Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

35 Million Google Profiles Collected

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the are-you-feeling-lucky dept.

Google 151

Orome1 writes "If you are one of those individuals that made their own Google Profile, chances are that you knew and agreed to the fact that the information you included in it will be available for anyone who searches for it online. But, maybe you haven't thought about the possibility of this information being harvested and indexed in order to make mining of it easier. Whether you have or not, it is ultimately irrelevant — you have shared the information with Google, and it does not forbid the indexing of the list."

cancel ×

151 comments

Why wouldn't you? (4, Insightful)

sarahbau (692647) | more than 2 years ago | (#36253822)

Why wouldn't you think about the possibility of the information being harvested? That's a main part of Google's business model.

Re:Why wouldn't you? (5, Insightful)

adisakp (705706) | more than 2 years ago | (#36254092)

If you're not paying for a service, then you are the product being sold.

Bla bla bla (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36254260)

You could also consume the service, be it google, facebook, slashdot, or whatever, give out no useful information even your name, and block every single advert served.

How am I the product exactly?

Re:Bla bla bla (1)

Lost Race (681080) | more than 2 years ago | (#36254414)

You're providing content for Slashdot and Facebook; more content attracts more users who might eventually be more profitable than you are. Google can collect your search terms and click-throughs to provide bulk data for market researchers. The value of these things is negligible but multiplied by hundreds of millions of users it might be worth something.

Re:Bla bla bla (1)

adisakp (705706) | more than 2 years ago | (#36256586)

Exactly... he's saying he's not the product but if he considers his comment to be "useful" it's potentially drawing other people to the site and those visitors might not be blocking ads. Just by posting he's contributing to their business model.

Re:Bla bla bla (1)

adisakp (705706) | more than 2 years ago | (#36254596)

You could also consume the service, be it google, facebook, slashdot, or whatever, give out no useful information even your name, and block every single advert served.

How am I the product exactly?

Google and Facebook make money several way - you may try to avoid some of them, but if you use the services you can't avoid all of them.

1) Selling ads to you. If you explicitly block ads, you may be violating their terms of services. Still, most users do not block all ads or it's a pain to block 100% of them. Perhaps you miraculously block all ads.

2) Selling User Data to advertisers. Anything you upload or post may be used for advertising. Facebook will use your pictures to advertise to friends unless you navigate some hard-to-find settings and explicitly opt out. Perhaps you do not post to FB and have enabled all you privace settings correctly.

3) Encouraging viral links with pay per view hits. Example: Everytime you watch a youtube video that has a small video ad in front of it, you are an "impression" for that ad and they are getting paid. Perhaps you never watch YouTube though.

4) Every action you do on these sites from pages you view, links you click, and search terms you enter is saved with IP address. If you are using these services at all, even anonymously, they are still collecting and aggregrating data about your usage and that data can be sold. They may be counting view impressions on associate sites (that are not even the main google or facebook sites). Just being here and posting snide comments like your previous one is adding to the data being collected.

Because of #4 if you even visit these sites (or any associated sites), they are somehow incorporating your input into their business model. The only way for you to claim 100% freedom from being a product is not to play - and not playing today involves not connecting to the internet at all.

Re:Why wouldn't you? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36254362)

What is this? Soviet Russia?

Re:Why wouldn't you? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36254430)

Proven way to earn karma on Slashdot: appeal to the inflated self-worth of the pos(t)ers.

Re:Why wouldn't you? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36254528)

Paying or not for a service, you are the product being sold.

FIFY.

I am! I was! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36254752)

And my entry in the database is the footprint of my soul, expressing my brief existence long after the rest of me has faded away...

Re:Why wouldn't you? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36255464)

Of course, sometimes even when you are paying for the service, you are still a product being sold. It's easier to just assume that's the case.

Re:Why wouldn't you? (1)

ProfessionalCookie (673314) | more than 2 years ago | (#36256046)

or you're a thief.

Re:Why wouldn't you? (4, Insightful)

doti (966971) | more than 2 years ago | (#36254106)

If I didn't want the data available to the world, I wouldn't put it there in the first place.

Duh..

