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Google Researchers Warn of Automated Social Info Sharing

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the don't-post-what-you-want-kept-private dept.

Social Networks 124

holy_calamity writes "Researchers from Google have written a paper about how social networks can undermine privacy. The most interesting scenario they discuss is 'merging social graphs' — when correlating multiple social networks makes it possible to reveal connections that a person has intentionally kept secret (PDF). For example, it may be possible to work out that a certain LinkedIn user is the same person as a MySpace user, despite their attempting to keep their profiles separate. The Google solution is to develop software that screens new data added to a social network, attempting to find out if it could be fodder to such data mining."

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Well. (1, Insightful)

Creepy Crawler (680178) | more than 5 years ago | (#26394593)

What do you expect?

Wasn't there a data-mining incident where Netflix "scrubbed db" and IMDB was combined so that users were uniquely identifiable? I mean, if enough information was mined, how many unique people would we come up with?

Google and all the others are just putting the screws where they would logically tighten. It's as much google's fault as it is everybody who holds individuals data (and google probably does so much more securely).

Re:Well. (4, Insightful)

nine-times (778537) | more than 5 years ago | (#26394659)

Also in the "what do you expect?" vein, you're putting lots of personal information on various websites that are publicly available worldwide. What kind of privacy are you expecting?

Hell, I maintain totally different personas on several sites and in many cases have different lies about my identity on each site, and I can still see how people would put the pieces together.

Other people may publish information about you (5, Insightful)

Estanislao Martínez (203477) | more than 5 years ago | (#26394743)

Also in the "what do you expect?" vein, you're putting lots of personal information on various websites that are publicly available worldwide. What kind of privacy are you expecting?

While that is a completely fair thing to point out, there is a very important thing that it misses: other people can put information about you online, without your permission, and that information is just as subject to analysis as what you put up.

The two best examples that come to mind right away:

  1. Facebook allows users to tag photos with the names of the people who appear in them.
  2. Google Street View puts photos of your residence without asking you for permission, and correlates it to a bunch of other stuff like geographic information, satellite images, yellow page listings, web search results, etc..

Notice that both of these acts are perfectly legal, and while the second arguably should be regulated and restricted by law (the aggregation, correlation and publication parts, not the picture-taking part), the first one ought not to.

Re:Other people may publish information about you (4, Interesting)

Creepy Crawler (680178) | more than 5 years ago | (#26394801)

--While that is a completely fair thing to point out, there is a very important thing that it misses: other people can put information about you online, without your permission, and that information is just as subject to analysis as what you put up.

Absolutely true. However, this information also falls under libel laws in cases which it false and harms the subject.

---The two best examples that come to mind right away:
---1. Facebook allows users to tag photos with the names of the people who appear in them.

It may be a stretch to call it this, but posting stories and pictures usually is a form or journalism, regardless the content and methodology of dissemination. Also, photographers need a release whenever the photo is not taken in a public area, or accessible from a public area of a person who does not consent. It is not a crime to fail to get a release, but a nice tort claim.

---2. Google Street View puts photos of your residence without asking you for permission, and correlates it to a bunch of other stuff like geographic information, satellite images, yellow page listings, web search results, etc..

Google, as long as they obey the law in terms of public/private property, they have full legal standing, and shouldn't be regulated. However, they did get in trouble when they went down private roads, with nice posted NO TRESPASSING signs peppered all over, which the GooCam dutifully captured.

---Notice that both of these acts are perfectly legal, and while the second arguably should be regulated and restricted by law (the aggregation, correlation and publication parts, not the picture-taking part), the first one ought not to.

Sounds like Google-Hatred. Somehow we should just make a law for Google, because they spy on us!! Guess what: You have as much access to the same pictures as I do. And if there is any sort of law, it's that I'd like posting on who (specific names/residences) viewed some area in high resolution. You know, watch the watchers. Sous-veilance.

Hey, Libertarians! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26394869)

Guess what, you insufferable nincompoops? Our government is itself the product of a market system. Cities like New York, London, and San Francisco are successful precisely *because* of their enormous governments--they compete for capital, talent and prestige against cities with small, ineffectual governments that are unable to effectively lure and corral said capital, talent and prestige. And as goes the city, so go city-states and nations: Somalia, being a libertarian paradise, is a rather unpleasant place to live for non-ideologues. Somalians, those who can, vote with their feet and leave.

Now go suckle Ayn Rand's rotten tits some more and leave the rest of us alone, you stupid fucking Paultards.

Re:Other people may publish information about you (4, Informative)

Estanislao Martínez (203477) | more than 5 years ago | (#26394943)

However, this information also falls under libel laws in cases which it false and harms the subject.

It may not have come across, but I was assuming that the information in question was true, and, taken on its own, largely trivial and harmless. I'm not thinking of a case where, for example, somebody says on their blog that you committed incest with your aunt. I'm thinking of cases like, for example, a hypothetical social networking application that allows people to list you as somebody they know, without requiring your authorization. An application like that would be just as much subject to the kind of analysis detailed in the article, which could easily uncover lots of information about people who never volunteered any of it.

It may be a stretch to call it this, but posting stories and pictures usually is a form or journalism, regardless the content and methodology of dissemination. Also, photographers need a release whenever the photo is not taken in a public area, or accessible from a public area of a person who does not consent. It is not a crime to fail to get a release, but a nice tort claim.

So, what's really the essential difference between these three acts?

  1. Showing your friends, in person, a printed-out photo of some people at your party, and pointing out which of them is Joe Smith.
  2. Uploading the photo to your Facebook page, and tagging it with Joe Smith's name.
  3. Publishing a hard copy book or newsletter that shows the photo, and label the photo with Joe Smith's name.

The law was created to make a distinction between informal sharing and dissemination of the first sort, and "publication" of the third sort. You don't need any model release for #1, and the journalism or modeling arguments are largely irrelevant.

The problem here is that case #2 falls squarely between #1 and #2. Should it be subject to the law for informal sharing, the law for printed publications, or some new, yet-to-be-developed body of law? (And would the court system be able to handle the caseload that treating informal online sharing always as "publication" would imply? People share stuff informally all the time, and they increasingly do it online.)

