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Old February 18th, 2012, 10:33 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default How to prevent data-mining

Harrooo! Here's on for the tin-foil hat crowd and the Android experts.
With the new Google privacy policy coming up: what steps can we, the users, take to avoid as much data mining as possible? I have already made some changes to my settings and switched some apps. But I would be interested to know if I have missed anything or if it is usefull at all. :-)
And perhaps this is useful to other users who feel the same.

-Stopped syncing to the Google servers.
-Use Boat Browser instead of stock, private browsing enabled
-Use Duckduckgo instead of Google search.
-Opted out of everything I could opt out of in my Google account.
-Jorte Calender instead of stock calender (it is prettier too!)
-I have also got rid of the Facebook and Twitter apps as they were way too greedy for permissions for my taste and use the mobile websites instead. They offer the same and sometimes more functionality and I can live without directly uploading a picture to Facebook from my galery.

Does anyone have more tips on how to make using your Android more private?

Cheers!

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Old February 18th, 2012, 10:42 AM   #2 (permalink)
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You can't.
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Old February 18th, 2012, 10:45 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cryssie View Post
Harrooo! Here's on for the tin-foil hat crowd and the Android experts.
With the new Google privacy policy coming up: what steps can we, the users, take to avoid as much data mining as possible? I have already made some changes to my settings and switched some apps. But I would be interested to know if I have missed anything or if it is usefull at all. :-)
And perhaps this is useful to other users who feel the same.

-Stopped syncing to the Google servers.
-Use Boat Browser instead of stock, private browsing enabled
-Use Duckduckgo instead of Google search.
-Opted out of everything I could opt out of in my Google account.
-Jorte Calender instead of stock calender (it is prettier too!)
-I have also got rid of the Facebook and Twitter apps as they were way too greedy for permissions for my taste and use the mobile websites instead. They offer the same and sometimes more functionality and I can live without directly uploading a picture to Facebook from my galery.

Does anyone have more tips on how to make using your Android more private?

Cheers!
Question? if you're going to go through all this, what is the point of having an Android phone? Doing the above defeats the purpose and function of the phone?

Since you raised this I'd like to ask, do you clearly understand the privacy policy?
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Old February 18th, 2012, 10:47 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Stop using it, sell it and get a Galaxy Player or iPod connected to a dummy account to use with a basic feature phone?

Seriously, as long as you have an email account in there for emails, you're still on the grid. Or having the ability to connect to the internet at all. If you're this scared, maybe you shouldn't use a smartphone at all, or just turn off data and never connect to the internet using your phone.
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Old February 18th, 2012, 10:53 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I first want to inform you that my hat is merely a fashion statement. I don't believe the government, Google or the CIA can read my brainwaves. They simply can't generate the power necessary to overcome the alien dampening fields emanating from Area 51.

Seriously, the "new" Google privacy policies are not all that much different from the existing ones. They've simplified the language and consolidated the policy across most products.

While UssjTrunks' response might seem a bit of smart alec comment, he/she is essentially correct. If you use Android, at some level, Google will have some information about you. It's the nature of modern networks and information systems.

What Google is doing with that information is what people need to be concerned about. For now, it is relatively benign and actually does go a long way to weed out irrelevancies. But, I think it's a great idea to let them know that we are concerned about our privacy and will be paying attention if they step over the line.

EDIT: As a note to everybody, many people are seriously concerned about this with or without foundation. Let's try to educate rather than criticize.
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Old February 18th, 2012, 11:10 AM   #6 (permalink)
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If you use Facebook and Twitter it's game over anyway. You've already forfeited your privacy.
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Old February 18th, 2012, 11:13 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Whoah! Hold your horses!
Let me rephrase: "How can I keep data-mining to a minimum without compromising too much of Android functionalities?"
I am perfectly aware that staying of the web is a Utopia in this day and age and that is not my intention, but I do not feel comfortable with one company having so much personal information while I feel the measures they take to ensure my privacy are very vague. ("appropriate measures" if I recall correctly. What does that mean?)
Why I have an Android phone? It makes calls, texts, takes pictures, records rehearsals, shows me my favorite websites, keeps my appointments, takes notes and tunes my guitar. I like all that functionality in one neat little package. I have very little interest in cloud computing and I sure as hell do not need Google to remind me of my appointments based on my location and traffic.
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Old February 18th, 2012, 11:24 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KENNECTED View Post
Question? if you're going to go through all this, what is the point of having an Android phone? Doing the above defeats the purpose and function of the phone?

Since you raised this I'd like to ask, do you clearly understand the privacy policy?

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Old February 18th, 2012, 11:56 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KENNECTED View Post
Question? if you're going to go through all this, what is the point of having an Android phone? Doing the above defeats the purpose and function of the phone?

Since you raised this I'd like to ask, do you clearly understand the privacy policy?
I'll bite.
What is the purpose and function of an Android phone?

Edit:
There is "purpose and function" and there is how I decide to use a service or application. If I decide to purchase a cd and use it as a frisbee, that would be weird but it would be my own damned business.
I purchased an Android phone because it suited my needs and how I use it is my own choice. I am under no obligation to use every service Google wants to provide to me. As a user I should have the option to opt out of the Google Services that require a large amount of personal data to be stored on their servers if I choose so. That is my own personal choice and it changed nothing about how I use my phone. With the steps I have taken so far I have made NO compromises whatsoever.
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Old February 18th, 2012, 04:42 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cryssie View Post
I'll bite.
What is the purpose and function of an Android phone?

