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Google Privacy Policy Could Violate EU Law

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the do-not-want dept.

Google 135

judgecorp writes "Google's new unified privacy policy could violate EU law, according to objections. The French data regulator warns that the policy will infringe users' privacy by building a single online profile. Commission Nationale de L’informatique et Des Libertes (CNIL) has expressed “deep concerns” about the policy and its adherence to the European Data Protection Directive."

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What about MSN passport? (3, Informative)

Eraesr (1629799) | more than 2 years ago | (#39206607)

Hasn't MS done the same with MSN passport, where you use one login for Hotmail, MSN Messenger, XBox Live and various other services?

Re:What about MSN passport? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39206635)

Do they build a single user profile by colletcting data through various services that are connected to this?
Nope

Do you write before you think? Do you comment before you know?
Ain't ahrd to find out the answer! Crawl back under rock! ^^

Re:What about MSN passport? (1)

f3rret (1776822) | more than 2 years ago | (#39207299)

Do they build a single user profile by colletcting data through various services that are connected to this?
Nope

I would really like to know how you know they don't do that. Because they say they don't?

Re:What about MSN passport? (3, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#39207419)

Because that would require Microsoft to be competent at cross referencing and datamining and, well, have you seen Bing?

Re:What about MSN passport? (1)

Eraesr (1629799) | more than 2 years ago | (#39207451)

Noticed that question mark at the end of my sentence? That means it is a question. An inquiry to see if, in this case, A equals B (or rather, M equals G). I'm not saying M equals G, I'm asking if M equals G. There's a big difference.

But who am I kidding anyway, responding to an anonymous troll...

Re:What about MSN passport? (0, Troll)

Intelligenta2 (2581287) | more than 2 years ago | (#39206675)

Hasn't MS done the same with MSN passport, where you use one login for Hotmail, MSN Messenger, XBox Live and various other services?

MS doesn't collect user data like Google does. In fact, with Microsoft you *always* have to *opt-in* for even anonymous data collection. If you care about privacy, Microsoft is much better choice than Google.

Re:What about MSN passport? (5, Informative)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 2 years ago | (#39206901)

Oh really, Mr. shill? So where's that opt-in option?

From Microsoft privacy statement:

Collection of Your Personal Information

We collect information as part of operating our Websites and services.

- At some Microsoft sites, we ask you to provide personal information, such as your e-mail address, name, home or work address, or telephone number. We may also collect demographic information, such as your ZIP code, age, gender, preferences, interests and favorites. If you choose to make a purchase or sign up for a paid subscription service, we will ask for additional information, such as your credit card number and billing address.

- In order to access some Microsoft services, you will be asked to sign in with an e-mail address and password, which we refer to as your Windows Live ID. By signing in on one Microsoft site or service, you may be automatically signed into other Microsoft sites and services that use Windows Live ID. For more information, see the Windows Live ID privacy supplement.

- We collect additional information about your interaction with Microsoft sites and services without identifying you as an individual. For example, we receive certain standard information that your browser sends to every website you visit, such as your IP address, browser type and language, access times and referring Web site addresses. We also use Web site analytics tools on our sites to retrieve information from your browser, including the site you came from, the search engine(s) and the keywords you used to find our site, the pages you view within our site, your browser add-ons, and your browser's width and height.

- We use technologies, such as cookies and web beacons (described below), to collect information about the pages you view, the links you click and other actions you take on our sites and services.

- We also deliver advertisements (see the Display of Advertising section below) and provide Web site analytics tools on non-Microsoft sites and services, and we collect information about page views on these third party sites as well.

- When you receive newsletters or promotional e-mail from Microsoft, we may use web beacons (described below), customized links or similar technologies to determine whether the e-mail has been opened and which links you click in order to provide you more focused e-mail communications or other information.

No opt-in here! The only thing you can do is opt-out of the advertising (not data collection).

More:

Sharing of Your Personal Information

Except as described in this statement, we will not disclose your personal information outside of Microsoft and its controlled subsidiaries and affiliates without your consent.

So, you can't even choose not to share your personal information with some subsidiaries and affiliates.

Oh, and that centralization of data people are criticizing Google for?

In order to offer you a more consistent and personalized experience in your interactions with Microsoft, information collected through one Microsoft service may be combined with information obtained through other Microsoft services. We may also supplement the information we collect with information obtained from other companies. For example, we may use services from other companies that enable us to derive a general geographic area based on your IP address in order to customize certain services to your geographic area.

Re:What about MSN passport? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39206929)

Ok, so you are a google fanboy. Now what? Lets wait for the apple fanboy to get the cue and tell us that apple is privacywise better than google and microsoft?

Re:What about MSN passport? (5, Insightful)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 2 years ago | (#39206945)

I don't like lying shills, therefore I'm a Google fanboy? Good argument.

Re:What about MSN passport? (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 2 years ago | (#39208511)

Nicely done!

Re:What about MSN passport? (1)

Tharsman (1364603) | more than 2 years ago | (#39208681)

I am not sure if this is the direction EU is going by, but I can see an issue with telling your customers "don’t worry, all our services keep data separated" and then years later change things on you, merging all data even if you for any reason didn’t agree or disregard the warnings (like not logging into G services since they started letting users know or accidentally missing the message) versus just telling you from day one that your data will be merged across all services.

With the Google's approach, I may have decided to use their services because of their separation only to now be angered by the change.
With Microsoft's approach, that mentality would have just made me never use the services.

