Android user tracking and privacy


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  1. someone else

    someone else Member This Topic's Starter

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    Dear forumers,

    Assuming one uses Android without inputting a Google account details, is there any sort of user tracking, data collection or privacy violation going on in the system that you are aware of?

    Thank you in advance.
     

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  2. sitlet

    sitlet Banned

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    No, and they specifically tell you that when you sign up.
     
  3. AndroidSPCS

    AndroidSPCS Well-Known Member

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    Yes they can read your mind and tell you when next to go potty.
     
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  4. someone else

    someone else Member This Topic's Starter

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    This isn't a funny issue whatsoever. The Palm Pre sends GPS and usage data back home without asking. The iPhone saves every letter you type in a special cache. It's a very serious matter, not the least of which in a system developed by a corporation which primary activity deals with such data.

    I'll quote from a couple of other posts here:
    Comments?
     
  5. someone else

    someone else Member This Topic's Starter

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    And by the way, SPCS, if you're really making that (bad) joke, than you really don't understand Google's agenda and power.
     
  6. takeshi

    takeshi Well-Known Member

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    So, enlighten us, what is Google's agenda?
     
  7. someone else

    someone else Member This Topic's Starter

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    I'll tell you what you know already, in short: In the long-term, their publicly-known agenda is to know everything there is to know about everyone, so as to increase income from personally-tailored services and advertisements.
     
  8. someone else

    someone else Member This Topic's Starter

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    And yes, to the extent of predicting one's actions before one chooses to make them.
     
  9. lordofthereef

    lordofthereef Well-Known Member

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    So don't use the service. Jesus. I, for one, could care less if Google knows when I usually like to watch a certain clip online or read a news article. These days we cry about privacy for no reason other than we can. We want something to complain about. If Google is so evil, then don't use them and sit in your cardboard box rocking back and forth chanting your conspiracy theories...
     
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  10. someone else

    someone else Member This Topic's Starter

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    I'm afraid it's not so easy. The Streetview fleet, for example, imposed itself even on unsuspecting people, collecting data from unencrypted networks en-mass (and the ignorance of those who used those networks does not say such Google's action constitutes less than an organized intelligence-collection operation). It's also not so easy when some governmental bodies and universities privatise services to said corporation. But that's just two example, without even raising the question of whether Google is a monopoly in certain markets, and all that follows from that.

    Would you like anyone to know that you usually like to watch certain porn clips? Or that you're having interviews in workplaces other than your own? Or that you've been looking for certain medications for your haemorrhoids? Because that's the level of information we're talking about... to start with.

    Without making comparisons, I'd just like to remind you "the right for privacy" wasn't cried-for for nothing. In certain times, in certain places, governmental bodies strived to have as much info about people as can be had - Americans experienced it under McCarthy, the East-Germans experiences it under the Stasi. Actually, any sort of dictatorship in modern history had similar aspirations, and not for nothing - knowledge is power, and your information is currency. If you don't want the government to know everything about you, why would you like Google? Again - this is the level of info we're talking about, and it's really just the start. If you have any doubt about it, go read Erik Schmidt's statements. You can google them up.
     
  11. someone else

    someone else Member This Topic's Starter

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    And now, I would thoroughly appreciate a concise reply to the questions I've asked.
     
  12. sitlet

    sitlet Banned

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    And they already admitted that was a mistake and have solved the problem.

    If you don't want people to know you are watching porn, maybe you shouldn't be watching porn...

    Even if Google collected this data, which they dont, I could give a care less if they knew I was searching for hemmorrhoid cream. The government has the power to do WAY more things than this, and they can actually do something about it, ie arrest you for looking up bomb making things. Google has the power to do NOTHING with this information, if they were collecting it.

    Again, if you dont want google to know what you are doing, then dont use google. Thats perfectly within your rights to use another phone or another search engine. This is like somebody compaining that they bought a big pickup truck, and now get bad gas mileage. If you dont like it, dont buy a truck.
     
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  13. lunatic59

    lunatic59 Moderati ergo sum Moderator

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    No more than any other public network connection. You only give them access to information that you permit. However, in order to enable some of the "cooler" features, you have to permit access to information that you may seem uncomfortable with. Be diligent with privacy disclosures and don't allow access, if it concerns you.

