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Google Offering Cash For Your Cache

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the have-a-couple-bucks dept.

Google 152

pigrabbitbear writes "The gradual transformation of the web into an ultra-personalized, corporate-owned social space in the cloud has raised more than a few legitimate concerns about data privacy. Google, for obvious reasons, has always been one of the top cheerleaders for this metamorphosis. Touting a fresh new privacy policy that allows data about you from all of their services to coalesce, they've recently been particularly bullish about rendering that increasingly realistic digital portrait of you that lies stuffed away in their servers. It has led us again to question: How much are we comfortable with our machines knowing about us? How much is our privacy really worth? With their new program, Google is now asking those questions quite directly, and preceding them with dollar signs. Are we all on the verge of making our own information age Faustian bargains?"

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Obama! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38992445)

Oh wait..

Re:Obama! (1)

Flaming Troll Shill (2565309) | more than 2 years ago | (#38995407)

WTF? I read about this yesterday on /.






cue jokes re: my UID

Just Might Take Them Up On It (5, Interesting)

Lieutenant Buddha (1660501) | more than 2 years ago | (#38992447)

Let me be the first (!) to say that I would not be entirely opposed to this idea. I am not a rich man and my data is private, just not... *that* private. While I disagree with the sale of personal data on principle, in practice I am really not concerned at all with anything I can envision them doing with that information. In a word, meh.

Re:Just Might Take Them Up On It (5, Insightful)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | more than 2 years ago | (#38992477)

Well, given what they could assimilate on most users, they know who you are, where you live, your medical problems, your political leanings, and your sexual orientation. I think that would give pause to anyone who is, or would ever like to be, employed.

While I don't envision them doing anything evil with that data, I can most certainly envision it being possible.

Re:Just Might Take Them Up On It (5, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 2 years ago | (#38992777)

Well, my boss knows my political position (welcome to our wonderful world of politicial influence in pretty much any place that is remotely touching administration), he knows my medical problems (after all, he's the guy who has to sign my sick days), where I live (because he needs a place to send my mail to) and as far as I can tell, he doesn't give half a shit if I enjoy sucking off goats as long as I do my job.

That doesn't mean that I enjoy some random company having any data of me. Hence I usually give them more data than they want. Poison the cache with random data and let's see how they find out how they match up.

Re:Just Might Take Them Up On It (5, Interesting)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | more than 2 years ago | (#38992937)

...I usually give them more data than they want. Poison the cache with random data and let's see how they find out how they match up.

That's kind of how I feel about Facebook photo tagging. Last week I got tagged in 6 photos taken on 3 different continents.

Of course, the date and/or location were wrong for 2 of them, and I was only actually *in* 4 of the photos, which should make things even more interesting.

So... Good luck figuring that out. :)

Re:Just Might Take Them Up On It (5, Insightful)

justforgetme (1814588) | more than 2 years ago | (#38993115)

ohh.. There is already software for that, don't worry. After all facebook doesn't need you to tag yourself, they have already identified you and just wait for your confirmation.

In the summer I can remember Facebook identifying me in some photos nobody had ever touched.
Last month they wanted to verify some locations in Europe I've been photographed in
Next month they are going to be asking me where I was at the time of the murder of a member of parliament.

Joke aside feature recognition algos have become unbelievably efficient for location estimation and face recognition, I'm not sure if Facebook's questions are just deductive logic from the info your peers provide or if they actually try to produce data from the images but the later is equally doable.

Re:Just Might Take Them Up On It (1)

Tim C (15259) | more than 2 years ago | (#38993453)

After all facebook doesn't need you to tag yourself, they have already identified you and just wait for your confirmation.

Their facial recognition software is impressive, but certainly not perfect. I don't have any hard data but in my experience while it does correctly identify people quite often, there are still significant false positives and negatives.

Re:Just Might Take Them Up On It (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 2 years ago | (#38993731)

That's just their public version of the software, to convince you they're more flawed than they are! /tinfoil-hat

Re:Just Might Take Them Up On It (0)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 2 years ago | (#38993877)

Their facial recognition software is impressive, but certainly not perfect. I don't have any hard data but in my experience while it does correctly identify people quite often, there are still significant false positives and negatives.

I really feel sorry for my identical twin. Not only is he just as ugly as I am, now he can get blamed for the stupid shit I get caught doing on FB. /sarcasm

All kidding aside, I do not have a pic on FB but I have been tagged in several photos - twice as a cat. False positives indeed.

Re:Just Might Take Them Up On It (2)

UltraZelda64 (2309504) | more than 2 years ago | (#38992969)

But on the other hand... some bosses might turn you in to PETA for giving goats blowjobs against their wills. Never mind the fact that us humans are animals ourselves.

Re:Just Might Take Them Up On It (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38993003)

Those goats must be a lot more puritanical than I am...

Re:Just Might Take Them Up On It (2)

viperidaenz (2515578) | more than 2 years ago | (#38993157)

Exactly, PETA would want you to give them tips on how to not get kicked in the nuts in the process.

Re:Just Might Take Them Up On It (4, Insightful)

muon-catalyzed (2483394) | more than 2 years ago | (#38993013)

Does not matter what Google would do, just wait until all those data "leak" in some breach and the blackhats get their hands on it.

Re:Just Might Take Them Up On It (-1, Redundant)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 2 years ago | (#38993893)

Does not matter what Google would do, just wait until all those data "leak" in some breach and the blackhats get their hands on it.