Edit:
There is "purpose and function" and there is how I decide to use a service or application. If I decide to purchase a cd and use it as a frisbee, that would be weird but it would be my own damned business.
I purchased an Android phone because it suited my needs and how I use it is my own choice. I am under no obligation to use every service Google wants to provide to me. As a user I should have the option to opt out of the Google Services that require a large amount of personal data to be stored on their servers if I choose so. That is my own personal choice and it changed nothing about how I use my phone. With the steps I have taken so far I have made NO compromises whatsoever.
Amen - I do the same. I want a good mobile planetarium and a PDA that makes phone calls and texts. Maps is also gone on my phone. I prefer printed directions. I also got TMO to turn off voice mail. (missed calls works.)

I'm paying for the service - so answering the phone or not is my perogative. We have no landline.

The other thing - do the same if you use a computer. If you use Firefox, Better Privacy and NoScript help. Just because I happen to have an Android phone, there is no reason I have to bother with anything Google on the computer. I can keep the Gmail addy for those that spam. I get all mail through Thunderbird anyway.

Nowhere in the phone manual or the carrier's contract is there a statement you have to use anything. If you pay for data and don't use it - the carrier has no beef.
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Old February 20th, 2012, 05:15 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I have discovered the wonderful world of myphoneexplorer and I must say: works like a dream! It does all the syncing I could wish for and more.
I did have to go back to the stock calender app with a different widget, but I am very pleased with my setup now.
Happily in sync with mozilla lightning on my laptop.

I will try to restate my question a little:
What steps can a user take to stay as private as possible in Android? I have been doing some searching for answers and believe it or not, there are many Android users who have inclination to enter the cloud but their questions mostly receive the same answer as mine did.
And I know that Android is not made for that and Google wants us all in the Cloud and that's all jolly good but there must be some steps we can take to enjoy Android without all our personal info on the Google servers if we don't want that. What are nice alternatives for Cloud functionalities? (like myphoneexplorer etc)

*bump*
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Old February 20th, 2012, 07:55 AM   #12 (permalink)
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This is my take on the whole "Privacy Issue"

First we have to understand that in the United States Privacy is not Protected by the Constitution of the United States. So many people have the wrong impression of what our rights are. Most go by what someone has told them instead of looking it up for themselves.

Ok so worrying about one company having so much of your "Private" information is kinda of like worrying about nuclear war. You can't control how much of your information is out there. If you buy anything there is a "Public Record" of it. I can find out how much you paid for your car, House, RV, or any Loan you have ever applied for. With that information I can find out how much you get paid. What your credit rating is like and so on. (Ok so maybe I can't personally but anyone who does can) Your Street address can be found from those same documents. Also since a lot of those companies request your SSN That is accessible as well. Also If you have ever been arrested, Convicted, or even given a speeding ticket, that information is Public Record as well. So Now one has the ability to find out your entire "Criminal Record" Any Volunteering activities you are involved in are also part of the Public Record. Those types of Agencies are required to keep and Provide those records as necessary.

Oh as far as 1 company having so much information you should think bigger. Every Bank you have ever applied for a loan has all this information as well. Oh yeah Employers also have all this information. So the idea of 1 company having all my information sounds much better than the several hundred or so that do have all that information.

So really I think that being Paranoid makes one stick out even more than those who don't worry about it. Most people who try to hide things have a reason. Privacy is rarely the real issue as we don't really have it anyways. Yes we may be able to keep certain bits of information away from some people however we can't keep it away from everyone. And since we can't keep it from everyone those who are willing to do a bit of research can find out anything you try to hide.

If you feel like blowing chunks go ahead. Just remember when the abyss looks into you it sees all.
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Old February 20th, 2012, 08:25 AM   #13 (permalink)
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I agree with the above post saying that the whole "privacy" thing on your phone is overblown. All the relevant data is already out there in the hands of other people apart from you. The only way to get true privacy on your details is to go to some mountain and live like a hill billy. Your call logs are known by your phone companies, maybe they don't record the calls themselves but they have records of who you called and when, even maybe from where. They can remotely remove or install apps to your phone as well if you're connected to the internet on your phone. They supposedly have the ability to remotely deactivate the device as well (I sort of remember reading that in terms and conditions).

As to the question on how be as private as possible, simply turn off background data and do not access the internet from your phone. What alternatives to cloud services? Depends on what cloud service. There is no non cloud alternative to dropbox or sugarsync to share and send files for example. The closest you can get is probably to just copy paste straight from your computer (early 2000's flashback!). Apart from that, MyPhoneExplorer or the alternatives (Companionlink, Kies, HTC Sync, PC Companion, etc) are your only options AFAIK.
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Old February 20th, 2012, 08:52 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Perhaps I should have made myself more clear.
I am not comfortable with one company controlling that much of my personal information while their primary source of income is the distribution of said personal information. The whys and the hows of this are not relevant. I do not want to provide Google with my phone contacts, location and personal schedule. Please respect that.
Point the second: I am from the Netherlands and the right to privacy is in the Dutch constitution.