Actually sounds like similar mentality to the French case about Google Maps, where they claimed Google would offer maps free, drive everyone out of business and then start charging (something Google did.)

Note I’m not taking any side on this. I opted not to delete my data from Google search history as I found it more valuable for me to keep it than to delete it, but I can see how some others may feel the change may be intrusive, especially if you are running a business with Google services and intentionally avoiding other services due to competitive reasons.

Only way this will concern me is if they suddenly pull a Buzz again and automatically use my “consolidated data” to make me a Google+ page without my authorization.

Re:What about MSN passport? (3, Interesting)

iserlohn (49556) | more than 2 years ago | (#39206925)

Right.. more FUD...

What about this? [computerworld.com]

Don't take my word for it. On privacyscore.com [privacyscore.com] , you can check the privacy comparisons between Google and MS websites yourself and look at the breakdowns.

Re:What about MSN passport? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39206681)

jo_ham AKA bonch is an Apple shill and a faggot.

Re:What about MSN passport? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39206725)

Sounds like you got pounded.

Use another service? (2, Insightful)

zippo01 (688802) | more than 2 years ago | (#39206611)

They act like Google doesn't already know everything about everyone. I see nothing wrong with Google doing whatever they want with the information I voluntarily provide them in exchange for their services. If you don't want them to have it, use another service.

Re:Use another service? (3, Informative)

Lennie (16154) | more than 2 years ago | (#39206645)

Most non-technical users don't understand these things. Kids usually don't fully understand the impact/ramifications.

Atleast that is some of the arguments I've heared.

Most politicians also fall in the first catagory.

Re:Use another service? (4, Informative)

zippo01 (688802) | more than 2 years ago | (#39206661)

ignorance never makes good justification.

Re:Use another service? (4, Insightful)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 2 years ago | (#39206855)

ignorance never makes good justification.

You're right, it doesn't. But, ignorance is a fact of life in many (if not most) areas of "technology". Don't know how to fix your own car so you got an expensive repair bill? Are you sure all those parts really needed to be replaced? How about fixing your own electric or plumbing or computer? Just because these are "physical" objects doesn't make it that different. If you knew how they worked you could (and hopefully would) make a more educated decision about them.

Yes, Google is trying to become 'Big Brother' without all those pesky restraints put upon governments by their citizens. The more information Google, Facebook, et al can harvest the more useful they become to other large entities. We're all ignorant of the true intent of these types of companies, but I'm pretty sure they intend to move "profit!" up to position #1 if at all possible.

Re:Use another service? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39206963)

And so what? It they keep providing a reasonably good and free service? Anyone genuinely concerned about personal data privacy in the year 2012 would not be that ignorant, and should not rely on free services in the first place.

Re:Use another service? (2)

Shazback (1842686) | more than 2 years ago | (#39206987)

Ignorantia juris non excusat (or for our civil law country friends : nemo censetur ignorare legem).

So the state/EU/politicians are saying that they need to protect me from wilfully giving my information in exchange for a service, on that basis that I'm "ignorant"... And at the same time they believe I'm perfectly knowledgeable of every facet of law?

Re:Use another service? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39207531)

Ignorance of the law is no excuse. (Although there are many laws written such that awareness is relevant beyond simply having knowledge of a set of events.)

But the rules of any arbitrary person you wish to interact with, presented in some obscure smallprint, are not law. Ignorance or misunderstanding of these rules is an excuse.

What is more, legislators have democratic accountability, so have a reasonable argument that their rules should be followed. Google hasn't received that same approval so there is no argument whatever that Google may do business in which it makes terms that people must accept. If the people don't like what Google is offering, they are welcome to tell Google that it must either adapt or stop doing business.

Ask yourself one question: should there be any validity to a contract in which you agree that Google may intentionally blind you under certain terms? If no, then you accept that society has input over contracts between individuals. Then it just becomes a matter of finding a practical balance which suits the competing interests of parties involved.

HTH. Also everyone needs to study law, regardless of their field. There are too many failed lawyers and not enough law students.

Re:Use another service? (3, Insightful)

ciderbrew (1860166) | more than 2 years ago | (#39207041)

No this isn't the same. Having a person fix a broken object and getting ripped off may be ignorance but it doesn't stop a person getting a job 20 years down the line.
If a teen wrote on facebook "first gay kiss, love that person / just tried drugs / want to vote for party X", that bit of information is there to haunt them. Being gay, trying drugs or voting x is not the issue, not being able to "un-share" it, should the need arise is.
The enlightened in this case, should work to protect the ignorant. Being a decent engineer, being a sysadmin (xkcd style) means you are the powerful. And with great power ... Help the ignorant by default.

Re:Use another service? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39206933)

Kids and most of the adults usually don't fully understand the impact/ramifications.

There, fixed that for you. Hell, there are even people which are able to technically understand the situation but don't see it as a real problem.

Re:Use another service? (1)

zevans (101778) | more than 2 years ago | (#39207213)

In terms of personality, and approach to weighty matters of individual freedom, you will find that politicians fit into BOTH categories.

Re:Use another service? (3, Informative)

azed9 (1124933) | more than 2 years ago | (#39206717)

Use another service? Not possible with an android device as most useful functions require a Google login. Google should offer an opt out option. Or a refund.

Re:Use another service? (4, Insightful)

Robert Zenz (1680268) | more than 2 years ago | (#39206735)

So? Don't buy an Android device then, if you did not know that beforehand, send it back. If you just figure that out after months...well, go figure.

You know, you're not exactly forced to use an Android device (no I won't accept corporate stuff as excuse), you can buy a simple not-so-smart-phone...or a Windows phone *snickers*.