Let 'em harvest... (3, Funny)

fyngyrz (762201) | more than 2 years ago | (#36254262)

This is my google profile:

Introduction

At first I was just two cells, one of which won an informal swimming competition. Then, a blastula. Then an embryo, a fetus, a baby, a really, really annoying child with a guitar, a totally out of control teenager with several guitars and amplifiers, a reformed young adult, an engineer, then finally, I matured into the sexual tyrannosaurus that I am today. Tomorrow, however, I may be senile, not to mention that whole sexual thing depending on drugs. Possibly there will be drugging to avoid depends, too. If you need more information, you're advised to ask me soon, before I forget entirely who I am. Wait, what was the question?

Occupation

      Pondering

Employment

        I ponder conundrums

Previous employers

      Many

Education

        University of Life
        Ph.D in Hard Knocks
        Masters of Reality
        Bachelors in Dating
        Associates in Matters of Degree
        Honorary "Get off my Lawn" with "Or I'll Shoot" cluster

Re:Let 'em harvest... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36254340)

Sometimes, you just crack yourself up, and you're constantly amazed at how clever you are.

Re:Let 'em harvest... (1)

jhoegl (638955) | more than 2 years ago | (#36254804)

Its like you know me.

Re:Let 'em harvest... (1)

PNutts (199112) | more than 2 years ago | (#36255414)

So much for getting a decent job.

Re:Let 'em harvest... (1)

fyngyrz (762201) | more than 2 years ago | (#36256002)

LOL... you depend on a google profile to get you a job? Oh, brother. :)

Re:Why wouldn't you? (1)

creat3d (1489345) | more than 2 years ago | (#36254898)

If I didn't want the data available to the world, I wouldn't put it there in the first place.

Duh..

Also: If you don't want your real personal info available to the world, you never give your real info in the first place. If you're technically-savvy enough, you can alter your footprint considerably as well...

OpenId (1)

sourcerror (1718066) | more than 2 years ago | (#36254200)

And probably anyone can access it through OpenId (S/A/L), same for Facebook, Yahoo, and anyone who supports OpenId.

"OpenID is rapidly gaining adoption on the web, with over one billion OpenID enabled user accounts and over 50,000 websites accepting OpenID for logins. Several large organizations either issue or accept OpenIDs, including Google, Facebook, Yahoo!, Microsoft, AOL, MySpace, Sears, Universal Music Group, France Telecom, Novell, Sun, Telecom Italia, and many more.

Who Owns or Controls OpenID?

OpenID was created in the summer of 2005 by an open source community trying to solve a problem that was not easily solved by other existing identity technologies. As such, OpenID is decentralized and not owned by anyone, nor should it be. Today, anyone can choose to use an OpenID or become an OpenID Provider for free without having to register or be approved by any organization."

http://openid.net/get-an-openid/what-is-openid/ [openid.net]

"openid.ax.required
(required) Specifies the attribute being requested. Valid values include:

"country"
"email"
"firstname"
"language"
"lastname"

To request multiple attributes, set this parameter to a comma-delimited list of attributes.
"

http://code.google.com/intl/hu-HU/apis/accounts/docs/OpenID.html [google.com]

Re:Why wouldn't you? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36254506)

Why wouldn't you think about the possibility of the information being harvested? That's a main part of Google's business model.

Outside of the Slashdot crowd, most people don't realize what Google's business model is.

Re:Why wouldn't you? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36255700)

Zuckerberg, the anti-Google PR campaign won't work, we all know you're evil:
http://content.usatoday.com/communities/entertainment/post/2011/05/mark-zuckerbergs-new-diet-eating-only-what-he-kills/1

Re:Why wouldn't you? (1)

node 3 (115640) | more than 2 years ago | (#36256698)

Why wouldn't you think about the possibility of the information being harvested? That's a main part of Google's business model.

Because: "Don't Be Evil"

A lot of people (understandably) assume it means more than it really does.

does this mean that strangers will visit at home? (3, Funny)

alen (225700) | more than 2 years ago | (#36253852)

because i made sure my profile was complete with my address and everything since everyone on the internets is friends and cool

Re:does this mean that strangers will visit at hom (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36254028)

+5 Funny

Re:does this mean that strangers will visit at hom (1)

Anne_Nonymous (313852) | more than 2 years ago | (#36254100)

>> my profile was complete with my address

Ernest Borgnine, you're at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue? Isn't that a pretty rough neighborhood?

Re:does this mean that strangers will visit at hom (2)

skydyr (1404883) | more than 2 years ago | (#36254334)

It's so rough, they put snipers on the roof!

