Google reportedly ignoring Safari users' privacy settings to better track its ads [u]

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  • anthropicanthropic Posts: 23member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Sipadan View Post


    Google is a competitor for Apple?? Seriously? Do you REALLY believe that?

    If Yes to all 3 I suggest you Wikipedia what competition is?. And maybe learn a thing or 2.



    Google created an operating system for mobiles called Android that is now the number one in the world, a realm which was originally dominated by Apple.



    Google is also the number one competitor to Apple's iTV project.



    They are also the market leader in cloud applications, an area that Apple is desperate to gain traction in.



    So to not consider that competition is to be either mildly dyslexic or something so far worse I dare not insult you with it. But I do hope you take a moment to learn about capitalism and how the world works, it really is a rich and interesting history.
  • rp2011rp2011 Posts: 159member
    So when is Google not going to be evil. I thought it was their motto. Like "trust me" "I'm good for it" "just the tip"
  • riley__riley__ Posts: 5member
    Google is a spyware company that does search. Why is this story a surprise to anyone?





    I'm switching off gmail (which is hard) to mobile me email (iCloud) . Also thinking of blocking all Google IP addresses from my network.
  • anthropicanthropic Posts: 23member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by dancxg View Post


    I started using duck duck go a couple months ago, I wish they had an image search though. I need to find a paid email and dump gmail once and for all.



    If you pay for Google Apps for Business you can avoid all the adverts, it is really quite cheap for professional mail services with a 99.99% SLA.
  • anonymouseanonymouse Posts: 6,558member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anthropic View Post


    If you pay for Google Apps for Business you can avoid all the adverts, it is really quite cheap for professional mail services with a 99.99% SLA.



    Yes, but that doesn't prevent them from snooping through your documents and mail.



    Even if thy say they don't do that, they've been caught in lies so many times, that they have no credibility.
  • gctwnlgctwnl Posts: 270member
    The more I experience this big brother stuff, the more I am hating it. For the last months, I have tried to get my Safari to behave such that if I visit a site (say some product site) not suddenly all my Google ads are about that product. I have no problem with advertising, but I really, really, really, dislike targeted advertising. It is an invasion of my privacy.



    But getting rid of it has become almost impossible. I can drop all cookies, but then I also loose useful cookies like settings for sites I regularly use (e.g. the login in these forums). I have now ended my google accounts, my YouTube accounts, and everything I could think of to block this.



    What I really need is a whitelist option in Safari, where for every cookie, I get a panel asking me if I want it or not, so I can accept the few cookies I want and need while losing the rest.
  • zoetmbzoetmb Posts: 1,889member
    [QUOTE=cy_starkman;2048628][QUOTE=anthropic;2048593]I still can't believe in this day and age that privacy is an issue, you have none, the government knows everything, Apple knows EVERYTHING, Micro$oft knows EVERYTHING, now Google also know EVERYTHING.
    Quote:



    What's that anagram.. um.. FUD, yeah, FUD



    Apple knows everything i do but ah, don't need to make a buck of it, cause people buy things off them.



    Google sells everything they know that i do to other people, for whatever they can. Cause that is how they make money.



    I don't have an issue with privacy. i have an issue with people harvesting and selling what they collect because they don't have the brain power to actually think anything cool up that people would be willing to pay them for.



    Unsolicited adversiting is illegal, stalking is illegal. and Google does what exactly?



    We might all hate it, but unsolicited advertising is not illegal. Personally, I don't think Google and other advertising systems should be permitted to read any cookies except for the ones that they write in the first place. It really annoys me when I see custom ads derived from my cookies. I know I can set Safari to "Private Browsing" to stop this, but there times when for other reasons, I don't want "Private Browsing" turned on.



    As far apps that "steal" names from your address book: Congress should make this illegal unless the user grants explicit permission.
  • drdoppiodrdoppio Posts: 1,132member
    Although I believe that Google has done more good for making the Internet what it is today than most other companies, I still don't let them track my browsing so easily. It is really simple to prevent the actions described in the article, and my settings would have not allowed for the tracking cookies even if I was using Safari instead of Opera. I don't think you can blame companies for trying to get what they need, when they aren't breaking the law, and when there are dead simple preemptive measures you could have taken.
  • hexorhexor Posts: 57member
    They managed to spin what they did better then most politicians!
  • dick applebaumdick applebaum Posts: 11,410member


    Back in the days (1997-2001) when I did web development I made extensive use of hidden frames and JavaScript -- it was a very good way to quickly display the response to a page request and get something on the screen, while getting the anticipated next request in the background... Really nice for a slow speed Internet connection.



