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Location tracking probe expands despite 2001 FCC law requiring all phones track users - Page 3

post #81 of 127
AI, thank you for expanding on my earlier comments. I am not a fanboi. But it is clear that tracking is the norm -- the legal requirement -- for US cellphones. So this is basically all a howling cry about nothing.
post #82 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by GregAlexander View Post

That's just DeD pushing his spin



Well, I quite like that I can restore a new iPhone from the backup on my computer and have an identical copy of that phone. So in that sense having the iPhone data on the computer isn't a 'bug', but it's also not telling Apple servers so I'm not really worried.

Ok, perhaps they could encrypt the backup. That'd be useful for other things too. But if I'm that worried then perhaps I should encrypt my drive anyway (which Apple does provide), and that would encrypt my iPhone backup anyway right...



Now if only they could take this location data, and apply it against my iPhoto photos, to give them automatic location data (roughly).


I wonder if Apple has any other intentions for storing data for such a long while. Perhaps a new social-media service that shows your favourite places (based on how long you are there). I can't think of many services that require a year of data besides advertising - but personally I'd rather see an ad for my local Pizza shop than one of the big chains.


I read on a blog yesterday that there is software which will match the time stamp on the photo with the time stamp on the track and geo-locate your photos. Sorry, I can't remember which blog it was on.
post #83 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

Most relevant info begins at the bottom of page 5 part C -Location based information.

http://markey.house.gov/docs/applema...ton7-12-10.pdf

Thanks Melgross, great link.

Apple sends the wifi point and towers it can see to Apple when it's looking for a location, and receives data back about those wifi points and tower positions. Anonymously. And when the GPS is on and working, Apple logs the wifi access points and towers it can see, including identifying info and strength of signals, from that GPS location - it then sends it to Apple every 12 hours.

So if you're in a building or house which has no location data (except the local cell tower), get somewhere outdoors where you have a clear GPS signal AND can see some wifi coming from inside, and the phone will update Apple so later when in the building you'll have location data.

I wonder how much this relates to the current controversy. I mean, if that data (sent every 12 hours) is recorded for longer - then the only time it's not anonymous is when someone hacks your phone (or phone backup) and looks at the anonymous data on it - and for the time Apple sends your phone the data on wifi access point locations (Apple must know what phone to send the data to)... so how long do they keep your phone information?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dickprinter View Post

Well, it seems the info isn't very accurate in my case. When I ran the tracking program, it shows I was in and around Las Vegas about a half year ago. Too bad the last time I was anywhere near Las Vegas, or more than 300 miles west of NJ for that matter, was before the first iPod was introduced.

Sometimes a wifi access point gets moved, so it's location information is suspect. Apple mentions in the above linked article that it updates information due to technology changes (or something similarly vague) which I presume is to recognise a moving wifi point as being untrustworthy.

Your location data might have been used by Apple to recognise the wifi point is incorrect, and your phone thought for a minute it was somewhere else - but your phone was never updated with a correction because this is forgotten data with no need to update.

I still want to use this data to help add locations to my (non-iPhone) photos.
post #84 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dickprinter View Post

It's a non issue for me. I have nothing to hide and there's nothing I do that I need to be paranoid about someone finding out.

I don't want to pick on you in particular, because you seem like one of the non-obnoxious commenters here, but that's a standard privacy comment that's universally not true. Just because you're not doing anything "bad", doesn't mean that you're willing to share everything will everyone. A simple example: to take you at your word ("I have nothing to hide"), please post your full name (including full middle name), your address, your social security #, and your birthdate. I trust you won't do that, and I won't blame you for having to backtrack on your statement above.

So with the mutual understanding that you DO have things to hide, i.e. you don't want out in plain sight, instead the real issue is to decide where the lines should be drawn. You might be the most law-abiding citizen around (as I am, no joke), but do you want a web cam running in your bedroom 24/7? Probably not, and it has nothing to do with having anything to hide, it's just basic privacy. As is letting someone monitor your physical location 24/7, without providing any legal protections over that data.

Yes, Apple may (we hope) be a "good guy" right now, and they probably aren't doing anything nefarious with this information, but there's nothing more than a Privacy Policy between your data and other parties. That privacy policy can be amended at any time, and how many people are going to (be able to!) just stop using their phones? And who's to say any other smart phone will be any better?

Sadly, a bunch of you are making ignorant comments comparing this to E-911 compliance. Not.The.Same. Telcos are required to make location data available in real-time upon request, but they have LEGAL restrictions as to the use and release of location data. Apple, Google and the other manufacturers and service providers have no such restrictions. You're just hoping they're going to play nicely -- and that they will continue to play nicely in the future. The fact that the devices can autonomously gather and send this data back to someone other than the telco is a relatively new phenomenon, and the laws need to be updated to reflect what the original intent was when the E-911 laws went into effect, i.e. your location data is private unless you make the explicit choice to share it.
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post #85 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by magicj View Post

Not at all. The data in "consolidated.db" is not sent to Apple, whereas that document is talking about how Apple uses data sent to it.

My original comment had been "This doesn't relate...."

But I figured there'll be some overlap in a database showing wifi and cell tower locations and GPS data, and the system which gets location data from Apple and uploads data to Apple.

The controversy is really their reason for not deleting that information once sent to Apple. So congress is asking "why are you keeping it, what does it contain". Fair enough.
post #86 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by GregAlexander View Post

text that got edited!

Hey, you edited while I was trying to quote you! :-)

Your original comment said something that I wanted to expand on just a bit.

People throw around the word "anonymous" pretty freely these days, but just because a hunk of data doesn't explicitly have your name on it does NOT mean it's anonymous! This has been proven time and time again, but people don't seem to learn.

Everyone listen up: if data is being sent from YOUR phone to Apple, then THEY absolutely know who the data is from. Or at least they know which device it's from, so they might not know if it's you, or your spouse, or your kids, but they know where that data came from. So from the start you need to trust that Apple is doing the right thing and not pulling UIDs around with that data. Parts of the Markey document reply from Apple seems to indicate that they (at least say they) do remove that data in some cases, which is good. But:

1) Unless the laws change, Apple can change their mind at any time about that. Sadly, Steve isn't going to be CEO forever, and money talks.
2) It's been shown that location data alone can very often be correlated to individuals, sometimes based on little more than commute patterns.

It's obvious that some of you don't care if your location data is completely public. That's fine, I don't begrudge you anything at all. Share away. Just don't expect any sympathy when bad things happen (http://pleaserobme.com), etc., and DO NOT EXPECT EVERYONE ELSE TO SHARE YOUR CAVALIER AND INJUDICIOUS ATTITUDE!
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post #87 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blah64 View Post

Hey, you edited while I was trying to quote you! :-)

Yeah, I realised what I said about anonymity wasn't clear enough, and left open something (which you've discussed).