    You forgot to mention that they did this accidentally, admitted it was a mistake, corrected the problem and most likely will still have to pay penalties for doing this. Hardly the personal information espionage you make it seem. The problem is that the average user is not a network admin and would cry bloody murder if all the WiFi routers intended for home use came with security encryption enabled. So they recommend turning it on, but leave it off by default.

    If you paid for it with a credit card, your bank knows and so do the credit bureaus ... and the fed, if only for tax reporting purposes. When you buy groceries, if you opted for their member program, your buying habits are being tracked and the data is being sold. When you watch cable, satellite or any other subscribed form of media, your viewing habits are being tracked. That's the nature of the information age. I'm not sure why Google get's singled out.

    You mean like the illegal wiretaps used under the Patriot Act? Yeah, all them dang dictators and communists.
     
  14. lordofthereef

    lordofthereef Well-Known Member

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    To be honest, I personally could care less. If you are ashamed about your porn clips making it to the public, you are clearly doing something you feel you shouldn't be doing on some level, so why do it? I still fail to see how simply not using these services would keep you from being completely anonymous. Don't use an android, don't log into any service. Simple as that. The very computer I am on right now is a public one. Had I not logged into this site, they would have no clue who was accessing the data that is currently being accessed.. As far as hemorrhoids, I KNOW I am in the minority here, but I do not find embarrassment in having a physical ailment that needs treating. Why are we ashamed of hemorrhoids but not the common cold? because one is on my butt-hole and the other is the sniffles? For what it's worth, the check-out girl at Wal-Mart who is being paid $7 an hour will see my hemorrhoid cream on the cart, unless of course I decide to steal it because I am so ashamed that someone will find out about my ailment. Come on now, we live in a country where we complain and are embarrassed about everything now...

    Allt hat said, I do believe we have strayed too far from the original topic, for which I do apologize.
     
  15. AndroidSPCS

    AndroidSPCS Well-Known Member

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    Trust me, we've been down this road before with other paranoid / schizophrenia posters. It all turns out funny every time. :D

    Me? I'm pretty paranoid, don't trust 3rd party apps with my google passwords or other sensitive info.

    But I really don't believe that I'm that important for Google to risk their Billions of revenue to spy on me. Oh how I wish I was. :rolleyes:

    If you don't trust anyone with your contact information, emails, then you should stay off the net. Did you know this site knows your IP address? Quick, you better log off the internet now, forever!!! :eek:
     
  16. lunatic59

    lunatic59 Moderati ergo sum Moderator

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    Interesting ... Just yesterday a Walmart cashier offered to sell me some sensitive pharmaceutical data dealing with a potentially embarrassing ailment ... hmmm. ;)
     
  17. exoduster18

    exoduster18 Member

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    I just heard this the other day and it fits great with this discussion:

    "When a something is free, YOU are the product being sold....."

    Look at all of the services that Google offers for "free" (or anyone else for that matter, Facebook, Windows Live, Myspace, just to name a few)...This should tell you everything you need to know.
     
  18. someone else

    someone else Member This Topic's Starter

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    Whether it was a mistake or not is irrelevant to the fact they have imposed themselves on others, thus others had no way of avoiding them, which is my point. Also, I'm not soothed by them saying it was a mistake - sending a fleet of cars with rather expensive equipment to roam the streets of every major city (and every minor village) in the western world, you would have expected them to be more careful. Not very reassuring when considering it's been only a minor project of theirs.

    Or do anything else that's socially unacceptable in any one of your social circles. What you're basically saying is the fact they have such power over information, should deter you from doing various activities which are normally private, but... isn't it the sort of power a government should have? And shouldn't it be regulated? It's really quite far from just supplying a service, isn't it?