    The only time I used cookies was to maintain state in a transactional system like a shopping cart.



    In those days the only ads were banner ads that some clients requested on their web pages.





    I never thought about it before, but this Google exploit opens some interesting possibilities:



    1) Serve a web page with a hidden frame



    2) A JavaScript script starts when the hidden frame is loaded



    3) The script loads a different page into a hidden frame



    4) The script scans the loaded [hidden] page for ad clicks



    5) The script executes the ad click -- possibly loading another [hidden] page





    The result: Anyone with web programming talent can develop a web page that issues ad clicks (to itself or any other site)...



    So, you would have a web site that was self-sustaining -- each time you serve a page, it would issue a few ad clicks on your behalf. The ad clicks would be counted, the ads would be served, you'd get paid, and the user would never see the ads...





    Isn't it ironic that, by using this exploit, Google may have demonstrated the means of its own undoing -- paying people for ads that never get seen.



    Quickly, the advertisers would realize that the "Google" ads aren't very effective -- they are paying Google a lot of money to serve ads, but nobody buys anything (because they don't see the ads).





    Now, Google would realize that something was wrong, and reverse engineer your web pages to see what you are doing...



    To get around this, you could do the exploit server-side, or in the browser itself...



    You steal my cookies... I'll steal your cookie jar



    Thoughts?

  • gatorguygatorguy Posts: 14,683member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Corrections View Post


    The issue here is pretty clear: Safari is set to block ad cookies unless users allow them, and Google has been purposely defeating this feature expressly to track users that don't want to be tracked. It's even misrepresenting to users WHO GO TO A PAGE TO OPT OUT how the cookie blocking works..



    According to the article here at AI:

    "Users of Internet Explorer, Firefox and Chrome were not affected. Nor were users of any browser (including Safari) who have opted out of our interest-based advertising program using Google?s Ads Preferences Manager."
  • rockawrockaw Posts: 11member
    Here's my problem with "targeted" ads. They claim that it's a good thing to offer me "relevant" ads and that I will benefit from that. If I want to see relevant ads, I'd like to have a button that says "make ads relevant to my browsing behavior". That way I'd be in control.



    My 12 year old son loves bikes. He spends a lot of time surfing the web for bike parts, and learning about the sport of cycling. Yesterday, he was doing homework on the computer, and had to look up information about American History. Ads for bike companies were displayed next to the search results. He thought it was "creepy" that the computer knew that he likes bike stuff.



    What if I go away for the weekend, and the dogsitter uses my computer to view pornography. When I return, the computer now thinks that I like that kind of thing and starts showing me ads for that "interest". This is not a good thing.
  • tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 40,293member
    So the Mountain Lion Developer Preview has Safari 5.2, right?



    I imagine in the launch version of 5.2, we'll see not only a cookie blocker that gets around this ILLEGAL NONSENSE, it will have built into it a Google Analytics circumvention, a script that automatically blocks Google Ads, even if you don't have AdBlock installed, and dozens more blockers for Google's services.



    Screw them. Someone needs fired at least.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post


    According to the article here at AI:

    "Users of Internet Explorer, Firefox and Chrome were not affected. Nor were users of any browser (including Safari) who have opted out of our interest-based advertising program using Google’s Ads Preferences Manager."



    And you believe them, do you? That's not according to AI. That's according to a Google spokesperson.
  • gatorguygatorguy Posts: 14,683member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    I imagine in the launch version of 5.2, we'll see not only a cookie blocker that gets around this ILLEGAL NONSENSE, it will have built into it a Google Analytics circumvention, a script that automatically blocks Google Ads, even if you don't have AdBlock installed, and dozens more blockers for Google's services.



    Screw them. Someone needs fired at least.







    And you believe them, do you? That's not according to AI. That's according to a Google spokesperson.



    I haven't seen evidence they're lying to AI. Perhaps you have more information on it showing Google's statement was false? I've also plainly missed the section where the illegal part happened.