[rant]
I have read back my previous posts and although english is not my first language, I think that nowhere I came across as a Paranoid, Schizo, Alien-believing lunatic who thinks Google is the coming skynet.
My question was very simple: "What steps can a user take to fully enjoy Android outside of the Google servers?" I have posted it in various forms and shapes and sizes and I was hoping to build a little knowledge database for myself and all the other Android users who search the web in vain for the same answers. Yes: in vain because the basic response they meet mirrors the general tone in this topic.
I appreciate this question may invoke a knee-jerk reaction in the people who love the cloud but to be blunt: I really do not care about your opinion.
I am always interested in a constructive debate that brings real facts to the table but accusing me of being a paranoid madwoman who probably has something to hide lacks respect and frankly just pisses me off.
[/rant]

May I now respectfully request we skip the "zomg-y-r-u-so-paranoid?!" accusations?
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Old February 20th, 2012, 09:12 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cryssie View Post
My question was very simple: "What steps can a user take to fully enjoy Android outside of the Google servers?"
You don't have to use Google for anything except to create a Google account so you can access the Market.

Otherwise, general security/privacy guidelines:
1. Do not use Gmail. Or Hotmail, Yahoo mail or any other free webmail service.

2. Do not sync contacts or any other info on your phone.

3. Do not use Google Chrome for Android or home. This is key. Firefox, with the right extensions, offers the best security and privacy I'm aware of.

4. Do not use Facebook, Google+, MySpace etc. or Twitter.

5. For cloud storage, if you must, only Dropbox synced to a secure Linux machine.

6. Do not use Windows for anything.
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Old February 20th, 2012, 09:13 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chanchan05 View Post
I agree with the above post saying that the whole "privacy" thing on your phone is overblown. All the relevant data is already out there in the hands of other people apart from you. The only way to get true privacy on your details is to go to some mountain and live like a hill billy. Your call logs are known by your phone companies, maybe they don't record the calls themselves but they have records of who you called and when, even maybe from where. They can remotely remove or install apps to your phone as well if you're connected to the internet on your phone. They supposedly have the ability to remotely deactivate the device as well (I sort of remember reading that in terms and conditions).

As to the question on how be as private as possible, simply turn off background data and do not access the internet from your phone. What alternatives to cloud services? Depends on what cloud service. There is no non cloud alternative to dropbox or sugarsync to share and send files for example. The closest you can get is probably to just copy paste straight from your computer (early 2000's flashback!). Apart from that, MyPhoneExplorer or the alternatives (Companionlink, Kies, HTC Sync, PC Companion, etc) are your only options AFAIK.
My Service Provider is bound by dutch laws concerning privacy, like all companies that hold personal data. Our laws also state that a company is not allowed to request information they do not need to run their business. I cannot find anything about them being able to remotely disable my phone in the terms and conditions and I can guarantee that would create a riot in our Chamber of Commons. (Funfact: Our government requested Google to delay their new privacy policy, which they refused ofcourse)

Also I do not expect complete anonymity, I am too much of an internet lover for that and I do not have the technical know-how to use VPN's etc.
I just want to keep certain information of the web. That's all.

I am thrilled with MyPhoneExplorer!
I tried Samsung Kies when I updated my boyfriends Ace and I thought it was a piece of crap software. Very slow and big.
SE PC companion is ok-ish for media synchronisation but it has no option to sync/backup anything else which is a big flaw imo.
A combination of MediaGO and MyPhoneExplorer seems to work all nice and peachy for me. :-)
I am open to more brilliant ideas!
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Old February 20th, 2012, 09:23 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Honest question - What has changed with the new privacy policy that you find concerning? It seems like you don't have any real issues with the current policy. What is it about the new policy that is alarming to you?
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Old February 20th, 2012, 09:26 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
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I just want to keep certain information off the web. That's all.
I think therein lies the rub, to paraphrase the bard. Data collection on networks is ubiquitous. It's done for many technical reasons that are necessary for maintenance and customer access. Most of this is never seen by the end user and is of little value to any other business. The problem is that other data can also be collected using the same methods that is of value. Most of what I think you are talking about are patterns of behavior used to profile people to target them for directed marketing. The other items of personal information like name, address, etc. are public and easily attainable.

So, in order to block the collection of data, you need to be very specific about which data you want blocked, or the recommendations will only be "turn everything off".

BTW, I apologize if you thought we were making light of your concerns. I understand that some people take their privacy very seriously. Unfortunately modern technology does more to compromise our privacy than it does to protect it.
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Old February 20th, 2012, 09:33 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crashdamage View Post
You don't have to use Google for anything except to create a Google account so you can access the Market.

Otherwise, general security/privacy guidelines:
1. Do not use Gmail. Or Hotmail, Yahoo mail or any other free webmail service.

2. Do not sync contacts or any other info on your phone.

3. Do not use Google Chrome for Android or home. This is key. Firefox, with the right extensions, offers the best security and privacy I'm aware of.

4. Do not use Facebook, Google+, MySpace etc. or Twitter.

5. For cloud storage, if you must, only Dropbox synced to a secure Linux machine.

6. Do not use Windows for anything.
Thank you!
According to you I'm halfway there. :-) Could you elaborate on why one should not use Windows?