Or, Google's Prospective Employee Recruitment Program service starts selling your data to employers.

Re:Just Might Take Them Up On It (3, Informative)

swillden (191260) | more than 2 years ago | (#38994829)

Does not matter what Google would do, just wait until all those data "leak" in some breach and the blackhats get their hands on it.

Or, Google's Prospective Employee Recruitment Program service starts selling your data to employers.

Google's privacy policy prohibits selling or otherwise transferring user data to outside parties.

Re:Just Might Take Them Up On It (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38995219)

I don't believe anything Google says anymore. I don't use their search except as a last resort--then I use it in the highest security zone. I block all of their other subdomains. Whatever Google has, they can guess, but I won't confirm it. And in some cases, profiling something would be wrong:

Example 1: Years ago, I found out someone I knew--not that well but was a regular board enough contributor--had committed suicide. For several days I checked the suicide newsgroups looking for their posts, if any were made. I only found one or two after searching back several years. That doesn't mean I was going to commit suicide--so if Google profiled that, they would be wrong.

Example 2: When I'm prescribed a medicine, I look at the side effects list. Then I look up any of the illness or disease related side effects, the severest ones too, just so I know. That doesn't mean I have those side effects. If Google profiled that I had one or more of those severe side effects, they would again be wrong.

But Google can have their profiles, I guess. I still won't ever be clicking anything Ads by Google, AdChoices, etc. because I don't willfully click on any Internet ads, and I don't ever buy from Internet ads. Look, I've been online since 1992, and I have never purchased anything even if the ad was accidentally clicked. Even if the ad did slightly interest me, I always right-clicked, got the ad URL, copied/pasted the URL, then removed any referral information from the URL before going to the site--turns out I never purchased anything from those sites either. But I would say 99% of the time, I'm not even seeing those ads unless they are annoying intersitials that break the site to force the ad viewing (then I still close the ad and move on).

But I have to wonder... by accepting the Google cookie on a website that runs analytics have you now accepted the new all-services privacy policy?

Re:Just Might Take Them Up On It (1)

eric_herm (1231134) | more than 2 years ago | (#38995535)

Does it prevent them from getting data from employers and say "match/no match" ? Because this would not be giving the data, just using what was given to them to provides a service. That's not against their privacy policy, and nothing private leave google servers.

Re:Just Might Take Them Up On It (4, Insightful)

swillden (191260) | more than 2 years ago | (#38994809)

Does not matter what Google would do, just wait until all those data "leak" in some breach and the blackhats get their hands on it.

That's always possible, of course. As someone who works on securing data at Google, though, I have to say that I think your data is safer in Google's servers than just about anywhere. Almost certainly safer than on your own computer. Prior to joining Google I spent 15 years working as a security and privacy consultant for companies all over the world, big and small, so I have a pretty good feel for the state of information security around the world. In my expert opinion, Google does an excellent job. Far better than, for example, your bank.

I'm not sure how much I'm free to say here, so I'm not going to give any details. I'll just say that Google has excellent security infrastructure, and uses it well. Google's security operations teams review everything that remotely touches on security or privacy, and they're world class. Much of my work touches on the cryptographic security infrastructure, and I love the fact that I get my designs and implementations reviewed by serious cryptographers. I also love the fact that in the year I've been with Google I've never yet had any potential security issue I raised be ignored. It's no accident that Google is one of the few major sites on the web that uses SSL for basically all of its user-facing pages -- it's clearly indicative of the "secure by default" mentality of Google engineers.

Even better, most of the security focus at Google isn't directed at keeping the data secure from outside hackers -- most of the threat analyses that I write are focused on preventing abuses by insiders. Not because Google doesn't trust its employees, but because insiders have the most access. If you can make it impossible for employees to access data, you can be pretty sure that it's secure from outside hackers.

Of course, sometimes employees have to be able to get to information. To address that Google has extensive logging infrastructure and systems to identify potential abuses -- and accessing information without a good reason is a firing offense, regardless of whether or not you actually misuse it.

Nothing is perfect, of course, and no real system is invulnerable, so I won't say breaches are impossible. I will say that they're unlikely.

Re:Just Might Take Them Up On It (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38995649)

That's always possible, of course. As someone who works on securing data at Google, though, I have to say that I think your data is safer in Google's servers than just about anywhere. Almost certainly safer than on your own computer.

Thanks for the good laugh. You seem to have forgotten that Google got pwn3d badly by the Chinese government 2 years ago. Or the GMail SRE idiot who was reading chat logs from other people. Now what makes things even worse is that you have had a mole there for several months (a guy with shoddy ethics that has been known for stealing and leaking information from other places) and your security team is none the wiser.

Re:Just Might Take Them Up On It (2)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 2 years ago | (#38993143)

That doesn't mean that I enjoy some random company having any data of me. Hence I usually give them more data than they want. Poison the cache with random data and let's see how they find out how they match up.

The problem with Google is, being EVERYWHERE (in some form or another), your attempts at poisoning requires active effort, or your real habits will quickly overwhelm the faked data.

And yes, should everything Google disappear overnight, the internet will be quite broken

Re:Just Might Take Them Up On It (0)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 2 years ago | (#38993899)

... and as far as I can tell, he doesn't give half a shit if I enjoy sucking off goats as long as I do my job.

