Google data collection - can we fight it?


  1. DroidsIsPerfecked!!!

    DroidsIsPerfecked!!! Well-Known Member

    It shouldn't matter whether you have anything to hide, it just really creeped me out when I learned that search engines like Google record your every move, collect it into permanent, and highly personal files on all who use them, and then sell this information to targeted ad-producing slimeballs. This is why one the first things I did with Google Dolphin was to change my homepage from google.com to https://ssl.scroogle.org/. This site searches Google, and returns the same results, without revealing to Google YOUR actual IP address!

    Now Google cannot use it's search engine to spy on me when I use Dolphin, but then I wondered if Dolphin has programming in it which can still phone home your searching habits to Google, even while you are using a different search engine! I would think that most tracking cookies are capable of this - does anybody have any first-hand knowledge?

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    Jezston and Jessie like this.
  2. heyeaglefn

    heyeaglefn Well-Known Member

    I personally don't care if they know what I like, you know this happens with more than just Google. Companies like Walmart collect lots of data about you as well.
  3. necosino

    necosino Well-Known Member

    They don't collect who you are, just your general location and search habits. Eventually (I hope) they will actually be able to target ads that actually interest us, like for me I might care about a new tech magazine, new game releases, or an nvidia discount promo. I wouldn't care about Make-up, clothes, etc. This saves companies wasted advertising money and saves us from seeing crap we don't care about or want to see.

    I've been using google services almost exclusively for the past 2 years and honestly have been really pleased with their services and trust them 100%.

    If I live in Upstate NY (which I do) and watch Trans Siberian Orchestra on youtube a lot (which I do) and Google can pop up an ad somewhere showing that they are coming to Syracuse this winter (which they are) and give me a link to buy tickets (which I would) then hell yeah, they can monitor me all they want, haha..
  4. BetaMan

    BetaMan Well-Known Member

    Seems like everybody these days are collecting SOMETHING about you. It's the wave of the future. No more privacy. It's coming. It's here.

    Sounds like a "dooms-dayer" don't it? Which I'm NOT.
    Jessie likes this.
  5. Jessie

    Jessie Active Member

    Thank you so much for saying that. I'm about sick of the argument that if one has nothing to hide, then having our information collected shouldn't be an issue. Or that people who don't have anything to hide but don't want their info collected are being paranoid or conspiracy theorist crazies.

    Personally, I could care less about Google gathering my search habits for targeting adds, though I wish they'd share some of that revenue with me that they get from selling the data to other companies. As long as it stops with that. But there's the rub; it won't stop with just that and anyone who thinks otherwise is just fooling themselves.

    Now, here's where I get to sound a little conspiracy theorist. Take for example you post on Facebook about having pneumonia. A few years later, you're looking for health insurance. Hold up, they may have found a preexisting condition... Ah, but that's alright, Obama's healthcare guarantees you insurance, right? ;-)

    Okay, you're job hunting. Your potential employer pulls up your computer habits. "Hmmmm, looks like you spend a lot of time on this site called Android Forums. During the hours you're applying for. Yeah, don't call us, we'll call you."

    Oh look, you blogged about your son's 8th grade field trip to Gettysburg! "Isn't that where patient Zero in the zombie apocalypse was from? And you Googled "biting fetish" back in 2013? Hell no, you can't enter the safe zone!"

    Okay, silly examples, but still. Just a little bit of seemingly benign information collection can easily get out of control. But hey, you have nothing to hide.

    Right?
  6. necosino

    necosino Well-Known Member

    Honestly, if it's that big of a deal, unsync your google account and stop using google services. No one is forcing you to use Google.
    marefin and AndroidSPCS like this.
  7. gruss

    gruss Well-Known Member

    agreed, if you do not like how google makes money then why on earth would you buy a phone with their software and rely on their services? as a consumer that's how you make your stand, stop buying from companies that do business in a way you do not like.

    I'm sure apple, microsoft, palm, yahoo, bing etc would love to take your money too, there are alternatives.
    nifer, Raff1, marefin and 3 others like this.
  8. Squintz82

    Squintz82 Well-Known Member

    The information Google collects is completely anonymous, but "conspiracy theorists" like to make everyone thing that this is a huge problem, and our privacy is being compromised when it's doing the exact opposite. A lot of the technology being used to collect this type of data is, in fact, being used to protect our privacy. Being a web developer and having lots of experience with this type of technology, there is nothing to worry about when it comes to the data Google collects about or search habits. Plus, it's required by law that this technology also allow the user to disable collection of this data. Personally, I think this type of data collection is great. As someone posted earlier in this thread, Google products are a blast to use, and search has only become more accurate and usable over the last decade.

