Google is watching you...
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Thread: Google is watching you...

  1. #1
    Just a Virtualized Geek MrLinus's Avatar
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    Google is watching you...

    The site, Google as Big Brother, certainly makes one think. While Google represents what is often referred to as the premiere search engine, one has to wonder what we are really giving up for it. Perhaps look it and the following "facts" over (for consideration).

    1. Google's immortal cookie:
    Google was the first search engine to use a cookie that expires in 2038. This was at a time when federal websites were prohibited from using persistent cookies altogether. Now it's years later, and immortal cookies are commonplace among search engines; Google set the standard because no one bothered to challenge them. This cookie places a unique ID number on your hard disk. Anytime you land on a Google page, you get a Google cookie if you don't already have one. If you have one, they read and record your unique ID number.

    2. Google records everything they can:
    For all searches they record the cookie ID, your Internet IP address, the time and date, your search terms, and your browser configuration. Increasingly, Google is customizing results based on your IP number. This is referred to in the industry as "IP delivery based on geolocation."

    3. Google retains all data indefinitely:
    Google has no data retention policies. There is evidence that they are able to easily access all the user information they collect and save.

    4. Google won't say why they need this data:
    Inquiries to Google about their privacy policies are ignored. When the New York Times (2002-11-28) asked Sergey Brin about whether Google ever gets subpoenaed for this information, he had no comment.

    5. Google hires spooks:
    Matt Cutts, a key Google engineer, used to work for the National Security Agency. Google wants to hire more people with security clearances, so that they can peddle their corporate assets to the spooks in Washington.

    6. Google's toolbar is spyware:
    With the advanced features enabled, Google's free toolbar for Explorer phones home with every page you surf, and yes, it reads your cookie too. Their privacy policy confesses this, but that's only because Alexa lost a class-action lawsuit when their toolbar did the same thing, and their privacy policy failed to explain this. Worse yet, Google's toolbar updates to new versions quietly, and without asking. This means that if you have the toolbar installed, Google essentially has complete access to your hard disk every time you connect to Google (which is many times a day). Most software vendors, and even Microsoft, ask if you'd like an updated version. But not Google. Any software that updates automatically presents a massive security risk.

    7. Google's cache copy is illegal:
    Judging from Ninth Circuit precedent on the application of U.S. copyright laws to the Internet, Google's cache copy appears to be illegal. The only way a webmaster can avoid having his site cached on Google is to put a "noarchive" meta in the header of every page on his site. Surfers like the cache, but webmasters don't. Many webmasters have deleted questionable material from their sites, only to discover later that the problem pages live merrily on in Google's cache. The cache copy should be "opt-in" for webmasters, not "opt-out."

    8. Google is not your friend:
    By now Google enjoys a 75 percent monopoly for all external referrals to most websites. Webmasters cannot avoid seeking Google's approval these days, assuming they want to increase traffic to their site. If they try to take advantage of some of the known weaknesses in Google's semi-secret algorithms, they may find themselves penalized by Google, and their traffic disappears. There are no detailed, published standards issued by Google, and there is no appeal process for penalized sites. Google is completely unaccountable. Most of the time Google doesn't even answer email from webmasters.

    9. Google is a privacy time bomb:
    With 200 million searches per day, most from outside the U.S., Google amounts to a privacy disaster waiting to happen. Those newly-commissioned data-mining bureaucrats in Washington can only dream about the sort of slick efficiency that Google has already achieved.
    Goodbye, Mittens (1992-2008). My pillow will be cold without your purring beside my head
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  2. #2
    King Arana: Super Moderator
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    2. Google records everything they can:
    For all searches they record the cookie ID, your Internet IP address, the time and date, your search terms, and your browser configuration. Increasingly, Google is customizing results based on your IP number. This is referred to in the industry as "IP delivery based on geolocation."
    And? This doesn't mean it's harmless (although it could be potentially). Maybe they gather information for comparison or buisness purposes to make graph's/chart's on where most of their browsers/users come from. Where perhap's they need to market more?

    8. Google is not your friend:
    By now Google enjoys a 75 percent monopoly for all external referrals to most websites. Webmasters cannot avoid seeking Google's approval these days, assuming they want to increase traffic to their site. If they try to take advantage of some of the known weaknesses in Google's semi-secret algorithms, they may find themselves penalized by Google, and their traffic disappears. There are no detailed, published standards issued by Google, and there is no appeal process for penalized sites. Google is completely unaccountable. Most of the time Google doesn't even answer email from webmasters.
    Oh lord, playing the "monopoly" card. If google is so successful (as a cot damned search engine, people ) then who's to stop it? It's not like it's Microsoft and has a hold on the market. People can actually choose to use yahoo, excite, etc but they prefer google. As do I.

