Google, Facebook working to undermine Do Not Track privacy protections

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Comments

  • gatorguygatorguy Posts: 15,304member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


    I'm going to save you and the other Google shills some trouble. Here are the responses any time Google violates a user's privacy. Instead of typing out the answer, you can simply enter the number.



    1. Google never did anything like that.



    2. Google did it, but it was Apple's fault because the browser had a bug (as if it's possible to have any software without a bug - and as if Apple forced them to take advantage of the bug).



    3. Google did it, but they stopped.



    4. Google did it, but it's the user's fault for wanting to use the Internet.



    5. Google's partner did it. Sure, Google provided all the software and provided a way to get around the user's desire to block cookies, but it's still the partner's fault.



    6. Privacy is overrated.



    Did I miss any?



    "We reached out to Apple (MS/Nokia/Yahoo) for a response but haven't received a reply"



    Those are all pulled from this issue aren't they? There's lots of other reasons Google might use in an explanation. But they do usually try rather than ignoring it.
  • dimwitdimwit Posts: 29member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post


    Then you aren't blocking cookies, finding enough value (or not enough to be concerned about) to worry about disabling them?



    That is correct. However, that is a choice I made. Intentionally. If someone else makes a different choice intentionally, that choice too should be respected. Companies are fine with honoring choices that favor them (as are most individuals), but they (also like people) trnd to flat out ignore or attempt to circumvent choices that are not in their favor.



    I'm off to enjoy the weather today, have a great day.

    Joe
  • mj1970mj1970 Posts: 9,002member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dimwit View Post


    In other words, you are an idiot!



    More name calling. Nice.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dimwit View Post


    I'm sorry for offending the people this is going to offend.



    If you were, you wouldn't post it...at least not in the way you have.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dimwit View Post


    That's a bit like telling someone enslaved, "if you don't want to be a slave, stop taking part in the benefits of being owned (food, shelter)"



    Wow. No. It's not even a little bit like being a slave. Please refrain from diminishing the wickedness and evil that is slavery by making such comparisons.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dimwit View Post


    Another thing, self regulation never works. EVER.



    No one is even saying that.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dimwit View Post


    You can not put a thief in charge of the money, you can not put a rat in charge of the cheese, and you can not put a liar in charge of the truth. We need government intervention (I HATE saying that) to protect (their actual job) the rights of the citizens.



    Oh the irony.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dimwit View Post


    Sure, that may mean that websites need to find another way to monetize the services they provide us, and I'm not sure what that would be.



    And it will probably mean that many will simply go out of business and disappear...and most likely the smallest most independent ones while the biggest, richest ones will easily survive creating and even more monopolistic situation.
  • mj1970mj1970 Posts: 9,002member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post


    You're being paid in services, apparently of enough value for you to continue trading privacy for them.



    Gatorguy gets it! +1
  • blah64blah64 Posts: 767member
    I saw this article and the number of posts and anticipated some thought-provoking discussions.



    Instead, 3/4 of the thread is dominated by one troll (and one minor colluder) and a whole bunch of people responding repeatedly to what are mostly silly argue-for-the-sake-of-arguing posts. Like arguing with a child that keeps saying "So what?!" and "No you don't!"



    However, the nice thing, and I need to thank MJ1970 for this, is that you're helping raise awareness of the evils of stealth user-profiling by bringing more people into the conversation. As more people consider the problems and the inherent "evil", they will help spread the word. The only way this stuff is going to get shut down (or more likely, constrained) is by education, awareness, and the slow evolution of public sentiment through that awareness.



    So thank you for that much.
  • mj1970mj1970 Posts: 9,002member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Blah64 View Post


    Instead, 3/4 of the thread is dominated by one troll (and one minor colluder)



    And look...still more name calling.



    At the point the other side of this argument appears to consist of those whose greatest skill is name calling (shill, troll, idiot, child, etc.)