I did not post it yet, but when I was looking for information I found some very legitimate reasons for wanting to sync offline besides my own.
There was a sailor who frequently spend weeks away from an internet connection but did want to keep his phone and laptop synced.
There was somebody who had his business calender in Thunderbird lightning (which is not compatible with Google calender if I understood correctly)
And there was someone who simply had confidential info in his calender.

We're not all loonies.
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Old February 20th, 2012, 10:06 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A.Nonymous View Post
Honest question - What has changed with the new privacy policy that you find concerning? It seems like you don't have any real issues with the current policy. What is it about the new policy that is alarming to you?
To be honest, it is mostly a gut-thing.
I feel my phone feels to me a step more private then my laptop and it is one thing to have the Android people able to acces my phone info but another to have it accessible by the Android people, the Youtube people, the Gmail people, etc. It is the difference between drying your underwear on your attic or in your front yard, if that makes any sense.
On some level, if people are able to reach you on a cellphone that you carry with you all the time it is an "invasion of privacy" and it is a sign of trust if I give somebody my phone number. I would like to treat the phone numbers other people have given to me responsibly and that includes not putting them in a place I do not feel comfortable with.

And I must say: one of the "cool examples" hit a little too close to home. Bluntly put: it is none of Google's business where I am and where I am going. If I put an appointment in the calender it is for my personal use.
Technobaby that I am, I am not a fan of services that allow you to "turn the brain of"
And yes, it is not rational but I am a silly woman. Sue me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lunatic59
I think therein lies the rub, to paraphrase the bard. Data collection on networks is ubiquitous. It's done for many technical reasons that are necessary for maintenance and customer access. Most of this is never seen by the end user and is of little value to any other business. The problem is that other data can also be collected using the same methods that is of value. Most of what I think you are talking about are patterns of behavior used to profile people to target them for directed marketing. The other items of personal information like name, address, etc. are public and easily attainable.

So, in order to block the collection of data, you need to be very specific about which data you want blocked, or the recommendations will only be "turn everything off".

BTW, I apologize if you thought we were making light of your concerns. I understand that some people take their privacy very seriously. Unfortunately modern technology does more to compromise our privacy than it does to protect it.
Aha! Thanks. :-)
Well, as I pointed out before we have different laws here concerning privacy, the right to privacy is in our constitution. Databases containing personal info are only accessible by companies who need it and only under strict rules. I am not in a telephone or address guide. If you are interested: Dutch Data Protection Authority
So my personal information being public is in fact quite an alarming idea to me.
The way I have my system set up: I block ads, trackers and third party cookies. My Gmail contains no personal email communication so Google is welcome to whatever stats they can fish out of that.
My main points are my contacts and calender entries. Those are too personal. Text messages and media (pictures etc) can also stay happily between me and my computer.

I was indeed getting more than a little irritated, but I am starting to suspect that it is mostly a culture clash.
Thanks again!
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Old February 20th, 2012, 10:20 AM   #21 (permalink)
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I was not calling you paranoid or anything else. If you took it that way then I will apologize for not making myself more clear. Only was stating a fact that "Paranoid Activity" makes one look suspicous and would cause those interested partys to look deeper.

As far as being anywhere in the world like the Netherlands then Google if operating there would have to abide by the laws of the Nation it is conducting business in. So the "Privacy Statement" cannot possibly take into consideration every Law in the world. However Corporations still have to abide by those laws. In the end it is all out there anyway. As far as Cloud goes. Understand how "Skynet" works. It only holds the information that I put on it. However If I am on any network in the world rather my laptop, desktop, phone, or tablet, then I am open to having my "Personal Information" Gathered by those that wish to do so. You don't have to be on the cloud to have that kind of stuff gathered. Its being on a Network period that makes us vulnerable. "Skynet" works buy the network. Cloud is a Storage facility that is as safe as any postcard you send.

No Matter which network your on or who's phone your using we are all giving our private data to someone.

I do want to reinterate however that I am sorry if you took anything I said as an attack on you personally. It was not meant to be that way.
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Old February 20th, 2012, 10:28 AM   #22 (permalink)
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To be honest, it is mostly a gut-thing.
I feel my phone feels to me a step more private then my laptop and it is one thing to have the Android people able to acces my phone info but another to have it accessible by the Android people, the Youtube people, the Gmail people, etc. It is the difference between drying your underwear on your attic or in your front yard, if that makes any sense.
On some level, if people are able to reach you on a cellphone that you carry with you all the time it is an "invasion of privacy" and it is a sign of trust if I give somebody my phone number. I would like to treat the phone numbers other people have given to me responsibly and that includes not putting them in a place I do not feel comfortable with.

And I must say: one of the "cool examples" hit a little too close to home. Bluntly put: it is none of Google's business where I am and where I am going. If I put an appointment in the calender it is for my personal use.
Technobaby that I am, I am not a fan of services that allow you to "turn the brain of"
And yes, it is not rational but I am a silly woman. Sue me.
I guess I'm still confused then. Is the current privacy policy objectionable to you? If not, what is it about the new policy that has changed and become objectionable. Google has always had this information about you. Nothing has changed now. They're not sharing it with 3rd parties (which would be objectionable for sure), they're just sharing it with themselves. They already know your phone number. They already know the names of all the people in your address book. They already can read your calendar. None of that has changed.