Google, as long as they obey the law in terms of public/private property, they have full legal standing, and shouldn't be regulated.

"As long as Google obeys the current law, they're obeying the current law, and therefore, we shouldn't change the law."

Um, what? That's a transparently bad argument. This is an argument about whether the law should be changed. Whether Google is following the current law correctly is completely irrelevant. You can't defend againt an argument that the law is wrong by saying that the acts allowed by the law are allowed by the law!

Guess what: You have as much access to the same pictures as I do.

Transparently bad argument too. "It's ok if I have access to these photos that I shouldn't have access to, because you also do have access to them."

Re:Other people may publish information about you (1)

lysergic.acid (845423) | more than 5 years ago | (#26395799)

it's true that Google has suffered a significant amount of undeserved public backlash from reactionary elements disconcerted by their unmitigated success and rapid growth as a company. but i don't think the GP is a Google-basher.

as times change and new technologies that threaten personal privacy come into popular use, the laws need to be updated to protect personal privacy. and everyone being given equal ability to violate each others' privacy is not a solution. just because someone else's privacy is violated does not mean it's ok for them to violate my privacy. someone charged with voyeurism can't just claim that others are allowed to spy on him as well and get off scot-free.

Google has proven themselves to be a morally responsible company who, for the most part, looks out for consumers and public interest. and, outside of China, their policies have always been favorable to their users, and adequately protect their privacy. but their research has shown that data-mining can be a serious threat to personal privacy, which is why it's a good thing that Google has made efforts to identify potential privacy issues that their (necessary) data harvesting programs might cause.

at the moment i trust Google to regulate themselves, but that does not mean that the public shouldn't remain vigilant--even towards Google. and there are a ton of other companies out there who collect and process similarly sensitive private information that can be mined by opportunistic marketers. and most of those businesses aren't as trustworthy and virtuous as Google. and others may simply expose their users to such threats to privacy unknowingly or on accident.

at the very least safeguards should be in place to protect certain kinds of especially sensitive private information, such as medical records/info. it's not too much to ask that companies like Google or Microsoft don't publish photos of people walking out of specialist medical clinics. and given the known privacy implications, i think certain data-mining regulations need to be established. for instance, Google's recommendation against mining different social networks for the purpose of merging different user profiles and social graphs should be forbidden.

data-mining in itself is detrimental to personal privacy. the average American has more information stored on them unbeknownst to them than contained in the dossiers kept by the Stasi on the citizens of East Germany. if we're going to allow commercial corporations to keep such large databases of sensitive private info on every individual, then there should be some kind of regulation in place to protect the public.

Re:Other people may publish information about you (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 5 years ago | (#26396739)

It's not just the tech. We had an administration that we somehow elected back the second term, who provided the collossal cultural impetus into the Big Brother Age, easily a decade before natural forces would have gotten us there. Now that it's here, in at least half strength, we get to deal with it.

Maybe there's a dialectic. Overall the world will favor goodness, but just barely, and it can be thrown off kilter into distractions for a long time. We are nearing the end of one such era. Obama is not a saint, but I guarantee he CANNOT be as horrific as the crew exiting. He'll have to knuckle to a few groups we don't like, *because he has to repair a damaged country*.

Re:Other people may publish information about you (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 5 years ago | (#26396717)

Yep, you found the other problem. It's now easy to frame people, and the Old School institutions will give you hell until it's fixed.

Re:Other people may publish information about you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26394817)

I hate that tagging stuff ever since it started happening to me. Really. So much that I created a facebook account just so that I can fake-tag people ("hell yes, that's Ronald Reagan right there on that photo!").

Re:Other people may publish information about you (1)

blahplusplus (757119) | more than 5 years ago | (#26395925)

"Notice that both of these acts are perfectly legal, and while the second arguably should be regulated and restricted by law (the aggregation, correlation and publication parts, not the picture-taking part), the first one ought not to."

But you cannot put the privacy genie back in the bottle. All information has this problem. It's like trying to undo piracy and prohibition. Whenever I see a privacy article on slashdot about privacy on the net, I'm usually reminded of David brin's "The transparent society"

http://www.davidbrin.com/transparent.htm [davidbrin.com]

We consumers are as much to blame as marketers for all this loose data. At every turn we have willingly given up a layer of privacy in exchange for convenience; it is why we use a credit card to shop, enduring a barrage of junk mail. And although I agree in the ideal world there should be ways to limit information because anyone can put info about us online, etc, it still for the most part would be impossible to stop.

I remember someone unintentionally leaking their real name because they did not realize their wishlist was public and when someone googled their name, they showed up via amazon wishlist. People do a lot of things not realizing they have given others means to track them down. But this should be understood using the internet. Sun's CEO I think it was mentioned that there was no privacy and that other tech and non tech companies alike would have to deal with the fact that you don't really have any.

Re:Other people may publish information about you (3, Insightful)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 5 years ago | (#26396705)

Let's go back even more innocently. A friend wanted to put some random picture of me on their page. I declined, and they were shocked. It's Do It Yourself Blackmail.

I like to clown around, but it's in a context. If you were there, drink's on me. But I don't need some random person following the 6 degrees of separation asking me about it 2 years later.

Part of the big shift that has to happen is social. We joke about it, but the Slashdot Karma rating is a prototype. We need to quit penalizing people for facebook party pics and watch for other measures of worth.

Re:Well. (1)

Creepy Crawler (680178) | more than 5 years ago | (#26394749)

Id ask you a different question:

If you are concerned about your identity, do you think your domain registrar would give it up if somebody claimed that massive spam was coming out of that interface? I know Google wont leak information (look at their newsgroup stance). How about po-dunk registrars with false excuses that scare (like Identity theft, Spam, Botnet and such).

Google has my information. I havent seen them be evil to me or people I know. I dont trust my registrar, or most other websites asking for information.

Re:Well. (3, Insightful)

nine-times (778537) | more than 5 years ago | (#26394909)

If you are concerned about your identity, do you think your domain registrar would give it up if somebody claimed that massive spam was coming out of that interface?

