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Google agrees to pay largest fine in FTC history for bypassing Safari privacy settings [u] - Page 2

post #41 of 90

In Safari 6, there is a "Ask websites not to track me" checkbox. (Preferences > Privacy) To me, this sounds like they decide whether to comply with my wishes. It should read "TELL websites not to track me". They don't get a say in this - I decide, not them.

post #42 of 90

Grrrrrr...but I really like Google's Chrome browser. 

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post #43 of 90

Judging by the reactions of people in this thread I can only assume that; a) you have no idea what was actually happening in this case and b) you have no idea that your ISP is not only watching everything you do on the internet but retaining that data should the government and others want it in the future.

 

Yeah, I am worried about Google. lol.gif

 

-kpluck

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post #44 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by bighype View Post

Google's the most evil company. They've paid more privacy-related fines than any other tech company in the history.

 

MOST evil?  Please.  Remember Enron?  Being unethical is different than being criminal...(though it's a dubious distinction).  

 

I think Google's the web's equivalent of big tobacco...minus death.  People just accepted their practices because no one really understood the problems or dangers, but now the world is cracking down.  Now Google is trying to cover up mistakes or practices.  Whether the cover up is to spare the bad PR or exploit a situation as long as possible, they had better wake up quick.  They cannot continue to operate their advertising business this way without the chants of "evil" growing louder and louder.  The fines will get steeper and resulting regulations will make life miserable.

 

Tobacco take two.

post #45 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post

"Do no evil." - Google

I believe it's "don't be evil", but close enough. Steve Jobs knows better. He looked into Eric Schmidt's cold dead eyes and saw nothing but an empty void staring back at him. And Steve knew what he had to do.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

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post #46 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crunch View Post

Grrrrrr...but I really like Google's Chrome browser. 

 

 

As long as you don't buy a Chromebook, don't buy apps from the Chrome Web Store, and change your default search in Chrome to Bing (or whatever you prefer), Google won't make a dime off you using Chrome.

 

The browser is open source and everyone can see what the code is doing.  Exploiting users through the browser is a low I am sure Google wouldn't sink to.

post #47 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by kpluck View Post

Judging by the reactions of people in this thread I can only assume that; a) you have no idea what was actually happening in this case and b) you have no idea that your ISP is not only watching everything you do on the internet but retaining that data should the government and others want it in the future.

 

Yeah, I am worried about Google. lol.gif

 

-kpluck

I understand what you are saying, but I do not have an option as far as what virtually all of the internet providers do. I do however have a problem with Google or other companies deliberately circumventing my privacy settings. If there is something that I can do to keep them out of my business, I'm going to do it. For the record, I don't have a huge problem with a certain amount of targeted advertising, I just want to control what information goes out, to whom and how often it happens.

 

If you want to take things a bit further, your credit card companies track everything you buy, where you buy it, where you dine, what car you drive, where you buy your gas, how often you travel and to what destinations etc. That information is worth $$. Travel companies for example might like to know that someone holidays every March to the Carribean, so they can send out some targeted advertising material.

 

At the end of the day, we have very little privacy and what privacy we do have is tough to enforce.

post #48 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bilbo63 View Post

At the end of the day, we have very little privacy and what privacy we do have is tough to enforce.

Enforcing privacy requires government intervention, like what the FTC did. We need laws like the EU data directive, which gives a person editorial control over their data. We need laws that go even further. Market forces cannot secure privacy, only government intervention can.

But right now, under the current laws, privacy doesn't exist. The government, regardless of your country of origin, knows everything about you, and you have no recourse against what they do with that data.
post #49 of 90
When an app attempts to access files from another app, like your contacts db, Mt Lion will display an authorization alert. So before dismissing an alert, fully read it first. This will become more common as OS X, Apple & third party apps are fully sandboxed
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post #50 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bilbo63 View Post

They want info on us whether we are comfortable giving it to them or not. Why else deliberately side-step my privacy settings?

 

This is why Google offers "free services". They want their greasy fingers in every area of your life. The advertisers are their real customers, not us. Google see you and I as nothing more than food for their real customers.

 

I just bought the RRS app "Reeder" for Mac OS and iOS. It's a great app, but you are "required" to sign in with Google. What is that all about? I don't care about logging in on a web browser to check my RRS feeds. I don't need it and I don't want it. There is NO reason for signing into Google to be mandatory, except that Google wants to know what's in my RRS feed. 

 

Ask for a refund, explain why, also tell the company that you immediately revoke all prior agreements made with them either real or implied to gather and access information about you and that that you want any such information about you immediately removed from their servers.