    They actually do. Every search query you type, especially when you're logged on to their account. Not to mention your contacts - (Dr. Berkowitz, a proctologist), your appointments (Wednesday, 9:00, Dr. Berkowitz), emails (Dear Dr. Berkowitz...) and other kinds of information (read this, by the way).
    As for power - let's assume they have no power to use it legally. Let's assume whatever they do may only be by mistake. Do you want the Google Buzz mistake to repeat with said data (or similar data)? Or do a Facebook-like mistake (which there were quite a few)? Now let's add to that the fact they can change they EULA whenever they wish and it'll take a couple of days for the world to catch up, and voil
     
  19. someone else

    someone else Member This Topic's Starter

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    Firstly, thanks for being at least at first on-topic.
    Now - almost all of the organisations you named are regulated by various means. Google isn't. That's exactly my point.
    As for the groceries chain and cable network - that's an opt-in which is much more significant and competitive than in the search market (for example). That being said - yes, that requires regulating as well. Again, exactly my point. And that being said, again - it doesn't come close to the breadth and wealth of information that is available to Google, or the "informational wisdom" they have and your groceries chain in many (if not most) occasions don't.

    Google gets singled out, along with Facebook, since information is their business, or to be more exact - online advertisements based on personal profiling are their main business activity. Information (and IT) isn't a supplementary area of interest like in the latter two examples you gave (which aren't regulated) - it's at the core of their business, and they've shown some aptitude at their business.

    Yes, like the "Patriot Act".
     
  20. someone else

    someone else Member This Topic's Starter

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    Nice, nice. Many people don't really understand their info is the currency in this case. There's no such thing as "free" in commerce (hence the term "commerce"), unfortunately.
     
  21. AndroidSPCS

    AndroidSPCS Well-Known Member

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    This website is free. Are you being sold?

    Most of the internet is free, I have yet to find any of my info being sold.

    The quote sounds pretty dumb with no basis in reality.
     
  22. exoduster18

    exoduster18 Member

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    No basis in reality? I respectfully disagree.

    One only has to dig around a bit to see the bigger picture.

    Google does track search habits and the links you click on. Those little adds that they bombard you with when you go to a webpage? How do you think they know to target you with an add that you are likely to look at? You click on that ad and then Google makes some money......

    The games on Facebook and the adds or event notices that go with them, how do you think they know what to generate to get you to look at them? They watch your clicks and then scrub the data so that when you login, you are targeted with adds that you are more likely to take interest in.

    Zynga (Farmville and Mafia Wars) also now has an agreement with Facebook that they no longer have to get rid of your personal data after 24 hours. They can hold onto it indefinitely. The reasoning? So that they don't have to spend so much on network speed and infrastructure everytime you click on one of their games. Facebook and Zynga sprung up from nothingness and now they make millions.....how? Ad revenue. How do they know what ads you are going to look at? Your online habits.

    Ever sign up for something online or through the mail and all of the sudden you start receiving even more fliers or spam than you ever did? Guess where those third parties got your info......Most agreements have a clause or statement to the effect that they will sell your info for profit to other parties.

    A good portion of the websites you visit place cookies onto your machine. How do you think Phandroid can "remember you" everytime you visit the site to keep you logged in? You are tracked in that way to.

    Law enforcement using GPS or cell phone towers to find some one.....credit/debit card usage.....that info is kept. Call logs.....you've seen them, your cell phone has them as does the PBX at your telco provider.

    That terrorist watch/no fly list? How did someone get on there to begin with? Where did that info come from? What habits were exhibited or words used that earned someone a spot on there? Online habits is but one of many ways.

    And I am not saying all websites or entities do it. I am simply saying that the technology is there and the ability to digest large amounts of info and pick out individuals is being used.....either for or against us. For profit or not for profit. Search for and check out Room 641A......you'd be surprised at just what can be done and its just a tip of the iceberg.

    Everything you do online can be intercepted and kept.

    And just because you don't "see" it being sold doesn't mean it isn't happening. There is always more than meets the eye. There is always a bigger picture.

    And with that, I've probably just earned my way onto another "list"......
     
  23. exoduster18

    exoduster18 Member

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    Also, check out the Tesla electric powered car and what was found in the data that the computer records........
     
  24. skullshank

    skullshank Well-Known Member

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    thats cool.
    good thing im not doing anything i shouldnt be.

    oh and for the record, i like POV porn.
     
  25. exoduster18

    exoduster18 Member

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