Well sure, but that's a bit of a different issue. That's a question of whether companies that you have private transactions can be trusted to keep your information private. My point was that with social networking sites, you're posting information in a public forum and then expecting privacy-- which doesn't make a lot of sense.

Re:Well. (1)

nategoose (1004564) | more than 5 years ago | (#26395985)

Lori Drew was convicted of computer fraud for using a false persona on MySpace, which she used to torment Megan Meier leading to Megan's suicide.
While I doubt your motives are as sinister, how far is that from what she was actually convicted of?

Re:Well. (1)

nine-times (778537) | more than 5 years ago | (#26396077)

Or maybe I don't use false personas, and that was just one of my lies?

Re: Obfuscation (2, Interesting)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 5 years ago | (#26396661)

This may be the best common ground. The internet made "leveraging the genius" the thing of the 2nd decade (give the world another year to rest & prepare).

Now all any organization has to do is locate one of some 10,000 people worldwide with the knack at seeing ultra-patterns. Most of us aren't that interesting to bother with, so a little camoflage to avoid 5 second name searches is usually enough. But what the real point of the Mrs. S. effect is, "if you annoy the collective Net, they'll borrow a pattern expert and pulverize you".

Web 2.0 and 2.1 are about Sharing.

Web 3.0 and 3.11 will be about privacy.

Re:Well. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26397121)

You're not another twitter sockpuppet, are you?

I Wonder... (4, Insightful)

ITEric (1392795) | more than 5 years ago | (#26394631)

how many people will be surprised about Google being the champion of privacy?

Re:I Wonder... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26394799)

Champion of privacy? Here's what I see: Google is (or has been) looking for ways to find correlations between different social network profiles.

Re:I Wonder... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26394853)

Read the last sentence of the summery again, it doesn't mean what you think.

Yah, we know... *they* only just realised this... (3, Interesting)

Klootzak (824076) | more than 5 years ago | (#26395089)

They've ALREADY opened Pandora's box, now they're trying to get some publicity on how they can fix the problem they (at least helped) create.

I don't hate Google, I think they tend to go "Oh, cool, we can do this!" without thinking through the implications of it... much like other clever people in history [litera.co.uk] have done.

Re:I Wonder... (4, Informative)

ITEric (1392795) | more than 5 years ago | (#26395715)

I know most people here don't, but try reading the actual paper [w2spconf.com] . Clearly they were analyzing the risks and suggesting ways to put privacy back in the hands of the people.

Re:I Wonder... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26395023)

[sarcasm]Maybe the authors consider 'privacy' a bad thing... and they wrote the paper to inform other Google employees about the opportunity to find & exploit new gaps in personal privacy[/sarcasm]

Re:I Wonder... (2, Funny)

exley (221867) | more than 5 years ago | (#26395107)

Yes, they are helping protect privacy by developing software that can... Help undermine privacy.

Re:I Wonder... (1)

davidphogan74 (623610) | more than 5 years ago | (#26395503)

I'd have to be. I posted here a while back about a stolen computer [slashdot.org] . As a result I ended up working with the FBI and local police to recover the systems, so I can now have my real life matched to this account.

Add to that, from this account you can find plenty of other information about me, but nothing too crazy. Why?

I know how Google works. I don't get into politics, or anything else that could be questionable to an employer, the FBI, or whoever because it's too easy to link someone to other things.

Then again, with a name like Dave Hogan (about 2 or 3 links related to me in 25 pages on Google) or even David P Hogan, you get more false positives about me (other than my web site) than you do real ones.

You might even find my MySpace page, but it's private, so I'm not too worried.

Re:I Wonder... (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 5 years ago | (#26397187)

I don't get into politics, or anything else that could be questionable to an employer, the FBI, or whoever because it's too easy to link someone to other things.

That's quite frightening in a very subtle way. If I was a foil hatted loon, I might suggest that's exactly what they want.

Re:I Wonder... (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 5 years ago | (#26397277)

Google is one of the most frightening potential offender. Its strong reputation stems (partially) from the fact that it didn't abuse its position. Not saying it is sane or anything (don't use gmail!), but it is a fact.

That's why... (1)

Fulcrum of Evil (560260) | more than 5 years ago | (#26394643)

you take pains to keep your social site stuff disjoint - I don't care if someone correlates my plaxo/linkedin profiles - both are my real name, but a myspace profile will have no coworkers on it. I can just talk to them, anyway.

Hmm... (2, Funny)

SlashThat (859697) | more than 5 years ago | (#26394651)

I thought Google would be the ones undermining privacy in this case...

Heh, yep! :) (1)

Klootzak (824076) | more than 5 years ago | (#26394673)

In other news, Google reports they're working to eliminate your privacy even more!!! :)

Re:Hmm... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26394701)

Wow, what a boring idiot you are.

Re:Hmm... (0, Redundant)

Klootzak (824076) | more than 5 years ago | (#26394779)

Yah, he SO is! /sarcasm>

Incidentally Electrolytes [youtube.com] are reported to have the motto "Don't be Evil!" :)

Re:Hmm... (2, Interesting)

vux984 (928602) | more than 5 years ago | (#26395013)

I thought Google would be the ones undermining privacy in this case...

How do you think they "discovered" this?

go back to the basics (1)

Koshari (1435453) | more than 5 years ago | (#26394665)

just watch what you post online about yourself cuz ultimately it is similar to posting your information on a bulletin board but Globally

Re:go back to the basics (2, Insightful)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 5 years ago | (#26395275)

A few years ago, Many of us got our first MySpace/Facebook/Friendster etc. Shortly after that, we started to contact and be contacted by all of our old, obscure buddies from high school and whatnot. We plastered our psychological profile and unflattering pictures all over the place as much as we could, with our thousands of "friends" and our "pimped" profiles.

Then we got the E-mail and the phone numbers of the people who we actually gave a shit about, then we realized the folly of our obnoxious seizure-inducing profiles and toned 'em down. Some of us even said "fuck MySpace" only to come back with a barebones profile just in case. Many of us relalized that 96% of our "friends" didn't even respond to us and so we deleted them to remove cruft. An additional 2% did contact us only to leave trite "happy hump day" posts on our profiles -- they eventually became the ones leaving ads and phish links after they were (heh)"hacked". The remaining 2% of them are buddies who we still talk to using old-fashioned methods like voice and E-mail.