    That being said, the examples you listed are exactly what you said, silly. All but one of those examples have to do with information you are voluntarily posting on the internet. There's a rule I go by with the web, and that's if you don't want certain information public, don't post it on the internet, period. If you don't trust privacy settings in your websites, blogs, or Facebook, then why do you put information on there?

    Lastly, I'm not sure how a potential employer would discover our computer habits, but maybe I misunderstood your example.

    *edit*
    It's also a good idea to educate yourself about the reasons behind this, and what information is collected before making judgments on it. http://www.google.com/privacy.html
  9. DroidsIsPerfecked!!!

    DroidsIsPerfecked!!! Well-Known Member

    The more I post here, and the more posts I read here, the more I become sure that the Android community is one of ignoramuses and babies! When somebody posts a question asking for any positive solutions regarding an issue which he clearly indicates is an issue which for him matters, you should answer only if you think you have one!
    #1 - It's about respect - if you want to be treated with respect, you need to give it!
    #2 - It's about staying on topic - when the question is technical in nature, then the topic is not about anybody's busniness philosophy on the subject, even when the OP indicates he is unhappy with the business policies which are in play.
    #3 - For all you Facebook and Twitter addicts, read Jessie's response - he said what I didn't have time to get into, mistakenly thinking that most of this crowd would have understood already why every sensible person should be concerned with how Google's business policies could damage their lives! Well, if it isn't cognitive, then maybe I wouldn't have to be too paranoid in presuming there are a few Google employees on snark-patrol in a forum like this!

    Anyway, GOOGLE-DROID - the question was whether there is any part of Dolphin, or any other part of Android which in any way phones my tracks home for any commercial exploits? What I did not ask is just how personal it is (or not) - as Marlon Brando said in the Godfather "in business, eveything is personal!".
  10. contagous

    contagous Well-Known Member

    Time for the Tin Foil hats....

    [​IMG]


    on a serious note, they only record you Ip location, nothing personal about you or your computer :)
    FierceDeityLink1 likes this.
  11. DroidsIsPerfecked!!!

    DroidsIsPerfecked!!! Well-Known Member

    Yo, Squintz, if you are a web developer, and you think Google tracking is great, well that isn't surprising. But you also said that this spying is used to "protect our privacy"? Would you care to elaborate on that claim?
  12. killadanny

    killadanny Well-Known Member

    I could care less what Google saves, sounds like some of you have something to hide :eek:
  13. DroidsIsPerfecked!!!

    DroidsIsPerfecked!!! Well-Known Member

    On a funny note, I don't know what in hell those hats are supposed to be good for - but every single IP address has an account, name and address behind it, so what's your point that it only records the IP? Would it hurt too much for you to uphold intellectual honesty a little more on the implied notion that nobody ever does what they aren't supposed to do with the info which they could so easily get their hands on?
  14. contagous

    contagous Well-Known Member

    I use to work as a web-host and yes every IP has a account behind it, but to be honest 99% of the time its the company/ISP of the clients IP, and you just DHCP into it, therefore if you trace an IP using most of the tools online and offline possible, you only get a rough location, and the details on the ISP the person is currently connected too...

    With the cellphones, via Verizon, everytime you turn off yoru Mobile network and turn it back on its picks up a Different IP via the DHCP method, like write now I'm sat in Seattle WA, but my IP tells me i'm in connected in UTAH...

    Normally I get Seattle, Portland, area IP but now and then It give's me from east coast or places like AZ, UT etc...

    My point being I wouldn't worry too much about what Google records, as none of it is Personal Data from your life or your computer.

    Yes in the right hand of a absolute genius they might be able to get some info, but I would be shocked if they got anything useful, unless of course your computer has be violated and has malware etc.. on it.
  15. FierceDeityLink1

    FierceDeityLink1 Well-Known Member

    Every time you visit a website, it records your IP address in its logs. And unless you're doing something illegal with your phone to an extent they would subpoena the records, it's meaningless that it's "tied to an account" (which, in reality, is moot to Google or anyone else since you get a new IP address every time you reconnect to 3G).

    And just so you can sleep well at night: :p
    Major Corporations Are Downloading Those 100 Million Facebook Profiles off BitTorrent
    Google CEO Eric Schmidt Advises You Change Your Name To Escape Online Shame
  16. DroidsIsPerfecked!!!