Your job wouldn't happen to be a goat semen collector, would it? ;-)

Re:Just Might Take Them Up On It (0)

Tim C (15259) | more than 2 years ago | (#38993313)

Well now, my employer already knows where I live and who I am (duh), my sexual orientation (and I know my boss's - I'm straight, he's gay, who cares?), I don't care who knows my political leanings (left of centre, from a UK perspective). That only leaves medical problems, which a) Google most certainly does not know, and b) currently amount to a mild case of psoriasis on my scalp and a mild strain injury to my right wrist/hand (from DIY). The former is visible, while the latter I have certainly moaned about to anyone within earshot enough times that the people I work closely with (including my boss) know about it, even if the wrist strap didn't give it away.

I can see that people wouldn't want all and sundry knowing all of that, especially the medical stuff. However, as for things like political leanings, sexual orientation, whether or not I enjoy a drink now and again, etc, while it's nobody's business I really don't care who knows and if an employer is going to object to any of it, I'd rather know before I waste time applying for a job with them as I wouldn't want to work for that sort of person anyway.

So personally, while I am a relatively private person (I have a Facebook account, but I don't share everything with everyone), I tend to agree with both you and the OP - sure, it's abusable, but in my case meh.

Re:Just Might Take Them Up On It (1)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 2 years ago | (#38993691)

Well, given what they could assimilate on most users, they know who you are, where you live, your medical problems, your political leanings, and your sexual orientation. I think that would give pause to anyone who is, or would ever like to be, employed.

While I don't envision them doing anything evil with that data, I can most certainly envision it being possible.

That's why I always use your name and address when I sign up for anything online.

Re:Just Might Take Them Up On It (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38994083)

used a modern web browser? most use autocomplete in the location/url bar and send the data to either google or microsoft. They already know what you think and where you go. Just throw in the random my little pony query to keep them on their toes...

Re:Just Might Take Them Up On It (4, Insightful)

bky1701 (979071) | more than 2 years ago | (#38992489)

"I am really not concerned at all with anything I can envision them doing with that information. In a word, meh."

The fact they are going to pay what is likely to be, in Google terms (think ad click cost), a huge sum should send up some red flags. (If it isn't that much, then it isn't going to be worth installing the plug for most users.) They stand to profit a lot from this data, else they wouldn't pay for it. Keep in mind all the data they receive for free.

Re:Just Might Take Them Up On It (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | more than 2 years ago | (#38993169)

Probably not profit much at all on the specific data collected, but on the models they produce from analysing it all

Re:Just Might Take Them Up On It (4, Insightful)

ToadProphet (1148333) | more than 2 years ago | (#38992591)

I am really not concerned at all with anything I can envision them doing with that information.

And that's the problem.

Nobody knows what the future will hold in terms of laws and governance. The things that you do today, that are likely well within the limits of the law and likely of no interest to the state, may make you an enemy of a new state tomorrow. Your sig is an excellent example - suggesting that you might be an atheist could wind you up on a watch list of the future. Sounds preposterous, sure, but one never knows.

And yes, we're talking about handing what likely amounts to rather dull data over to a corporation. But again, you don't know who that corporation may hand that data over to tomorrow.

Re:Just Might Take Them Up On It (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38992667)

why is it a problem the OP doesn't share your values? She's clear on the facts.

Re:Just Might Take Them Up On It (4, Interesting)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 2 years ago | (#38992851)

why is it a problem the OP doesn't share your values? She's clear on the facts.

It's a problem because it has nothing to do with values. Saying it does implies that it is a lifestyle choice like pick-your-utopia day.

Although one might not be able to envision what you can do with information, that does not mean that something cannot be done with it, or be done with it in the future.

Those who cannot remember the past are doomed to repeat it. History has shown us, in concrete factual terms, that people can do some downright nasty things to other people for any number of reasons and justifications tied to whatever values, religions, etc. you can think of.

Which is precisely why protecting your privacy, meaning protecting the information about you, is "value" agnostic. It is just simple logic. The less those in power know about you the more protected you are. Period. That simple. I could beat you over the head with history books for a few hours, but it really is that simple.

Information is power. Power corrupts. Absolutely power corrupts absolutely.

People can stick to their "values" and be completely open and free with all information that pertains to them. What will not change about it is the incredible danger they are in by doing so. That fact will remain timeless.

Re:Just Might Take Them Up On It (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38992973)

Blah blah blah values blah blah blah danger

Explain to me again what consequence of lack of privacy is independent of values?

Re:Just Might Take Them Up On It (3, Insightful)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 2 years ago | (#38993131)

Blah blah blah values blah blah blah danger

Explain to me again what consequence of lack of privacy is independent of values?

It's this simple.

How you view privacy and anonymity and how it may relate to freedom is completely dependent on your values. It is very much a philosophical discussion, and hence my reference to pick-your-utopia day. We can envision many different types of possible societies from Star Trek to Star Wars to Welcome to Thunder Dome Bitch. It's wonderful fun.

What is not dependent on your values or philosophy is what history shows us that people do to other people based on information. That is a fact not subject to any one person's values.

For instance, and this is not a Godwin attempt, the Gestapo and SS were reliant upon information gathered through "unintended consequences" of laws passed before and during WWII to carry out their own value based agenda against non-Aryans, namely Jews.

The Stasi is another good example of how information about you, sometimes gathered by force, can be used against you.

So while your "blah blah blah blah danger" characterization of my post has a certain appeal to the anti Tin-Foil Hat people, it disregards history to a dangerous and quite humorous and cartoon like degree. You saying it is about values is like Wile E Coyote "deciding" on whether or not gravity exists.