Quote:
It's obvious that some of you don't care if your location data is completely public. That's fine, I don't begrudge you anything at all. Share away. Just don't expect any sympathy when bad things happen

I actually think Apple will be having a new social service showing where you are (with opt out options). A lot of people want that and value that. As long as I can restrict who sees me I'd be happy with that.

Last week my wife had a baby and we use HeyTell to transmit the first cry to both our families. When people voice-messaged back it showed where they all were on the map (for those with GPS activated). Very powerful app but also quite intrusive into that kind of information - for those who care about it.
post #88 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by magicj View Post

If you take a look at the link nvidea2008 provided, http://petewarden.github.com/iPhoneTracker/ you'll see they're saying the file does track your location. It's not tracking cell towers and the granularity they show in the video seems to be within a block or two, not the mile or two, 45 miles, or half a continent away others have said.

And again, the claim that Apple discloses this usage is someone's guess on what's going on and their interpretation of a dialog box. And it's a guess that make no sense what so ever as the data isn't sent to Apple but the dialog box talks about sending data to Apple.

The point to me posting this isn't to try to pick argument with you, but to point out the people who should be describing Apples policies and practices is Apple, not random guys on the net.

If you take a look at the video, "Washington DC to New York via Amtrak," on that site, it seems clear that the locations saved in the file are not the location of the phone itself... since it would require the phone to be in multiple locations at once.

I assume they're cell tower and wi-fi locations, but that's of course just a guess.

It also seems fairly clear from what I've seen of posted Apple user agreements and previous statements to congress that their policy is to collect location information if the user elects to and not to otherwise. I haven't seen any indication that they are doing otherwise, but it wouldn't hurt for them to reiterate that.

I'm not sure why the iPhone would collect the data even when the user opts out (assuming it does)... possibly in case the user changes their mind at some point and decides to opt back in. In which case the data is already there. Or it might just be lazy programming.

If the iPhone did actually accurately record your location at regular intervals, that'd be pretty cool... you could track runs, biking, hiking, etc. Apple should give the user a nice UI to access the data and control it. Heck, I might even buy an iPhone then...
post #89 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven N. View Post

http://www.f-secure.com/weblog/archives/00002145.html

Note: The data is anonymized. It is NOT transmitted if you opt-out.

That is actually a very good article on how Apple locates your position so well in WiFi-only iPads... Something I always assumed was just done through Skyhook, but it's Apple's own location database that is probably doing most of the grunt work matching everyone's GPS data with scans of WiFi signals.

For example here in South-East Asia I don't reckon Skyhook can give the granularity of location pinpointing that I see on WiFi iPads.

Turns out Apple may be relying much less on Skyhook than we ever imagined.
post #90 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

That is actually a very good article on how Apple locates your position so well in WiFi-only iPads... Something I always assumed was just done through Skyhook, but it's Apple's own location database that is probably doing most of the grunt work matching everyone's GPS data with scans of WiFi signals.

For example here in South-East Asia I don't reckon Skyhook can give the granularity of location pinpointing that I see on WiFi iPads.

Turns out Apple may be relying much less on Skyhook than we ever imagined.

Yeah, I was pretty amazed at that... I initially had some buyers remorse after getting an iPad without GPS, but the wi-fi location is pretty darn good. It varies over time at my house (or maybe it's my exact location within the house)... sometimes it might be a half block off, but usually it's within 50ft or so.
post #91 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by irobot2004 View Post

If the iPhone did actually accurately record your location at regular intervals, that'd be pretty cool... you could track runs, biking, hiking, etc. Apple should give the user a nice UI to access the data and control it. Heck, I might even buy an iPhone then...

There are inexpensive apps that do exactly what you're talking about. (Maybe even free ones, but not something I'm personally interested in, so I'm not following that closely). So go buy your iPhone!

The key is that these apps are 100% opt-in. If YOU want to have your iPhone track your location and send that back to whatever servers, great. But gathering, storing and transmitting that data with no (reasonable) way to access, delete, opt-out, etc., is appalling and unnecessary.
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post #92 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blah64 View Post

There are inexpensive apps that do exactly what you're talking about. (Maybe even free ones, but not something I'm personally interested in, so I'm not following that closely). So go buy your iPhone!

The key is that these apps are 100% opt-in. If YOU want to have your iPhone track your location and send that back to whatever servers, great. But gathering, storing and transmitting that data with no (reasonable) way to access, delete, opt-out, etc., is appalling and unnecessary.

Heh, cool that there are apps for that... immediately after I wrote my post I realized that since the GPS data is available, there probably were third party apps that could save it, send it, etc.

If Apple were doing all that you list, then that would give one pause for thought. I haven't seen anything to suggest they are, but that doesn't mean they are not... they are not providing a reasonable way to access and delete what appears to be cell tower and wi-fi location data on your iPhone, which I could see as being annoying to some... doesn't really upset me.
post #93 of 127
Wow, more people must be having affairs than I thought.
post #94 of 127
...I really think everyone should be aware of what information is both on your computer (backups) and on your iPhone.

I searched here on AI first to see if anyone else has linked to this video here at YouTube. No conspiracy theories, just a plain old security conference video from ShmooCon.

The video is old and references the 3gs and shortly after the iPhone4 was released. It is STILL very relevant to the information that can be obtained within "30 seconds(!)" (direct quote) of obtaining a non-password protected iDevice, and/or access to your Mac/MBP that you sync to.

These are forensic experts, however any kid or bad guy could easily within a few hours of NEVER cracking anything, get a mountain of info about you. At the very least, they could hijack your identity and make damaging posts to Twitter, Facebook, etc.; use your email address to send spam or Malware/Trojan infected mails; post or mail sensitive pictures of yours, or anything (child porn) to Flickr, Picassa, etc. under your name and address.

Some pretty scary stuff for the "I have nothing to hide" crowd to deal with after the fact if your MB or iDevice is stolen, dontcha think?

And you guys are worried about "location services"?

YouTube - ShmooCon 2011: Inside the App: All Your Data are Belong to Me

BTW: I'm a huge Apple fan. See my assorted posts. I am not picking on Apple. The researcher (who battled through heroically with a cold I might add), at the outset mentioned that this is not unique to Apple, it's just her area of expertise.

After seeing the vid... I think anyone with sense, will and should, check that little box to "encrypt your back-ups" from now on.
Knowing what you are talking about would help you understand why you are so wrong. By "Realistic" - AI Forum Member
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post #95 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven N. View Post

http://www.f-secure.com/weblog/archives/00002145.html

Note: The data is anonymized. It is NOT transmitted if you opt-out.