Re:Use another service? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39206833)

Why can't they simply have an option such as "don't track me, I don't need that personalized results shit anyway"?

Re:Use another service? (1)

errandum (2014454) | more than 2 years ago | (#39206875)

No one's forcing you to use their services. They offer you great value in and a lot of options and all they want is to track you in order to serve publicity tailored to you.

And the sad part is that you're typing this here and most likely have a facebook account (that is 1000x worse)

Just shill and cancel your account if you don't want to be tracked. Or stop using it. Anything works...

Re:Use another service? (1)

Bengie (1121981) | more than 2 years ago | (#39207203)

When I signed up for G+ there was a check box to track me for personalized results and it defaulted off. When checked it, I got this huge warning that was in regular English(non legalese) that I had to OK before it accepted my option.

Re:Use another service? (2)

symbolset (646467) | more than 2 years ago | (#39208555)

If you don't like the terms don't use the service. Nobody's putting a gun to your head and making you use Google+. They didn't sneak a change of terms in on you here. Nobody lied to you. They didn't cheat you. They didn't steal from you.

Re:Use another service? (1)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#39209113)

What about the people already owning a phone who are now affected by Google's change of the licence?

Re:Use another service? (2)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 2 years ago | (#39207169)

Really?

You can use other browsers. It's not simply "use stock browser or nothing".

Google already enforces (not simply advertises) brute honesty in app installs as well.

You can be logged into any google login you want, and access the other one through another mail program if that's all it's for.

Google does offer an opt out function, but what is exactly the refund for free?

Re:Use another service? (1)

ledow (319597) | more than 2 years ago | (#39206799)

Great, so you don't mind them telling all their advertisers (adult or not) that your IP surfs porn sites that use Google Analytics then?

The problem is not the EXISTING privacy policy, it's the new one where all the information can be tied together and used in ways it couldn't before.

Like with UK ID-card debacle. The problem is not the ID card. The problem is the associated (and unnecessary) tying of separate databases and allowing *ALL* that information to propagate through entities that never had access to it before. While people focus on the fact that everyone else has ID, every other country doesn't object, etc. they miss the point that this is a slightly different situation.

Re:Use another service? (1)

errandum (2014454) | more than 2 years ago | (#39206885)

It's YOUR choice. Don't want google to track you while you watch porn, don't use their services. And I don't think they tell advertisers anything, they use your information to show you the adds themselves.

Re:Use another service? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39206951)

It's also your choice to live in a cave to avoid any and all risk of getting stepped on.

The difference is a cultural one. Americans are square in the court of the corporation providing the service. It's their service. Use it or lose it.

Europeans are square in the court of the user. It's our society. Play by our rules or lose your privilege of doing business.

Re:Use another service? (2)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 2 years ago | (#39206971)

Parent's point is that the one "using their services" is the porn website (using Google Analytics), not the user, who will be tracked even though he isn't using any Google service.

Re:Use another service? (3, Interesting)

errandum (2014454) | more than 2 years ago | (#39207147)

Well, if he's worried about the cookies, he can use a feature present on most modern browsers to go incognito or private or whatever. That works if they track with cookies. Most modern browsers will also let you delete things selectively (as in, "last hour").

If they track by IP (Which I doubt) then, good luck since most of the world is behind dynamic IP's that change every 4 days or so.

If they're going by your addon signature or any shady tactic like that (which I doubt, since they seem to be under a whole lot of scrutiny lately), simply don't install all your stuff on a "porn browser, creating a bogus signature.

Even chrome is getting a "do not track" button, so there is also that.

Either way, the only thing they are doing now that they didn't do before is sharing the info throughout your account. If he doesn't have an account, what's his problem? Because every ad company will track you.

And furthermore, I highly doubt that everyone complaining doesn't have a social network account or something like that. Those are far worse because, since google uses the analytics themselves, they won't be sharing anything relevant with no one else in order to get a competitive edge. Facebook is not on the advertising business, so they DO share the info of their users with others (which, in my opinion, is way worse).

Re:Use another service? (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 2 years ago | (#39207249)

Well, if he's worried about the cookies, he can use a feature present on most modern browsers to go incognito or private or whatever. That works if they track with cookies. Most modern browsers will also let you delete things selectively (as in, "last hour").

If they track by IP (Which I doubt) then, good luck since most of the world is behind dynamic IP's that change every 4 days or so.

If they're going by your addon signature or any shady tactic like that (which I doubt, since they seem to be under a whole lot of scrutiny lately), simply don't install all your stuff on a "porn browser, creating a bogus signature.

What if they track by ETag? Wait, you didn't know it was possible? Yeah, that's exactly the problem.

Even chrome is getting a "do not track" button, so there is also that.

Assuming the service respects it. Safari and IE already had a "do not save third-party cookies" and many services, including Google, were evading it.

Either way, the only thing they are doing now that they didn't do before is sharing the info throughout your account. If he doesn't have an account, what's his problem? Because every ad company will track you.

Canceling your account now doesn't mean they'll delete all the information they already have on you, it just means they won't show it. Oh, and "everyone does it" is not an excuse.

And furthermore, I highly doubt that everyone complaining doesn't have a social network account or something like that. Those are far worse because, since google uses the analytics themselves, they won't be sharing anything relevant with no one else in order to get a competitive edge. Facebook is not on the advertising business, so they DO share the info of their users with others (which, in my opinion, is way worse).

First, that doesn't excuse Google.