    I don't agree with Google nor anyone else attempting to circumvent a user's plainly stated intentions to opt out of participating in targeted ad programs. Apple has a dedicated link for that as does Google. That's not what's claimed here tho is it? That's why I question this "illegal" stuff supposedly taking place.



    I also don't completely agree with working around Safari's cookie controls since some users might be aware they weren't used by default and might assume that "cookie tracking" isn't being done. I also don't see this a a huge issue either.
  • dancxgdancxg Posts: 36member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post


    Yes, but that doesn't prevent them from snooping through your documents and mail.



    Even if thy say they don't do that, they've been caught in lies so many times, that they have no credibility.



    Exactly. I don't believe anything they say any longer, I just need to find a good email host, I don't want to host my own domain.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by gctwnl View Post


    The more I experience this big brother stuff, the more I am hating it. For the last months, I have tried to get my Safari to behave such that if I visit a site (say some product site) not suddenly all my Google ads are about that product. I have no problem with advertising, but I really, really, really, dislike targeted advertising. It is an invasion of my privacy.



    Thats when I switched to duck duck go, targeted ads are creepy. I was also getting ads for local businesses and other personal stuff. no thanks, I'm almost done with them, too big brother for me.
  • cutykamucutykamu Posts: 212member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anthropic View Post


    Google created an operating system for mobiles called Android that is now the number one in the world, a realm which was originally dominated by Apple.



    google doesn't sell android, they made a free operating system which other OEM's are using such as motorola, samsung, htc etc? google do sell some nexus series but they are far from outselling iPhone which is still no.1 selling smartphone?



    Quote:

    Google is also the number one competitor to Apple's iTV project.



    time will tell?



    Quote:

    They are also the market leader in cloud applications, an area that Apple is desperate to gain traction in.



    desperate? just yesterday tim cook said there are around 100m iCloud users which looks a decent number of users?
  • amazingappleamazingapple Posts: 52member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Lemon Bon Bon. View Post


    I've just punted Google from my iPhone recently. I've nominally put yahoo on search.



    But I'm using 'start page' for my searches now.



    I've also punted Google from my desktop. Long overdue.



    What took me so long...



    Arrogant snakes.



    Lemon Bon Bon.



    Same here. I dumped using anything of theirs late last year. Do not trust them in the least little bit.
  • tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 40,293member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post


    I haven't seen evidence they're lying to AI. Perhaps you have more information on it showing Google's statement was false?



    I'm just a skeptic is all. We'll have to wait a while to see how this plays out.
  • secretgoldfishsecretgoldfish Posts: 23member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anthropic View Post


    I still can't believe in this day and age that privacy is an issue, you have none, the government knows everything, Apple knows EVERYTHING, Micro$oft knows EVERYTHING, now Google also know EVERYTHING.



    I don't think this is so much about privacy issues, like you said, we're all a little naive to assume we have any real privacy on the internet. This however is different, Google is not only going about this without the permission of the user but is ACTIVELY going against the wishes of the user by bypassing the preferences a user has ACTUALLY selected and doing so in a backdoor, secretive manner which is what makes this malicious, sneaky, dishonest and probably illegal.



    If they had've simply added a dialog box that asked for permission in order to make my browser experience better, I probably would have given them the permission to do so.

    I imagine that a lot of other people would also have given them permission, while others probably would have declined.

    Unfortunately Google wasn't interested in 'doing the right thing' and only getting the information of SOME users when they could do the 'sneaky' and likely 'illegal' thing and get the information of ALL users.



    I guess that "being good" and "doing no evil" depend on your own definition of both "good" and "evil", Google obviously have a different definition than most of us though and they know they do, otherwise they wouldn't have felt the need to do this in such a "sneaky" backdoor manner.



    At least they haven't yet issued a press release saying they did this "for the good of the internet" like politicians do things "for the good of the country"
  • mactacmactac Posts: 315member
    [QUOTE=cy_starkman;2048628][QUOTE=anthropic;2048593]I still can't believe in this day and age that privacy is an issue, you have none, the government knows everything, Apple knows EVERYTHING, Micro$oft knows EVERYTHING, now Google also know EVERYTHING.
    Quote:



    What's that anagram.. um.. FUD, yeah, FUD



    Acronym. An anagram is making different words with the same letters. Like taking the words debit card and rearranging the letters to create the words bad credit.



    Today's lesson is brought to you by the acronym FYI.
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