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Old January 24th, 2012, 04:46 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Even worse

Google tracks consumers across products, users can’t opt out - The Washington Post

Started over. This should be good for discussion.

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Old January 24th, 2012, 08:32 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Angry New Google Privacy Policy

Google's recently announced privacy policy that becomes effective on March 1, 2012 is very disturbing! Google said that literally everything on an Android phone will be monitored and tracked including location. They said, if you don't like the new policy, cancel your gmail account. If you do that, you can't use your Android phone. Quite arrogant for Google! I like my new Android phone, but now I'm probably going to get rid of it...
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Old January 24th, 2012, 10:39 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Don't worry, I'm sure some brilliant programmers are working on this. If it pisses enough people off, Google will change their mind.

Mission Statement: Don't be Evil.

I seem to remember reading about this suite of apps that allows for the phone to spoof gps data, sending false records of location, this suite of apps had IM/SMS encryption, phone call encryption, and this thing where if you turn your phone upside down, BAM! completely off the grid. It was in Beta last I checked. Sorry, I don't have a link for it... but maybe someone knows what I'm talking about.
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Old January 25th, 2012, 04:33 AM   #4 (permalink)
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In fairness they did not literally say that.
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Old January 25th, 2012, 07:27 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Here's a link to Google's blurb:
Google's New Terms Of Service & Privacy Policy: Anything You Do May Be Used To Target You?

I've got rid of Picasa and Blogger. I have Flickr (until Yahoo tries this stunt)
If Google automatically assigns a + account, I simply won't post.

As for some of the other - what do they do if you don't use the regular mail page but use Thunderbird? I can drag all the posts to my computer and tell Tbird to delete from server.

On the phone - I have every sync I can find turned off. Will that be overridden?

Some use Adblock, I prefer Tab permissions and NoScript. (I have Adblock)
Tab permissions turns off images on the fly. If I can't see it, I can't buy it. Even if it tracks.

The only thing that bothers me is Market. I have paid apps that need to update or they won't run.

I don't have to use Gmail. I can subscribe to a pay for account, or find another free one.

Google also said no Doubleclick. I have that forbidden in the firewall.

I worked in radio marketing, read the trades my boss got, and have been anti marketing since the Hidden Persuaders came out.
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Old January 25th, 2012, 02:32 PM   #6 (permalink)
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With respect I suspect the author of that article has blown this somewhat out of proportion. Here are links to the updated Google Privacy policy and terms of service:

http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2012/01/updating-our-privacy-policies-and-terms.html
Preview: Privacy Policy ? Policies & Principles
Google Terms of Service ? Policies & Principles

Their privacy policy seems to indicate that when a subscriber has multiple Google services that Google will combine the information received from each of these services to better support the subscribers needs. In other words if you use Android, GMail, Calendar, and Google+, your personal information entered into Google+ will be accessible to each of the other services. If your Android phone has GPS enabled and Google location services checked, Google will use your GPS location in conjunction with Calendar to let you know if you are going to be late for a scheduled meeting. If you don't have Google location services enabled on your phone then Google will not provide you notification that you're gonna be late for that meeting.

If you ask Google to not share your personal information with anyone outside of Google then they won't (except under the following circumstances:
* meet any applicable law, regulation, legal process or enforceable governmental request.
* enforce applicable Terms of Service, including investigation of potential violations.
* detect, prevent, or otherwise address fraud, security or technical issues.
* protect against harm to the rights, property or safety of Google, our users or the public as required or permitted by law).

With respect to DoubleClick, the following was taken directly from their Privacy Policy document:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Google
We will not combine DoubleClick cookie information with personally identifiable information unless we have your opt-in consent.
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Old January 25th, 2012, 02:42 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Just want to throw out Google won't use your Android data unless you opt in.
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Old January 26th, 2012, 07:57 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Another take:
Pascal's wager: Google's new privacy policy could anger FTC

Article says it reminds one of Google and Buzz. Buzz flopped.
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Old January 26th, 2012, 08:11 AM   #9 (permalink)
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From Martimus:
Their privacy policy seems to indicate that when a subscriber has multiple Google services that Google will combine the information received from each of these services to better support the subscribers needs. In other words if you use Android, GMail, Calendar, and Google+, your personal information entered into Google+ will be accessible to each of the other services. If your Android phone has GPS enabled and Google location services checked, Google will use your GPS location in conjunction with Calendar to let you know if you are going to be late for a scheduled meeting. If you don't have Google location services enabled on your phone then Google will not provide you notification that you're gonna be late for that meeting.