Regardless of how you feel about your privacy, history is an inarguable series of facts that demonstrate that people will use information against you, time and time and time and time again.

Rinse and Repeat.

Re:Just Might Take Them Up On It (5, Insightful)

shadowmas (697397) | more than 2 years ago | (#38993253)

Remember the deported British twitters from America? They too thought that their information was no value to anyone and that it wasn't important. Well the Homeland security proved them wrong. How little you think about your details are irrelevant. Its what others think about them that matters. You might be absolutely innocent but if your browsing habits or facbook posts indicate to a possible power (goverment or otherwise) that you are a suspect then you'll have a hard time proving your innocence. You might be able to do that but is the hassle worth a couple of hundred dollars?

Re:Just Might Take Them Up On It (1)

migla (1099771) | more than 2 years ago | (#38993533)

>Explain to me again what consequence of lack of privacy is independent of values?

Death. Broken bones. Shackles.

You can, of course, latch on all sorts of different values to those states, but if you are dead or shackled, the values of whoever put you in that state does not alter the state of being dead or shackled itself.

Any of those consequences might be extremely unlikely for you where you are now, but sooner or later it will be zero or one anyway. And if it turns out to be one, then it doesn't matter how unlikely it seemed earlier.

Re:Just Might Take Them Up On It (1)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 2 years ago | (#38992829)

Where you stand on the fight for privacy fight boils down this: How much is your hypocracy worth to you, and how much does other peoples hypocracy cost you.

So ignorant (1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 2 years ago | (#38994455)

So your protection against the holocaust would be to have refused to do fill in the census report as a Jew. Yeah, that would have worked really well.

The defense against tyranny is not to hide from lists but to prevent tyrans from rising to power. Basically you are saying "I am not on any lists (as far as you know) so I am safe". First they came for the people on the list and you did nothing but vote for the tyrant since he offered you a tax cut.

Fight for a better future so that if your data chances hands, it can't make a difference because those involved would go to jail.

Re:So ignorant (1)

ToadProphet (1148333) | more than 2 years ago | (#38994929)

So your protection against the holocaust would be to have refused to do fill in the census report as a Jew. Yeah, that would have worked really well.

No, and that's a silly example.
Perhaps you're unfamiliar with the reasons why many people and organizations in western countries are uncomfortable with allowing governments to keep data that specifically identifies them. And why many fight for laws to ensure that any data retained is done so in a way that prevents them from identifying the individual in the census. So we do, in fact, refuse to identify the individual as a Jew. Or as a communist. Etc.

The defense against tyranny is not to hide from lists but to prevent tyrans from rising to power. Basically you are saying "I am not on any lists (as far as you know) so I am safe".

No, I'm not saying that at all. And I'm not simply talking about tyranny of the state - I'm referring to transient mores and values. What's acceptable today may not be tomorrow. As humans we can adapt to that, but we have yet to determine how to do that in a digital age. Your opinion is recorded and static. The consequences may be relatively minor - don't get a date with someone with opposing views - or they may be much worse. Imagine J. Edgar Hoover with access to all that information, largely supported by a 'pinko-commie' hating public.

Apparently you're also unfamiliar with the concept of tyranny of the majority. For all your bravado, you'll be tilting at windmills trying to prevent that from happening. Or were you fighting the brave fight on behalf of the communists? Or perhaps you're working hard on behalf of the new enemy, Muslims? There's always tyranny, even in the freest of nations, and it's naive to think otherwise.

Re:Just Might Take Them Up On It (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 2 years ago | (#38995601)

Your sig is an excellent example - suggesting that you might be an atheist could wind you up on a watch list of the future. Sounds preposterous, sure, but one never knows.

That just leads to absurdity where you never express an opinion on anything ever, in case it might be used against you in future. I suppose it is possible that in the future it will be a crime not to unconditionally love Apple//goats cheese or whatever, but I'm not going to avoid talking about them now just because of that almost infinitely remote possibility.

Re:Just Might Take Them Up On It (1)

jasno (124830) | more than 2 years ago | (#38992739)

It sounds like a great idea - let's admit that private information about an individual is property of that individual. They have the right to sell it - or in my case to *not* sell it.

Want to charge me for gmail instead? Ok, sign me up. Just don't data-mine it or sell it to a third-party. The same goes for facebook - I'd gladly sign back up if I was allowed to be the customer.

Re:property of that individual (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 2 years ago | (#38993875)

Actually, that would work pretty well, but it will never happen.

"Your private information is copyrighted to you, subject to the penalties of the copyright laws if they sell it to all their ad partners."

Re:Just Might Take Them Up On It (4, Interesting)

wanzeo (1800058) | more than 2 years ago | (#38993243)

1. Install virtual machine
2. Install Chrome
3. Write Python script to browse web continuously
4. ???^h^h^h Sell cache
5. Profit!

Re:Just Might Take Them Up On It (1)

nomaddamon (1783058) | more than 2 years ago | (#38993867)

This returns a massive profit of 0,007$/h (considering the machine is running 24/7) per virtual machine

If you factor in the power and infrastructure bills you are at loss...

Now this is more like it:
0. Sneak into someone else's server room
1. Install virtual machine
2. Install Chrome
3. Write Python script to browse web continuously
4. ???^h^h^h Sell cache
5. Profit!

Eric Says (2)

vencs (1937504) | more than 2 years ago | (#38992461)

If you dont want to sell your private data, may be you should not be storing it (with us) in the first place.