Very good! That was the article I thought I bookmarked, but didn't. Thanks.
post #96 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by muppetry View Post

I guess I still disagree with your interpretation. I think you have to read C.1.a in its entirety to see the restrictions, which I think do prevent transmission if location services are off:

First, when a customer requests current location information, the device encrypts and transmits Cell Tower and Wi-Fi Access Point Information and the device's GPS coordinates (if available) over a secure Wi-Fi Internet connection to Apple.

Second, to help Apple update and maintain its database with known location information, Apple may also collect and transmit Cell Tower and Wi-Fi Access Point Information automatically. With one exception Apple automatically collects this information only (1) if the device's location-based service capabilities are toggled to "On" and (2) the customer uses an application requiring location-based information.

The exception referred to is:

For GPS-enabled devices with location-based service capabilities toggled to "On," Apple automatically collects Wi-Fi Access Point Information and GPS coordinates when a device is searching for a cellular network, such as when the device is first turned on or trying to re-establish a dropped connection. The device searches for nearby Wi-Fi access points for approximately thirty seconds. The device collects anonymous Wi-Fi Access Point Information for those that it can "see." This information and the GPS coordinates are stored (or "batched") on the device and added to the information sent to Apple. None of the information transmitted to Apple is associated with a particular user or device.

Except it's already been shown that it does this when location services are turned off. Therefor, what I said is correct, and reading Apple's response does show that.
post #97 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by magicj View Post

Again, this is just speculation on the part of the folks who wrote that article. It's not a policy statement from Apple. And it's speculation that, on the face of it, does't make a lot of sense. Why would Apple be collecting that information in consolidated.db if consolidated.db is not sent to Apple? They can't build a database from data they never receive.

It was a policy statement from Apple, as you would have seen if you carefully read the response Apple sent Congress, that I posted. They make it clear that it is anonymous. As we can see from Apple's statement today, this isn't what you insist it is.
post #98 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

Wow. Pretty damn cool, actually. But certainly frightening for some people. I think the issue that Apple has to address, and soon, is why it keeps this data on a permanent-cache basis and why it does it continually rather than on-demand by certain apps or what not.

The other point it raises is that it is able to pull location data even when many apps and the Maps app says "location cannot be determined". I suppose there is a filter on these apps that determine the accuracy of the location and decides how valid the location is. What is interesting and concerning is that this location is tracked regularly behind-the-scenes.

Fascinating indeed. Now to log on to Cydia and zap the file. (untrackerd by Ryan Petrich)

I'm sorry it's being shortened. It's very helpful information, as it enables my iPad GPs app to locAte in a few seconds, and to allow it to begin while driving.
post #99 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by djdj View Post

There is SO much bad information in here it isn't even funny.
  • The data collected is stored on the phone and synchronized through iTunes to your computer.
  • The file on the computer can be encrypted, but it is not by default.
  • The file on the phone is inaccessible to regular apps, but totally accessible to apps that have been installed on jailbroken phones.
  • The logging of data on the phone cannot be turned off, even if Location Services are disabled.
  • The log file on the phone cannot be reset or deleted.
  • The current file format (unencrypted plain text) is new with iOS 4.x, but the iPhone has been doing this in the last several major releases.
  • If a phone is jailbroken, the data file can be obtained remotely via SSH.
  • If a phone is lost or stolen, a quick jailbreak can make the file accessible to anyone.
  • Apple stated last year that they collect location information, but this can be turned off by disabling Location Services. This does NOT apply in this situation.
  • If you replace your phone, prior location information is copied to the new phone, creating a log going back much longer than you have had the replacement phone.
  • Apple has made no comment on this issue.
  • This has nothing whatsoever to do with the FCC mandate that callers to 911 must be triangulated.
  • The phone does not need a huge log of everywhere you have been, along with when, to locate your location quickly. This can be done much more easily with a much simpler data format.
  • The utility you can download that shows you your historical location information intentionally obfuscates and reduces the accuracy of location information. The author states this on the home page. If this is used to come to the determination that the recorded location isn't accurate enough to mean anything, this is just wrong. The information recorded is good enough for E911.
  • Android location tracking is disclosed when you setup the device (or application), and it can be disabled.
  • The iOS devices are the only ones that keep a running log of location.

Personally, I wouldn't want someone to be able to track my location remotely. Through a jailbreak hack, or even a known security exploit of the phone, it is entirely possible that someone could target an iPhone owner remotely and download the data. Also, for those running computers infected with malware such as spyware, trojan, or bot, it would be very easy for someone to grab this information.

When you start to take things like the safety of your family into consideration, this is pretty bad stuff. I don't have anything to hide, but I certainly don't want an anonymous stranger being given access to my historical location information, let alone my current location.

Apple needs to turn this off, or at least give end users a way of doing so themselves.

You are really overdoing it. This isn't a tracking file. While police have attempted to use it in court, they haven't been successful, because some of the info is so far from where the basic track is that it's useless for that purpose. And the track isn't very close to your route anyway. In most cases, the info in the file is only telling within hundreds of yards of where you've been, and it could be a hundred miles. It doesn't have your current location either.

Folks, this isn't Tv or the movies, where they find out exactly where you are from these files. They'd be lucky to know which town you were in most of the time.
post #100 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by magicj View Post

If you take a look at the link nvidea2008 provided, http://petewarden.github.com/iPhoneTracker/ you'll see they're saying the file does track your location. It's not tracking cell towers and the granularity they show in the video seems to be within a block or two, not the mile or two, 45 miles, or half a continent away others have said.

And again, the claim that Apple discloses this usage is someone's guess on what's going on and their interpretation of a dialog box. And it's a guess that make no sense what so ever as the data isn't sent to Apple but the dialog box talks about sending data to Apple.

The point to me posting this isn't to try to pick argument with you, but to point out the people who should be describing Apples policies and practices is Apple, not random guys on the net.

It's just random if it has you within a block or two of where you are. The problem with that is that it's so often only coming within a few miles means that any other data is suspect, as it isn't actually tracking you, but rather the towers that are within certain limits, which may, or may not actually be on your path.

Because of that, using this to track people is useless, and hasn't been allowed in court so far.

At any rate, as we can see today, Apple has explained it very well, and will be eliminating most of it and encrypting the rest.
post #101 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blah64 View Post

I don't want to pick on you in particular, because you seem like one of the non-obnoxious commenters here, but that's a standard privacy comment that's universally not true. Just because you're not doing anything "bad", doesn't mean that you're willing to share everything will everyone. A simple example: to take you at your word ("I have nothing to hide"), please post your full name (including full middle name), your address, your social security #, and your birthdate. I trust you won't do that, and I won't blame you for having to backtrack on your statement above.