    That at least appears to be the default tactic when someone disagrees and won't capitulate to faulty, illogical arguments.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Blah64 View Post


    However, the nice thing, and I need to thank MJ1970 for this, is that you're helping raise awareness of the evils of stealth user-profiling by bringing more people into the conversation. As more people consider the problems and the inherent "evil", they will help spread the word. The only way this stuff is going to get shut down (or more likely, constrained) is by education, awareness, and the slow evolution of public sentiment through that awareness.



    While we can disagree about the "inherent evil" of this activity, I do agree that it is fine, even great for more people to be aware of it. Nothing wrong with that at all. And if change to to be made, that is the way it should be made...awareness, education and voluntary action.
  • ljocampoljocampo Posts: 657member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


    I think there's a huge difference.



    I don't like tracking cookies, but it's perfectly legal and legitimate as long as there's a way to turn them off or block them.



    In Google's case, though, they're circumventing the user's preference. Even when the user turns off tracking cookies, Google works around the system to install them on the user's system.



    The use of tracking cookies is like offering a service where you will come into a customer's home and inspect their house and recommend purchases that they might like. If the customer is OK with it, that's a perfectly legitimate service.



    What Google is doing is like entering the customer's home to inspect their house and recommend purchases EVEN AFTER THE CUSTOMER SAYS NO.



    I'm not seeing the difference



    Where is the switch to turn off the 14 AI tracking elements? Why didn't AI tell me about them and give me the option? Why should I have to keep finding ways to block these companies from tracking me. And it's not just cookies. Now they are using local storage and server-side programming to do their evil. The tracking companies' scripts, cookies that won't expire until I turn 110 years-old, and other page devices, such as, FaceBook "like" buttons, Google, twitter, etc. etc. that are far worse than cookies.



    These page elements have scripts telling the browser to send the data back without my permission. FB's server-side scripts don't give you any choice, even when you don't have a FB account and these buttons are everywhere now, so you can't avoid them anymore. You don't have to click a FB like button either. It'll send data back regardless. They are basically a key-logger script, not just simple location tracking, they not only know I'm here, but what I'm doing and where my cursor is hovering over. We are a long way pass simple cookie technology. This war goes on and on and on.
  • blah64blah64 Posts: 767member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bolskevite View Post


    1. Not possible. Most major sites have ads and they all track you.



    2. Turning off cookies causes all kinds of other problems, mainly that you get logged out of everything every time you reopen your browser. This is especially annoying on sites like Gmail and FB where you want to remain logged in.



    If you use gmail or facebook, I'm not sure why you would bother to block cookies or pay attention to any privacy settings whatsoever. Anywhere. Between those two "services", you are already giving away more personal information than you could possibly imagine, and you are giving it to 2 companies whose sole intent is to gather as much possible personal information about you as possible, for their own profit motives.



    Even still, what they do with that data today is not nearly as important as the simple fact that such an incredible amount of personal details about individuals exists, and is available in one place to be used, misused, abused and eventually bought and sold. Throughout the history of humanity this type of "intel" has been fought against repeatedly because of the inherent danger. Now, millions of clueless people think it's okay because "it's fun!" or because some fleeting "value proposition" seems to make sense to them.



    Oh well, if people can't learn from history, it's unlikely I'm going to help by posting here on a Mac forum. But in aggregate, maybe. I am hopeful that more people are "getting it" now, based on changing attitudes in posts on forums like this and even mainstream articles. It will take a long time, but I do see changes coming.
  • tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 40,863member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post


    While we can disagree about the "inherent evil" of this activity, I do agree that it is fine, even great for more people to be aware of it.



    Just not that people have the right to be protected against it. Because you work for one of these companies and wouldn't want to see it go under.
  • suddenly newtonsuddenly newton Posts: 13,158member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post


    Jragosta, where was this outrage when you found that Apple examined and approved some of the biggest apps in the market that record and collect the names and personal details of the people you communicate with on your iDevice? Was that with your approval? It certainly passed muster with Apple.