Re:does this mean that strangers will visit at hom (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36254206)

Holy shit, dude! I just found out about this thing where the phone company (those evil fuckers) put your address in this large book with white pages. It even has your name and phone number too. How will we ever survive in this modern world where we have all these totally new privacy issues that have never come up before?

Re:does this mean that strangers will visit at hom (1)

creat3d (1489345) | more than 2 years ago | (#36255112)

Holy shit, dude! I just found out about this thing where the phone company (those evil fuckers) put your address in this large book with white pages. It even has your name and phone number too. How will we ever survive in this modern world where we have all these totally new privacy issues that have never come up before?

I'm not calling BS on this but do you have any proof of your claims? What's the name of the book?

Re:does this mean that strangers will visit at hom (1)

Unkyjar (1148699) | more than 2 years ago | (#36255702)

We always just called it the BAB, a shortened acronym for Big Azz Book That Won't Fit On A Shelf.

Re:does this mean that strangers will visit at hom (1)

pnutjam (523990) | more than 2 years ago | (#36255772)

I wish it was only one book, they leave 12 different editions on my porch every year.

Re:does this mean that strangers will visit at hom (1)

RobertM1968 (951074) | more than 2 years ago | (#36254276)

because i made sure my profile was complete with my address and everything since everyone on the internets is friends and cool

LoL, you just described the Facebook Friendlist phenomena.

Are you surprised? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36253860)

How is this news?

Re:Are you surprised? (2)

drb226 (1938360) | more than 2 years ago | (#36253926)

How is this news?

This! Is! Slashdot!

Re:Are you surprised? (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#36253976)

You! Are! Not! Captain! Kirk!

Re:Are you surprised? (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 2 years ago | (#36254090)

Missed! The! REFEREEEEEENCE! *kicks h4rr4r down a well*

Re:Are you surprised? (3, Informative)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 2 years ago | (#36254228)

No ... this ... is ... Captain ... .... Kirk.

This! Is! Leonidas!

Re:Are you surprised? (2)

blair1q (305137) | more than 2 years ago | (#36254274)

This!...is CNN...

Re:Are you surprised? (2)

ChinggisK (1133009) | more than 2 years ago | (#36254538)

This! Is! Jeopardy!

Trade (1)

DaleHarris (1328785) | more than 2 years ago | (#36253862)

Isn't it something we all agreed to: trade ease of use and functionality with a little bit of privacy loss?

Re:Trade (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36253988)

They who can give up essential privacy to obtain a little ease of use, deserve neither

Benjamin Franklin (1818)

Re:Trade (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36254104)

Dude, we lost that fight a long time ago. It's called, ironically enough, government. They know where you live. They know what car you drive. They know where you work. They definitely know your social security number. And they have the power to destroy you.

At least Google doesn't know my SSN (yet)

Re:Trade (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 2 years ago | (#36254118)

"Those who giveth a fuck what Ben Franklin thinks are idiots."

-- Benjamin Franklin (1817)

Re:Trade (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36254214)

lol - you're an idiot.

Re:Trade (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36254312)

"The problem with quotes on the internet, is that you can't be sure they're genuine"

  -- Mark Twain (1968)

Re:Trade (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 2 years ago | (#36254638)

"The problem wit quots on the intarweb, you cant be sure da reals" - Mark Twain (2052)

Um, I am missing the obvious? (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36253880)

Decide what the world sees when it searches for you.

Create a public profile to display the information you care about and make it easy for visitors to get to know you.

Seems pretty self-explanatory.

Re:Um, I am missing the obvious? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36254514)

No, you're not. Everyone who manually created a Google Profile account knew exactly which information was public.

If I remember right (I deleted my Google accts long ago) there were some controls regarding with whom to share specific Profile information (for phone numbers, address, etc).

Petition (1, Funny)

Kamiza Ikioi (893310) | more than 2 years ago | (#36253884)

Let's get a petition together to get Google to put up a robots.txt on Google so that Google can't Google Google.

Re:Petition (1)

drb226 (1938360) | more than 2 years ago | (#36253990)

Yo dawg, I heard you like AND don't like Google, so I put up a robots.txt on your Google so your Google can't Google you while you Google. Great googley-woogley!

Big deal... (-1, Troll)

popscifan (2199724) | more than 2 years ago | (#36253914)

As long as you don't tweet [thoughts.com] that you are on vacation for 2 weeks with nobody home, you should be fine.