Whomever still bites into that "social networking" crap is either an attention-starved teen or a pedophile who wants one.

Aggregation and correlation destroy privacy (5, Insightful)

Estanislao Martínez (203477) | more than 5 years ago | (#26394679)

This is a case where multiple pieces of information, that individually do not compromise one's privacy, can actually do so when aggregated and correlated together.

This sort of pattern is why something like Google Street View subverts the privacy laws that we have. Yes, a photo taken from a public location of things viewable from that location, by itself, does not violate privacy, and privacy law has been developed so that each individual photo that Google takes and publishes does not, on its own, violate anybody's privacy. What the law fails to capture is that putting a vast number of such photos together, correlating them with a geographical information system, yellow page listings, satellite imagery, internet search results, and offering it to the general public to use for free, without any restrictions of purpose, does massively violate privacy. So the standard response to privacy challenges to Street View ("the law allows you to take photos of any public place you want") just massively misses the point.

Re:Aggregation and correlation destroy privacy (1)

nine-times (778537) | more than 5 years ago | (#26394959)

What the law fails to capture is that putting a vast number of such photos together, correlating them with a geographical information system, yellow page listings, satellite imagery, internet search results, and offering it to the general public to use for free, without any restrictions of purpose, does massively violate privacy.

I don't know-- does it really? I can certainly understand why someone would be upset if they themselves were in one of the photos at a particular place on Google, but I'm not sure I understand why a picture of your house, taken from a public road, constitutes an invasion of privacy. Do you consider the outside of your house to be "private"?

You're missing the point (5, Interesting)

Estanislao Martínez (203477) | more than 5 years ago | (#26395099)

I'm not sure I understand why a picture of your house, taken from a public road, constitutes an invasion of privacy.

But that's the whole point: the picture of your house, taken from a public road, as one isolated token of information, does not posit much risk to your privacy at all. Tons of individual people in our society own cameras, and take photos in public places that depict other people's property, and everybody agrees that the owners of said property should not have a right in general to prevent others from taking such photos. The privacy laws we have are built to protect individuals' rights in that sort of isolated case.

The problem is when a corporation starts taking such photos systematically, aggregating them all together and correlating them with other systematic data sets. In that situation, a photo that just happens to contain your house is no longer just that; it's a piece of information that can be used to access many other pieces of information that may allow somebody to infer facts about you that you would rather prefer they couldn't.

Google Street View is only the start. Just wait for the day when digital cameras commonly include GPS units and automatically tag each photo with a precise location and time, which can then be cross-indexed with a geographical information system like Google Maps. I can imagine it already: your wife carelessly forgets to close the window shades one day when they're changing. A neighbor takes a photo of her naked, and posts it to 4chan. Thousands of folks copy the photo all over the web. The photo has GPS information in the EXIF tags. Creepy /b/tards start stalking your wife. You give a resume to a potential employer with your residential address in it; they look up the address in Google Maps, click on the link to show image search results taken nearby, and are treated to a naked picture of your wife.

That's an example where the photo in question is probably illegal to take, but other examples may be concocted where the picture, by itself, is fine. The point of the example isn't the photo; it's how the technologies that we have today for associating one item of information to others make it too easy for people to find out more about you than they should be able to.

To sum up, the privacy laws we have today are laws that were designed to protect people's privacy in yesterday's, pre-computer world. Because of this, they primarily address things like whether somebody had the right to take a given individual photo, and not whether somebody is empowering others to infer facts about you by correlating many individually innocuous items of information.

Re:You're missing the point (2, Insightful)

nine-times (778537) | more than 5 years ago | (#26395139)

Ok, but let's just presume for the sake of argument that no one has a picture of your naked wife, and it's just Google with a picture of the outside of your house, latitude and longitude, and address with those pictures. They can also go down the street and see pictures of your neighbors houses in the same way.

Is that an invasion of privacy, in and of itself? Maybe I am missing the point, but I don't see how having a GPS location and address mapped to a photo of the outside of my house is supposed to scare me. I'll start complaining when someone gets naked pictures of my wife and posts them on the Internet, whether there's GPS data attached or not.

Re:You're missing the point (3, Insightful)

Estanislao Martínez (203477) | more than 5 years ago | (#26395575)

Ok, but let's just presume for the sake of argument that no one has a picture of your naked wife, and it's just Google with a picture of the outside of your house, latitude and longitude, and address with those pictures. They can also go down the street and see pictures of your neighbors houses in the same way. Is that an invasion of privacy, in and of itself?

I think you're too hung up on this concept of "invasion," which, in my opinion, is too closely linked to existing privacy law. I think the real questions should be: (a) what is privacy, and (b) how should the law protect people's privacy?

The way I see it, privacy is your ability to control what information other people can learn about you. Privacy is the law's recognition that people have a right to conceal various kinds of information about themselves from others, either because some people may find such information discreditable, or simply because the information would cause embarassment (though deep down I think the latter is just a special case of the first).

Of course, privacy has never meant that a person is allowed to conceal any facts about themselves. There has always been information about oneself which the law requires to be a matter of public record (e.g., your criminal record, or what real property you own); and also, one person's right to privacy has to be carefully balanced with other people's right to learn and disseminate facts about others. This stuff falls squarely in the intersection of law, ethics and sociology, and is insanely context-sensitive and subtle. For example, if you see my last name and try to find out whether I'm Mexican or some other Hispanic nationality, it can make a big difference whether you're a member of the Mexican-American Students Association trying to recruit people for your association, or somebody who's evaluating my job application. Basically, there are vague, ethical and legal rules of what information various people should be allowed to consider in which contexts, and what information they should not be allowed to consider.

But I digress. If privacy is about controlling what information others can learn about you, then we can see privacy in terms of these three components:

  1. What information about you other people can obtain directly;
  2. What information about you people can disseminate to others;
  3. What information about you people can infer from other facts they know.

