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Just a heads up regarding the new Google privacy policy

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Just a heads up regarding the new Google privacy policy

Postby zibber » Sun Feb 26, 11:31 2012

So you've probably noticed something about Google's new privacy policy. Which is kind of a misleading name, since it mostly means they're going to combine all the data they've collected on you through every Google service you've used, from Youtube viewing history to Google browsing history. The goal is to have one single profile for every Google user, quite similar to what Axciom Corporation does. (If you didn't know, Axciom is a company that maintains profiles of millions of Americans, which they sell to anyone willing to pay, from marketeers to politicians. (They actually play a pretty big role in US elections, now.)) So anyways, if you're anything like me, you fucking hate this. So here's some links to inform yourself and also kind of opt out of that (by basically deleting all of your Google search history):

http://www.technewsdaily.com/3693-googl ... ffect.html
http://www.technewsdaily.com/3850-remov ... -late.html

ps. I'm noticing this looks quite a bit like one of those spambot messages, hahah. But I mean well :).
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Re: Just a heads up regarding the new Google privacy policy

Postby spacefem » Sun Feb 26, 12:05 2012

appreciate it :)

so I have multiple google accounts, obviously, i'm spacefem and i'm also my real name AND i'm also a SWE section officer... that's an account that gets handed from person to person. so i am annoyed that google wants me to be one person, or that they'd randomly decide "your friends need to know that spacefem is also ____" like they could?

but the alternative is deleting all these accounts, right?

that's not an easy decision.
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Re: Just a heads up regarding the new Google privacy policy

Postby edit the sad parts » Sun Feb 26, 12:09 2012

Please tell this layperson how to delete all of their search history? Can they use your incognito browsing information?


Edit: sorry, hadn't clicked the second link yet!
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Re: Just a heads up regarding the new Google privacy policy

Postby zibber » Sun Feb 26, 12:39 2012

spacefem wrote:appreciate it :)

so I have multiple google accounts, obviously, i'm spacefem and i'm also my real name AND i'm also a SWE section officer... that's an account that gets handed from person to person. so i am annoyed that google wants me to be one person, or that they'd randomly decide "your friends need to know that spacefem is also ____" like they could?

but the alternative is deleting all these accounts, right?

that's not an easy decision.


Yeah, Google's even said that: you'll either let us mine you for data, or just stop using all of our services.

I desperately wish some philanthropist would start nonprofit, noncommercial e-mail and social networking websites. But I guess the healthy thing to do might just be to stop using them. Too bad I grew up using stuff like e-mail and social networking and got used to them looong before I became politically (& spiritually) aware. Old habits!
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Re: Just a heads up regarding the new Google privacy policy

Postby rowan » Sun Feb 26, 12:50 2012

spacefem wrote:but the alternative is deleting all these accounts, right?

Well I think you can keep your login separate still? As long as you are using separate logins, I think it doesn't merge them. It's only for products where you use the same login for everything that things are merged together. E.g. I log out of my own account and log in to a different account when I need to run some stuff for a non-profit I'm part of, and that would be separate, from my reading on it.

That's not to say that I think what they're doing is a good thing. I know people who have had enough trouble with g+ changing things (see: nymwars), by forcing the "real" name to be used, when they use something else for their business. This has led to loss of business.

"We may use the name you provide for your Google Profile across all of the services we offer that require a Google Account. In addition, we may replace past names associated with your Google Account so that you are represented consistently across all our services."


I disagree with this policy entirely, for all the reasons I argued in the nymwars discussions (and complained to google too). It doesn't affect me personally, because I mostly just have one account (email) and don't really use anything else. I don't post youtube videos and never intend to (I've always disliked their lack of privacy on those), I have g+ enabled but the nymwars pissed me off enough that mostly I don't use it. I'm kind of meh on the tracking stuff. They already do it, and in some ways it's helpful. In other ways, it can cause problems and I imagine it could be bad for some people, so I completely think people need to be able to block that.

To sum up:
Dear Google: Please stop being evil.
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Re: Just a heads up regarding the new Google privacy policy

Postby kelsa » Sun Feb 26, 13:21 2012

this is sort of scary. if i stop using google what do i use?! I finally got everything organized on my gmail, too. fooey.
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Re: Just a heads up regarding the new Google privacy policy

Postby Aum » Sun Feb 26, 20:15 2012

I've said since day one that Google is just another corporation out to screw the little guy, and not many people listened to me. They cited how well Google treats it employees, and how they preserve privacy rights, etc. Google is FUCKED. They have their claws into so much of the web now that it's going to be hard to navigate without having your activities monitored by them.