Re:Big deal... (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#36254016)

GOATSE.

Which is not shocking anymore, kiddo. Get a new Schtick.

Re:Big deal... (0)

popscifan (2199724) | more than 2 years ago | (#36254078)

GOATSE.

Which is not shocking anymore, kiddo. Get a new Schtick.

Slashdotters don't agree:

Favorites:
"Ugh. Goatse. NSFW. Asshole (poster and picture, both)."
"You fucker" - "I had the same thought as you. What a fucking asshole. The link is nsfw."
"I hope you die in a fire before you are old enough to contaminate the gene pool."
"You're a fucking douchbag." - "That is the most accurate comment yet"
"Thanks, I'm reading slashdot in class like a good student and just got tubgirl'd."
"Can someone make a fucking goatse blocker firefox plugin please? This is pissing me off now."
"Seriously ... new account to post that ... what a douche!"
"Asshole... Ginormous asshole, in fact."
"It would be more interesting if I had a piece of pipe and your face, in close proximity so I could smash your face beyond recognition,"
"Ugh. Goatse. You asshole."
"Really? Are you not tired of this yet?"
"Posting your picture online again?"
"I did not even bother to look, but this same idiot has been doing this for weeks now. Fuck off asshole."
"Stop giving the troll lulz! It's like a catnip to them!"
"Didn't click it, but the magic 8-ball says goatse."
"I am sick and tired of that crap on /. "
"Fucking troll, do not click there"
"Better than you, you arse bandit."
"You can't actually expect the Slashdot users to actually know enough not to respond to a goatse troll, right ?"
"What a retard..... enough said...."
"The fuck is a goatse? it's some dude pulling his arse open."

Emotion:
"i WAS eating lunch you ass!"
"Oh dear god my eyes. Haven't seen THAT awful image in a while."
"My eyes are burning... argh! Damn you!"
"MY EYES... dude i am at work here "S "
"WARNING: Don't click on the parent's link! Damn goatse! The first I experienced, no less.
"You fucking piece of shit!" , "You sorry piece of shit." , "You cunt.", "Fuck you."
"I hate your guts."

Philosophy:
"Why the sudden coordinated campaign for Goatse? Is someone making money off this?"
"You're right, this is the most coordinated troll campaign in a long time. Multiple accounts, multiple pages."
"Urgh...dammit, am I the only one thinking the goatse trolls are getting worse lately than they have been in the past five years?"
"Who found a way to monetize goatse at this late date? If we got half the effort of that campaign on real stuff we'd all have better software by now."
"Boy Goatsex is out in force today... - Every topic is littered with them..."

Admiration:
"You are one dedicated troll."
"Well played, sir. Well played."
"A link that redirects to a page containing goatse? How clever of you!"
"Congrats. It's been a long time since I saw goatse."

Misc:
"Could not someone at slashdot write a small script to blacklist url's that have been flagged troll? I'll do it if you pay me a slave wage..."
"Parent should be modded down. Link is NSFW and mentally scarring."
"Just post the damn url, i'm not going to click on a tinyurl link and get goatse'd or something.."
"Goatse URL - Haven't seen that guy in a while"
"Someone please mod this guy down... Don't click his link."
"I tried to post warnings about the goaste loving jerk yesterday but was modded into oblivion as a karma whore"
"Mod to -1, please. this guy is an 'asshole'.... (yes, you guessed it)"
"Can we start banning people who post that hiding it behind a url shortening link like goo.gl?"
"Don't click the link! Goatse wannabe."
"Doh! One has to also recognize data urls. *sigh*"
"That's somewhat clever, but some of us do know what base-64 encoding is."
"Danger, goatse"

FUCK Google (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36253924)

FUCK Google

Re:FUCK Google (1)

Ruke (857276) | more than 2 years ago | (#36254066)

You know, I'd never really thought about it like that before. Thanks for your valuable and insightful contribution to this discussion!

Re:FUCK Google (1)

jdgeorge (18767) | more than 2 years ago | (#36254108)

Zuck is always glad to add value to a discussion. :-)

Re:FUCK Google (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 2 years ago | (#36254136)

That's what Google Images is for.

Re:FUCK Google (1)

Unkyjar (1148699) | more than 2 years ago | (#36255802)

Wear a rubber, I hear Google's a bit of a slut.