Google Highjump into Shallow End (4, Insightful)

bky1701 (979071) | more than 2 years ago | (#38992463)

Alright, when I heard about the privacy policy changes, I thought "oh, well, not like they will really be doing anything new." Yet almost instantly afterwards, we see two attempts on Google's part to grab even more data. The first question that comes to mind is why they want it so badly. If they are ready to pay you for browsing history, this is not simply about getting ad clicks from you personally. I doubt they would ever recoup the money they spent from whatever slight improvement in ad targeting they would get. No, something deeper is at work, and as someone essentially locked into gmail, I am extremely uncomfortable even considering what they are up to. If this is Google's future, it is time to cut my losses and go anywhere else.

Re:Google Highjump into Shallow End (1)

noh8rz2 (2538714) | more than 2 years ago | (#38992669)

Re:dupe story? from earlier this day? (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 2 years ago | (#38993881)

Yes, I'm glad someone finally noticed.

Now we don't even start the fp with "Dupe" anymore. They're getting good page hit value out of their stories now.

Re:Google Highjump into Shallow End (4, Insightful)

InterGuru (50986) | more than 2 years ago | (#38992681)

"and as someone essentially locked into gmail"

Non techie solution, do your searches on Bing. Also, use a separate dedicated browser for Facebook ( I use Opera ). Of course assume that anything you put on the net is public.

Re:Google Highjump into Shallow End (1)

drolli (522659) | more than 2 years ago | (#38993005)

well. i use google maps, search and google+. However my homepage and email are with a paid for provider under a jurisdiction i approve of.

The point is: googles business in understanding what you look for to provide you with the best advertisements possible.

The combination: "he agreed to meet casually with a group of friends (google+) at x after searching (google search) for y and while going there (google maps) he paid something at shop z (via NFC for example) and checked in at time t and while he was waiting he searched for s." is very valuable to google.

Re:Google Highjump into Shallow End (1)

tapspace (2368622) | more than 2 years ago | (#38993517)

I've already deleted my facebook. I'm scrambling to figure a way to ditch gmail right now (since the privacy policy changes). Don't use bing as InterGuru suggests, but rather https://ssl.scroogle.org/ [scroogle.org] or startingpage.com

Re:Google Highjump into Shallow End (1)

swillden (191260) | more than 2 years ago | (#38994951)

I am extremely uncomfortable even considering what they are up to. If this is Google's future, it is time to cut my losses and go anywhere else.

Another option is to opt out of all Google tracking and ads personalization. Check out the tools at http://www.google.com/intl/en/privacy/tools.html [google.com]

Re:Google Highjump into Shallow End (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38995637)

Another option is to opt out of all Google tracking and ads personalization. Check out the tools at http://www.google.com/intl/en/privacy/tools.html [google.com]

All you have to do to "opt out" of Google tracking is ... keep a Google tracking cookie on you everywhere you go.

When it comes to security of Google's own, internal information they go to great lengths to limit who can access it because they know they cannot rely on contractually-enforced trust of their own employees but when it comes to security of your information they insist that you rely on no-contract-whatsoever trust of Google.

If sex is the most common thing searched for... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38992471)

... does this mean Google is going to build the world's largest known Kama Sutra?

It's as the bad proposal similar to evil poker. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38992479)

In a world like the Quantum Mechanics (or Quantum Computation, or Quantum Physics, or Quantum Calculus, etc.) ...

$100'000 is an infinitesimal measurement value that is 99.9999% statistically undetectable respecting to the current relative totality of the current debt of >$13'000'000'000'000.00

JCPM: my/our arrow is into GRID of Quantum SAT solvers.

Funny info (1)

bryan1945 (301828) | more than 2 years ago | (#38992483)

How about I set this up with one of my old (read, mostly fake) accounts on an old computer, and occasionally use that computer to go to lolcatz, loldogz, Engrish, Cracked, Slashdot, and ESPN, and never use my email or anything else on that computer? Think that would get flagged by this service? Or maybe all types of ultra-religious type sites?
Any other funky suggestions to play with Google's head?
(Not that I would do this, it would take too much time)

Speaking as an "expert" in Faust... (4, Interesting)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 2 years ago | (#38992485)

Speaking as someone who took a class about the myth of Faust [sfsu.edu] , I can tell you in my expert opinion that my notes and papers from that course were lost when a brownout fried my hard drives. Damn! If only I'd sold my soul to a cloud backup service.

But this sounds more like a modernized, snoopier incarnation of AllAdvantage than a genuine Faustian bargain; particularly because you can quit whenever you want.

Re:Speaking as an "expert" in Faust... (5, Funny)

themusicgod1 (241799) | more than 2 years ago | (#38992557)

"I can quit google any time I feel like. I'm not addicted at all. In fact I could google 'google rehab' and start on quitting right now."

Re:Speaking as an "expert" in Faust... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38992869)

Not even sure Goethe was an 'expert' in Faust

Re:Speaking as an "expert" in Faust... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38995635)

Any Notre Dame alums here? They could tell you all about Faustian bargains [wikipedia.org] .

Strategic move (4, Insightful)

hcs_$reboot (1536101) | more than 2 years ago | (#38992509)

After all the buzz made around the coming merge of private data indexes [usatoday.com] , that new offer - get money from Google in exchange of your websites visits information - is a way to show users that, actually, and unless you request it, Google is not inspecting your web searches. This is a reassuring move.