So with the mutual understanding that you DO have things to hide, i.e. you don't want out in plain sight, instead the real issue is to decide where the lines should be drawn. You might be the most law-abiding citizen around (as I am, no joke), but do you want a web cam running in your bedroom 24/7? Probably not, and it has nothing to do with having anything to hide, it's just basic privacy. As is letting someone monitor your physical location 24/7, without providing any legal protections over that data.

Yes, Apple may (we hope) be a "good guy" right now, and they probably aren't doing anything nefarious with this information, but there's nothing more than a Privacy Policy between your data and other parties. That privacy policy can be amended at any time, and how many people are going to (be able to!) just stop using their phones? And who's to say any other smart phone will be any better?

Sadly, a bunch of you are making ignorant comments comparing this to E-911 compliance. Not.The.Same. Telcos are required to make location data available in real-time upon request, but they have LEGAL restrictions as to the use and release of location data. Apple, Google and the other manufacturers and service providers have no such restrictions. You're just hoping they're going to play nicely -- and that they will continue to play nicely in the future. The fact that the devices can autonomously gather and send this data back to someone other than the telco is a relatively new phenomenon, and the laws need to be updated to reflect what the original intent was when the E-911 laws went into effect, i.e. your location data is private unless you make the explicit choice to share it.

Understand something. The only right, and expectation we have of privacy is in first class mail, and our home. Nowhere else. We don't have an expectation of it when in public.

I'm not saying that if some entity is deliberately tracking us so that they know exactly where we are at all times, it would be good, or ok. I'm not. But once outside, it can be difficult to hide where we've been. Get gas for your car. Use a credit card or ATM card. Make a phone call from just about anywhere, use some automatic payment toll card for highways, or any of a multitude of things, and they can find you.

If you want to be entirely off the system, it's difficult these days, and getting more difficult. If this is people's biggest worry, then they are too paranoid. As has been said many times, this doesn't know where you were or are. It's just a generalized area.
post #102 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by irobot2004 View Post

If you take a look at the video, "Washington DC to New York via Amtrak," on that site, it seems clear that the locations saved in the file are not the location of the phone itself... since it would require the phone to be in multiple locations at once.

I assume they're cell tower and wi-fi locations, but that's of course just a guess.

It also seems fairly clear from what I've seen of posted Apple user agreements and previous statements to congress that their policy is to collect location information if the user elects to and not to otherwise. I haven't seen any indication that they are doing otherwise, but it wouldn't hurt for them to reiterate that.

I'm not sure why the iPhone would collect the data even when the user opts out (assuming it does)... possibly in case the user changes their mind at some point and decides to opt back in. In which case the data is already there. Or it might just be lazy programming.

If the iPhone did actually accurately record your location at regular intervals, that'd be pretty cool... you could track runs, biking, hiking, etc. Apple should give the user a nice UI to access the data and control it. Heck, I might even buy an iPhone then...

There are apps for that purpose.

By the way, every GPS unit for the car, and for other personal use captures the route info, and stores it for later use. So unless people deliberately delete it, which they don't, for obvious reasons, then that data could be used as well, and it's very accurate. What's worse, if you program routes in, that you might want for the future, but haven't actually used, it's in there as well, just as though you had been there, and you can't prove, by that data, that you hadn't.
post #103 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by magicj View Post

If you take a look at the link nvidea2008 provided, http://petewarden.github.com/iPhoneTracker/ you'll see they're saying the file does track your location. It's not tracking cell towers and the granularity they show in the video seems to be within a block or two, not the mile or two, 45 miles, or half a continent away others have said.

And again, the claim that Apple discloses this usage is someone's guess on what's going on and their interpretation of a dialog box. And it's a guess that make no sense what so ever as the data isn't sent to Apple but the dialog box talks about sending data to Apple.

The point to me posting this isn't to try to pick argument with you, but to point out the people who should be describing Apples policies and practices is Apple, not random guys on the net.

Wow, are you were wrong on so many accounts. F-Secure actually trapped the network data going every 12 hours. Not based on a dialog box. Turns out it is NOT (as I had shown yesterday) tracking the location of the phone but other items around the phone that can be miles away.
post #104 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blah64 View Post

I don't want to pick on you in particular, because you seem like one of the non-obnoxious commenters here, but that's a standard privacy comment that's universally not true. Just because you're not doing anything "bad", doesn't mean that you're willing to share everything will everyone. A simple example: to take you at your word ("I have nothing to hide"), please post your full name (including full middle name), your address, your social security #, and your birthdate. I trust you won't do that, and I won't blame you for having to backtrack on your statement above.

So with the mutual understanding that you DO have things to hide, i.e. you don't want out in plain sight, instead the real issue is to decide where the lines should be drawn. You might be the most law-abiding citizen around (as I am, no joke), but do you want a web cam running in your bedroom 24/7? Probably not, and it has nothing to do with having anything to hide, it's just basic privacy. As is letting someone monitor your physical location 24/7, without providing any legal protections over that data.

Yes, Apple may (we hope) be a "good guy" right now, and they probably aren't doing anything nefarious with this information, but there's nothing more than a Privacy Policy between your data and other parties. That privacy policy can be amended at any time, and how many people are going to (be able to!) just stop using their phones? And who's to say any other smart phone will be any better?

While I'm not willing to share everything and anything about myself, where I am at any given moment is not something that bothers me. I believe and trust in Apple about what they say the information will be used for and do take the necessary steps (via iTunes backup encryption and phone passcodes) to ensure my data is safe from probing eyes. I can't comfortably say that about Google, though. Why? It's just a feeling, plus the fact that Eric Schmidt said, eventually, Google will know more about me and will be able to telegragh my moves and what I want, better than I do/will. (paraphrased)

If my anonymous info will help technology and my user experience in the future, I'm all game. Again, I trust Apple's word on this and I don't feel they have been anything but open and genuine (to the degree that Apple usually is, albeit minimal). I, for one, always read the fine print so I can make educated choices.

Having said that, am I being naive?

PS: Thanks for not picking on me.


Edit: And this only makes me feel more comfortable in my feeling and opinion about the matter.

http://www.appleinsider.com/articles...ng_anyone.html

Why does Apple bashing and trolling make people feel so good?

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Why does Apple bashing and trolling make people feel so good?

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post #105 of 127
The big misunderstanding about what this .db file contains has been cleared up by Apple. It's now very clear that it's not a tracking file.

Indeed, it's almost the opposite! This is information that Apple is DOWNLOADING to YOU. Apple is sending information based on where you are per the agreements you made to allow location tracking. They take that tracking, and send to you the tower information, and the info about WiFi hotspots in order to make location finding for your phone easier, faster, and more accurate.

As we know, from what Apple has said, and some technical writers who have looked at their own .db files, this file can have towers that are as close as a couple of hundred feet away, or as far as a hundred miles away. Whichever towers will help you in getting the best data for the services you are using.

