Originally Posted by Gatorguy
I agree with much of your sentiment on privacy and the need to be pragmatic about sharing certain details to gain benefits. No need to throw plainly dishonest FUD into the argument to make Apple look better as tho they've done something wrong. Google already does enough "Huh?" stuff to legitimately question without making up things to accuse them of and no one has claimed that Apple is doing anything nefarious with your gathered info anyway. Why would you post untruths about a competitor to have others less knowledgeable repeat them as true?
No FUD there. It's exactly what Google does. They have our info, and they sell that to other Ad agencies, and companies that find that data useful. No need to pretend otherwise. It's called data mining. The problem is that unlike most other companies, the data they're mining isn't their own, it's ours. This is one reason why both our government and the EU, along with some others are investigating Google for various privacy offenses. And by that, I don't mean a few Congressmen asking for information, as they've asked Apple.
When a company's sales and profits almost entirely rely on advertising, information about their users is the most valuable resourse they've got. It's why, after you remove a mail or message from G-Mail, you can't see it any more, but it's still on their servers. It's why Google+ is here; to make it easier for them to concatenate all of your usage in all of their services with one password, linked to your real name. Don't say that you haven't read about the problems in privacy that this is causing. So much so that the EU told them not to go ahead with it until they investigated the fallout. But they went ahead anyway.
I've also wondered why they have Streetview. An interesting, but not particularly useful service. Use it one or twice, and the thrill is gone. Well, as we know, they were harvesting passwords and other information from people as their car went by. Of course, at first they denied it, then had to admit it. So it was an error, they said. How could a car designed to only get pictures of where it's going, and correlate that with GPS coordinates also download data from people's networks? That makes no sense. There would be no need to do that, and how would they do that anyway?
Well, as it turns out, they wrote, and patented software that does that very thing. When that was found out, they tried to blame one engineer. What? Why would this guy install that kind of software in a car that just supposed to look at the scenery and geolocate where it is?
He wouldn't! Of course, Google was doing that intentially. They would have to be. When the German government told them to destroy that data, they protested that they shouldn't have to. This was all in the news, and is one reason why they are being investigated. If this was in error, shouldn't they have volunteered to destroy all of that information instead?
No. I believe that Streetview was just a way to get cars driving about to get that very information that they did get, with the software that Google wrote for that purpose.
Conspiracy theory? Sure, but it does explain it better than any other theory does, and it goes along with everything else Google is doing, or trying to do. Don't forget Schmitt's words, when he said that soon, Google would know more about you than you did about yourself, and that it would do something for you before you knew you wanted to do it. As they call the things he says; creepy.
I know you'll try to wriggle out of all this, but it's all public knowledge, so you can't realistically deny any of it. I suppose you can try to assign better motives to it, but I can't find any that fit.