A WHOLE $5 every 3 months? (3, Funny)

scottbomb (1290580) | more than 2 years ago | (#38992531)

Wow! That's like, FIVE WHOLE CENTS A DAY!

Tell Google to get bent. When they're offering $25/mo, we'll talk.

Re:A WHOLE $5 every 3 months? (2)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 2 years ago | (#38992553)

When they're offering $25/mo, we'll talk.

I bet when they're buying millions of DSL lines in bulk, they'll get a much better price than $25.

You do want a free Internet connection, don't you?

Make a better one (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38992539)

Must be a way to make a competitive product that has as its core sales pitch the very opposite of the model we are experiencing now. Ads on pages to pay the way but nothing too cluttered and certainly not targetted beyond the basic deomgraphics of your community. Could you resist the huge offers from the marketers for the psychographics so easily within reach...? Just make a little change here or there to your privacy policy, just a few... Interesting problem.

25$ for gigabytes of In Soviet Russia jokes? (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#38992581)

In Soviet Russia IIIII'm the CAAAT!

Re:25$ for gigabytes of In Soviet Russia jokes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38992871)

In the Soviet Quantum Laboratory, ... RAAAT!

I'm not saying 50% died cat or 50% still living cat, but yes my pointing scene of TO BE 50% CAT or 50% RAT, all depends of the results after of estimating the statistical evaluations regarding their cellular processes.

In QM, $100'000 is an infinitesimal measurement value that is 99.9999% statistically undetectable respecting to the current relative totality of the current U.S. debt of >$13'000'000'000'000.00

Also, there are superpositions, yes, almost of them maybe illegal as the illegality of the foreclosurement mortages conflicts of the House Booooom in U.S.

In one side, money, in the another side, digital space <-- both curves shouldn't be co-parallel, otherwise, it's very stupid (e.g. should be $2.5 for Terabytes in year 2013).

JCPM: the sr. Smith should sorry himself due to its failure of not considerating the study of Quantum Mechanics that he modelled only its Classical Physics: QM proves that he failed to "detect" all penny in the totality of its accountability.

Hello (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38992621)

Please extract blood and DNA sample. Hello Mr Smith. Amazon has a selection of gay and goat porn that might interest you. If these selections are in error please hit the "escapee" key and select your sexual preference. This week we have a selection of Asian bisexual gang bang videos available. If you would like to select from another area of interest please click on the Harry Potter tab below.

So don't use Google services (3, Insightful)

Animats (122034) | more than 2 years ago | (#38992653)

I don't use Google services, except occasionally as a developer. I'm only logged in when I'm doing development uploads to Chrome add-ons. (And that's a port of something I have for Mozilla). Mail is handled by my own web sites, filtered by Spam Assassin, retrieved with IMAP, and filed in Thunderbird. Open source code is on Sourceforge. Backups are on a paid service. Videos are on blip.tv. Documents and spreadsheets are in Open Office/Libre Office. 3D work is in Autodesk Inventor or Blender. I have Facebook and LinkedIn accounts for social networking. I used to use Google Voice for an SMS project, but Google's connection to the phone network (which is through a weird third party provider) had trouble telling which numbers could send and receive SMS, and I switched that project to Twilio.

Google has a nice search engine, but I don't see any need to use any of their other services targeted to individuals.

Re:So don't use Google services (1)

priyaaa (2571293) | more than 2 years ago | (#38992753)

I am fully addicted to google. I use all the products of google and integrate them to get most out of it. However, now i feel like my privacy is lost in some way.

Re:So don't use Google services (1)

swillden (191260) | more than 2 years ago | (#38994981)

I am fully addicted to google. I use all the products of google and integrate them to get most out of it. However, now i feel like my privacy is lost in some way.

Google provides tools that allow you to see and control what Google stores about you, and to opt out of tracking and ad personalization.

http://www.google.com/intl/en/privacy/tools.html

Re:So don't use Google services (1)

Karljohan (807381) | more than 2 years ago | (#38992977)

I used to use Google services for most things, however my experience from earlier IT moves (dot com crash, "free life time" email addresses, etc) forced me to anticipate a speedy change of climate so I'm prepared and remove most data from their services at the moment.

Re:So don't use Google services (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38994741)

This sounds very reasonable but I suspect a lot of normal users will just continue using services that erode their privacy on a daily basis. I stopped using Android devices when Andy Rubin started acting like a hypocrite, cancelled my G+ account when Vic Gundotra started alienating users with his moronic Real Names policy and stopped using the remaining ones when David Drummond rolled out the new privacy policy.

If more and more people start using alternatives maybe they will get the message.

--
I value my privacy so I never use any Google service or product. Say NO to the Google creeps.

Information is worth money-why am I not being paid (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38992713)

Information is worth money - so why am I not being paid?

That is one thought, but I don't think it is not the cornerstone of the issue. Where I see the problem is the we have digital goods that are being given away and resold by every Tom, Dick and Harry. If my information is worth something to someone, then it should be protected and I should have the ability to protect it. Where is my protection? Almost every contract I see seems to base the concept of privacy as: We can take your information, share it with our subsiduaries (whom may have no rules in place for privacy, but is allowed according to contract), whom in turn may sell it on if they believe it is worth something.

What I think is needed is new laws to protect the people against companies fleecing information being from us. For example, to purchace a phone on a plan, I was being asked (on top of 3 pieces of idenification, one of which MUST be a credit card):
Where I work
When I work
How long have I worked there
Where I live
How long I've lived there
etc. etc.