Re:FUCK Google (1)

Dremth (1440207) | more than 2 years ago | (#36256780)

I guess no one bothered to look in the options when they created their Google Profile and uncheck the "Make my profile visible to search" box. Don't blame Google for your own misdoings.

Well, (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36254006)

I'm glad no one started harvesting any of my Facebook Profile.

Re:Well, (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#36254130)

MySpace was great, if your private information was leaked, you could just have the FBI take care of it for you.

the problem isn't now, it's the past. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36254022)

These days, anyone who hasn't been living in a gave for the last 15 years knows that this kind of data is not private.

The bigger issue for having no searchable online presence is stuff from the early days of the internet, like 1980-1985. Back then, everyone posted (to usenet - this was long before the web) with their real names. Furthermore, nobody had any idea that someday all that would be archived retroactively. At the time, posts were considered ephemeral - once they decayed off servers, they were thought to be gone forever.

But it later turned out that archives of this stuff were saved by one person. It wasn't clear at the time - remember, home computers then commonly had 4 *kilo*bytes of memory, and no hard drives, and storage space was bloody expensive. Most people were online using big iron, and those accounts were attached to your real name by whatever organization owned the machine. Fortunately, I never posted anything under my real name that I'd be upset for anyone to find now, but some people did, and that stuff is traceable to them forever. Yes, you might be convince google (who bought the archives, originally made by Henry Spencer) to delete *your* posts, but not when what you wrote was quoted by others.

I don't have much sympathy for anyone now who isn't aware that anything you post is going to be data-mined out the ass, but in the early 80's, nobody knew - it was just a single individual in the entire world who was saving the stuff.

Welcome to the Post Privacy Age (3, Insightful)

jarich (733129) | more than 2 years ago | (#36254040)

We've allowed our bed to be made. Now will we continue to use services that require us to give up our privacy while we complain loudly at the loss of privacy? Come on everyone. Pick one.

Re:Welcome to the Post Privacy Age (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36254202)

Just because you've given up your privacy doesn't mean everyone has.

Some of us saw this coming, and didn't give up our privacy in the first place.

Re:Welcome to the Post Privacy Age (2)

Smidge207 (1278042) | more than 2 years ago | (#36254208)

Getting a college degree, regardless of the major, requires discipline, persistence, and dedication. Now, it may be that there are many people out there who "didn't leran anything" from college. But if you managed to get a reasonable GPA (3.0 or higher), then you probably learned something, and you actually had to take the time to study for your classes. When I interview someone who has a good GPA, this is evidence (although not proof) to me that they can be given work to do, and they will understand it and get it done. Someone without a college degree lacks that evidence. They MAY have that kind of discipline, but I can't guess that very well from a short interview. (An alternative might be good references from past employers.)

Some claim that it is theoretically possible to do well in classes and then promptly forget everything you crammed. But that's disingenuous and discounts the effects of (a) subconscious learning, and (b) meta-learning. Even if you can't recall things you learned at will, you are often able to recall them in context. You forgot that you learned something. And meta-learning is more of a mind-shaping thing, where spending the time to learn some new subject matter forces you to think about things in an unfamiliar way. Even if you forget all the facts, it creates a broader view that makes you more adaptable. (This is why I prefer interviewees who had diverse minors.)

After 9 years in industry, I decided to get a Ph.D. in Computer Science. I found the advanced core courses in the grad program to be challenging, but they were not a fundamentally new way of thinking. On the other hand, there were the grad courses I took in linguistics, psychology, cognitive science, and cognitive engineering. Each of those fields has a culture quite different from what I am used to in CS, and taking those courses introduced me to very different perspectives on things. In order to do well in those courses (I did get all A's), I had to learn to think like them. The CS courses made me feel like I had learned some things I didn't know before. The courses in other disciplines made me feel like I had grown intellectually.

As a side note, those aforementioned areas seem to attract more women. Indeed, psychology, at least in grad school, is _dominated_ by women. Now, I'm happily married, so I had no interest in finding anyone to date. But for someone else, this might be something to look into. For me, what I enjoyed was encountering yet another perspective. For various reasons (cultural, genetic, hormonal, etc.), men and women seem to have different perspectives on many things. And in grad school, most of the students are very smart. So taking psych courses had me interacting with women who not only have a different perspective but also have the IQ and meta-cognitiion to be able to convey that perspective well to others. (Some of the differences are due to the different field, while some seemed to be clearly due to gender.) So, I enjoyed very much the things I could learn from them, especially those things that they understood better than the males in their field. On a similar note, I also enjoyed working with women in engineering. The diversity they bring includes not just different approaches to engineering, but also a "softer feel" they bring to the workplace, like how they decorate their offices and interact with others. I would probably feel less of a need to focus on this if there weren't so few women in computer science and engineering.