    Did you get this upset and vehement about your privacy being invaded when you found that Apple also approved apps that sent your location back to private servers, allowing your travels to be tracked, recorded and possibly sold? There's lots of other personal data that Apple is still allowing to be harvested from you, appearing to react only when the complaints reach the press. Yet a cookie on a website that happens to originate from someone who is not Apple is downright evil. I think you'd consider that at minimum disingenuous if it was someone else's posted attitude.



    The outrage was rightly directed at Path, if that's what you are referring to.

    I think you're confusing Apple approving an app approving of what the app did. Apple did not approve of what the app did, and they put controls in place to prevent another incident, right after Tim Cook chewed out Path's co-founder. And sure, we're outraged at bugs in Apple's software or App Store approval process that allow violations of user privacy, but not to the same level, because we don't confuse bugs for condoning the practice of. There's a difference between "Safari has a bug that lets sites subvert user's privacy settings" vs. "Sites exploit this bug to track users against their wishes."



    Apple is philosophically opposed to the Googles and Facebooks out there on the issue of data privacy. It's not tracking of personal data per se that is objectionable (all companies have to collect data to provide you service), it's the philosophy that companies can and should do whatever they want with your data without giving you knowledge of, and control over that.
  • jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ljocampo View Post


    I'm not seeing the difference



    Where is the switch to turn off the 14 AI tracking elements? Why didn't AI tell me about them and give me the option? Why should I have to keep finding ways to block these companies from tracking me. And it's not just cookies. Now they are using local storage and server-side programming to do their evil. The tracking companies' scripts, cookies that won't expire until I turn 110 years-old, and other page devices, such as, FaceBook "like" buttons, Google, twitter, etc. etc. that are far worse than cookies.



    These page elements have scripts telling the browser to send the data back without my permission. FB's server-side scripts don't give you any choice, even when you don't have a FB account and these buttons are everywhere now, so you can't avoid them anymore. You don't have to click a FB like button either. It'll send data back regardless. They are basically a key-logger script, not just simple location tracking, they not only know I'm here, but what I'm doing and where my cursor is hovering over. We are a long way pass simple cookie technology. This war goes on and on and on.



    Re the bolded - You can turn off cookies in the browser. Or you can install something like ghostery.



    The problem is that Google is ignoring your efforts to turn off cookies in the browser and installing them, anyway.
  • gatorguygatorguy Posts: 15,304member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post


    The outrage was rightly directed at Path, if that's what you are referring to.



    If it was just path then it might have been a simple oversight by Apple. . . but Path is far from the only one, nor even the most downloaded.



    "...Foursquare, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Voxer send some or all of a user's address book data back to their respective servers. Google+, Apple's own Find My Friends, Skype, Yahoo Messenger, Quora, Textfree, and AIM, on the other hand, do not.



    The Verge did its own testing and discovered other apps that access and send a user's contact data to their servers, including LinkedIn, Gowalla, Foodspotting, Angry Birds, and Cut the Rope. The worst offender, however, is Hipster—the app not only uploads contact information without user notification, but does so without any kind of secure connection at all."

    http://arstechnica.com/apple/news/20...n-security.ars



    I'm sure all of those offenders have since been removed from the App Store, correct?



    Is it reasonable that no one at Apple ever became aware that these very high-profile and among the most used apps they had approved also sent your personal details off to private servers out of Apple's control? Not in my opinion. I don't think there's any way someone at Apple didn't took notice, if not when initially approved then within days or weeks at least. Yet they weren't removed from the App Store. Either Apple is incredibly lax at curating their marketplace, putting all app users in danger of acquiring malware and spyware or they chose to look the other way, the more likely explanation IMHO.



    Which do you think the likely explanation is?



    A. Apple really doesn't curate the App Store

    B. They've very poor at it depending more on users and bloggers to report problems, putting users at risk or

    C. They chose to ignore obvious breaking of the rules (perhaps because the apps were also cooperating with Apple?)
  • gatorguygatorguy Posts: 15,304member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


    Re the bolded - You can turn off cookies in the browser. Or you can install something like ghostery.