They didn't need this information. Honestly it felt like someone fishing for information as to when is the best time to rob my house. All they need is my basic details to confirm my identity, and banking details to confirm I can pay. Same for collection agencies - they don't need to verify my idenity to tell me a bill is late - only to process a payment on the spot or to give me further details. Instead they try their hardest to get me to give them my birthdate etc., when I did not call them and the burden of proof is upon them to verify their idenity. Why? Then only reason I can assume is to sell this information off. It is not the company that I owe money to calling me, it is a company HIRED by them to call/collect. Since I have no contract with the collection agency, is there any law to stop them selling this information?

To my knowledge, there is not.

And their should be.

Don't steal (1)

eminencja (1368047) | more than 2 years ago | (#38992823)

I wonder if EU will make a rant about it. There is a saying -- don't steal, government hates competition. Governments would happily extend their monopoly to data retention.

Hrmmm (1)

inode_buddha (576844) | more than 2 years ago | (#38992875)

Sounds like a *great* way to screw over enemies and politicians. figure out how to Install this on their boxes and collect the money. Get some lulz while yer at it.

Erm.... (1)

Loki_666 (824073) | more than 2 years ago | (#38992951)

Just use false data if it bothers you.

The only problem is, consistency of false data, otherwise google will note the mismatched data and realise you are telling porkies.

Re:Erm.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38993041)

Their gonna want their "Screenwise Data Collector back" and you your $1.66 a month.

I find it easier to tell the truth, as it's harder to keep a lie.

Re:Erm.... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38993221)

Their gonna want their "Screenwise Data Collector back" and you your $1.66 a month.

Sure? I though that two billions of chineses could accept this idea, it could be affordable for them to be screenwise scanned for only $1.66/month to each user that accepted it.

Doing numbers, 2'000'000'000 chineses-like could profit themselves $3'320'000'000/month and not working! (but spied by Google's blackboxes that you won't know that these alien electronic apparatuses do!).

Google before was a simple web searcher, today is a map searcher, and tomorrow will be a human violator of their human privacies that shouldn't be circunvented under any concept, nor the U.S. constitution.

JCPM: the bad invasor's idea for somebodies maybe a good idea for anothers, the threatment is the same, not?.

Re:Erm.... (1)

Devout2 (2026726) | more than 2 years ago | (#38993601)

1.5 billion Chinese plus 0.5 billion of them online equals equals 2 billions of chineses that could be using this google service, despite the fact that chineses use baidu as their search engine! F*ck Yeah!

get rich quick... (1)

mitashki (1116893) | more than 2 years ago | (#38992981)

I see a new marketing niche emerging - Big G Snoop devices for sale to the [AnyCountry] mob organization.

Seen on a truck once... (2)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 2 years ago | (#38992993)

Gas, gash or cache - nobody rides for free

Re:Seen on your hirsute mom... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38993147)

Ass, gash, or 'stache -- everybody rides for free.

Re:Seen on a truck once... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38993165)

Eh, truckers may not be the best educated lot, but I think they can spell "cash".

Google Offering Cash For Sheeeple Cache (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38993037)

Fixed it.

It's called NoScript (3, Informative)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 2 years ago | (#38993195)

And you just don't allow Google Analytics. And similar scripts.

And of course, it also means you don't use Google+ (which they have already stated is an "identity service", and any social networking benefits are just "bait"... I'm just quoting Google themselves).

Or Gmail, which is also scanned for content. Or...

Basically it means that if you don't want everything available you scanned and analyzed, you just don't use Google's services. Period. Heck, I don't even use Google search except through an open router.

Most safeguarding of your information is ridiculously easy, if you simply don't use the services of those who would exploit it. Relying on their "de-personalization" of the data is foolish: we have already seen by intentional (and otherwise) data dumps, just how much "personal" information can be derived from this "depersonalized" data. Lots of things you don't want other people to know. AND... things which are none of Law Enforcement's business, even if... especially if... you are innocent.

Re:It's called NoScript (1)

zakkie (170306) | more than 2 years ago | (#38993495)

I'm busy backing out of all Google services now. I've stripped AdSense and Analytics from my site, and I will remove my Google+ account and delete my gmail one too. Google may not yet be evil, but they look and smell rotten from here.

Re:It's called NoScript (1)

swillden (191260) | more than 2 years ago | (#38994993)

Another option is to use the tools Google provides to opt out of tracking and personalization and to view and delete data stored about you. http://www.google.com/intl/en/privacy/tools.html [google.com]

Re:It's called NoScript (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38995077)

Which requires you to be logged in. Nice try, arrogant Google asshole.

Re:It's called NoScript (1)

Devout2 (2026726) | more than 2 years ago | (#38993559)

NoScript is far too invasive; better use AdBlock and Ghostery with web bug blocking on, and perhaps even cookie blocking on (and add sites like slashdot to the exceptions of cookie blocking)
As for the flash cookies use something like BetterPrivacy to clean them all every few hours or every time the browser starts/closes.

Re:It's called NoScript (1)

yahwotqa (817672) | more than 2 years ago | (#38994251)

With cookies, it's better to allow them for current session only(!) than to block it. That way you do not end up on any "blocks cookies" list, and if they're doing cookie-based user profiling, they'll get new user profile everytime you visit.

Note that this doesn't work well if you leave your browser running for days without restart.