Secondly, some of us do NOT have Facebook accounts. What you believe is with you, but it doesn't change reality.

Thirdly, Facebook is in the advertising business, yes. On their own website.

Re:Use another service? (1)

errandum (2014454) | more than 2 years ago | (#39208037)

1- ETags are used for cache control. See the "delete last hour" bit, that'll clear your cache too.
2- The safari one was a bug and corrected, the IE one was microsoft not blocking when they got a wrong response, making the default value to accept if something was there. Google did wrong when using something a machine can't "see", but IE sucks by not making the default behaviour when it gets a wrong response to block it.
3- If you're not logged in and with no cookies from before, good luck to google tracking that.
4- The majority of the people complaining does. And facebook sells advertising data, they ADMITED it. Advertising on facebook is not the same as what google does that is EVERYWHERE.

way to keep your eyes shut.

Re:Use another service? (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 2 years ago | (#39209197)

1- Deleting the last hour only helps if the file with the tracking ETag was planted in the last hour. And besides, why should the user have to do that?

You said: "Don't want google to track you while you watch porn, don't use their services.", but now he needs to be an expert in tracking technologies?

2- We're talking about Google, not IE.
3- Google puts cookies even if you're logged out.
4- I'm not saying Facebook is better - on the contrary, I still trust Google way more than I ever trusted FB. But the fact that they do wrong is irrelevant to whether Google is wrong or not. And the fact that some complainers may be hypocrites is irrelevant too.

Re:Use another service? (1)

oreaq (817314) | more than 2 years ago | (#39207393)

It's also Google's choice. No one is forcing them to offer their services to EU citizens. If they don't want to comply with our laws they can simply stop offering their services to EU citizens. I'm sure someone else will fill that gap pretty quickly.

Re:Use another service? (1)

errandum (2014454) | more than 2 years ago | (#39208045)

they comply with china, I highly doubt they won't comply with EU

Re:Use another service? (1)

Bengie (1121981) | more than 2 years ago | (#39207225)

Don't you browse porn in Privacy mode anyway?

They don't track your IP for personal results because dynamic IPs break that. They track IPs for regional results, like local news.

Willing to pay (1)

Dusthead Jr. (937949) | more than 2 years ago | (#39207197)

The problem with trying to use another service is that pretty much everyone does the same thing to different degrees. What if I where a hypothetical social network bloke who was willing to pay actual money to avoid that ads and info selling. I know Slashdot has such an offer. But what about Google, or Facebook. If I, as Joe Facebook, was to put my money where my mouth is, where would I even go to pay. How much would it cost per month, $5, $10, $50? How many people like that would it take to make it worthwhile?

Re:Use another service? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39207313)

Be my guest. In the meantime I'm keeping the Google creeps away with my firewall rules.

--
I value my privacy, so I NEVER use any Google product.

Re:Use another service? (1)

AtomicJake (795218) | more than 2 years ago | (#39208005)

I see nothing wrong with Google doing whatever they want with the information I voluntarily provide them in exchange for their services. If you don't want them to have it, use another service.

There are multiple problems with your post:
1. Obviously Google could do you very wrong with the information that you voluntarily provided, e.g. by making them public.
2. The issue here is that Google consolidates and joins the data over multiple services - so it's email and search and G+ and YouTube services. Before each service had its own privacy clauses that were service specific and - at least legally - Google could not merge and match this information across those services.
3. Changing to a different service is very expensive (at least if you count in the time) for some services. This is particularly true for GMail and G+.

so all of a sudden Google is now infringing (5, Insightful)

Escogido (884359) | more than 2 years ago | (#39206621)

and Facebook is not? What is it that Facebook is doing that Google has not done? Reading the FA didn't reveal anything other than an impression that "will continue their investigations with Google’s representatives" essentially means "will see if this gives us a good chance to treat Google as an ATM".

Re:so all of a sudden Google is now infringing (3, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#39206723)

Facebook only provides a single service: to collect all of your information and provide it to advertisers. Google provides a number of unrelated services and shares data about you between them. This sounds like it would easily contravene the EU data protection directive which says, basically, that you can't transfer personal information to third parties without explicit consent and can't use personal information for anything other than providing the service that the user asked for.

Re:so all of a sudden Google is now infringing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39206749)

How is "myself" a third party? I think the EU needs to learn what the definition of "third party" is.

Re:so all of a sudden Google is now infringing (3, Insightful)

CProgrammer98 (240351) | more than 2 years ago | (#39207165)

where's the third party? Google operate all of the services that the new consolidated privacy policy applies to.

Re:so all of a sudden Google is now infringing (1)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 2 years ago | (#39207175)

What part of the explicit consent wasn't there?

You already signed up for the services meaning you already provided explicit consent.

Re:so all of a sudden Google is now infringing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39207245)

Exactly.

I removed myself from Google+ for precisely this reason.

Prior to Google+, I had no Google profile. I could give people a picasa URL and it gave nothing about me away, except that I went some place(s) to take pictures.

They could also send me email to gmail and again, my privacy was never at risk because there was no google profile.

Now that they want to link them all together and force me to have a Google profile to use Google+.

I've given Google+ the finger and my Google profile is now gone because they insist on having my real name there and I insist that I do not want it associated with any Google service that I use.

So, gmail for email, picasa (or flickr!) for photos, facebook for socialising, twitter for gossip. Oh and search? It seems bing is the place to be now.

By spreading myself across each, no one entity is able to pull together a definitive profile of who I am, what I like, etc.