What worries me is if you DON'T use anything but Gmail and Market. If they open a G+ account, I won't use it, won't check it (except for privacy policy) I don't use calendar, have GPS turned off, Titanium Backup has frozen maps, and I've been refusing the update to GMail. Doubleclick is in the blacklist in FF, needs permission in NoScript, blocked by the FW. Also deleted pix and info from Blogger and Picasa.

Is Google going to force you to use services?
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Old January 26th, 2012, 01:57 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Relevant question - Has the policy changed at all? My understanding was that they were simply consolidating all of their privacy policies into one policy. The actual terms, so I understood, hadn't changed much, if at all. I don't know this to be true as I don't have time at the moment to google up their old privacy policies and compare them.
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Old January 26th, 2012, 07:34 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Maybe the aims and the privacy policy haven't changed - but what if Google can't get all the information to give you a personalized meaningful experience?

For instance - I've cleaned out my Picasa - Google has no way of knowing what I take pictures of. I've cleaned out Blogger (never posted anything personal anyway) so they now have no way of judging mindset. If they force 1+. and I don't post, what are they going to do to enhance my experience?

Joining all this stuff was not a condition of buying an Android Phone. Using your right name was not a condition either.
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Old January 26th, 2012, 11:07 PM   #12 (permalink)
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When I was reading the policy, it mention something called a tag pixel or something like that... anyone care to explain that. They said it was similar to a cookie...
:/
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Old January 27th, 2012, 05:29 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 9to5cynic View Post
it mention something called a tag pixel or something like that...
:/
Pixel tags are 1 pixel by 1 pixel transparent GIF images hidden in web pages, mobile ads, and emails that are used to track where you've been on the web and whether you're opening emails.

For example if a company sends you a marketing email it will have a 1x1 transparent GIF in it whose image URL is uniquely tagged to your email address. If you open the email (assuming your email client is set to automatically download images) your email client requests that unique image from their web server and then they know that your address is valid and you opened the email. Thats why they are small - low bandwidth.

Similarly with an ad server, the ad image will be generic, but you'll also be served a pixel tag which is unique. When your browser requests the pixel tag URL they know the ad was served successfully. If you then click on the ad and go to another site which also has pixel tags they know that you arrived at the site via the ad, and so on.
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Old January 27th, 2012, 06:32 AM   #14 (permalink)
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^^
What he said . . It may also be used to track people .
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Old January 27th, 2012, 06:43 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snedd View Post
Pixel tags are 1 pixel by 1 pixel transparent GIF images hidden in web pages, mobile ads, and emails that are used to track where you've been on the web and whether you're opening emails.

For example if a company sends you a marketing email it will have a 1x1 transparent GIF in it whose image URL is uniquely tagged to your email address. If you open the email (assuming your email client is set to automatically download images) your email client requests that unique image from their web server and then they know that your address is valid and you opened the email. Thats why they are small - low bandwidth.

Similarly with an ad server, the ad image will be generic, but you'll also be served a pixel tag which is unique. When your browser requests the pixel tag URL they know the ad was served successfully. If you then click on the ad and go to another site which also has pixel tags they know that you arrived at the site via the ad, and so on.
This is why I use Thunderbird which doesn't load those requests unless I allow it to =)

Sadly, they have a similar implementation for telemarketing phone calls, and I've had to block quite a few phone numbers recently
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Old January 27th, 2012, 06:52 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Firefox also has addons that block those gifs. If you use mail app like Tbird, you can also specify text only.

FF and Opera also let you turn off images on the fly. Opera natively, FF by addon. If you don't see the ads, you aren't tempted. They may track, but if you don't see it, you won't buy it - which defeats their purpose.
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Old January 27th, 2012, 06:55 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Between adblock, TrevE's logging block tool (that seems to knock the feet out of Google's tracking on Android as well as CIQ's), and a very aggressive spam setting on Gmail, I think I'll be safe
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Old January 27th, 2012, 06:59 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Looks like the EU is going to block.
This is ?
Google must channel SOPA rage again ? against your privacy ? The Register

How about we continue to do the opposite?

Saw this, too.
https://www.fbo.gov/index?s=opportunity&mode=form&id=c65777356334dab86 85984fa74bfd636&tab=core&_cview=1
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Old January 27th, 2012, 08:14 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zuben el genub View Post
Maybe the aims and the privacy policy haven't changed - but what if Google can't get all the information to give you a personalized meaningful experience?