This will probably kill a few startups... (1)

rwhiffen (141401) | more than 2 years ago | (#38993309)

This move will probably kill a few startups, or at least force them to alter their strategy. There are a few out there who were trying to allow users monetize their private information in some form and give you the opt-in/opt-out ability in a centralized fashion (kind of like the apps settings page in Facebook). They all face the same problem of critical mass for adoption and their problem just got harder. Why would you bother with a www.personal.com (which has a neat app) or anything like that if you're already a google.com account holder in some form (and between gmail, google/android and YouTube, who isn't?) and could get paid in real cash instead of free services. Like the saying goes, If you're not paying for it, the product they're selling is you.

It'll be interesting to see what the next step is in this. What if you could increase your payout by allowing 3rd parties access to your usage profile? Say an advertising agency or consumer research agency? Instead of a virtual wallet it could become your virtual dossier. Link your gym membership and your grocery store loyalty card to your virtual dossier and you have a treasure trove of information that could actually be cashed in on. We currently give that information away for free email or other web services online and for slightly lower shopping prices with the store loyalty cards. This would give you a single entity to deal with who could aggregate and allow you to profit from all of this consumer data. That's the 'hugs and lollipops' vision. The sinister vision (which is probably more likely) is one where companies only target the high profit potential consumers and marginalize everyone else. The have/have-not divide would widen.

Why am I not asleep again?

no fucking way! (1)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 2 years ago | (#38993405)

i bet if they looked at everything, the content of the cache, the names of the files i bet they could find info that ties it all to my IP address which means they could figure out who i am and start targeting me with advertising and prejudiced pricing according to my demographic and income., fuck google they can go to hell, along with amazon, and every goddamn online retailer on the internets.

be careful about what you agree with, the devil is in the details

I'm comfortable with MY machine know tons about me (1)

Omnifarious (11933) | more than 2 years ago | (#38993565)

But I'm not so comfortable with Google knowing that much about me. We need cheap home servers that are always Internet connected and relatively secure, and the software to allow us to make use of them. This stuff shouldn't be sitting on Google's servers, it should be on our own.

Head in the cloud (1)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 2 years ago | (#38993639)

I would like that you carry a portable device that is aware about you and your environment, that don't just could know i.e. your gps position or the speed at which you are walking, but everything that is around that could interest you, ready to point that out, inform more about it, or do something to eventually retrieve it later,like saving video/photos/sounds. Cellphones are going in that direction, even if are still far, at the very least can't yet include the needed intelligence, base data and storage, so must go to the cloud for what can do about that still.

In a sci-fi world, that would connect with Multivac,keep the data there, and let that sentient computer do what is better for you. But in this one, this is going to Google, and if well that would not be as bad as going to Apple, Microsoft, Facebook or one or several US government agencies (no matter of which country you are citizen), is still a company that must do what is profitable, and that is still under the laws of a country not exactly respectful about people privacy (and that could put in jail tourists because they repeated a tv joke [huffingtonpost.com] )

So no, even if we trust that their intentions are the best, we can't trust in governments that them must obey.

Already Sold It (3, Insightful)

retroworks (652802) | more than 2 years ago | (#38993705)

The credit card industry has been doing this for decades. Every purchase we make at stores, travel, online purchases, creates a crude profile of who we are as purchasers. The credit card industry sells this info every day. And there are other examples you could also label "Faustian Bargains".. if I accept the premise that personal information about me is my "soul". Still, at least we could cheat this devil. We just need a program that runs silently in the background, in a back tab of our browser, which randomly looks up anything we might or might not be interested in, to "pollute the cache" or camouflage it. That's something I can do with google but cannot do to my credit card company.

Re:Already Sold It (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38994417)

cash. it just works.

No thanks. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38993789)

They only pay you $25 the first year, $20 every year after. That isn't worth the potential trouble.

Huh? (3, Informative)

olau (314197) | more than 2 years ago | (#38993935)

Did anyone actually click through [google.com] to read the offering from Google? They aren't interested in everyone's data, they are interested in data from some to use for market research and rather than snooping it from all the Chrome users they've got, they are paying for it.

I can understand why someone wouldn't want to sell their browsing habits like this, I'm certainly wouldn't either. But if you've ever been at the other side of the table trying to figure out how to make a web site better for your visitors, you'll know that each individual is completely irrelevant. What you're interested in learning about is what people in general do and why.

Re:Huh? (1)

spirat (2570111) | more than 2 years ago | (#38994757)

How would this make a website better? And how would they make my website better? Oh, I know, I have to use their service! And give them data.

If I'm on the other side of the table, either I want to make money and I don't give a shit, or I try to respect my customers and take the minimum I need only if they agree. They make money with it, in other words, they can't be trusted by users. Why? Simply because users are not customers, they use our data to make business.

If like me you hate when people take your data behind your back, you would not use google's service. However they are useful, bing is not an alternative. But don't stop here: use scroogle.org/NoScript plugin/AdBlockPlus plugin/etc. There are a lot of ways to deal with google's bullcrap.

business as usual (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38993991)

dont see why everyones knickers are in a twist. all the information is already out there and readily available to ANYONE that wants it. why not make a buck? If you think your technology usage is private or secure, your a damn fool.

What are they doing this for? (1)

mark-t (151149) | more than 2 years ago | (#38995097)

What, specifically, are they wanting to find? Because I'm pretty sure there's nothing in my browser cache that would ever be worth a nickel to anybody else unless they are some eccentric dataphile or something.
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