Re:Welcome to the Post Privacy Age (1)

hansraj (458504) | more than 2 years ago | (#36254300)

Nothing personal, but what the fuck are you on about? I even tried skipping the main page hoping to see a story that you might have had in mind when you were typing that rant.

Re:Welcome to the Post Privacy Age (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 2 years ago | (#36254814)

Sounds more like a reply to the "100 000$ to start your own business" topic.

That's not evil? (1)

vinn01 (178295) | more than 2 years ago | (#36254068)

They need a new compass the points to "evil" when they do stuff like this.

Just because they can, doesn't mean they should!

Re:That's not evil? (1)

Asic Eng (193332) | more than 2 years ago | (#36254358)

No it's not evil. You made the profile in order to be found, they index the profile so you can be found. They told you about it beforehand, you knew about it beforehand.

The service is advertised with Decide what the world sees when it searches for you. [google.com]

Useless maybe, but not evil.

Re:That's not evil? (1)

mcmonkey (96054) | more than 2 years ago | (#36254410)

How is this evil?

(And Google does plenty of evil stuff. I'm pretty everyone considers that "Don't be evil" mantra a joke at this point.)

Perhaps I'm missing something, but isn't this like knowing/agreeing to having your phone number in the phone book, and then finding out the phone book is indexed so people can easily find your phone number?

If you don't want your phone number easily accessible, don't put it in the phone book. If you don't want your personal details easily searchable through Google, don't create a public Google profile.

Given that I'd never heard of Google Profiles before this story, I'm guessing the odds are about 100% this story is either a plant by a Google competitor to scare us with the boogy man of privacy, or a plant by Google itself to raise the profile of Profiles.

And now that I have heard of Google Profiles, duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuh! First thing on profiles.google.com:

Decide what the world sees when it searches for you.
Create a public profile to display the information you care about and make it easy for visitors to get to know you.

How can it be news and/or evil that this information is publicly available, when the main selling point is that this information will be publicly available?

Not Unexpected (1)

lezeste (2031790) | more than 2 years ago | (#36254086)

In a world where being anonymous is getting difficult these examples are something you expect. I am sure it's a bit too late to do anything but I think I should make everything private but I am sure Google has already cached my profile.

Re:Not Unexpected (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36255410)

Problem?

That's kinda the point (4, Insightful)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 2 years ago | (#36254088)

What is the point of creating a Google Profile if not for it to be indexed such as someone else can find you and read about you in relevant queries?

It is good we are still making profiles (4, Interesting)

makubesu (1910402) | more than 2 years ago | (#36254102)

at all. I'm just waiting for the day when I sign up for some google social network, only to find that they already made my profile for me, full of all of my interests, contact information, relationships, and even pictures.

Re:It is good we are still making profiles (1)

berashith (222128) | more than 2 years ago | (#36254216)

and it can let me know my dinner plans for this weekend

Re:It is good we are still making profiles (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36254650)

and it can let me know my dinner plans for this weekend

Sounds like Google Wife. Sadly, it'll probably be in beta for years.

Re:It is good we are still making profiles (1)

X86Daddy (446356) | more than 2 years ago | (#36256954)

The beta of Google Buzz pre-populated social contacts...

nothing new ... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36254138)

http://www.zdnet.com/blog/google/google-opens-up-your-profile-to-search-engines/1158

Google opens up your profile to search engines
By Garett Rogers | October 15, 2008

And? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36254152)

It's the whole point of it.
If you made it, most likely you WANTED to be found. Whether it is your actual details or fake, nickname-y details.

Facebook suckage (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36254180)

This sounds like more facebook suckage.

This is why I made my Google profile!! (4, Insightful)

sanchom (1681398) | more than 2 years ago | (#36254188)

That's the point of a Google profile! To let people more easily find you. I would certainly hope that they allow indexing of this information.
Why would you want a private profile? Like Creed from The Office, I can make a private profile with Microsoft Word.