For that reason, the file is useless as far as tracking goes, except in the most general direction, if you are going on a long trip. Otherwise, nada! Why? Because the way the towers are selected, there is no way for anyone to tell which ones you are near. Are you nearer the tower a hundred miles away, or the one on the next block? YOU know that, because you know where you are anyway. But for someone who doesn't know where you are, the file can't tell them that.

Let's say that you are in the city. You move around a fair amount. That leads to hundreds of bits of info about towers. If you're one foot closer to one or the other, it might select one or the other randomly. it might select four. Which ones are you closer to? It doesn't say. They could be two miles apart. That could put me in another borough here in NYC. But the information would still be useful to you in that it might be the best info for the location app you're using at the time. I would imagine that the closest tower isn't always the most useful for this purpose, or they wouldn't be using towers that are a hundred miles away.

And about that hundred miles. If two towers are a hundred miles apart in your file at a particular time, which one were you closer to, and by how much? It might be impossible to tell any closer than dozens of miles.

So this isn't a tracking file at all. It's info that Apple sends to you that isn't accurate enough to tell anyone anything other than in the most general way, and likely not even that most of the time.

A big to do over nothing.
post #106 of 127
Overall, I was pretty pleased to see Apple's official response today. It took a little longer than I think many people would have liked, but it's generally plausible, and I still feel that Apple is generally one of the "good guys" in the realm of privacy. Minor issues pointed out here:

When they say that "Apple is not tracking the location of your phone", it may be true from a pedantic nature, but general location information about your phone was (and will continue to be if you opt to allow it) being passed along to Apple. It may not be highly accurate data, and it may have been purged or otherwise aggregated on their end to the point of not identifiable, but location data was passed on.

When they say "This data is sent to Apple in an anonymous and encrypted form. Apple cannot identify the source of this data.", I don't quite buy that. If they choose to take note of where the data came from, it could be identified, even if the identifying info is not explicitly in the data itself. Yes, this is a minor point, just throwing it out for sake of completeness.

Lastly, on this PR statement, I don't believe the two issues were really "bugs", but I could be convinced that they were simple oversights. Yes, there is a difference, although it's not really that important in the scope of explanation to the public.

But overall, these are small nits, and I applaud Apple for coming out and not only explaining what's going on, but taking steps to rectify the problems. To be honest though, they had little choice. The media and public at large were not going to let go of this easily.

Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

They make it clear that it is anonymous. As we can see from Apple's statement today, this isn't what you insist it is.

As I alluded to above, any sizable amount of location-based data, even with no user-identifying bits, should not be assumed to be anonymous. It's possible that this particular data was not accurate enough to be identifiable, but I haven't seen anything (yet) that leads me to believe that's the case. Here is a great article, worth reading in its entirety:

http://33bits.org/2009/05/13/your-mo...ocation-pairs/

The PARC article referenced within is also good, but more technical than most people will want to read.

Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

Because of that, using this to track people is useless, and hasn't been allowed in court so far.

Key words: so far ! ;-)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dickprinter View Post

I, for one, always read the fine print so I can make educated choices.

Having said that, am I being naive?

PS: Thanks for not picking on me.

As for reading fine print, you and I are in a very small minority!

As for being naive, that's a pretty harsh statement. But I do think everyone should consider that whenever vast amounts of personal information is in the hands of any 3rd party, it's dangerous. Apple does seem like one of the "good guys", but:

1) management changes, the data they own never goes away.
2) security breaches occur all the time, and the more data in any one place, the bigger a target it is.
3) companies are indeed gathering more and more profiling information all the time (not just location-based)
4) when the feds do step in and make use of that data, the public absolutely does not get to know about it (this is a fact).

Now, this brings up the real elephant trying to sneak around in the back of the room: Google!

Apple is in business to sell computers, iPhones, etc. Gathering personal information is helpful to them, but ancillary. It's easy to see why they'll want to enable various features that rely on personal information, but making the vast majority of that data opt-in does not run completely contrary to their business model.

Google, on the other hand, needs to know as much personal profile information about their users as possible because it's the crux of their business. I am dying to see how Google responds to this inquiry!
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post #107 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blah64 View Post

Overall, I was pretty pleased to see Apple's official response today. It took a little longer than I think many people would have liked, but it's generally plausible, and I still feel that Apple is generally one of the "good guys" in the realm of privacy. Minor issues pointed out here:

When they say that "Apple is not tracking the location of your phone", it may be true from a pedantic nature, but general location information about your phone was (and will continue to be if you opt to allow it) being passed along to Apple. It may not be highly accurate data, and it may have been purged or otherwise aggregated on their end to the point of not identifiable, but location data was passed on.

When they say "This data is sent to Apple in an anonymous and encrypted form. Apple cannot identify the source of this data.", I don't quite buy that. If they choose to take note of where the data came from, it could be identified, even if the identifying info is not explicitly in the data itself. Yes, this is a minor point, just throwing it out for sake of completeness.

Lastly, on this PR statement, I don't believe the two issues were really "bugs", but I could be convinced that they were simple oversights. Yes, there is a difference, although it's not really that important in the scope of explanation to the public.

But overall, these are small nits, and I applaud Apple for coming out and not only explaining what's going on, but taking steps to rectify the problems. To be honest though, they had little choice. The media and public at large were not going to let go of this easily.



As I alluded to above, any sizable amount of location-based data, even with no user-identifying bits, should not be assumed to be anonymous. It's possible that this particular data was not accurate enough to be identifiable, but I haven't seen anything (yet) that leads me to believe that's the case. Here is a great article, worth reading in its entirety:

http://33bits.org/2009/05/13/your-mo...ocation-pairs/

The PARC article referenced within is also good, but more technical than most people will want to read.



Key words: so far ! ;-)



As for reading fine print, you and I are in a very small minority!

As for being naive, that's a pretty harsh statement. But I do think everyone should consider that whenever vast amounts of personal information is in the hands of any 3rd party, it's dangerous. Apple does seem like one of the "good guys", but:

1) management changes, the data they own never goes away.
2) security breaches occur all the time, and the more data in any one place, the bigger a target it is.
3) companies are indeed gathering more and more profiling information all the time (not just location-based)
4) when the feds do step in and make use of that data, the public absolutely does not get to know about it (this is a fact).

Now, this brings up the real elephant trying to sneak around in the back of the room: Google!

Apple is in business to sell computers, iPhones, etc. Gathering personal information is helpful to them, but ancillary. It's easy to see why they'll want to enable various features that rely on personal information, but making the vast majority of that data opt-in does not run completely contrary to their business model.

Google, on the other hand, needs to know as much personal profile information about their users as possible because it's the crux of their business. I am dying to see how Google responds to this inquiry!