 

If people don't speak up these third parties will continue acting as proxies for Google's web of deceit.

 

Meanwhile in Australia (the UK, France, Germany and others) Google shows a similar amount of disdain for privacy laws.

 

http://www.computerworld.com.au/article/432980/google_australia_must_destroy_street_view_data_privacy_commissioner_/

Better than my Bose, better than my Skullcandy's, listening to Mozart through my LeBron James limited edition PowerBeats by Dre is almost as good as my Sennheisers.
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post #51 of 90
Google willfully engineered a way around the do not track feature, violating user's wishes. Think of all the privacy protections that Google is bypassing on its Android phones. If they have no regard for one user, then Google has the same disregard for all users privacy. Android is nothing more than an advertising platform for them. Google receives no direct revenue from a free OS, they make money by tracking Android user's activities & selling that data to any bidder that wants to market to them
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post #52 of 90

deleted


Edited by MacRulez - 1/21/13 at 2:55pm
post #53 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

 

What nonsense. Not only is your description completely false, bearing no relation to reality, but Google's actions were certainly intentional, and not at all "inadvertent". Not only that, but Google's statement is nothing but self-serving double speak -- i.e., a lie.

 

Maybe it's time to trot out the "rogue engineer" again.

 

Hey Google, if you're listening I'm available for the "rogue engineer" role as long as I don't have to do anything and am paid a few million a year to be your patsy.

Better than my Bose, better than my Skullcandy's, listening to Mozart through my LeBron James limited edition PowerBeats by Dre is almost as good as my Sennheisers.
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post #54 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacRulez View Post

It's far wose than you tihnk.

 

Stop and look around.  Scroll to the top of this page.  Go back to the home page of this site.  Look all around this place.  Everywhere you go, the free services this site provides are - OMG! - paid for with advertising.

 

Sure, most of the ads on this site are so stupidly implemented that they don't rely on cookies, like the ones that attempt to sell the Nexus 7 to this Apple fan audience.

 

But if you use a good browser that offers cookie-watching plugins, take a gander at how ad networks work.  Not just on Google.  Everywhere.  Even Appleinsider....

 

Advertise whatever you want JUST DON'T GATHER INFORMATION ABOUT ME TO TARGET IT.

Better than my Bose, better than my Skullcandy's, listening to Mozart through my LeBron James limited edition PowerBeats by Dre is almost as good as my Sennheisers.
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Better than my Bose, better than my Skullcandy's, listening to Mozart through my LeBron James limited edition PowerBeats by Dre is almost as good as my Sennheisers.
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post #55 of 90

Chump change.

   Apple develops an improved programming language.  Google copied Java.  Everything you need to know, right there.

 

    AT&T believes their LTE coverage is adequate

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   Apple develops an improved programming language.  Google copied Java.  Everything you need to know, right there.

 

    AT&T believes their LTE coverage is adequate

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post #56 of 90

Wow that ain't shit. For google it's "the cost of doing business". They need to make these fines hurt. It should've been 22.5million * 10.

post #57 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacRulez View Post

It's far wose than you tihnk.

 

Stop and look around.  Scroll to the top of this page.  Go back to the home page of this site.  Look all around this place.  Everywhere you go, the free services this site provides are - OMG! - paid for with advertising.

 

Sure, most of the ads on this site are so stupidly implemented that they don't rely on cookies, like the ones that attempt to sell the Nexus 7 to this Apple fan audience.

 

But if you use a good browser that offers cookie-watching plugins, take a gander at how ad networks work.  Not just on Google.  Everywhere.  Even Appleinsider....

I think a lot of readers of AppleInsider are actually interested in the Nexus 7. I certainly am. It's cheap, has the latest OS, is highly portable, offers decent build quality, etc.

 

Holding me back: I don't have a smartphone with tethering so a WiFi only mobile device is of limited use; I don't want a Google account so I wouldn't be able to download any apps or other content; I can't justify spending $200 right now.

post #58 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacRulez View Post

like the ones that attempt to sell the Nexus 7 to this Apple fan audience.

 

 

Perhaps they figured people couldn't tell the difference.

post #59 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post

Advertise whatever you want JUST DON'T GATHER INFORMATION ABOUT ME TO TARGET IT.

 

Bingo!!

 

Google, Facebook, Yahoo, MSN and every other damn web site or service on the planet CAN survive without profiling individuals.  They just won't be AS profitable as they are right now and plan to be with massive personal profiling.  It's always been easy to place ads for diapers on web sites or blogs that cater to parents of babies, for example.  That's different from gathering personal information about individuals, specific computers or IP addresses.