In the least, I would make sure you are logged out of all your google accounts before you do any web searching. I noticed a while back that when I logged into gmail, the Google bar started appearing in the web search which showed that I was still logged in. I don't know if it will make a difference because they still know your IP address, but in my case my gmail address is my first and last name (so stupid of me) so I need to do it this way.

A friend of mine has switched to a hush mail account. Their servers are encrypted and they don't give up your info to law enforcement. They'd rather delete the database than sell you out. As for web searching... Google has become the hegemon, so I'm not sure what other web search engines to use anymore. I used to use metacrawler before google came around but that's not so effective anymore.

Welcome to corporatized internet. It was only a matter of time, but Google definitely accelerated the process by playing the part of the "good guy" in order to get the public on their side. Now they've turned bad.

IMO you should not post any photos or personal information about yourself to social networking. I use facebook but it's not my real name, and it does not use my real birthdate. My only problem now is gmail which contains heaps of personal info about me. You can configure gmail to operate out of Outlook and retrieve your entire e-mail database. Then you can save those e-mails and delete your gmail account.

These companies are scum and if trust is ever a question, you should not.
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Re: Just a heads up regarding the new Google privacy policy

Postby zibber » Mon Feb 27, 4:10 2012

Aum,

Thanks a lot for the Hushmail reference and little tutorial on deleting Gmail.

This has taken forever and a day, but I am almost done grabbing every e-mail ever received/sent via Gmail. I already opened a Hushmail account (wonderfully short e-mail address @hush.com & a ridiculously long Diceware passphrase) and am looking to spend the next couple of days transfering all my contacts and such.

(Completely heart wrenching to see the initial correspondence between me and my now-ex pass by (it was a perfectly smooth break-up but there's a ton of good memories), but it's nice to be able to archive stuff like that.)

Thanks :).
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Re: Just a heads up regarding the new Google privacy policy

Postby anonymousrabbit » Mon Feb 27, 9:11 2012

I'm too lazy to switch off gmail after all these years, but I have always treated anything that has gone through my email to be public domain anyways. I also don't use google products for anything else. I even stopped using them for searches not too long ago because their bubble filtering was hindering my ability to find the things I actually wanted. I started using duckduckgo, which is an interesting search engine. They don't track you and they don't filter your search results. I haven't used them long enough to give you an in depth review, but I'll say they've been better than what I was getting with google lately.
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Re: Just a heads up regarding the new Google privacy policy

Postby Sonic# » Mon Feb 27, 10:01 2012

Thanks for the link for disabling Web History. I had apparently already disabled it (or never enabled it) at some point, but it's good to be sure.

I treat any corporation or group large enough to screw me over without recourse a potential threat. That's not to say I wander around with tin foil on my head, but I am wary (and weary) of changes like these. So I won't be linking my phone with the service or using things like the calendar any longer, but they've got me by the nose with my mail, something that they've long had access to anyhow and something that would be difficult to change because of all the sites that use it.
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Re: Just a heads up regarding the new Google privacy policy

Postby LunchBox » Mon Feb 27, 11:16 2012

Google isn't necessarily evil, it has always been this way in one form or another. The mere fact that google has been attempting to track us for the last while disturbs/disturbed me more than this. The only way to go around it is to host your own domain and email but that means you don't get the convenience of google accounts and such. We don't have to like it but the internet is not private anymore. Right now tracking cookies are not that hard to kill/deal with, so it isn't the end of the world.

Also, facebook's similar and sneaky antics to this over the years would concern me more than google's willingness to sell their tracking/profiling information.

Edit: I'd like not to give a crap about it but this is a big pain in the ass the more I think about it...
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Re: Just a heads up regarding the new Google privacy policy

Postby zibber » Mon Feb 27, 12:14 2012

OH! While I was at it, I got the TACO addon/extension/whatever for Firefox. It allows you to block tracking attempts from shady things like Google Analytics and gives you a lot of insight in tracking cookies and the like. I've had it a couple of hours and it's blocked 336 tracking attempts. That's.. yeah.

(Lemme just shill AdBlock while I'm here :). I love AdBlock. LOVE. I don't even get Youtube ads. Take that, corporations!)
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Re: Just a heads up regarding the new Google privacy policy

Postby anonymousrabbit » Mon Feb 27, 12:25 2012

Yeah, AdBlock is amazing! I always forget how much it does until I use a browser that doesn't have it, and see all the ads I'm [not] missing! I'll have to give TACO a try too!
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