Re:so all of a sudden Google is now infringing (4, Informative)

Carewolf (581105) | more than 2 years ago | (#39206743)

Cross-referencing databases. I guess facebook is in the clear because they only have one database. The problem is cross-referencing personal data from multiple databases.

It sounds a bit odd in technical ears, but the idea is that users can control how much they reveal about themselves and to whom. When data is cross-referenced, then data them only meant to reveal in a specific context is suddenly available in a context where it was not meant to be revealed.

Re:so all of a sudden Google is now infringing (1)

Escogido (884359) | more than 2 years ago | (#39206853)

OK, that makes sense.. sort of. But still falls somewhat short of explaining what is so different about Facebook. After all, the non-tech-savvy people even don't understand the concept of a database, for many it is just "in the internet" somewhere.

On Facebook I chat with people, I use apps, I post things, I click on videos, I use search (very little, but who knows how many people treat their search essentially as a Bing portal). The only difference between this and Google services is in that activities at Google happen in differently designed pages and at different domain names. If that is the whole difference, then the question essentially becomes what is considered a "different context", or in other words to what extent Google needs to visually integrate its services to make sure people understand it's one and the same thing.

I'm all for giving people more control over what is stored in their profile and how to remove it from there, but it doesn't look like this piece of legislation does a good job at it.. looks more like a "you happen to have money and you just made yourself vulnerable" kind of reaction to me.

Re:so all of a sudden Google is now infringing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39206907)

Does FB collect data on you, your searches, and what you're reading outside of FB?

Or let's put it this way, if you opened up a browser and did a search for "Toni Collette in pink panties" on Google or Bing, would FB be able to put it into a data base and link 'Escogido' with 'Toni Collette' and 'pink panties'?

OTOH, Google has just linked your FB profile and the search with the whole pink panty thing. And now, you may start getting ads for "The Sixth Sense" blue-ray disks or "United States of Tara" DVDs.

And with your IP, Google also knows where you banked, spanked, what you ranked, and sanked money.

As far as I know, FB doesn't until you linked to it or mentioned it on your page.

Re:so all of a sudden Google is now infringing (3, Informative)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 2 years ago | (#39206985)

See those Facebook buttons in almost every website? That's Javascript being loaded from Facebook's domains, and your browser is sending your login cookies along.

Are they tracking? It's impossible to know. But they are getting the information of what sites you're visiting.

Re:so all of a sudden Google is now infringing (1)

Shazback (1842686) | more than 2 years ago | (#39207059)

>>Does FB collect data on you
YES. Even when you're not actively using the website. It will create "pre-profiles" based on e-mail addresses people put in the "look for friends" function, so that when you create an account it can instantly suggest "friends". If you have an account, and a friend tags you in a photo they uploaded, how is that not collecting data on *you*?

>>your searches
It's slightly unclear, but it seems that does collect data on what you put into the FB "search bar" at the top of the page as part of their "Realtime Activities" data.

>>and what you're reading outside of FB?
Facebook connect? Likes? Facebook comment sections? If the EU is arguing that Google is "misleading customers" by unifying the data users submitted through Blogger, Youtube, Google Search and Gmail, the isn't FB similarly "misleading customers" by unifying the data users submitted through websites such as Engadget, Techcrunch or the Wall Street Journal? What's the distinguishing criteria for this decision?

>> if you opened up a browser and did a search for "Toni Collette in pink panties" on Google or Bing, would FB be able to put it into a data base and link 'Escogido' with 'Toni Collette' and 'pink panties'?
Straw man. Just switch Google and FB to see that's obviously not why the EU is investigating Google.

Re:so all of a sudden Google is now infringing (1)

fast turtle (1118037) | more than 2 years ago | (#39207073)

Then I hate to inform you that Facebook knows as much if not moreso then Google does about you. You also forgot the Facebook Content Distribution Network and all of those Like Buttons and yes they combine all of that information with your profile, just like Google and MS are doing. The big question, Is facebook doing anything different then Google or Microsoft?

Being a bit more Paranoid, I have to wonder just what data Windows is sending to MS as I've not seen anything in the last year where anyone has looked at the full network traffic. They could easily gain access to anything they about you, from all the installed apps (windows updates) through your log-in details for every site you visit because they control the OS. There's little preventing them from doing it and most people are even agreeing with them having the option to collect such data from multiple apps. Check out what Office, all of the Live tools, Security Essentials and such have in regards to improving the customer experience. That's right, almost everything in Windows now includes the option to send data back to MS to improve the Customer Experience. The only problem is, we have no idea what data they're actuall collecting but I can tell that they've put into place the ability to collect anything the OS has on you as a user but do people care? Doesn't seem like it and nobody has bothered to really stay on top of what data is being sent to them.

As to the recent updates/consolidation of Google Privacy Policies, it actually makes things easier for us to keep track of changes there as they're all in a single place instead of scattered, with changes being made to each policy that you then have to read. I'd much rather have the new system as it not only is easier to read and understand but spells out the differences based upon service (orkut/picassa/gmail - others), those that they are required by law/regulation that they have to perform. Before you complain, you should have at least read the damn things. I personally have hard copy of all the relevent privacy policies that I agreed to when I started using the various google services I do but I've also taken the time to compare/contrast and actually read the new ones and don't see what everyone is bitching about. Google has always collected as much information on everybody that they can because it's their business being nosy. That's been the case from the beginning and it's not gotten any worse since they purchased DoubleClick. Google became evil the day they incorporated because corporations by the structure of the laws, have to maximize profit over every other item.