The idea of an "invasion" of privacy really boils down to acts that violate the rules for (1), and in some cases (2); somebody invades your privacy when they directly obtain a fact about you that they do not have the right to obtain (or example, when they take a picture of your naked wife inside your house, and give it to somebody else.) My argument is that our privacy laws have been built to deal with cases (1) and (2) there, because, historically, (2) was less of a problem than now (there was no Internet), and (3) wasn't really a problem (there were no computers!). So we need to come up with laws to regulate (3); which doesn't mean to forbid (3), but rather, to strike a balance between people's rights to conceal about themselves and to learn about others.

So, to answer your question: if an "invasion of privacy" means a violation of rules about (1) or (2), then no, I don't believe that Google is "invading" your privacy by taking and publishing a picture of what anybody who goes by my house can see. The thing that concerns me is that Google and other folks are working very actively on technologies that affect my privacy via route (3), and what kinds of laws we should have in other to protect people's privacy in that regard. Basically, I'm worried in general about cases where many individual pieces of information, licitly obtained and disseminated, allow somebody equipped with newer technology to infer facts about me and use them to make decisions that negatively impact me, in a way that is unfair towards me.

Another way of putting it: I absolutely think the privacy laws that we have around people taking photos of my house work very well in a world where the photos are taken unsystematically and piecemeal by casual snapshotters and journalists. I don't think they work so well in a world where Google systematically takes photos of every street from every publically viewable angle, and systematically links them to other kinds of information.

Re:You're missing the point (2, Insightful)

CraftyJack (1031736) | more than 5 years ago | (#26395999)

Try it this way: What are the legitimate, non-creepy uses of Google StreetView in a residential neighborhood?

Re:You're missing the point (1)

nine-times (778537) | more than 5 years ago | (#26396069)

Finding where you're going? Isn't that the point of Google Maps in general? Some people navigate based on landmarks.

Re:You're missing the point (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26396243)

Also examining a neighborhood when shopping for a home.

Re:You're missing the point (1)

conureman (748753) | more than 5 years ago | (#26397023)

I don't feel too creepy looking at houses I used to live in, to see how they've aged.

Re:You're missing the point (1)

russotto (537200) | more than 5 years ago | (#26395171)

The problem is when a corporation starts taking such photos systematically, aggregating them all together and correlating them with other systematic data sets.

That's the issue with data mining in general, but I still don't see how Google Street View adds any particular risk.

A neighbor takes a photo of her naked, and posts it to 4chan. Thousands of folks copy the photo all over the web. The photo has GPS information in the EXIF tags. Creepy /b/tards start stalking your wife. You give a resume to a potential employer with your residential address in it; they look up the address in Google Maps, click on the link to show image search results taken nearby, and are treated to a naked picture of your wife.

And in this hypothetical case, the risk was caused by a photo with GPS coordinates and a map. Street view was totally unnecessary to compound the privacy violation.

(and suggesting somehow preventing the correlation of GPS coordinates with addresses doesn't seem very useful either)

Re:You're missing the point (1)

Estanislao Martínez (203477) | more than 5 years ago | (#26395405)

And in this hypothetical case, the risk was caused by a photo with GPS coordinates and a map. Street view was totally unnecessary to compound the privacy violation.

There were two hypothetical cases there, and this only holds true of one. The 4chan /b/tards started with a GPS-tagged photo, and managed to convert it to a street address (and driving directions). The potential employer started with a street address, and managed to convert it into a photo of a naked inhabitant. In the latter case, the web database that indexed locations to photos taken near that location was essential.

Re:You're missing the point (1)

Auraiken (862386) | more than 5 years ago | (#26395425)

Welcome to the beginnings of the transparent society.

Careful, it's still a little bumpy as the roads haven't been paved yet. :/

Re:You're missing the point (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26396031)

considering how technology is going your point might be more far reaching then you might think.. or maybe this is exactly what your thinking :P

http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/blaise_aguera_y_arcas_demos_photosynth.html

this piece of technology being showcased on ted I think highlight your argument perfectly. with this random flicker photo's google images , street view, youtube videos. all of could be indexed and cross linked together.

you could form a complete picture of a person life from what they normally buy at the grocery store to where they like to hangout.

And all of it from completely unrelated pieces of information i.e. some kid taking a picture of her friend who you just so happen to be in the foreground of and because of advance image process indexing has managed to link you as a person as well as everything other item that picture else to anything else in its database that is similar.

with enough information you could almost get time lapse snap shoot of someones life from the ever increasing amount of digital photos that are being uploaded onto the net.

Re:Aggregation and correlation destroy privacy (3, Informative)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 5 years ago | (#26395215)

There's already a website that aggregates this information. http://www.123people.com/ [123people.com] . A friend showed it to me the other day and It's pretty good in what it picks up, since most of them don't even show up on google top 50 together. There were 1 or 2 pieces of information that were off, but these were obvious.

For people that had more of a web presence it picked up quite a bit more, even photos tagged of them from other people's photobucket and such.

Obviously the more unique the name, the better the results too.

don't need fancy data-mining tools for that (2, Insightful)

xmark (177899) | more than 5 years ago | (#26394707)

Just look at any long thread here on Slashdot and you see a pattern of convergence to a disgruntled, socially frightened, and overworked IT/programmer guy named Anonymous Coward.

On second thought, looks like that applies to most other UIDs here as well. ;-)

On a more serious level, makes me wonder. If such a tool was used to narrow down a suspect in a crime or malfeasance, would constitutional guarantees against self-incrimination come into play? Could one argue that intentional postings of information pseudo-anonymously are implicitly protected from meta-analytical incrimination?

Not that I have any thing to, umm, hide, mind you....

Re: don't need fancy data-mining tools for that (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26394791)

Ah, c'mon, you don't dress in full Kiss gear and makeup every weekend? I would definitely want that to be set to private. LOL

Re: don't need fancy data-mining tools for that (4, Insightful)

nine-times (778537) | more than 5 years ago | (#26395029)

If such a tool was used to narrow down a suspect in a crime or malfeasance, would constitutional guarantees against self-incrimination come into play?

No, the right against incriminating yourself basically amounts to "you have the right to remain silent". The police aren't allowed to punish you for not telling them about your crimes. However, anything you do tell them can (and will) be used against you.