I guess I'm not one to do things just on my gut. I'm one of those people who needs a reason to do something.
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Old February 20th, 2012, 11:34 AM   #23 (permalink)
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I was not calling you paranoid or anything else. If you took it that way then I will apologize for not making myself more clear. Only was stating a fact that "Paranoid Activity" makes one look suspicous and would cause those interested partys to look deeper.
Thank you and accepted. :-) I apologize myself for being a little blunt. (maybe I was jumping to conclusions. )
Hmn, I agree that that may be a logical response but personally: I just feel I am acting on my right to stay private/anonymous where that is possible.

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As far as being anywhere in the world like the Netherlands then Google if operating there would have to abide by the laws of the Nation it is conducting business in. So the "Privacy Statement" cannot possibly take into consideration every Law in the world.
However Corporations still have to abide by those laws.
This is a really interesting question. I must admit: I have not delved too deeply into the finer things in the laws and policies, but to my best knowledge a company can only ask for the personal information they need to run their business. I wonder if they are allowed to ask for information for a service I choose not to use (like Calendersync). Should they make everything opt-in by default?
I should try to find out how this works..... *ponder*
I do know that the new policy is officially under review from the Article 29 Data Protection Working Party. I'm curious what they'll say.



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In the end it is all out there anyway. As far as Cloud goes. Understand how "Skynet" works. It only holds the information that I put on it. However If I am on any network in the world rather my laptop, desktop, phone, or tablet, then I am open to having my "Personal Information" Gathered by those that wish to do so. You don't have to be on the cloud to have that kind of stuff gathered. Its being on a Network period that makes us vulnerable. "Skynet" works buy the network. Cloud is a Storage facility that is as safe as any postcard you send.

No Matter which network your on or who's phone your using we are all giving our private data to someone.
You can take all the security measures in the world and in the end your confidential information can leak out because staff tossed out an old computer without wiping the harddrive. (true story. really!)
It is monstrously difficult to stay completely hidden unless you are some amazing hacker, in which case it may just be a little difficult.
In the end I try not to worry about the things I cannot control and be diligent about what I can control. I cannot control if somebody hacks me but I can be careful about where I put my private information and read the fine print before I click install. The rule is "need to know". Does Google need to know my appointments? Nope. (If it were encrypted, I would reconsider but to the best of my knowledge it is not)

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I do want to reinterate however that I am sorry if you took anything I said as an attack on you personally. It was not meant to be that way.
Apology accepted. *passes a cookie*
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Old February 20th, 2012, 11:49 AM   #24 (permalink)
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I guess I'm still confused then. Is the current privacy policy objectionable to you? If not, what is it about the new policy that has changed and become objectionable. Google has always had this information about you. Nothing has changed now. They're not sharing it with 3rd parties (which would be objectionable for sure), they're just sharing it with themselves. They already know your phone number. They already know the names of all the people in your address book. They already can read your calendar. None of that has changed.

I guess I'm not one to do things just on my gut. I'm one of those people who needs a reason to do something.
The only rational reason I can offer here is this:
Google has almost 33000 employees. I cannot find the numbers broken down by department, but you can probably guess where I am going with this.

And I do many things on my gut.
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Old February 20th, 2012, 12:07 PM   #25 (permalink)
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The only rational reason I can offer here is this:
Google has almost 33000 employees. I cannot find the numbers broken down by department, but you can probably guess where I am going with this.

And I do many things on my gut.
Honestly, I can't follow you. But I can't follow many women.

I'm not concerned w/Google having my information. Your ISP knows way, way, way more about you than Google does. Your cell provider knows more about you than Google does. It knows who you call, when you call them and where you are when you call them as well as how long you talk to them. On a privacy scale there are many places that have more information on you than Google does. Heck, the grocery store I go to offers a discount card. You scan it, you get discounts on certain grocery items. I guarantee you they're tracking what groceries I buy. They know what I eat. So on a privacy scale, Google doesn't have nearly the information that other places do.
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Old February 20th, 2012, 12:35 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Honestly, I can't follow you. But I can't follow many women.

I'm not concerned w/Google having my information. Your ISP knows way, way, way more about you than Google does. Your cell provider knows more about you than Google does. It knows who you call, when you call them and where you are when you call them as well as how long you talk to them. On a privacy scale there are many places that have more information on you than Google does. Heck, the grocery store I go to offers a discount card. You scan it, you get discounts on certain grocery items. I guarantee you they're tracking what groceries I buy. They know what I eat. So on a privacy scale, Google doesn't have nearly the information that other places do.
Crazy woman at your service! Don't worry, I drive my boyfriend banana's too.

I beg to differ!
Rainbow: Google is tracking your personal info - Omaha.com

I will see if I can dig up more details and better sources, but he has a a very legit point imo.
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Old February 20th, 2012, 02:59 PM   #27 (permalink)
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Your ISP has far more data on you than that though. Facebook has just as much info on you as Google does and probably more. Your ISP knows every single website you visit and exactly how long you are spending there, what files you are downloading, what you are uploading, what programs on your computer are accessing data in the background and what they're connecting to, etc..... I already mentioned that my grocery store knows everything I eat. My phone company knows every phone call I make. All of this data can be subpoenaed by law enforcement. The idea that we have privacy is an illusion.
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Old February 20th, 2012, 03:16 PM   #28 (permalink)
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The only way to be truly private is to not have a phone, computer, or a shopping card. Buy only with cash. Oh yeah and have employer only pay you in cash. Be mute. Oh yea and never post on a forum.
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Old February 20th, 2012, 04:19 PM   #29 (permalink)
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Oh well, I am a hopeless optimist.