For instance - I've cleaned out my Picasa - Google has no way of knowing what I take pictures of. I've cleaned out Blogger (never posted anything personal anyway) so they now have no way of judging mindset. If they force 1+. and I don't post, what are they going to do to enhance my experience?

Joining all this stuff was not a condition of buying an Android Phone. Using your right name was not a condition either.
Couple of things then.

1. Isn't a unified privacy policy what people all want in the first place?
2. The more I read, the more it seems like Google is just sharing with itself. They already have all the information about you. They are just sharing it with themselves now
3. I still haven't had a chance to look up their old privacy policies. Other than the fact that all Google services are sharing with each other, what else has changed that has everyone up in arms?

I'm honestly trying to see what the privacy violation is here. No one complained that the previous policies were violations. What is the change here?
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Old January 27th, 2012, 08:52 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Possibly forced G+ account if you don't want it, and anonymous names. Plus you could opt out of marketing.
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Old January 27th, 2012, 08:56 AM   #21 (permalink)
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What also occurred to me is Google Sync. Right now I can disallow it on the phone.
What if Google overrides this and starts to sync automatically? What will happen to your data charges then?
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Old January 27th, 2012, 09:03 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Well I am very happy with the services Google provides me. I don't do illegal things. And when it comes down to it I am not all that interesting. If Google wants to spy on what I do online and keep it to themselves I don't mind they are the ones that will be bored, of course I expect them to keep providing the services I have come to expect from them
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Old January 27th, 2012, 09:11 AM   #23 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Looks like the EU is going to block
Nope, at least not as a direct result of this issue. The EU's concern over 'privacy' goes way back, and isn't specifically aimed at Google.
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Old January 27th, 2012, 09:13 AM   #24 (permalink)
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Now I'm no legal expert but from what I've read in the new policies there is no provision that specially grants them any rights to force services upon a customer. If you don't want to use one of their services you don't have to... and if, for whatever reason, they change one of their services and, as a courtesy, enable the new service for you, you simply terminate that service.
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Old January 27th, 2012, 09:31 AM   #25 (permalink)
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I don't do illegal things either, but it's like having a snoopy neighbor. My business is NOT your business. My father was nosy, but he never told anyone what he found out.
My mother, OTOH, would. How do we know that some wrong post like a quote from WC Fields about kids wouldn't get you busted?

What about those who have a restraining order against a stalker or abusive spouse?

Using real names won't protect them. They have a right to work with support groups online if necessary.
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Old January 27th, 2012, 09:39 AM   #26 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Nope, at least not as a direct result of this issue. The EU's concern over 'privacy' goes way back, and isn't specifically aimed at Google.
Yeah, the EU and the privacy thing is freaking insane. Blurrmany comes to mind and that's just the tip of the iceberg. When you don't want people to be able to go online and see what they could see if they drove down a public street, you know you are going to freak out over any privacy changes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zuben el genub View Post
Possibly forced G+ account if you don't want it, and anonymous names. Plus you could opt out of marketing.
You're talking about possibilities though. So you could opt out of marketing before and now you can't? Is that the big deal? That's a legit concern if true. Source??

Quote:
Originally Posted by zuben el genub View Post
What also occurred to me is Google Sync. Right now I can disallow it on the phone.
What if Google overrides this and starts to sync automatically? What will happen to your data charges then?
Now we're freaking out over stuff that MIGHT happen. I don't care about what MIGHT happen. Google could decide it wants to put spy cameras outside my house and peer through my windows. I would be totally freaked out if it did happen. The fact that it could happen means nothing. I'll worry about things when they actually occur or look like they're going to occur. There's nothing that I've seen that indicates Google is going to force Sync to be on. If I'm wrong here, please correct me.
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Old January 27th, 2012, 05:12 PM   #27 (permalink)
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Market already does. I've seen complaints on here about Market syncing when phone owners don't want it to. Maybe they don't like an "improvement" or don't know how to sync over wifi only. You can't sign out of Market on your phone. I've been looking. You can sign out of the built-in browser, but not Market. And the Market is Google, no?

I think the interface stinks. I'd like to see the search bar bigger.
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Old January 27th, 2012, 10:16 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snedd View Post
Pixel tags are 1 pixel by 1 pixel transparent GIF images hidden in web pages, mobile ads, and emails that are used to track where you've been on the web and whether you're opening emails.