As regards to Apple, you're overdoing it. You might as well question everything everyone says, including your own statements, for truth. Apple says it's anonymous and encrypted when we send info to them, and that the .db file is sent to us from them, and there is no reason to doubt that. I understand what it is, and what they have been doing, because they explained it very clearly. The issue is finished.

Google is another matter, because I find what they say to be disingenuous. Why did they collect all of that information when doing street view? How could a program mistakenly record that kind of data that has nothing to do with what its purpose supposedly was for? And why does Google admittedly KEEP that data? They supposedly even had an argument with the German government when they were told to delete it.

But, in light of what Schmitt has said, it makes sense that Google is deliberately collecting user specific information despite what they may say otherwise. Unless they can somehow show that what he said isn't any longer the case. As to what that was, it was this; Google will know more about yourself than you will, and it will make decisions for you before you know you want to make them. He's said that in at least one public speech, and repeated it at least one time more.

Google's regard for privacy is also indicated by another thing he said when questioned about people not being happy about having their house in Street View. He told them they could move afterwards. Of course, when he was questioned about that, he said that he didn't mean it, but it didn't really address the problem, and when considering his other remarks, I think he was serious.

Imagine if Jobs had said these things!
post #108 of 127
Mel , I didn't take you for a conspiracy theorist. Those are really silly statements, implying that Apple statements should be trusted because they were made by Apple, but Google should naturally be distrusted, because, after all, they aren't Apple.

Steve Jobs was certainly stumbling all over himself to welcome them as partners just a few years ago. Claiming they've always been up to sneaky stuff paints Apple with the same brush doesn't it since they had to be aware of who they were?
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post #109 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Mel , I didn't take you for a conspiracy theorist. Those are really silly statements, implying that Apple statements should be trusted because they were made by Apple, but Google should naturally be distrusted, because, after all, they aren't Apple.

Steve Jobs was certainly stumbling all over himself to welcome them as partners just a few years ago. Claiming they've always been up to sneaky stuff paints Apple with the same brush doesn't it since they had to be aware of who they were?

The basis of what he says has been proven accurate over the years. Remember that with Google you are the product. All those free services they offer are selling us. We are the Eloi (The Time Machine reference).

Apple on the other hand is selling HW. It behooves them to make the SW as usable as possible, the HW as desirable as possible and the ecosystem as strong as possible to encourage more sales. That also includes not making us feel like they are going to lose a customer by selling our personal info for a comparatively small and short-term gain, or even risking its security in the case of iTunes Store, which is an ever growing concern that Apple will need to throw more and more and hope it’s enough.

It’s not that one is any is better or worse, or more or less evil than the other. It’s just fundamental differences on their products and customers.
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post #110 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

The basis of what he says has been proven accurate over the years. Remember that with Google you are the product. All those free services they offer are selling us. We are the Eloi (The Time Machine reference).

Apple on the other hand is selling HW. It behooves them to make the SW as usable as possible, the HW as desirable as possible and the ecosystem as strong as possible to encourage more sales. That also includes not making us feel like they are going to lose a customer by selling our personal info for a comparatively small and short-term gain, or even risking its security in the case of iTunes Store, which is an ever growing concern that Apple will need to throw more and more and hope it’s enough.

It’s not that one is any is better or worse, or more or less evil than the other. It’s just fundamental differences on their products and customers.

But Google's revenue is not from selling your info. It's targeting advertising based on your marketing profile, but kept by Google. A big difference in my eyes.

Apple also sees the importance of gathering user marketing stats, and willing to bend their own privacy policies to get what they need to deliver targeted iAds. Rather than their standard "Opt-in", they've chosen to use a rarely mentioned webpage to opt-out, something very few users would take the time to do if they were even aware of it. Apple keeps that detailed market data they collected on you and others to themselves just as Google does, and uses it to entice advertisers to trust Apple to deliver the message to the proper market.

Other than on a smaller scale, I don't see that much difference with the way they each look at advertising revenue. They both want and need to harvest their users market data to deliver targeted services and ads to bring in increased revenues. Apple just has additional ways to get your money, so less emphasis on the advertising. . . for now.

IMO this odd hatred for Google comes solely from the rumored "Steve Jobs stabbed in the back" story. Everything was hunky-dory when they were on-board with Apple's plans. If they were still partnered against the evil Microsoft there would be few if any complaints here about Google.
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post #111 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

As regards to Apple, you're overdoing it. You might as well question everything everyone says, including your own statements, for truth. Apple says it's anonymous and encrypted when we send info to them, and that the .db file is sent to us from them, and there is no reason to doubt that. I understand what it is, and what they have been doing, because they explained it very clearly. The issue is finished.

You know what they say: Trust, but Verify! ;-)

I do believe the .db file comes from Apple, and I do believe them if they say the info we send to them is encrypted. But it's not really anonymous, because they know where it's coming from. It's like if I emailed you some "anonymized" data about myself. The data might be clean, but all you have to do is look at the email headers to know it's me! If you have a diligent data gathering process, you'll scoop that data out and disassociate it with the original email, and I hope they do that, but I don't know that we'll ever have insights into that level of detail.

The other thing I'm still curious about is that in order for the .db data that's sent to the device to be relevant, geo-location data by necessity needs to be sent to Apple. Otherwise they wouldn't know which bits of data to send to the device. I feel like I'm still missing something here.

The most important thing they said, and I hope I'm interpreting this correctly because it was worded oddly, is that if you opt out of location features, they won't send or gather this information at all. If the research detectives verify that to be true, then I think I'm satisfied. And I am NOT an easy person to satisfy with regards to privacy issues!

On everything below regarding Google, I am in 100% agreement. I believe they're up against some tricky requirements as far as deletion of data, since some jurisdictions treat that as deleting evidence. But all-in-all, there was no excuse for what they did.

Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

Google is another matter, because I find what they say to be disingenuous. Why did they collect all of that information when doing street view? How could a program mistakenly record that kind of data that has nothing to do with what its purpose supposedly was for? And why does Google admittedly KEEP that data? They supposedly even had an argument with the German government when they were told to delete it.

But, in light of what Schmitt has said, it makes sense that Google is deliberately collecting user specific information despite what they may say otherwise. Unless they can somehow show that what he said isn't any longer the case. As to what that was, it was this; Google will know more about yourself than you will, and it will make decisions for you before you know you want to make them. He's said that in at least one public speech, and repeated it at least one time more.

Google's regard for privacy is also indicated by another thing he said when questioned about people not being happy about having their house in Street View. He told them they could move afterwards. Of course, when he was questioned about that, he said that he didn't mean it, but it didn't really address the problem, and when considering his other remarks, I think he was serious.