(IANAL, but I'm pretty sure I'm right)

Re: don't need fancy data-mining tools for that (2, Interesting)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 5 years ago | (#26395231)

However, anything you do tell them can (and will) be used against you.

Yes, and only [youtube.com] against you.

(bug #8332 has been filed).

http://www.ireport.com/docs/DOC-177895 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26394747)

same old phony FUDge, different packaging. we used to call it pr firm generated hypenosys.

Wait.. (1)

malkir (1031750) | more than 5 years ago | (#26394815)

So Google is telling us they're going to data-mine social network profiles and use software to match people up?...is it me or are they doing exactly what they were saying is a security threat.

For me... (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26394835)

I don't have a LinkedIn profile. I had a MySpace, but I killed it. My Facebook account does have political rants and opinions, but I don't have any pictures that could prove embarrassing. Google my name, and you'll find political rants I've posted on Yahoo! Groups and similar.

However, I currently have something that can't hold a candle to being careful on Facebook: an employer that doesn't care what I do off the clock. As long as I stay out of trouble with the law and notify my employer if I'm moonlighting, all they care about is that I show up for work and do my job. Should I get on-call duties in the future, I'll be held to a written SLA, and as long as I can respond to calls within an allotted time, they don't care what I was doing. I can even apply for other jobs without fear.

I used to be a K-12 teacher--if you ever think you're being spied on off the job, just be glad you're not a teacher.

- Twice, I was indirectly threatened with termination for looking for other jobs.

- The local newspaper photographed a teacher with a group of animal-rights protesters when the circus came to town. Parents started complaining to the principal saying they didn't want their children in that teacher's class.

- Some students found a picture online of a naked woman who closely resembled--but wasn't--a high school teacher. They took the picture to the school's principal, and the teacher wound up having to defend her teacher certification against revocation--fortunately, she won. I'm not even sure if there's a rule against teachers posing naked, as long as it doesn't directly involve students.

Granted, should I ever find myself looking for a job, a potential future employer might Google me and decide that I'm too liberal (or too something-else) to work there. But the question here is: do I really want to work somewhere they hold employees' personal, legal, off-the-clock lives under a microscope?

Re:For me... (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26395233)

I've got a friend who used to be a great teacher. She loved her job and her students, did lots of volunteer work for students and parents, and volunteered to coach sports. The principal slept with a student, admitted it, resigned and was arrested.

When the police were interviewing students about the principal, one student said he slept with my friend. She was arrested and her mug shot went up all around the world. He later said he was kidding. The police still investigated, as well they should, and dismissed charges.

Problem is, she can't teach anymore. She's easily googleable and you find her mug shot.

Ah, the web.

Re:For me... (2, Informative)

Creepy Crawler (680178) | more than 5 years ago | (#26395489)

Then she needs to have them "clean" the image off easily found areas. To not do so could be considered libel, and she already can easily show loss of career.

She just needs a good lawyer, and considering the case, a pro-bono at that. She could draw blood good.

Re:For me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26395823)

Libel does not apply. Whatever newspaper in question that posted it would say they only reported on the arrest, and said she 'allegedly' committed a crime. Dismissal of charges will then not matter

Re:For me... (2, Funny)

Jeian (409916) | more than 5 years ago | (#26395631)

And yet you're posting as AC. :p

Re:For me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26395941)

But the question really is: With what's coming-up economy-wise now and in the next few years, will you really have much choice in boycotting employers that hold a microscope to your personal, legal, or off-the-clock life? I think that most people will find that they'll have to take what they can get. Put-up and shut-up, seeing as though you tend to be partial to food and shelter.

Companies don't do stuff like this because they're evil. It's because they can. The ones that manage to be lucky enough to stick around, will have an unprecedented level of power over their few remaining employees.

Shout FIRE (4, Funny)

retech (1228598) | more than 5 years ago | (#26394937)

Google warning of privacy issues is like an arsonist holding a can of gas and a lit match shouting FIRE in an already burning theater.

Re:Shout FIRE (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26395253)

Your analogy is flawed. You should have said "a burning car."

It goes beyond the Social aspect of our lives (1)

dmomo (256005) | more than 5 years ago | (#26394955)

Some sites like Amazon merge a mini-social site into their main commerce site. By merging who we know with what we purchase, a system could divine quite a lot. It might be able to divine that you are looking for a job, cheating on your spouse, etc. Or it might be able to spoil something innocent like the fact that you are planning a surprise trip to Disney World for the Family.

My only hope is that there will be ways around this. A popular stance defending this lack of privacy is "if you have nothing to hide, what are you worried about?" I am of the opinion that it is okay to have something to hide. It is important that we be able to sneak around. Yes. I do have something I would like to hide, and while I'm not all that *worried*, there are certain people whom I'd prefer not know certain things about me.

Maybe I'm paranoid. But I really think they're simply out to get me.

Google is falling behind. (1)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 5 years ago | (#26394961)

This is a "duh" moment.

Have they had their head under a rock since 2002?

So when do we give up on privacy? (4, Insightful)

Toe, The (545098) | more than 5 years ago | (#26394995)

Since the inception of the web, I have been wondering how much longer privacy could last.

People who have grown up with the web tell everything about themselves freely on sites like MySpace. I don't know if this is because they are just stupid from youth or if it is a different paradigm than the old folks had.

But in any event it is clear that privacy is diminishing rapidly. Look at cameras. Everyone carries a camera in their pocket now. Anyone can set up a wifi-connected miniature webcam with very little effort or cost. It's not even very difficult to listen through walls (or especially windows) nor to see at least heat traces through walls. And of course, there are satellites watching everything we do at least outside of walls.

Then think about things like grocery store cards, credit cards, online accounts... And how many people here use a plethora of Google accounts with the blind faith that a mere slogan (Do No Evil) will somehow protect their privacy? Really?

Then think about how cheap data storage is and how everything is not only logged but archived. It might not be used today, but it can be accessed ten years from now, or twenty, or fifty. After all, computers of a decade from now will be able to eat petabytes like Tic-Tacs.