For example if a company sends you a marketing email it will have a 1x1 transparent GIF in it whose image URL is uniquely tagged to your email address. If you open the email (assuming your email client is set to automatically download images) your email client requests that unique image from their web server and then they know that your address is valid and you opened the email. Thats why they are small - low bandwidth.

Similarly with an ad server, the ad image will be generic, but you'll also be served a pixel tag which is unique. When your browser requests the pixel tag URL they know the ad was served successfully. If you then click on the ad and go to another site which also has pixel tags they know that you arrived at the site via the ad, and so on.
Okay, so it's an invisible image, that responds when you download the image from their server?
So it could be used to say, send spam mail to *@gmail.com and only receive hits back from real addresses (that open the email).

Great, another thing to watch out for.... >.>
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Old January 28th, 2012, 09:05 AM   #29 (permalink)
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^ Exactly. Also, unlike cookies, they're difficult to block, other than turning off all images in your browser and email client, because the browser/client can't know for sure its a 1x1 image until after its downloaded it. Fiendishly clever!

As to the policy changes, it doesn't sound like google will be collecting any data they don't already, it just won't be (as) compartmentalised within their own different services. I don't really see that how that changes anything.
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Old January 28th, 2012, 09:34 AM   #30 (permalink)
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Firefox has a few blockers. As for email - text only.

What is irking me about Google lately is the fact that if you have decided to NOT use a service after you have tried it, you can't remove yourself from that service. You can clean out an album or a blog, but the service is still listed.

Buzz is defunct, never signed up, but there it is in Dashboard with a 1 after it.

I have a private profile, but if this was public to other users it would be false info as I am NOT subscribed. Blogger lists a number of posts - if you click, there is nothing. I deleted them. So it's false and padding numbers. I've done the same with Picasa. Trouble is any followers will still be listed whether or not they have a public profile.

If anyone shows up as a follower, and their email is posted, will Google block any contacts with that user if that user has a private profile? Or can anyone who sees it send email?
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Old January 28th, 2012, 06:52 PM   #31 (permalink)
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Angry Ditching Android because of Google's privacy invasion

I will be leaving behind my android phone for the iPhone 4s because I do not accept Google's privacy policy that is being forced upon every android user (and because Apple products are far superior). Is anyone else planning the same? My guess is that millions of people will.
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Old January 28th, 2012, 06:57 PM   #32 (permalink)
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I think your guess would be incorrect based on two primary misconceptions. Google's privacy policies are not all that different from Apple's, and Apple products are not superior to every other electronics manufacturer. What exactly concerns you about Google's policies?
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Old January 28th, 2012, 07:56 PM   #33 (permalink)
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That they are not Apple's.
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Old January 28th, 2012, 08:40 PM   #34 (permalink)
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Millions? Hardly. Have you even read Apple's user agreement.....? However do as you think best, such brief sophistry is unlikely to bring you much joy in choice. If you wish real privacy then being rid of such devices and services is your only option. Good luck with the evil apple.
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Old January 28th, 2012, 09:20 PM   #35 (permalink)
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Personally, I think Apple products inferior, not superior, based on what I ask of my devices. That said, perhaps for the OP's purposes, he may be finding Apple's superior to address his needs.
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Old January 28th, 2012, 10:12 PM   #36 (permalink)
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Maybe that's his alter ego talking..look at his account name. Snap out of it, man! Lol
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Old January 28th, 2012, 10:25 PM   #37 (permalink)
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Google offers so many good services for free. They must be evil, right? Apple's products look nicer and cost more, surely they must be good?

I suppose there's one thing I can think of that puts the iPhone ahead of any Android phone: Apple supports it. There's really no reason for Google to support any one Android phone. They make the OS and it's free, and phone manufacturers use it and pass the savings along. Or at least that's how it should work.