Imagine if Jobs had said these things!
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post #112 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

The basis of what he says has been proven accurate over the years. Remember that with Google you are the product. All those free services they offer are selling us. We are the Eloi (The Time Machine reference).

Apple on the other hand is selling HW. It behooves them to make the SW as usable as possible, the HW as desirable as possible and the ecosystem as strong as possible to encourage more sales. That also includes not making us feel like they are going to lose a customer by selling our personal info for a comparatively small and short-term gain, or even risking its security in the case of iTunes Store, which is an ever growing concern that Apple will need to throw more and more and hope its enough.

Its not that one is any is better or worse, or more or less evil than the other. Its just fundamental differences on their products and customers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

But Google's revenue is not from selling your info. It's targeting advertising based on your marketing profile, but kept by Google. A big difference in my eyes.

Apple also sees the importance of gathering user marketing stats, and willing to bend their own privacy policies to get what they need to deliver targeted iAds. Rather than their standard "Opt-in", they've chosen to use a rarely mentioned webpage to opt-out, something very few users would take the time to do if they were even aware of it. Apple keeps that detailed market data they collected on you and others to themselves just as Google does, and uses it to entice advertisers to trust Apple to deliver the message to the proper market.

Other than on a smaller scale, I don't see that much difference with the way they each look at advertising revenue. They both want and need to harvest their users market data to deliver targeted services and ads to bring in increased revenues. Apple just has additional ways to get your money, so less emphasis on the advertising. . . for now.

IMO this odd hatred for Google comes solely from the rumored "Steve Jobs stabbed in the back" story. Everything was hunky-dory when they were on-board with Apple's plans. If they were still partnered against the evil Microsoft there would be few if any complaints here about Google.

This is a fascinating back-to-back couple comments, to me. I was completely on-board with solipsism's comment as I read it, and in fact I wrote something very similar just a few posts prior. But Gatorguy's comment is logical, and gave me pause. Why is that?

After thinking about it for a few minutes, I still feel like Apple's model is less invasive. The difference to me is that I can use most of Apples products without passing along any personal profiling information, if I choose to. Well, almost none. The iPhone being an exception because of the data plan, but that's exactly why I don't own one (anon prepay, and I'm on board in a NY minute!) You can buy an iPod or a computer at any local Apple Store or Best Buy or wherever, pay cash and that's that. Clean and simple. You can even buy songs and apps on the iTunes store without being profiled (other than anonymously) by using iTunes gift cards, rather than tying your credit card to the account (which I think is crazy).

However, the nature of Google's services, for the most part, are highly oriented around personal profiling. You can't use gmail without giving them access to some of your most personal data of all - your 'private' conversations! And to be quite honest, it's difficult to use the internet in general without giving Google a lot of personal information about yourself. Even if you use a different search engine, Adsense is everywhere, on millions of sites that you'll visit every day. That's valuable profiling info for Google. Google analytics is used on millions of sites that you'll visit every day, and most people haven't got a clue that they're giving Google data with every click.

Even if you don't use gmail, if you have friends that use gmail that you correspond with, all those conversations now belong to Google as well. I take great pains to not give Google any personal information, but how does one opt out of this last one?!

Google has their fingers in so many of our orifices all at the same time it's not even funny!
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post #113 of 127
I'd like to think that most of our posts add to the discussion, with the ones that make us re-examine/question our own ideas and attitudes being some of the best.

I have little patience for some who always appear to be in attack mode, angry young men so to speak. I pretty much ignore those. But a lively back and forth with good information, logical arguments and courtesy even tho one might disagree? It would be boring if we all thought alike.

Who could expect more from a forum community.
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post #114 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

But Google's revenue is not from selling your info. It's targeting advertising based on your marketing profile, but kept by Google. A big difference in my eyes.

I think were talking about the same thing again, just from different perspectives and/or using different language. Im not saying they are selling your info to anyone. They certainly arent doing what magazine publishers have historically done.

Google revenue is from selling you. Your eyeballs, which it does by getting relevant ads to you with enough success that their customers are happy to pay them their fees.

You mentioned their different ways of getting your money, but its in those different business models and core foci that backs what Melgross is saying. Even if Google doesnt let go of the info I think there is plenty of evidence to show that Google collects a lot more about your habits than Apple ever has.

But things could change if they move iAds to the web and offer MobileMe as a free, ad supported service.
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post #115 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Mel , I didn't take you for a conspiracy theorist. Those are really silly statements, implying that Apple statements should be trusted because they were made by Apple, but Google should naturally be distrusted, because, after all, they aren't Apple.

Steve Jobs was certainly stumbling all over himself to welcome them as partners just a few years ago. Claiming they've always been up to sneaky stuff paints Apple with the same brush doesn't it since they had to be aware of who they were?

I'm going by what the CEO of Google at the time himself said. This isn't conspiracy theory. It's what the guy running Google himself claimed they would be doing. Conspiracy theory relies on unnamed sources, and made up "factoids" to confuse easily deceived people into believing nonsense as being reality. when the CEO of a company makes claims such as the ones he made, you should be taking it seriously.

Remember that 97% of both Google's gross and net were from advertising. These are also public numbers reported by Google in its quarterly report.

That makes Google a very different kind of company from Apple, which derives most of its sales from hardware. It means that personal information to Google, which we know they are collecting, because they've admitted so in the past, means a lot to what they do,, which is selling space for Ads in their search results, their various OS's, and the apps for those OS's.

Don't forget that when using GMail, for example, every mail you get or send is kept by Google under your name, and the name of the sender, even though you delete them. Why would they do that? They do that to be able to data mine them for their own use, and for the use of their Ad clients.

Don't be naive about Google. They are one of the most dangerous companies around today. They're getting a pass because they're being seen as cool, but they've got ideas you won't like if you understand where they're coming from.

If Apple's business was composed of Ad revenue to the same percentage as Google's, I wouldn't trust what they said either, especially if Jobs had made the satements that Schmitt had made.
post #116 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blah64 View Post

You know what they say: Trust, but Verify! ;-)

I do believe the .db file comes from Apple, and I do believe them if they say the info we send to them is encrypted. But it's not really anonymous, because they know where it's coming from. It's like if I emailed you some "anonymized" data about myself. The data might be clean, but all you have to do is look at the email headers to know it's me! If you have a diligent data gathering process, you'll scoop that data out and disassociate it with the original email, and I hope they do that, but I don't know that we'll ever have insights into that level of detail.

The other thing I'm still curious about is that in order for the .db data that's sent to the device to be relevant, geo-location data by necessity needs to be sent to Apple. Otherwise they wouldn't know which bits of data to send to the device. I feel like I'm still missing something here.

The most important thing they said, and I hope I'm interpreting this correctly because it was worded oddly, is that if you opt out of location features, they won't send or gather this information at all. If the research detectives verify that to be true, then I think I'm satisfied. And I am NOT an easy person to satisfy with regards to privacy issues!