    6. Google's toolbar is spyware:
    With the advanced features enabled, Google's free toolbar for Explorer phones home with every page you surf, and yes, it reads your cookie too. Their privacy policy confesses this, but that's only because Alexa lost a class-action lawsuit when their toolbar did the same thing, and their privacy policy failed to explain this. Worse yet, Google's toolbar updates to new versions quietly, and without asking. This means that if you have the toolbar installed, Google essentially has complete access to your hard disk every time you connect to Google (which is many times a day). Most software vendors, and even Microsoft, ask if you'd like an updated version. But not Google. Any software that updates automatically presents a massive security risk.
    Depend's what you consider spyware. I'd personally want my toolbar (if I used one) to update itself without me having to do it. Save's the hassle of doing so. Now if this truly is spyware (I guess it is, most toolbar's tend to be) then it's bad. I don't use toolbar's anyways.

    5. Google hires spooks:
    Matt Cutts, a key Google engineer, used to work for the National Security Agency. Google wants to hire more people with security clearances, so that they can peddle their corporate assets to the spooks in Washington.
    Again, oh feckin' (tm Ennis) lordy. So they hired an ex-NSA employee as an engineer? Big deal.. I'd rather have someone that used to work there and has that kind of experience than some pissant off the street or whatever. Ever think they hire people with security clearances because maybe, wait.. they wanna make their product's/etc of quality and whatnot? Geez..

    Good post though, MsM. I needed to know this information as does virtually everyone on this site (the general population who uses google).
    Space For Rent.. =]

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    Google's cache copy is illegal
    How can it be illegal to store something which is freely avaiable anyway? This is no doubt just US propaganda by companies who want total control of information. If they had their way, all printed copies of their web site would also self destruct if they pulled the web page.

    1984-style - if you withdraw a press release, that changes history so it never existed?

    It's not true that the author needs to
    put a "noarchive" meta in the header of every page on his site.
    . Google respects robots.txt like most other search engine, and WILL NOT INDEX any page you don't want it to.

    The noarchive tag is only if you want Google to index but not cache the page, which is not usually the case.

    IF you don't want Google scanning your site, don't let it. It's entirely optional. To the best of my knowledge, Googlebot follows the Robot Exclusion Protocol in both letter and spirit.

    6. Google's toolbar is spyware:
    Since when did anyone FORCE YOU to use Google toolbar? In any case it is not "spyware", it operates in THE ONLY manner it can, to do what it does. Come on, you try figuring a way of having it work without sending info to Google, cleverclogs?

    Slarty

  4. #4
    Member GandalfTheGray's Avatar
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    I am using the Google toolbar (although not the advanced functions), mainly for the popup blocker. I notice it keeps a running total of popups blocked but I have not been able to locate any kind of log of what popups it has blocked. Does anyone know if such a log is kept and, if so, where it is stored?

  5. #5
    Just a Virtualized Geek MrLinus's Avatar
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    From the Google Toolbar About page:

    Can I see the pop-ups that have been blocked?

    Not at this time. The Google Toolbar does not keep a list of the pop-ups that have been blocked.
    Goodbye, Mittens (1992-2008). My pillow will be cold without your purring beside my head
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  6. #6
    AO Ancient: Team Leader
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    Isn't this just another example of the well known fact that "everything you do on the internet is watched by someone"?

    Unless you take immense care to leave a trail that has no tracable source, (open WAP's etc.), then you can always be traced back if sufficient time, money and effort are expended.

    It's just another trail for them to follow.......

    I have an idea..... Quit doing illegal things and the tracks you leave are irrelevant..... Wow... what a concept.....
    Don\'t SYN us.... We\'ll SYN you.....
    \"A nation that draws too broad a difference between its scholars and its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards, and its fighting done by fools.\" - Thucydides

  7. #7
    Regal Making Handler
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    http://gmail-is-too-creepy.com/
    I found this today, sort of on topic. Thought i would not post it. Then i saw this thread.
    What happens if a big asteroid hits the Earth? Judging from realistic simulations involving a sledge hammer and a common laboratory frog, we can assume it will be pretty bad. - Dave Barry

  8. #8
    Macht Nicht Aus moxnix's Avatar
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    I'm sorry, I just don't see what all the fuss is about. As Tiger stated, if you don't do any thing illegal than you really don't have to worry about them monitoring you. And if you really don't wish for anyone to be able to read your correspondence, then don't use the net, at all.

    And all this hype about google adds is really bugging me. I have a google account and I don't (and never have) see any adds. Not even one add has shown up in or around my mail account, either on a web page or in my mail (spam).
    \"Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, Champagne in one hand - strawberries in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming WOO HOO - What a Ride!\"
    Author Unknown

  9. #9
    Regal Making Handler
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    I'm sorry, I just don't see what all the fuss is about. As Tiger stated, if you don't do any thing illegal than you really don't have to worry about them monitoring you
    So lets all live in glass houses, naked and have everything we say and think broadcast to everyone ells.
    What happens if a big asteroid hits the Earth? Judging from realistic simulations involving a sledge hammer and a common laboratory frog, we can assume it will be pretty bad. - Dave Barry

  10. #10
    AO French Antique News Whore
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    You have 2 big searchs engine out there; Google and Msn! Between you and me, who have the chance to win to watch me more : Google or MSN? In my view, MSN ALL THE WAY!
    -Simon \"SDK\"

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