Re:so all of a sudden Google is now infringing (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 2 years ago | (#39209623)

The Shareholder Wealth Maximization Myth [truthonthemarket.com] .

By the way, Sergey, Larry and Eric alone control more than 50% of the voting power.

Re:so all of a sudden Google is now infringing (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 2 years ago | (#39207047)

Its more about transferring data to third parties or using it for things other than what the user signed up for, which is why Facebook needs permission when you want an app to have access to your information.

Google DOES allow this (1)

brunes69 (86786) | more than 2 years ago | (#39207121)

Google DOES allow everyone to opt out of everything, if you want you can most of their services nearly anonymous.

Try that with Facebook.

Re:so all of a sudden Google is now infringing (1)

cardpuncher (713057) | more than 2 years ago | (#39207889)

Viviane Reding, the EU commissioner with responsbility for this area, was interviewed on BBC radio about this today and acknowledged that indeed they have concerns beyond Google and Facbook was mentioned specifically. However she also indicated that the advice she had sought (up to now it was mostly a French legal process) was that Google's new policy was in conflict with European law.

If there'd been any intention to "treat Google as an ATM", the commissioner would not have gone out of her way to warn Google in advance that actions it had not yet taken might possibly be illegal. Most companies are expected to work that out for themselves or face the consequences.

Re:so all of a sudden Google is now infringing (1)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#39209417)

Who said Facebook isn't? [slashdot.org] Facebook has already been sued a number of times in the EU.

Not a bad thing (3, Interesting)

Rik Sweeney (471717) | more than 2 years ago | (#39206649)

To be honest, having different terms and conditions for every service that Google runs must have been quite confusing for a lot of people*, so consolidating them into one package does make sense.

I can however understand the problem with Google now being able to use data collected from one service and now using it in another, but if all they're doing is using it to target us with more specific ads then I don't really care.

* I've never read the T's and C's and to be honest I reckon only a very small number of Google users have.

Re:Not a bad thing (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39206665)

decide. either it confused "a lot of people", or "a very small number" even read them.

it's just PR-speak for "hey, isn't this exciting, we did this for YOU!", which is of course pure bullshit.

Re:Not a bad thing (1)

Muad'Dave (255648) | more than 2 years ago | (#39207127)

It is not an either/or proposition. A large number of those who have never read the T's and C's can still be confused about what T's and C's they're bound to by using the service.

Re:Not a bad thing (1)

Johann Lau (1040920) | more than 2 years ago | (#39208543)

But they'd not be confused by there being so many different ones, duh! Being confused about X doesn't equal being confused about Y just because it both involves being confused. So yes, it very much is an either/or proposition, try reading it again mayhaps.

Uniform conditions != data aggregation (1)

waterbear (190559) | more than 2 years ago | (#39206821)

It's one thing to have a uniform set of conditions for a number of different services -- and potentially a good thing, if the conditions are fair and well-designed.

It's quite a different question whether that should also be associated with data aggregation or consolidation . Is this actually some kind of attempted cover for data aggregation, to distract attention from simultaneous data aggregation in the hope of reducing or de-fusing objections to an unpalatable plan? After all, there's no real need for uniform conditions to be associated with data aggregation at all.

-wb-

Re:Not a bad thing (1)

errandum (2014454) | more than 2 years ago | (#39206897)

I'm not bothered by the change, but no one ever read the Terms and Conditions, so no one was confused at all with the fact they were different. Most likely
no one ever noticed.

This was marketing speak, pure and simple.

Re:Not a bad thing (1)

AtomicJake (795218) | more than 2 years ago | (#39208135)

To be honest, having different terms and conditions for every service that Google runs must have been quite confusing for a lot of people*, so consolidating them into one package does make sense.

I do not think so. I rather think that is quite confusing to see that Google uses my Gmail login and data to "improve" my search results or stores my search strings persistently. I did not sign up for this feature.

It makes a lot of sense to have different T&C for a serach engine, an email service, a video sharing board, and a social network.

I can however understand the problem with Google now being able to use data collected from one service and now using it in another, but if all they're doing is using it to target us with more specific ads then I don't really care.

The question is not whether you care. The question is whether it is legal to join those databases without explicit user consent. And there is a high probability that this is ruled to be illegal in Europe. And it would be a huge win for the user's ability to control the use of his personal information.

Brief explanation? (1)

zarlino (985890) | more than 2 years ago | (#39206651)

Ok, I don't have time to read the new and older policies. Anybody interested in summarizing what changed and its implications?

Re:Brief explanation? (1)

Robert Zenz (1680268) | more than 2 years ago | (#39206747)

Summary: You use our services, we make money with whatever information we get from/about you.

No, I did not read it, why do you ask?

problem is not unified policy, but DATA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39206715)

The problem is that consolidating all data Google knows about someone into a single file *might* break EU laws about privacy and about creating and maintaining files with informations about people.

Of course having the same policy for all services is a nice thing.
But we have anti-Big-Brother laws here in EU, and where US law can tell if yes or no the government (and/or corporations) can or cannot put GPS devices into your car, the EU law also tell if it can keep the data collected by the GPS(and for how long, and who has acces to, and if it can be linked to personnal data, ...).

Obvious Solution! (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#39206745)

Given that the EU has been making noises about some grand anti-terrorist/anti-pedophile/gets-the-monster-under-your-bed 'data retention directive' for some time now, they could make this small problem go away by simply agreeing to Google's new 'privacy' policy and then purchasing their little panopticon direct from the source rather than bothering with all that messy legislation.

