Originally Posted by Rigelian
The relationships aren't quite that simple. Apple sells advertising so it has advertiser customers as well. More important Google has to make product good enough to induce customers (end users) to buy products that use their operating system.
As a user of Google services, why do I care if Google sells aggregated information to advertisers? Or just as interesting uses that information to improve the provision of services to me?
Google's mission statement is: "Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful." While Google's mission statement alone isn't troublesome, Google's collection of personal information is quite troublesome because Google's business model is the aggregation of user's personal information in order to target advertising to users. Thus, Google has far more personal information about users than governments or other businesses have about consumers.
* Google gathers details of how you used their services, such as your search queries (1)
* Google tracks cookies that may uniquely identify your browser or your Google Account (1)
* Google collects telephony log information like your phone number, calling-party number, forwarding numbers, time and date of calls, duration of calls, SMS routing information and types of calls (1)
* Google logs device event information such as crashes, system activity, hardware settings, browser type, browser language, the date and time of your request and referral URL (1)
* Google collects device-specific information (such as your hardware model, operating system version, unique device identifiers, and mobile network information including phone number) Google may associate your device identifiers or phone number with your Google Account (1)
While such information is gathered by competing products and services, Google's vast range of "products and services" uniquely positions Google to collect more information about consumers than any other company. The problem with Google's vast network of information gathering is that Google has repeatedly demonstrated a lack of concern for consumers through their policies and practices. Furthermore, Google has consistently used very expedient methods to comply with or meet demands whether those of stockholders or governments. The vast amount of information collected by Google has arguably made Google the greatest threat to privacy ever known, a vast unsecured treasure trove of information that attracts hackers and online thieves, and; most worrisome; governments.
* Google has done very little to protect Android users from malware. Considering that many people have significant amounts of personal information on their mobile devices, I find this completely unacceptable.
* According to Sunnyvale, Calif., security firm Juniper Networks known instances of Android-related malware -- "virtually all" involving apps - have jumped steadily month by month from 400 in June 2011 to 15,507 in February 2012 (2)
* "San Francisco-based Lookout Mobile Security reported In August 2011, that "an estimated half-million to one million people were affected by Android malware in the first half of 2011." (2)
* Trend Micro of Japan, which has U.S. headquarters in Cupertino, Calif. - identified "more than 1,000 malicious Android apps" last year, 90 percent of them on Google's site and noted that the number of bad apps grew last year at 60 percent per month. Trend Micro has estimated the total this year "will grow to more than 120,000," (2)
* Google proclaims that "Since the beginning, we’ve focused on providing the best user experience possible. Whether we’re designing a new Internet browser or a new tweak to the look of the homepage, we take great care to ensure that they will ultimately serve you, rather than our own internal goal or bottom line." (3) This is in direct conflict with Google's business model which serves advertisers and is a serious, undisclosed conflict of interest.
* Google removed links to an anti-Scientology site after the Church of Scientology claimed copyright infringement in 2002. (4)
* Google handed over the records of some users of its social-networking service, Orkut, to the Brazilian government, which was investigating alleged racist, homophobic, and pornographic content in September 2006. (4)
* Google's mission statement "to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful" didn’t stop Google from censoring their Chinese search engine to gain access to a lucrative market. (4)
* Privacy International has named Google the worst company in their 2007 survey and "hostile to privacy." (5)
* Google has used their dominant position with Google Search to prefer Google+ search results and has published results that include personal data which doesn't provide an opt-out option. (6)
* Google employees have vandalized OpenStreetMap by adding erroneous data. (7)
* Google collected emails, texts, photos and documents gathered from Wi-Fi networks using Google's StreetView cars to collect data. (8)
. Google. Retrieved March 29, 2012.
2. Steve Johnson. Posted March 17, 2012. Updated March 23, 2012. http://www.mercurynews.com/business/ci_20182226/android-apps-targeted-by-malware?source=rss_viewed
. San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved March 29, 2012.
. Google. Retrieved March 29, 2012.
4. Adam L. Penenberg. October 10, 2006. http://motherjones.com/politics/2006/10/google-evil
. MotherJones. Retrieved March 29, 2012.
5. Unattributed. June 8, 2007. https://www.privacyinternational.org/article/race-bottom-privacy-ranking-internet-service-companies
. Privacy International. Retrieved March 29, 2012.
6. John Fontana. January 12, 2012 http://www.zdnet.com/blog/identity/ftc-asked-to-probe-google-search-integration/143
ZDNet. Retrieved May 22, 2012.
7. Lucian Parfeni. January 17, 2012. http://news.softpedia.com/news/Google-Accused-of-Vandalizing-OpenStreetMap-Data-246965.shtml
Softpedia. Retrieved May 22, 2012.
8. Hack Doyle and Daniel Bates. Posted May 27, 2012. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2150606/Google-deliberately-stole-information-executives-covered-years.html
. Daily Mail. Retrieved May 28, 2012.