On everything below regarding Google, I am in 100% agreement. I believe they're up against some tricky requirements as far as deletion of data, since some jurisdictions treat that as deleting evidence. But all-in-all, there was no excuse for what they did.

Anonymizing means removing ALL references to the sender, including mail headers, etc. When this is done, it's done automatically.
post #117 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

I'm going by what the CEO of Google at the time himself said. This isn't conspiracy theory. It's what the guy running Google himself claimed they would be doing. Conspiracy theory relies on unnamed sources, and made up "factoids" to confuse easily deceived people into believing nonsense as being reality. when the CEO of a company makes claims such as the ones he made, you should be taking it seriously.

Remember that 97% of both Google's gross and net were from advertising. These are also public numbers reported by Google in its quarterly report.

That makes Google a very different kind of company from Apple, which derives most of its sales from hardware. It means that personal information to Google, which we know they are collecting, because they've admitted so in the past, means a lot to what they do,, which is selling space for Ads in their search results, their various OS's, and the apps for those OS's.

Don't forget that when using GMail, for example, every mail you get or send is kept by Google under your name, and the name of the sender, even though you delete them. Why would they do that? They do that to be able to data mine them for their own use, and for the use of their Ad clients.

Don't be naive about Google. They are one of the most dangerous companies around today. They're getting a pass because they're being seen as cool, but they've got ideas you won't like if you understand where they're coming from.

If Apple's business was composed of Ad revenue to the same percentage as Google's, I wouldn't trust what they said either, especially if Jobs had made the satements that Schmitt had made.

I might agree with the spirit of your post if you hadn't cherry-picked statements without acknowledging the context they were plucked from. For instance I'm certain you're well aware the comment about moving came at the end of a long and less than amicable interview exchange. Definitely off the cuff and ill-advised, but I would actually be shocked if you believed that's the way Google feels about their customers. You don't take the assorted terse replies that Mr. Jobs has been prone to when irritated as the official stance of Apple. "That's just Steve".

So yes, if you truly believe that Google is lying when they respond to official inquiries, and there's some secret plan to "get you", perhaps using emails you've written to your mistress as a bargaining chip, and support your belief with short incriminating clips of Google executive comments (of which there are only a handful in 10 years) as your proof then yes, I would consider that the stuff of conspiracy theorists.

Actually I give you the benefit of doubt and chalk the comments up to supporting Apple and their policies by denigrating the competition. Apple is big and rich enough that they don't need that tho.
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post #118 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

I might agree with the spirit of your post if you hadn't cherry-picked statements without acknowledging the context they were plucked from. For instance I'm certain you're well aware the comment about moving came at the end of a long and less than amicable interview exchange. Definitely off the cuff and ill-advised, but I would actually be shocked if you believed that's the way Google feels about their customers. You don't take the assorted terse replies that Mr. Jobs has been prone to when irritated as the official stance of Apple. "That's just Steve".

Your first mistake is when you characterize us as their customers. We are not their customers. The Ad agencies and other companies that pay them money are their customers. We're just their free resourse for those customers.

I read that interview. Yes, surprisingly, it wasn't the friendliest, which is good, as so many interviews with business leaders and politicians are just excuses to let them make their subjects look good, so that they can get more subjects.

Nevertheless, he's a pretty smart guy, and shouldn't have said such a stupid thing. But in the context of all the other things he's said in his own speeches, it makes sense, and there's no way you can change that.

As for Steve, well, he doesn't always think through what the consequences of his terse statements are going to be. But he never says anything like that. He's usually talking to some unhappy person who's making some complaint about a specific product. It's not at the same level.

Quote:
So yes, if you truly believe that Google is lying when they respond to official inquiries, and there's some secret plan to "get you", perhaps using emails you've written to your mistress as a bargaining chip, and support your belief with short incriminating clips of Google executive comments (of which there are only a handful in 10 years) as your proof then yes, I would consider that the stuff of conspiracy theorists.

You're taking what I said to a whole other level. I never said that Google was trying to "get me". I merely wrote down his own words. Why do you have a problem with that? It's what HE said. According to that, Google must be collecting specific information on all its users. Information that it can connect to the individual. Otherwise, how would Google be able to know more about us than we do, or make decisions for us before we knew we wanted to make them? And according to him, as I seem to have to keep repeating, that's their goal.

For some reason, you want to dismiss this. I don't know why. But when asked, he didn't deny it. Perhaps you're involved in a conspiracy of silence about it? You're in denial? You see, accusations can work both ways.

I prefer to go by what a person actually says, and obviously, you don't. Do they talk about this all of the time? Of course not, I was surprised, as were a lot of people, that he said it at all. I imagine that despite his saying that he was the adult running Google, he's an adult with a run off mouth.

Quote:
Actually I give you the benefit of doubt and chalk the comments up to supporting Apple and their policies by denigrating the competition. Apple is big and rich enough that they don't need that tho.

You can think what you like, but if Apple does what Google seems to be doing, I'll complain about that too. I imagine you have Google stock, and that's why you're defending them. And no, denying it won't matter, because this is the Internet, and we can't trust what anyone says, right?
post #119 of 127
Mel, if Google is up to sneaky and underhanded stuff, then explain why an "ethical" Apple would be so anxious to get in bed with them? If not for the supposed phone incident they might still be partners.

Google stock. Damn I wish. I'd have dumped that 2 years ago rather than going thru savings like water.
melior diabolus quem scies
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melior diabolus quem scies
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post #120 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Mel, if Google is up to sneaky and underhanded stuff, then explain why an "ethical" Apple would be so anxious to get in bed with them? If not for the supposed phone incident they might still be partners.

Google stock. Damn I wish. I'd have dumped that 2 years ago rather than going thru savings like water.

I've done business with companies I wasn't happy with in areas that didn't concern me. Business is business. You don't have to do what they do, or even approve of it. As long as it doesn't affect you, and what they're doing isn't illegal in a way that will cause you problems, then sometimes you have no choice.

Apple uses some apps and services Google offers. That's hardly getting in bed with them. And as we've been reading, apple wants to replace at least some of them with their own. Again, that's business.

Besides, who says that all of these companies know exactly what all the others are doing in every area? And is it their business?

Apple competes with Google, just like they compete with MS. And they do business with MS, even though they've been in Federal court twice for doing illegal things, even to Apple! But again, business is business. If a company isn't shut down, then you can work with them. You just have to be careful.

The laws regarding privacy are still being worked out as regards the kinds of data we use today. Until the courts and Congress decide what can and can't be done, much of this may be unethical, even immoral, but not illegal. Unless and until it becomes so, all we can do is wave our fingers at them and say; shame.
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