Re:This is why I made my Google profile!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36254774)

/aol_me_2

I mean, holy carp... back-in-the-day, everyone was indexed in this horrible privacy-invading tome called the white-pages. Names, address and phone number were easily discoverable. Now, I want people to still be able to find me, so I purposely put lots of info on my google profile.

I have no problem with the info being easily accessible.

Ahem. (4, Insightful)

blair1q (305137) | more than 2 years ago | (#36254254)

The Internet is not secure.

Alternatives? (1)

Cthefuture (665326) | more than 2 years ago | (#36254292)

Anyone know of any alternatives that will let me sync my Android phone with all the information I do now? Calendar, phone book, installed applications, bookmarks, etc. It is really handy whenever I wipe my phone or get a new one, everything just magically transfers over. I was even able to cross devices when I switched from Symbian to Android, because I was using the Symbian Google syncing stuff.

I hate that Google has all that information but it's just so damn handy. There is no reason why I couldn't run my own server for that though. Something open source and Linux based would be good.

Re:Alternatives? (1)

jittles (1613415) | more than 2 years ago | (#36254648)

I set up my own Zimbra server and it does all of that except for the apps. I decided long ago that I wasn't going to just hand any of these companies my entire address book.

Shocked (1)

element-o.p. (939033) | more than 2 years ago | (#36254298)

You mean...data I choose to make public on Google is... PUBLIC ?!?!?!

Re:Shocked (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36254652)

OH NOES! Next you'll tell me people can read things I write in this box on Slashdot... :)

Public information is public (1)

Phasma Felis (582975) | more than 2 years ago | (#36254640)

How is this news?

Easily fixed (1)

Radiophobic (1973144) | more than 2 years ago | (#36254682)

by not entering a bunch of information in the first place. People need to read the terms of service, and think about what kind of information they put online.

Umm... ok what is the problem? (1)

Riceballsan (816702) | more than 2 years ago | (#36254854)

So someone is complaining that information posted to something that is specifically designed to make the information public and searchable, on a website that is famous for it's incredible indexing and filtering capabilities, and the complaint is that the information is easy to get? Lets put something into sane terms ok.

If information is claimed to be private (e-mails, your contacts, messages etc...) is compromised then it's a privacy violation
Information that is announced to be public designed to be easy to access for anyone, then it is PUBLIC, there is no privacy violation.

There are advantages (1)

Christoph (17845) | more than 2 years ago | (#36254900)

In 2003, Arlene Corpuz [gregerson.org] did a Google search for "microsoft word class handout". She found my website where I had teaching handouts I wrote. Arlene was in the Philippines, emailed me, and I provided the documents she wanted.

She had a Geocities homepage in her signature. I read it, and we corresponded.

In September of 2004, I landed in Manila. In June of 2005, Arlene and I were married in the USA. In March of 2008, our daughter, Athena Corpuz Gregerson was born.

This was the advantage, for us, of sharing information about ourselves online. We have not experienced any disadvantages yet.

Re:There are advantages (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36255584)

so the summary of the story is you were/are running a smuggling ring into the country?

Not much there. (1)

pulski (126566) | more than 2 years ago | (#36255044)

My Google Profile consists of my name, e-mail address and an avatar of the "Awesome Smiley" for GChat. They can mine that all they want.

Why is this news? (1)

Zamphatta (1760346) | more than 2 years ago | (#36255480)

Why is this news?? You make a profile online, not for yourself, but for others... for public consumption. So... huh?

While I was at it.... (1)

Mojo Geek (28926) | more than 2 years ago | (#36255484)

I allowed them to index my socks and underwear drawer, but not before I bought new underwear so's as to show off my spiffy skiveys. Now, no matter my mood, the right undies are no more than 0,.27 msecs away. And to think all that is even available now via my phone (or yours). Great googly moogly we have arrived.

Meh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36255688)

If they can find value in the made up data I put in there, good for them.

Free advertisment? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36255880)

It's a public profile. At least for me, I put stuff there that I want people to know about. Most of the time they don't care.

Now if someone makes it more accessable and actually reads it, the better.

Many people pay advertising companies to do so.

Of course, putting private information on public profiles is highly stupid. No, I don't expect most people to understand that before they get into an uncomfortable place, but well, that's not my problem.

Facebook (1)

ProfessionalCookie (673314) | more than 2 years ago | (#36256018)

How much is Facebook paying for slashdot stories? News flash: Public Profiles are . . . Public! Welcome to teh webz.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...