CC information, etc., in there somewhere. The data was never accessed or used and has been deleted (as overseen by an independent company hired to do so) except in countries where they were ordered to keep the data to allow for an investigation (ironically putting peoples data at more risk).

    Look, there are things Google does that I don't agree with either, but most of the stuff that gets bandied about in the press is either agenda-driven (and so doesn't relate the whole story) or else it simply is mistaken hystrionics.

    For example, the wifi tracking - you can always turn off your location services on Android (just change the settings to not let apps access your GPS). But if you want to use your location services, including local restaurants or shopping, along with review, navigation, etc., then obviously those services have to know where you are. Google anonymizes that data (it's not tied to your name or phone) so it's not like a Google engineer could type in "John Smith" and discover that you're eating at Denny's tonight. Also, the local cache of locations automatically purges older files, so you'll never have the case that iPhones did where they were producing a year-long history of where their owners had gone.

    By and large for all their faults Google has (in my opinion) been more up front and ethical about what they collect and how they protect you then any of their competitors. RIM does protects your data better, but if you use a location service (like VZW Nav) or one a back up service by one of the carriers I promise you have a lot less protections then if you're using the Google services on your Android phone.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TucsonChuck View Post
    OK, what if Google is/was safe, but is our information safe with them? Look at the issues Sony is having right now for example.
    This is always a fair question, but really, where are you going to put your data then? More people lose data by keeping it on their computers (especially given the security practices of most people), and if you aren't going to give up webmail, photo sharing, all social networking, all forms of online shopping, etc., then the question isn't "should I let people store my data", it's "who do I most trust with my data"?

    Personally I have more confidence in Google then in Sony, but everyone has to make their own decisions. I also (personally) trust Amazon and Mint. I don't really trust iTunes (way too many successful scams) but until Google Music I felt like I had little choice. I really, really don't trust Facebook (who routinely sells data outright to other companies, and changes it's ToS on data privacy without alerting it's users frequently) but sadly Facebook pretty much has a monopoly right now (I can't wait till Google, Apple, anyone produces a genuine competitor).

    By the way, who uses Skype? If so, do you know how Skype works? It's almost a virus (if you have an open network is uses your computer and bandwidth to transmit other peoples' calls) and is about the least secure form of communication around, since calls are strung along an ad hoc p2p network, meaning your data (conversations, video chat, etc.) are sent along dozens or hundreds of computers before it gets to the other end. It truly amazes me that people would talk about anything on Skype outside of "how's the weather over there?", but people take convenience over safety 90% of the time.
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    i always love these topics for one i do not care if google tracks me, what are they going to do? come knock on my door? they already know where i live,

    why is everyone so paranoid? do any of you think that you are important enough for google/apple/ etc to care where you are or where you go? I know im not im a simple manager of a bus company and if they want to track me they can i use gps in my car i have ezpass i have nothing to hide.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ottscay View Post
    This is always a fair question, but really, where are you going to put your data then? More people lose data by keeping it on their computers (especially given the security practices of most people), and if you aren't going to give up webmail, photo sharing, all social networking, all forms of online shopping, etc., then the question isn't "should I let people store my data", it's "who do I most trust with my data"?

    Personally I have more confidence in Google then in Sony, but everyone has to make their own decisions. I also (personally) trust Amazon and Mint. I don't really trust iTunes (way too many successful scams) but until Google Music I felt like I had little choice. I really, really don't trust Facebook (who routinely sells data outright to other companies, and changes it's ToS on data privacy without alerting it's users frequently) but sadly Facebook pretty much has a monopoly right now (I can't wait till Google, Apple, anyone produces a genuine competitor).

    By the way, who uses Skype? If so, do you know how Skype works? It's almost a virus (if you have an open network is uses your computer and bandwidth to transmit other peoples' calls) and is about the least secure form of communication around, since calls are strung along an ad hoc p2p network, meaning your data (conversations, video chat, etc.) are sent along dozens or hundreds of computers before it gets to the other end. It truly amazes me that people would talk about anything on Skype outside of "how's the weather over there?", but people take convenience over safety 90% of the time.
    So true way too many people go with what is convenient. I trust itunes,amazon, and google with my data and i have fraud protection on my debit account, in todays digital age just have a good bank and monitor your account regularly. I check mine throughout the day and only once did i notice a false charge for Nytimes and apparently the guy told me: "scammers try subcription services to see if the card gets approved and is good" so i called nytimes and my bank charge was reversed in 24 hours. my data was compromised with the sony attack so i called and ordered a new card. Your data is never entirely safe just make sure you do your part to protect yourself.

    Also do not use easy information as a password like your pets name if you have it posted all over your facebook, and personally i hate facebook they sell consumer data, hacked accounts regularly i only have one because the wife wants me to lol i am literally never on it unless someone posts something to me.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jalarm View Post

    2) they are a major company, they are not outside of our houses in white vans spying on us.
    ...Yet.
  21. #21  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Droid800 View Post
    ...Yet.


  22. #22  
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    Yeah, who takes the photos for street view? The one of myhouse is over 4 years old now. I wonder if/when it will be updated...and who takes those pics!
    Last edited by Chrisy; 06-01-2011 at 06:51 AM.
  23. #23  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chrisy View Post
    Yeah, who takes the photos for street view? The one of much house is over 4 years old now. I wonder if/when it will be updated...and who takes those pics!
    google does they drive around with the street view cars that take the 360 degree pictures they probably are most concerned with changing area re doing the streets etc.
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  24. #24  
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    This reminds me of a thought in a political book I read that we, as a society, have to give up some freedom for security.

    We give up a lot of privacy for the ability to use technology too.

  25. #25  

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    Quote Originally Posted by zer0xity View Post
    where's the option in gmail to prevent computer bots from scanning private messages looking for keywords to market towards advertisers? didn't see an option for that. in 2010, google made over 30% of its revenue through advertising. why did it take 2 years for a delete button to be implemented in gmail from the date of its launch? where's the option to not allow google to intermittently save drafts of emails being written on their remote servers for an "indefinite amount of time" regardless of if the email was ever sent or not?

    and how in the hell could they have "accidentally" gathered emails and passwords from open wifi networks using their innocent street cars? that was never an option either.
    I am not concerned at all. Anyone using a mobile device with GPS capability and/or WiFi should assume their location and surfing information is public. You can opt out of location services if you want. If you really don't like Google or anyone else being able to track your whereabouts or use patterns online - don't use a smartphone, GPS, or web. Make all you calls on land lines, don't use GPS, and don't use the web. And enjoy a really, dull, life.
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