I fished up my ISP's Privacy statement, just for kicks.
They only collect logfiles they need to conduct their business: Aggregated data on how much national and international traffic their customers generate, data nessecary to provide customers with a catching webproxy if the customers want it and datatraffic per page.
It also clearly states that they do not look at, analyze, or save what a customer does on the internet.
We also have laws on netneutrality and as a rule an ISP does not surrender information or block a page without being ordered to do so by a judge. (We have an ongoing Pirate Bay debacle atm and a long row of ISP's refusing to block it.)
You have a point about Facebook and that is why I have not given them more information than necessary to run my personal and business facebookpage. I do not let Facebook know my location, do not like webpages, use no apps etc.
I intend to treat Google the same: need to know.
My Supermarket has no idea what I buy. Unless you use a customer discount card (which not every supermarket provides) and if you do, it is a breeze to get an anonymous one.

Difference in local laws nonwithstanding, you have a point about losing our privacy. Everyone leaves a paper/digital trail of different density, depending on what they do... or something.
However: the difference between you and me is: I am not going to roll over and say "oh well, you have that information anyway. You might as well take the rest." I will not accept that. I have the right to a certain amount of control over my own information and decide who gets to see what part of my private life. I do not want to be in a public phone and address directory, so I am not. I do not want my supermarket to know where I live so I shop anonymously. I do not want Google to have control over my contacts so I will not provide it to them.
And of course "if somebody really wants it, they will get it anyway", but that is no reason to make it easier.
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Old February 20th, 2012, 04:38 PM   #30 (permalink)
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There was a story recently where Target (a local retail chain) was tracking customer's buying habits so they knew which one's were pregnant. Then they targetted offers at those customers. It happens in the brick and mortar world too, not just in the digital world.

As a side note, there was another story where Google wanted to install software on people's browser's that would track every thing they did whether they went in incognito mode or not. It was completely opt-in and Google would pay people the grand sum of $25 for this. You'd think that in a worse case there'd be a huge outrage that Google would find people's data was so cheaply valued and that best case people would shake their heads and just go on with their lives. Instead, so many people flocked to the sign up page that it crashed and burned. That's how much privacy is valued here in the US. People will sell it for a $25 Amazon gift card.
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Old February 20th, 2012, 04:48 PM   #31 (permalink)
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The target story does not really surprise me. Because a dutch Supermarket is moving towards that as well. The Albert Heijn has a system where you can only get the weekly offers with a discount if you have a Bonuscard. They want to track purchases and offer personalized discount products.
I think it is a dubious practice.... Fortunally it is just one of the many stores.
Looking for pregnant women is just.... weird....

Your second story just makes me very sad. I don't know if they do it because they don't care or because they are that hard-pressed for some money.
But, wow. That is very sad.
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Old February 20th, 2012, 05:28 PM   #32 (permalink)
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I can't imagine being so hard pressed for cash that a one time $25 gift card makes a difference. I certainly can't imagine so many people so desperate that they'd crash a web site.
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Old February 20th, 2012, 05:42 PM   #33 (permalink)
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Data mining for advertising purposes is nothing but a pain. Ads got a lot more pushy, disregarding the fact that a lot of people couldn't afford the products, decided that they didn't really need it, or the article was just plain trashy.

So far, I haven't seen ads do any improving except for something like free apps.
Cable started as subscription, got ads, those ads don't seem to do much except put money in the ad agency's pocket. Consumers complain about getting less for more money, and cable complains about the high cost of the programming. Cable, cell, satellite are trying to control how you get information. Your town can't even put in a fiber system on its own. The cable lobby will yell. You are getting less data for your dollar and either cut off or throttled. Yet there isn't too much competition in the GSM area. "You allow us to put ads on and it will cut the costs" No, it will cut the service. Pretty soon it will be all ads interrupted by a program.

If data miners want to be a PITA, I will be one right back.
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Old February 20th, 2012, 08:42 PM   #34 (permalink)
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One thing I don't see mentioned is the fact that most of these companies can obtain this information through other than direct sources.

Explaination:

Cryssie you call me (Here in US) In Netherland the companies are bound by the constitution of your country. However the ones Here in the United States are not. And While I have Agreed to their Privacy statement you technically haven't. However, Since you called me though then vicariously you have also agreed by just calling me or sharing data with me. They collect the data on my end.

Here in the United States there is always a loop hole. We don't have private browsing as people would like to believe. If you search for certain key words it brings up red flags and your IP will contact the authorities. This is all legal here alot of this is to "Protect our Children" from Child rapist and those type of Criminals and also "Terrorist". After all Keeping our country safe is more important than someones basic rights. And While I agree with these Practice's to some extent I also don't agree to them on the other hand. I think anytime you give someone that much power its to easy to corrupt what was really there and make up your own truth.
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Old February 20th, 2012, 10:22 PM   #35 (permalink)
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Data mining for advertising purposes is nothing but a pain. Ads got a lot more pushy, disregarding the fact that a lot of people couldn't afford the products, decided that they didn't really need it, or the article was just plain trashy.