    DroidsIsPerfecked!!! Well-Known Member

    More of the Google-Is-God-On-Snark-Patrol mentality!

    The basic reasons that business needs to be regulated, and then needs to be much, much more tightly than they are:
    #1 - When one business makes, and controls too much money, they become either impossible for most consumers to avoid, or they all (all 2 or 3 of them) become unacceptably hostile for most consumers.
    #2 - September of 2008!
  17. DroidsIsPerfecked!!!

    DroidsIsPerfecked!!! Well-Known Member

    "Unless you're doing something illegal, it's meaningless" - right!!!
    You are pitching the code of law, when I am asking for a discussion which is rooted in realism. Have you not the slightest clue what it took to bring down Wall Street in 2008? Are you not aware that there were enough business regs to fill at least a decent-sized library, and that powerful people still violated them? Laws don't protect anyone, only a lot of money can do that!

    That 3G provides a dynamic IP (which I know my home broadband service does not), is an interesting bit which I wasn't aware of. If it's true, then how is Google able to collect your data anyway? The option to turn the data collection off can't be for imaginary purposes!
  18. FierceDeityLink1

    FierceDeityLink1 Well-Known Member

    Except that this isn't anything new. Servers have always kept logs and tracking cookies have been around forever.

    Also
    http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/android/thread?tid=007ac6ba1f1c5fd6&hl=en
  19. contagous

    contagous Well-Known Member

    Which home broadband service are you on? As 99% of Cable, DSL ISP company work of DHCP IP's unless you ask for a Static IP, but there is usually an extra fee for this.
  20. DroidsIsPerfecked!!!

    DroidsIsPerfecked!!! Well-Known Member

    Company networks aren't so likely to be used by anyone owning a home account, especially when sensitive information is being exchanged, and if I understand this correctly, my RoadRunner IP is unique from my neighbor's RoadRunner IP, and they never change.

    As for any dynamism with a phone system, there are some people (yours truly) who cannot afford the landline too, and never saw a need for it until recently, so they never shut their phones off. Running the reboot process several times a day likely eat as much power as just leaving it on, but anyway...

    On the facts - does Dolphin or Android, without the use of the Google search engine, actually record and send home your tracks?
  21. DroidsIsPerfecked!!!

    DroidsIsPerfecked!!! Well-Known Member

    RoadRunner.

    Alright, I can't pretend that I know, but I know that forum operators can pretty effectively ban users based on their IP, which would make just about any manner of law enforcement easier if they were static. Therefore, it's surprising to hear that one would pay less for dynamic, or that most home users would even be offered that.
  22. FierceDeityLink1

    FierceDeityLink1 Well-Known Member

    Nah, law enforcement can subpoena the records of who had which IP at a given time.

    Occasionally, the IP address is based on the MAC address so people don't think it's dynamic.
  23. contagous

    contagous Well-Known Member

    Well I checked out Roadrunners site, and looks to me like they still use DHCP Dynamic IP's but yes if you leave you modem on, it stays the same, but if you ever reboot you modem and its off for more then around 2-5 mins of time before you power t back, you will get a new IP, and yes it will be different to you neighbors, but normally those IP just get recycled to other clients.

    As for whether or not dolphin or android can collect data about your where abouts, i'm pretty sure all android phones and even those nasty Iphones can do this... Im really not sure what your worried about, its not like its recording any private data...

    Why are you so worried?
  24. DroidsIsPerfecked!!!

    DroidsIsPerfecked!!! Well-Known Member

    Alright, then it doesn't really seem as if my data is really all that useful, and still Google uses it somehow. I used to see ads so specifically titled that they not only knew what town I live in, but addressed me by my first name, so... And then somebody said the data collected is used to protect us, and he probably had 911 service in mind, but we don't need Google's involvement in that, do we?
  25. contagous

    contagous Well-Known Member

    As far as I know, Google can only direct your name in their adverts if you are signed into your Google account...

    I'm not sure how they use it to protect us, probably to make sure people aren't researching how to kill a president and such lol...

    But what they do use it for is the the advertisement, thats a big part of what Google is, and its a great way to get certain adverts out to certain people at certain places.. Myself I don't see whats wrong with this.

    But mainly don;t worry about it, its all non privatized data and nothing can tell a person who exactly who you are if they get hold of it, most they will find out id what ISP your on and what county/state server you are connecting to. After that they would have to attempt to get data from your ISP, which by the way knows everything about you as you told them when you signed up, the list could go on, but best not to worry about it, as its not a problem.

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