Efficiency! Progress!

Re:Obvious Solution! (1)

curious.corn (167387) | more than 2 years ago | (#39206831)

You don't understand, what is going to become of all the contractors and tenders paid with the taxpayers' money? Have you thought about that, you insensitive clod!? It's the wrong commission that is going after Google; it shouldn't be the one for Privacy and Freedom but the one for Competition ;)

Re:Obvious Solution! (1)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 2 years ago | (#39206883)

You don't understand, what is going to become of all the contractors and tenders paid with the taxpayers' money?

Those people will all simply apply for a job at Google ;-)

If the services had started out integrated (4, Interesting)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 2 years ago | (#39206769)

If the services had started out integrated this would not be an issue. On Facebook you can do a search, look at someone's photos, post comments etc. and everyone knows they all share data. Should Google be treated differently just because google brought in picassa, added blogging, etc. rather than implementing them all in one go?

Re:If the services had started out integrated (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39206865)

If the services had started out integrated this would not be an issue. On Facebook you can do a search, look at someone's photos, post comments etc. and everyone knows they all share data. Should Google be treated differently just because google brought in picassa, added blogging, etc. rather than implementing them all in one go?

I am altering the agreement, pray I do not alter it further. -- Google

(You signed up knowing the services were separate, combining them into a single mega-service is pulling the rug out from under you. If they had started as a single mega-service then you knew what you were getting, buyer beware, etc.)

Personally, I don't care but the EU Privacy Commissioners apparently do.

Re:If the services had started out integrated (1)

garatheus (993376) | more than 2 years ago | (#39206887)

Not that I'm a Facebook user (any more), but I don't remember Facebook implementing all of it's features all at once. Not that I'm on the Google-friend-bandwagon, but just saying...

Re:If the services had started out integrated (3, Informative)

MrMickS (568778) | more than 2 years ago | (#39206893)

The key issue is where the control lies. On Facebook the user has to explicitly allow the information to be used by the various applications etc. In Googleland they are just tearing down the barriers without giving the user the chance to say that they don't want their information from the different areas to be included in their meta-profile.

If Google had thought about it a simple acceptance screen allowing people to opt in and out their information from the meta-profile would probably have addressed the privacy concerns. It would also highlight to the users what information Google has collected and what services it is providing. Google steers by its own moral compass and doesn't really care what anyone else thinks as long as it's happy with what its doing.

Re:If the services had started out integrated (3, Informative)

Shazback (1842686) | more than 2 years ago | (#39207145)

How can I get FB to not use my information in photos? Oh wait. I can't. How can I get FB to not use my information in events? Oh wait, I can't. How can I get FB to not use my information in chat? Oh wait, I can't.

Google has the same controls regarding third party access to information as FB. The only difference is that Google doesn't really rely on many third party applications, whilst FB has created a complete ecosystem in that respect.

>>If Google had thought about it a simple acceptance screen allowing people to opt in and out their information from the meta-profile would probably have addressed the privacy concerns. It would also highlight to the users what information Google has collected and what services it is providing.
Google has had Dashboard for *years* now that shows exactly what personal information Google had gathered from their various services. For each service, you can (and could well before today) go into the specifics of the privacy agreement, remove personal data, change how it would be shared etc. FB doesn't have anything like that. Google has pointed out repeatedly that it HAS Dashboard, and unlike FB, provides a tool to remove -all- your personal information.

Re:If the services had started out integrated (1)

Tim C (15259) | more than 2 years ago | (#39207471)

How can I get FB to not use my information in photos? Oh wait. I can't

You can set your profile so that you have to approve tags people add of you to photos.

How can I get FB to not use my information in events? Oh wait, I can't.

Reject the event invitation - though admittedly that fact will show up in the list of people who rejected the event.

How can I get FB to not use my information in chat? Oh wait, I can't.

I'm not even sure what you mean by that, but you can safely leave chat switched off (as I did for a number of years).

Re:If the services had started out integrated (1)

Shazback (1842686) | more than 2 years ago | (#39208065)

If you have to approve tags people add of you to photos, Facebook still has the personal data that you *were* tagged in that picture. If you reject the invitation, not only does it still show up, but FB still has the data you were invited. I have chat switched off (as far as I can tell, it definitely doesn't show up for me), but I still appear in the "friend shortlist" that FB serves up to my friends in the right-hand panel. I never consented to FB sending me chats by text message (I did however initially accept "messages"), that didn't stop FB sending me a chat on the basis that Chat and Messages are now merged.

I signed up for FB when it was still a novelty in my country, and it didn't have many of the features it now has. FB considers that my choice to share my information with Facebook means they can develop new features/apps and use my data without restriction (TBH, I agree with this point of view). Google had a different privacy policy for each feature/app within the company. Now Google is falling in line with FB, and saying it'll use your information from one feature in another, along as it's within the company, and not communicated to third parties. And the EU is saying Google's practice is abusive, despite FB doing this for years?

Re:If the services had started out integrated (1)

frinsore (153020) | more than 2 years ago | (#39207219)

I agree that the key issue is where the control lies. And from everything I've seen from google they've wanted to ensure that the user has as much control as possible. Want to modify the search history attached to your google account? you can do that. Want to migrate your emails out of gmail? you can do that. Want to download and then delete your google+? you can do that.

For every service google provides they also provide a mechanism for migrating the data and deleting it. If you want the separate services to remain separate export the data, delete it, and then import it into another account. It would probably have been a decent move by google to provide a way to automatically change the google account that a certain service is connected to for the people that prefer to keep their calendar, email, and social networks separate. But the ROI of that might have been too high when the user can manually do it themselves.