    The problem is that Google is ignoring your efforts to turn off cookies in the browser and installing them, anyway.



    Not any longer according to Google. If they were lying about removing the offending code that permitted the bypass don't you think someone would have reported it by now? If there's another trick Google is using to bypass Safari preferences, do you honestly think someone wouldn't already be investigating it? They're obviously under a microscope.



    No, if you're still seeing cookie's installed after turning it off in Safari, which you gave no indication was happening to you, they aren't being served by up by Google in all likelihood. Rather they're being installed by another party, perhaps an SEO service, marketer or ad service. Maybe they're even using Google analytics for reports to the website operator that he can then use to bring advertiser's to his site with proof of pageviews and such. But those offending cookie's aren't coming directly from Google. In fact Google is the only one mentioned in the original story that has publicly stated they put a fix to the problem in place.



    Apple's friend Facebook made no claim to remove the workaround they were using, as least that I had seen. Perhaps they're the big offender ignoring Safari user's preferences, with a few dozen ( or hundreds) of other ad providers, SEO's and website operators also taking advantage of a well-known Safari hole. You'd think Apple would have closed it by now, unless they have other reasons for still letting it linger.
  • mj1970mj1970 Posts: 9,002member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    Just not that people have the right to be protected against it.



    Not at all. I think you should "protect" yourself.







    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    Because you work for one of these companies and wouldn't want to see it go under.



    Where I work (private information that was revealed by a moderator on the forum who was arguing in favor of privacy protection BTW) is completely irrelevant to my position. Your "argument" is nothing more than a circumstantial ad hominem.
  • tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 40,863member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post


    Where I work (private information that was revealed by a moderator on the forum who was arguing in favor of privacy protection BTW)



    Could have sworn you said it.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post


    I work for a company that does this kind of stuff. Browser security limits actually constrain us quite a bit.



    But that must be private information you posted publicly, there.



    I'll give yet another analogy. You're arguing for the equivalent of not having the option to stop people from looking into the windows of your house. You don't think that being able to have curtains is a valid option. All you can parrot is "Well, then, just don't have windows in your house."
  • mj1970mj1970 Posts: 9,002member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    Could have sworn you said it.







    But that must be private information you posted publicly, there.



    I was specifically referring to dealing with cookies and browser security and limitations.



    I was referring to another post in which one of the forum moderators in his great respect for privacy revealed some information from their logs, I presume, I can only assume in order to demonstrate this site's respect for privacy and his personal concerns about it.
  • tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 40,863member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post


    I was specifically referring to dealing with cookies and browser security and limitations.



    Okay.



    … and? Nothing more was said or implied than you had already intimated. So now you're simply reconfirming that you work where you work.
  • mj1970mj1970 Posts: 9,002member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    Okay.



    … and? Nothing more was said or implied than you had already intimated. So now you're simply reconfirming that you work where you work.



    Right. Whatever. But all of that is irrelevant to my position, contrary to multiple implications otherwise.



    It's yet another sideways attempt to suggest I'm a "shill."
  • dunksdunks Posts: 1,169member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post


    OK. Is Google's way of making money evil? If so, why?



    Yes because I don't want to have to manage a personal information economy. Just choosing not to use their software is no longer a legitimate option because of their dominant position in the market makes it impossible for other companies to offer an equivalent level of service.
  • mj1970mj1970 Posts: 9,002member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    You don't think that being able to have curtains is a valid option.



    Wrong. That statement either reveals a complete misunderstanding of what I've said or a deliberate misrepresentation.



    I have specifically said that I believe everyone absolutely has the right to block tracking in their browsers and should do so using the variety of tools available to them including those built right into the browsers themselves if this concerns them. Furthermore, if the browser you use has a security hole which is being exploited by whomever for whatever reason, then use one of the others that does not have this problem.
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