Anyway, I read Google's new privacy policy and I didn't see anything amiss, though I'm not a lawyer. Just seemed to me they were simplifying it.
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Old January 28th, 2012, 11:50 PM   #38 (permalink)
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yes there is definitely something evil going on at google....... shame on them for clarifying, simplifying, and being honest about their privacy policy......... unlike good old apple who specifically say in their privacy policy that they will store data on things like the exact location a unique personal identifier (your phones ID) is used and have already been caught selling that information

as far as superior hardware goes....... Im not one to proclaim my ePeen is bigger than yours...... but I will say that if you think releasing outdated hardware that Android phones have already been using for a year on their lower end phones and software that STILL cant perform basic functions is superior then enjoy that iphone
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Old January 29th, 2012, 12:10 AM   #39 (permalink)
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privacy's gone. We are now living in a world where our personal information is everywhere and easy available to anyone who with the use of a program such as webwatcher or similar can monitor your every key stroke and web page viewed. such information is stored at a third party and who knows who has access to that.
It is frightening but no matter who you are and how safe you may feel there is always somebody watching you.
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Old January 29th, 2012, 07:11 AM   #40 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A.Nonymous View Post
Yeah, the EU and the privacy thing is freaking insane. Blurrmany comes to mind and that's just the tip of the iceberg
While I agree with thinking Germany's attitude a bit OTT, I also remember their not-too-distant history. I'd likely feel differently had I lived under constant scrutiny by secret police.
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Old January 29th, 2012, 08:17 AM   #41 (permalink)
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From today:
Google Privacy Policy Update Challenged by Lawmakers - Security - News & Reviews - eWeek.com

Let's see what kind of mess comes out of this.

Also:15 worst Internet privacy scandals of all time
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Old January 29th, 2012, 08:27 AM   #42 (permalink)
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Somebody almost successfully loaded ubuntu Linux on a nexus phone! If our hard core smart phone lovers can do that, I'm confident they will find other tricks, till their threatened, killed or payed off...
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Old January 29th, 2012, 08:28 AM   #43 (permalink)
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The new American dollar, "In Google we trust" Pfft! BA!ha ha ha!
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Old January 29th, 2012, 09:42 AM   #44 (permalink)
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Google still needs to do a bit with the services. If you used Picasa at one time, no longer have anything there (you might be using a pay for site to sell) it will still be listed on your profile. Any followers will be listed, too.

I've looked at Dashboard and there's still one post in Buzz(not mine - Google's) sitting there. Buzz is defunct.
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Old January 29th, 2012, 09:55 AM   #45 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tylerdurden123 View Post
I will be leaving behind my android phone for the iPhone 4s because I do not accept Google's privacy policy that is being forced upon every android user (and because Apple products are far superior). Is anyone else planning the same? My guess is that millions of people will.
Good luck.

But at least don't let yourself be fooled, they're all companies, they're here to make money, simple as that. There's no charity.

Apple products are superior? In what exactly?

Mind you, Apple doesn't even produce their hardware, and iPhone uses a lot of Samsung parts.

But looks like you've been brainwashed already. Too bad.
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Old January 29th, 2012, 01:11 PM   #46 (permalink)
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I have two questions that so far no one has answered that I've seen.

1. Aside from Google sharing all this information with itself, how has the privacy policy changed?

2. How does this change make things worse than they were before?
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Old January 29th, 2012, 07:11 PM   #47 (permalink)
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^ Exactly.

Google already collects this data. There was no opt out before, there's no opt out in the new policy. BUT if there ever is legislation that says Google have to provide an opt out on data collection, then after March 1st at least there will only be one policy to opt out of and not 70.
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Old January 29th, 2012, 07:32 PM   #48 (permalink)
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As far as I understand, Google is only using your location to help you in traffic, appointments, alarms, etc... It doesn't sound to alarming yet.
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Old January 30th, 2012, 01:58 AM   #49 (permalink)
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I've read through Google's updated policy and nothing jumped out at me as unusual or wrong.

Anybody complaining about what Google might do in the future should really realize that Google is a publicly traded company whose business is to make money. They make money the same way Facebook makes money, by indexing everybody and targeting advertisements. Your ISP provides you email (in most cases) and the "Email" app in Android can access it. You don't need Google. If you use Google, they're saying they'll share your info across all their services (of which they have a freakin' LOT, most free) and will keep your stuff private unless subpoenaed. That's more than fair.

Then again, I am biased toward Google, as a fan. Unlike Microsoft and unlike Apple, they've made a business out of providing good, free services. I've paid Google a dime for an app once. That's all the money Google has gotten out of my personal funds. For all they offer, I think they deserve a little slack.
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Old January 30th, 2012, 08:02 AM   #50 (permalink)
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Honestly, I think anyone complaining about what anyone might do in the future is a bit silly. We have no idea what any company or entity is going to do. My boss could cut my salary in half tomorrow. He has every right to do that even though it would piss me off and I'd be quitting by the day after tomorrow. It'd be ridiculous for me to complain now about the fact that he could do that.
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