Expecting to maintain an old-school sense of privacy is probably not realistic in this, um, brave new world we live in.

Re:So when do we give up on privacy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26395223)

I'm not sure if I fit into your young-and-possibly-stupid category (I'm 27). I "grew up with" the web in the sense that I started poking around in Lynx on a dialup connection in middle school and have been with it since.

I think a lot of what this comes down to is what people consider "private" information. I think that a majority of people would still prefer not to have an x-ray camera watching them take a shit or having sex. But a lot of information is really just social fluff: your religion, what stupid crap you've been up to, your favorite music, pictures of you being an idiot, etc.

Personally I don't really care how many personal details some random nobody knows about me and it's kind of paranoid (perhaps even conceited) to think that they would care in the first place.

There are certainly situations where privacy is more important (stalker ex, government job, etc) but if you are in that situation, you should already know that, and hopefully most people aren't. (Seriously, if your employer can dictate your behavior outside of work, I'd say it's time to find a new line of work).

Posted AC because I've never bothered to create a Slashdot account.

Re:So when do we give up on privacy? (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 5 years ago | (#26396919)

"Posted AC because I've never bothered to create a Slashdot account."

No yahoo or google results found.

How did you do that - find the only 11 word sentence that isn't yet on the web?

Re:So when do we give up on privacy? (3, Interesting)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 5 years ago | (#26395261)

Not necessarily. While it is true that once some piece of information is on the internet or on someone's hard drive, then it can be assumed to never go away, and eventually be collated, there is in fact a theoretical way to neutralize the big brother. It's known as spamming, or poisoning the well, or hiding in plain view, and I expect those techniques to actually help privacy in the long run, however crazy that sounds.

The reason that Google and other companies can mine so much useful information about you is because that information is substantially true. If, for example, the information was 90% useless and totally contradictory, then it would be impossible to reassemble a correct picture about you. If this was common, then people would not usually trust what's written about you or anybody on the web, and you would regain some level of privacy.

As privacy becomes more of an issue, I fully expect SEO companies and spamming outfits to reposition themselves as privacy protection agencies. There's going to be a lot of money to be made in helping people, and the same bunch of scum who are now crucified for spamming may well be hailed as pioneer heroes in, say, 20 years.

Re:So when do we give up on privacy? (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 5 years ago | (#26395407)

it gets better - if you have a very common name it's almost impossible to pin you down. imagine attempting find info on a john smith?

Re:So when do we give up on privacy? (1)

Sporkinum (655143) | more than 5 years ago | (#26396039)

There are too many Agent Smiths.

Re: John Smith (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 5 years ago | (#26396937)

You mean John Tiberius Smith or such.

You're advocating "security through noise". Doesn't work. That means John Smith will have a tough time *denying* anything ugly that one of the other John Smiths did.

"Oh, that's not me ... I only have a Google mail and a Kentucky Friends profile... uh... I think I need to watch that James Duane video again."

Basically we're hosed, and the next 10 years will see us grinding out the implications. Problem is, society moves like molasses, though I think the collective pace has accelerated with the advent of the web.

Re:So when do we give up on privacy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26395523)

Since the inception of the web, I have been wondering how much longer privacy could last...

People who have grown up with the web tell everything about themselves freely on sites like MySpace. I don't know if this is because they are just stupid from youth or if it is a different paradigm than the old folks had.

But in any event it is clear that privacy is diminishing rapidly. Look at cameras. Everyone carries a camera in their pocket now. Anyone can set up a wifi-connected miniature webcam with very little effort or cost. It's not even very difficult to listen through walls (or especially windows) nor to see at least heat traces through walls. And of course, there are satellites watching everything we do at least outside of walls.

Then think about things like grocery store cards, credit cards, online accounts... And how many people here use a plethora of Google accounts with the blind faith that a mere slogan (Do No Evil) will somehow protect their privacy? Really?

Then think about how cheap data storage is and how everything is not only logged but archived. It might not be used today, but it can be accessed ten years from now, or twenty, or fifty. After all, computers of a decade from now will be able to eat petabytes like Tic-Tacs.

Expecting to maintain an old-school sense of privacy is probably not realistic in this, um, brave new world we live in.

Um, a few comments to chew on here...

Stupid people post shit about themselves online, assuming that somehow marking it private is going to protect them forever from the stupidity hiding within. Say hello to damn near everyone under the age of 15. Ignorance must be very blissful. I can't remember that far back.

If you're smart about what you put online about yourself, you can still expect a reasonable level of privacy, and even things like HIPAA help protect cross-contamination even more. Might not stop it, but at least it gives me a legal leg to stand on.

If you want true privacy, use strong encryption. Period. End of statement. Assume everyone can read free web-based email up front, and encrypt the rest.

And finally, yes computers in the near future will be able to store petabytes like "Tic-Tacs" as you say, BUT how easy is it for you to sort through that shithole of a terabyte of crap you have backed up now? I thought so. Hell, even a damn Google appliance couldn't help me sort through the few dozen DVD backups worth of my crap.

Point here is pile up the petabytes. Load it up. Good luck sorting through it though for any useful info. Gonna have to have the patience of an NSA analyst to even consider it, and that's weeding through the crap that isn't encrypted.

Re:So when do we give up on privacy? (1)

Toe, The (545098) | more than 5 years ago | (#26395603)

There is what you say about yourself... then there is what you reveal about yourself.

For example, every website you ever visit logs every file you access and associates it with your IP. (And your ISP has logs of what IP they have issued to you at what time... and many ISPs are handing out very static IPs these days.) Many of those sites then store those logs into long-term archives. Interestingly, the site author isn't necessarily the log keeper. For example, Google, not Blogger-users, gets to see who looks at what blog.

And, like many, many people here, if you have a Google account (or MSN or Yahoo or whatnot) then every web search you do on that company's site is directly associated with you.

Tilling through all those logs may seem irrational and fruitless. And what after all is the point of looking at everything everyone has done? But the point is that someone with access to that data can find you if they are looking for you. This may not seem relevant to you at the moment, but it may become relevant decades from now... and there the data is, waiting to be dug up with relative ease. For example, try applying for a job in the Obama administration. :)

Re:So when do we give up on privacy? (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 5 years ago | (#26396943)

Yep, another Security By Noise proponent, also posting as AC.