So far, I haven't seen ads do any improving except for something like free apps.
Cable started as subscription, got ads, those ads don't seem to do much except put money in the ad agency's pocket. Consumers complain about getting less for more money, and cable complains about the high cost of the programming. Cable, cell, satellite are trying to control how you get information. Your town can't even put in a fiber system on its own. The cable lobby will yell. You are getting less data for your dollar and either cut off or throttled. Yet there isn't too much competition in the GSM area. "You allow us to put ads on and it will cut the costs" No, it will cut the service. Pretty soon it will be all ads interrupted by a program.

If data miners want to be a PITA, I will be one right back.
As I pointed out, tech companies aren't the only companies who do it. My grocery store does it. Target does it. Everywhere you shop does it. I use Mint.com for my finances. They offer me different credit cards, loans, savings accounts, etc... I guarantee you those recommendations are based on what I'm spending money on. Nothing in this life is free.
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Old February 21st, 2012, 05:42 AM   #36 (permalink)
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I do not have anything new to offer, I am reading up on a couple of things. (Safe harbor principles etc.)
But this is on wikipedia and I thought it was interesting.

Quote:
Europeans are acutely familiar with the dangers associated with uncontrolled use of personal information from their experiences under World War II-era fascist governments and post-War Communist regimes, and are highly suspicious and fearful of unchecked use of personal information.[17] World War II and the post-War period was a time in Europe that disclosure of race or ethnicity led to secret denunciations and seizures that sent friends and neighbors to work camps and concentration camps.[4] In the age of computers, Europeans’ guardedness of secret government files has translated into a distrust of corporate databases, and governments in Europe took decided steps to protect personal information from abuses in the years following World War II.[18] Germany and France, in particular, set forth comprehensive data protection laws.[19]
I would not have made the WW2 link, but this actually has a point.
My country has one of the highest deathrates of Jewish people in the War and the main reason was that the information on the citizens was very complete and neatly kept. It was very easy for the Nazi's to pick out the Jews.
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Old February 21st, 2012, 07:13 AM   #37 (permalink)
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The EU is proposing this:
European Commission Proposes ‘Right to Be Forgotten’ Legislation | Video | TheBlaze.com

There is also no law that I have to bother with any of the ads. Circulars just get tossed in the trash unread before mail gets in the house. TV gets ignored. I will get grocery coupons, but only use the ones I want. The others go in the trash. Browsers have ad blockers. If I can do it - I also turn off images.

I get newsletters (opted in) from companies I am interested in. Sometimes I can get a better deal online - especially with free shipping. I will also look for pre-owned stuff.

This will get to the point like things did with telemarketers. Some will push too far.
Google has both Apple and MS complaining about Google getting into the browsers.
This is a case of the pot and kettle - MS managed to put an extension into FF. Eventually things will get regulated which will open another can of worms.

If you accept only targetted ads - some other merchandisers will scream about their free speech and the ability to get you as a customer.
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Old February 21st, 2012, 08:09 AM   #38 (permalink)
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The EU is proposing this:
European Commission Proposes ‘Right to Be Forgotten’ Legislation | Video | TheBlaze.com

There is also no law that I have to bother with any of the ads. Circulars just get tossed in the trash unread before mail gets in the house. TV gets ignored. I will get grocery coupons, but only use the ones I want. The others go in the trash. Browsers have ad blockers. If I can do it - I also turn off images.

I get newsletters (opted in) from companies I am interested in. Sometimes I can get a better deal online - especially with free shipping. I will also look for pre-owned stuff.

This will get to the point like things did with telemarketers. Some will push too far.
Google has both Apple and MS complaining about Google getting into the browsers.
This is a case of the pot and kettle - MS managed to put an extension into FF. Eventually things will get regulated which will open another can of worms.

If you accept only targetted ads - some other merchandisers will scream about their free speech and the ability to get you as a customer.
That legislation would completely and totally break the Internet. I'm sorry, but it would. Targeted ads are how Internet companies monetize their services. You take that away it's like telling Ford that they can no longer sell cars.
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Old February 21st, 2012, 08:16 AM   #39 (permalink)
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That legislation would completely and totally break the Internet.
That might be a little strong. But it would radically change the internet as we know it and greatly increase the cost of using it.
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Old February 21st, 2012, 02:53 PM   #40 (permalink)
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Never will there be an avenue of entertainment, business, a walk in the park or even a dinner that you will be free of some form of advertisement.
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Old February 21st, 2012, 04:01 PM   #41 (permalink)
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Like I said earlier, nothing in life is free. Not even this forum. This forum has value because of the content that we create. Because of the content we create, this forum is able to attract more people and is able to attract advertisers whose ads we then block with browser extensions. If everyone stopped posting here tomorrow, this forum would wither and die as the content would become worthless and dated. AF makes money off us. In return,they provide a place where we can come and bitch about them making money off us.
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Old February 21st, 2012, 06:07 PM   #42 (permalink)
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That might be a little strong. But it would radically change the internet as we know it and greatly increase the cost of using it.

I know it would change things - so the easiest thing would be an opt-out of targetted ads for general ads instead.

Money talks - whatever lobby has the most legislators ears will try to get action. As long as corporations are regarded as people - free speech will get consideration.
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Old February 21st, 2012, 06:39 PM   #43 (permalink)
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I know it would change things - so the easiest thing would be an opt-out of targetted ads for general ads instead.

