Introduction About Site Map

RSS 2 Feed RSS 2 Feed

Main Page | Blog Index

Thursday, November 1st, 2012, 6:15 pm

More Google Surveillance

Google knows precisely what you search for and keeps a record of it indefinitely. If you have a Google account, it also knows all YouTube videos you watch (how long, how many times) and many Web pages you visit (with AdSense, YouTube embed, etc.). Never mind PageRank, Feedburner, etc. It knows your real identity now. The PATRIOT ACT (and the likes of it) lets governments access this data, too, so it’s not a purely corporate issue anymore. Lawyers and thugs turn up at the scene. There is nothing for Web users to gain from it, no matter the propaganda about “terrorists” and “pedophiles”. It’s sickening to see how lightly privacy is taken by those whom we supposedly elect.

When Google started requiring that people sign up to access a lot of its stuff (with a verified E-mail address) it was no longer just playing dice with IP addresses. Google Plus was a step further, which drove me to other search engines. Sometimes people have a common name, such as John Wilcox. By offering Google Profiles/Plus Google is able to discern one from another, plus pair it with an E-mail address. They even know how you navigate through Google StreetView and Maps. Google may also have copies of all your mails which you sent to people in GMail (certainly all of it if you use GMail). People tend to forget all of this. And this data is not being destroyed. Some is used for marketing and Google openly admits many government requests for people’s data all around the world (Google complies without a fight and without informing those affected). Transparency through statistics hardly makes the practice benign.

Do you still use Google? You probably oughtn’t, except when there is no other choice. Consider accessing YouTube from other devices without a cookie. Wherever Google is going, I don’t like it. And a lot of people forget that it’s dominantly proprietary, so I hardly care it it’s “not Microsoft” or “not Apple”. Even Android is becoming a little too creepy on the privacy side (e.g. its browser which phones home with location and usage data). Canonical takes a lesson from this business model of Google and now turns Ubuntu into spyware. I spoke to Richard Stallman in recent days. He will soon write about this topic. As always, Stallman had good foresight when it comes to privacy on the Net.

“Privacy protects us from abuses by those in power, even if we’re doing nothing wrong at the time of surveillance.”

Bruce Schneier

Technical Notes About Comments

Comments may include corrections, additions, citations, expressions of consent or even disagreements. They should preferably remain on topic.

Moderation: All genuine comments will be added. If your comment does not appear immediately (a rarity), it awaits moderation as it contained a sensitive word or a URI.

Trackbacks: The URI to TrackBack this entry is:

Syndication: RSS feed for comments on this post RSS 2

    See also: What are feeds?, Local Feeds

Comments format: Line and paragraph breaks are automatic, E-mail address never displayed, HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Back to top

Retrieval statistics: 21 queries taking a total of 0.115 seconds • Please report low bandwidth using the feedback form
Original styles created by Ian Main (all acknowledgements) • PHP scripts and styles later modified by Roy Schestowitz • Help yourself to a GPL'd copy
|— Proudly powered by W o r d P r e s s — based on a heavily-hacked version 1.2.1 (Mingus) installation —|