But at least quit daring the Power of the Collective (Net). I'm as talentless as a cactus and I'll still find something interesting in your terabyte of junk within a weekend. My betters here could crack it in an hour.

AOL's SocialThing.com already does this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26395035)

Boulder-based TechStars hatched a company that exploits this concept as their singular revenue model--they worked deals with all the major social sites from facebook to twitter. Cross-licensing deals that involved sharing information about users, their "friends" and groups they belong to or share with (and what they share), in order to obtain the right to extract the the information from providers in real-time.

AOL bought SocialThing last fall for an undisclosed sum.

Says google who can track you through out the web (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26395069)

Given the amount of data that google indexes, the amount of tracking that they can do, I'm not surprised that Google doesn't know who you are already. Every one of google's services gives google more information about you-- each search query which is stored forever is another datapoint of your interestes. Gmail/gtalk/reader allows them to snoop into your conversations and informs them of the things you actually respond to. Doubleclick and their antiphishing services informs them each website you go to. IP tracking and google maps gives them a good idea where you live. Grandcentral gives them your phone number. If you have used google checkout, they have your real name and address on file. Who needs the NSA when you have google?

Social networking bigamy (5, Funny)

Valacosa (863657) | more than 5 years ago | (#26395119)

Wow. I hope my Facebook girlfriend doesn't find out about my MySpace girlfriend.

Re:Social networking bigamy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26395195)

Don't forget your Twitter twat!

Re:Social networking bigamy (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26395573)

Your WHO?!?! - Your's Truly, ur /. gf

Re:Social networking bigamy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26395597)

Your WHO?!?!

- Your's Truly,

ur /. gf

Oh, and the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny called.

Re:Social networking bigamy (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 5 years ago | (#26397077)

Yeah like any women actually post here.

Re:Social networking bigamy (2, Funny)

value_added (719364) | more than 5 years ago | (#26396275)

I hope my Facebook girlfriend doesn't find out about my MySpace girlfriend.

You'll have bigger worries if your wife finds out about either.

A solution: (1)

Entanglebit (882066) | more than 5 years ago | (#26395127)

Don't create accounts for all these social sites in the first place. They're largely a waste of time and a hollow attempt to massage our own egos anyway.

Re:A solution: (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 5 years ago | (#26395673)

a hollow attempt to massage our own egos anyway.

Yeah far better to work on your karma on /.

Re:A solution: (2, Insightful)

idlemachine (732136) | more than 5 years ago | (#26395909)

Don't create accounts for all these social sites in the first place.

But that's not the issue here. The problem is that other people will continue to create social network accounts and can put information in there that violates my privacy.

There's no point in protecting my identity strongly online if all it takes is one person to attribute one of my email addresses to my real name in their Facebook contacts.

Wait....So Google is... (1)

neorush (1103917) | more than 5 years ago | (#26395177)

So Google is writing software to discover cross social network links, to protect us against cross social network links.......uhhh....yea its ok, they're not evil.

Re:Wait....So Google is... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26395197)

No no no, they're data mining data for data-mineable data. I like the way google thinks.

What worries me... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26395451)

is that if I've been having different aliases, and I post tidbits of information on each forum / social network / etc... can they find out that those different aliases belong to ONE SAME PERSON?

That freaks me out, dude.

Easy solution? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26395483)

Just don't put crap on the web that your boss/wife/mother/ex-girlfriend/lover shouldn't see. duh.

WOOT 7p (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26395787)

go find something b9ut many find it the 4bove is far OpenBSD guys. They

bleh (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26395809)

Fuck privacy!

"by Anonymous Coward"

Regulation won't solve this problem. (1)

v(*_*)vvvv (233078) | more than 5 years ago | (#26395821)

There is nothing that will stop more and more information from becoming available, and for bots to start correlating and finding their context. Google is doing just what is expected of them within the natural evolutionary path of data organization. Sure, one can regulate google, but nothing will stop others from creating tools that do the same thing. And this is only the beginning.

There is only one solution. And that is to be able to actively monitor, control and protect information availability. And this must include the ability to delete information from places where the information is not desired. I have to be able to tell facebook to delete all of my information, and facebook needs to be legally liable if found they fail to accomplish this task. Archival without permission will also have to be illegal.

It is all or nothing. Either everyone will have information about everyone, or no one will have anyone's information unless permission granted.

Of course, these measures are only necessary for humans. Places, things, facts, public figures, etc... Everything else will clearly benefit from correlations being automatically compiled and made freely available.

Re:Regulation won't solve this problem. (2, Interesting)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 5 years ago | (#26396955)

All. Everyone will have everyone's information. There's no way it can be removed from everywhere. We learned that if you try to nuke the top ten sites, it just floats around the 100 second tier sites you'll never find.

All we can do is resign ourselves to it and be boring enough not to really be worth the time.

Wait a minuite... (1)

MasterOfDisaster (248401) | more than 5 years ago | (#26395919)

Google suggests that posting your personal information on the internet, even across multiple sites can make you susceptible to data mining.
Ok. No argument there.

To remedy this, they propose to mine your data, presumably archive it for future reference, and finally politely report back how successful they were?

Hmm...They've definitely identified a problem.

software? because? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26396071)

> The Google solution is to develop software that
> screens new data added to a social network,
> attempting to find out if it could be fodder to
> such data mining.â

And it's safe if Google does this because they'd never like sell the result or give it to the gub'mint, unless, um, well, ....

Equivocation is the new evil.

In other words (1)

PietjeJantje (917584) | more than 5 years ago | (#26397041)

"Google Researchers Warn of Automated Social Info Sharing"

Ooh that sounds good. I guess it sounds better than "Ad broker leads attention away from automated harvesting of private information, by PR initiative." Or, a child molester who issues warnings about abusive parents.

Well duh (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 5 years ago | (#26397059)

I never use my real name or location, etc for "fun" things. I know a lot of people are backwards and don't think about (or care about) personal freedom outside of work so you gotta do things like that.
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