Money talks - whatever lobby has the most legislators ears will try to get action. As long as corporations are regarded as people - free speech will get consideration.
If you can opt out of targetted ads then companies like Google, FB and even this forum will see their revenue cut significantly. Non-targeted ads just aren't as valuable.
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Old February 22nd, 2012, 06:18 AM   #44 (permalink)
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I am going to say something very silly now:
What if we get to decide what ads we want to see?
Think about this: There could be a system in place where a user inserts a minimum of x keywords and shown ads are based of that. And a blacklist with things you don't want. Instead of Google trying to guess what interests me, I will tell Google what interests me.
Wouldn't that be a good way to provide targeted advertising and keep the user in control? I would happily get rid of adblock for that if that meant no more tracking.

Edit:
I am mulling this over and it would actually be really convenient. You could edit your keywords if you are shopping for a new computer or tv and remove them if you have purchased one. It would not be terribly different from filling in your interests in a social network. You can fill in your favorite bands and get ads from the records company when a new cd has been released.
When you find something new, ad it and when you lose interest, remove it.
I am liking this idea.
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Old February 22nd, 2012, 06:39 AM   #45 (permalink)
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I'd rather see the likes of Google, FB, et al make less money than have a fettered internet.

MS, Google, Apple and FB are going to wind up with all kinds of suits and countersuits over this. Google has already been accused (true or not) of sneaking code into Safari and IE.

Ads will have to be injected into your browser. You can avoid search pages by using bookmarks. If you belong to another social site rather than FB, you use the bookmark, and with the site itself having its own ads, you don't see the targeted ads. Now everyone's purpose is defeated. You will also get ads pushed to your phone - if you are prepaid, this would be a killer.

Ad battle already:
Microsoft goes for Google's throat

As this escalates - everyone will suffer in one way or another. The companies want to monopolize your eyes. MS, Google, Apple, do have their own OS. This leaves FB out.
If ads ever got locked to your OS so you got a download of ads first thing in the AM or on bootup - don't you think FB would be hitting the courts?

If you choose the same type of advertising on all sites - the first site you use has the most value. By the time you get to the second site, you have seen the ads and are ignoring them.
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Old February 22nd, 2012, 08:32 AM   #46 (permalink)
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If companies like Google and FB make less revenue than you will see a fettered Internet. Those companies will either scale back the services they offer or start charging for them. You want to Google something, you pay for the search results. So the digital divide becomes even wider and you have people who can afford to pay and people who can't. The way the Internet is used today will be extremely fettered. The reason the 'net is "free" right now is because there are so many companies monetizing it.

If you let people opt in to what kind of ads they'll see, the vast majority of people are too dumb/too lazy to do it and won't opt in to anything. That's why companies try to guess what ads you're interested in. They can do it in a generic way (like advertising a phone on a site like this) or they can do it very specifically (like you search for the Galaxy Nexus and get two ads for it as well as accessories for it). The specific ads are more valuable as they're more likely to get a response from you. You may or may not click on the ad for the Galaxy Nexus somewhere on this site. If you search specifically for the Galaxy Nexus, you're far more likely to click on that ad.
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Old February 22nd, 2012, 09:32 AM   #47 (permalink)
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Advertising wars are no different than the patent wars we have now. All cases will eventually wind up in a court and could be under injunction until SCOTUS moves.

Both wars involve the corporations right to make money.

This is an example of new divided loyalties. And the user does lose.
Apple vs. Facebook: Why users are the losers | The Social Analyst - CNET News

Another on the subject:
http://www.infoworld.com/t/internet-privacy/more-facebook-users-are-hiding-their-friends-protect-themselves-186975?source=rss_infoworld_top_stories_

Here's another:
http://www.hardocp.com/news/2012/02/21/facial_recognition_billboard_only_shows_ads_to_wom en/#63;%20Please%20discriminate%20against%20me%20more %20and%20show%20all%20the%20commercials%20on%20TV% 20to%20the%20women%20too%20please.%20I%20think%20t his%20falls%20into%20the%20category%20of%20\%22You \%27re%20doing%20it%20wrong!\%22The%20b

I'd be very offended since I am not interested in the usual women's stuff. Some on here would be offended if they only got ads for pots and pans when they would rather have technology.

If most males opted for gaming, tech and cars - some large company that sells baby products would argue that men should buy these gifts for grandchildren, and you are costing them revenue by not allowing their ads. If you opt out of food type ads - you are not supporting your community by dining at local restaurants. The restaurants are losing business and the city is losing tax income.

If even 25% of the populace does select targeted ads, that will be 24% too many for some.
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Old March 18th, 2012, 05:42 PM   #48 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KENNECTED View Post
Question? if you're going to go through all this, what is the point of having an Android phone? Doing the above defeats the purpose and function of the phone?
No, not at all. The phone is a mobile personal computer, not a mobile Google computer.

I have a Google account which I signed up for when I got my Android phone. I don't sync anything to Google or give Google access to my data and don't actively use the account. I wouldn't even have it if it wasn't required to use the market. For the record I have never linked a CC and bought anything off the market, I just use free apps.

There is so much you can do with a smart phone - Google services do not need to be a part of it. I like the Android platform but I'm not married to it. I don't need Google services. About the only one I really use are Google Maps.
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