The fact that google treats my data as belonging to me means that it's my responsibility for managing it. That deal is a hell of a lot better then other online services.

Re:If the services had started out integrated (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39206949)

Yes they should.

- I did NOT want to use Google search as a registered user.

- I did NOT want to use Google+ at all.

+ I did want to use gmail.

+ I did want to use youtube.

But, I have absolutely NO interest in them linking my gmail and youtube account. In fact this is exactly what I did NOT want. Now thanks to them I get spam on the gmail as they leaked the username via youtube. They are and should be independant services that you could opt to link. Now, if you set up seperate accounts you can't even be logged in to both at the same time. And vice-versa if you have the same account you are automatically logged in to gmail when you log into youtube, giving full access to any malware to your gmail account when in fact you just wanted to uppload a new video from an internet-cafe while on vacation.

Safe services are thus crosslinked with potentially damaging services preventing you from being responsible online...

Re:If the services had started out integrated (1)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 2 years ago | (#39207109)

Now, if you set up seperate accounts you can't even be logged in to both at the same time.

Not true now, you can be logged into multiple gmail accounts using the multiple sign-in feature, though youtube will always default to the first

Re:If the services had started out integrated (1)

AtomicJake (795218) | more than 2 years ago | (#39208173)

If the services had started out integrated this would not be an issue. On Facebook you can do a search, look at someone's photos, post comments etc. and everyone knows they all share data. Should Google be treated differently just because google brought in picassa, added blogging, etc. rather than implementing them all in one go?

Yes. You signed up for different T&C and to switch services now - after you trusted 1000s of emails to Google and created 100s of G+ networks - is very expensive. So, how can you NOT accept the change and still use the service?

What about NSA? (3, Insightful)

curious.corn (167387) | more than 2 years ago | (#39206805)

Listen guys, privacy is toast anyway... if anything Google is making us acknowledge this and move along.

Re:What about NSA? (1)

Danathar (267989) | more than 2 years ago | (#39206911)

Amen brother.

Re:What about NSA? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39207057)

If both us and 'them' loose all privacy I can live with it. But when 'they' insist that I must loose my privacy but they must keep theirs for whatever reason, thats when I stop listening and take every precaution I can.

Privacy certainly must be protected! (-1, Troll)

zozz (2586063) | more than 2 years ago | (#39206839)

If Google's new policy violates EU laws on data privacy, then it must be changed urgently! sex tube [porntubest.com]

POPEL time! (1)

Pf0tzenpfritz (1402005) | more than 2 years ago | (#39206873)

No doubt, that there will be negotiations for the Protect Our Privacy in Europe Law (POPEL) behind everyones backs and rogue states such as former colonies bullied into ratifying them...

Do no evil? (2)

MrMickS (568778) | more than 2 years ago | (#39206909)

Google's motto is 'do no evil' which is laudable. It has to be asked though, "who defines what is evil?".

Boycott Google (2)

Cherubim1 (2501030) | more than 2 years ago | (#39207003)

Google violates human decency.

EU vs. US on privacy (5, Interesting)

yankexpat (629763) | more than 2 years ago | (#39207181)

Having worked for many years in digital security in Europe, I believe that I have some understanding of this issue. It all boils down to the presence (US) or absence (EU) of private credit rating and consumer data collection industries. In Europe, banks are required to do their own risk assessment. If any data collected about a consumer falls in the wrong hands, the collecting party is liable for any damages UNLESS the consumer has given formal (i.e. written) consent for that information to be passed on. In the US, the entire credit industry is predicated on the ability to collect large amounts of data about consumers and then to create risk profiles based on that data.

nonsense (1)

khipu (2511498) | more than 2 years ago | (#39208635)

It all boils down to the presence (US) or absence (EU) of private credit rating and consumer data collection industries. In Europe, banks are required to do their own risk assessment.

Germany has credit reporting agencies just like the US, for example SCHUFA. (Where do you people come up with this kind of nonsense?)

If any data collected about a consumer falls in the wrong hands, the collecting party is liable for any damages UNLESS the consumer has given formal (i.e. written) consent for that information to be passed on. In the US, the entire credit industry is predicated on the ability to collect large amounts of data about consumers and then to create risk profiles based on that data.

In both the US and Germany, private financial data is only handed out to third parties with our consent. And in both countries, you basically have to give that consent if you want to have any kind of economic existence at all.

"Google Privacy" is an oxymoron. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39207775)

"Google Privacy" is an oxymoron.

The Problems with Google's privacy policy... (1)

nweaver (113078) | more than 2 years ago | (#39207817)

a: They collect a LOT of information: not just search, but effectively every web page you visit which includes an add from Doubleclick or +1 or youtube video, plus all the google services: gmail, calendar, docs, are all open season. Not only can Google data-mine your email to show adds on Gmail, but can datamine your email for whatever purpose they want!

b: The privacy policy is amazingly broad. Basically its "We can do anything we want other than sell the raw data to others", and it covers everything they can collect.

c: It covers even services you pay for ! It not only says "we can datamine your email, the documents you create on google docs, etc, to profile you", but I have a paid by the University outsourced-to-Gmail account which, on the bottom of the page, clearly states that it is under the Google "you have no" privacy policy!?!?!

So, by accessing my work email, that is paid for, Google gets to track everything I do, INCLUDING my work email! I guess the only thing paying Google gets you is admin access for the university and no-adds-showing in the email page.

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