 

I am SOOOO happy to read threads like this one, where almost everyone has at least seen the light, even if they can't (or don't know how to) get completely out of these "service provider" products.  I've been preaching on this topic for years, and it seems that only over the past year or so people are starting to wake up.  The question is, how long will it take for this understanding to 1) propagate outside the techie circles, and 2) result in REAL user behavioral change.  People may not like being tracked, but most people don't seem to be able to wean themselves from these services, especially "free" email.

 

For example, how many of you use gmail??  THAT is the most invasive product on the planet, probably even more so that gsearch, because of the level of detail people include in emails and the people/organizations they communicate with. 

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post #60 of 90

While the fine may be small, do people think that's the end?

 

What are the odds some privacy rights lawyer is going to try and get a class-action lawsuit started to go after Google. Since Google agreed to pay the fine they've admitted guilt. There's no need to have a trial to prove they did something wrong - all they need os to get a bunch of people to complain about their rights being violated.

post #61 of 90
Originally Posted by EricTheHalfBee View Post
While the fine may be small, do people think that's the end?

 

Yep. It's Google.

 

What are the odds some privacy rights lawyer is going to try and get a class-action lawsuit started to go after Google.

 

Slim. Since it's Google.

 

Since Google agreed to pay the fine they've admitted guilt.

 

Ah, but they didn't. That was specifically stated on the radio; they did not admit to anything but simply paid. Payment doesn't imply guilt.

Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
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Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
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post #62 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post

"Do no evil." - Google

"Don't use quotation marks when you don't know the actual line you're quoting" (TM)

post #63 of 90
Originally Posted by cameronj View Post
"Don't use quotation marks when you don't know the actual line you're quoting" (TM)

 

"Not sure you can trademark a quote."

                               —Tallest Skil℠

Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
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Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
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post #64 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post

 

Advertise whatever you want JUST DON'T GATHER INFORMATION ABOUT ME TO TARGET IT.

You may have to forgo Apple Maps then too, as their partner Yelp (along with others) is going to deliver targeted ads/results to you based on your exact location and user profile. Can you opt out of location tracking and still use Apple maps? I dunno but I doubt it. Can you get Yelp results without agreeing to their privacy policies? Probably not.

 

http://www.yelp.com/static?country=US&p=privacy

 

...Hill60, here it is for Australia in case there's any difference in what they collect and use.

http://www.yelp.com.au/static?p=privacy&country=AU


Edited by Gatorguy - 8/9/12 at 5:02pm
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post #65 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Ah, but they didn't. That was specifically stated on the radio; they did not admit to anything but simply paid. Payment doesn't imply guilt.

 

From the article it seems to be, "We'll pay the fine only if you say we aren't guilty" in much the same way as in the WiFi tapping case.

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post #66 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

You may have to forgo Apple Maps then too, as their partner Yelp (along with others) is going to deliver targeted ads/results to you based on your exact location and user profile. Can you opt out of location tracking and still use Apple maps? I dunno but I doubt it. Can you get Yelp results without agreeing to their privacy policies? Probably not.

 

http://www.yelp.com/static?country=US&p=privacy

 

...Hill60, here it is for Australia in case there's any difference in what they collect and use.

http://www.yelp.com.au/static?p=privacy&country=AU

 

There's a difference between opting in to something in order to use it and being forced into it against your will, the laws of the land and the specific agreement Google made with the government that they would abide by privacy laws and honour consumer requests to not track them.

 

"Not guilty" but fined, what sort of bullshit is that?

Better than my Bose, better than my Skullcandy's, listening to Mozart through my LeBron James limited edition PowerBeats by Dre is almost as good as my Sennheisers.
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post #67 of 90
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post
From the article it seems to be, "We'll pay the fine only if you say we aren't guilty" in much the same way as in the WiFi tapping case.

 

And frigging screw that, you know? Not only was the fine 20x too small, they don't even have to say they did it.


Originally Posted by hill60 View Post
"Not guilty" but fined, what sort of bullshit is that?

 

Were Apple and the publishers (rather, the publishers who paid up) guilty of what they were charged? 

 

Was Apple guilty of stealing the 'iPad' name in China?

Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
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Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
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post #68 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by jungmark View Post

how soon until all your "private" google services (+, mail, etc.) be accidentally made available to the general public.

As soon as Google figures out how to make money from it and how to get it past the regulators.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SockRolid View Post

$22.5 million is now the current record.  But, as we all know, records are meant to be broken.
I wonder how big Google's next privacy rights-related fine will be...

That's the key. While $22 M is a laughably small fine, the fact that it's a record says that if Google messes up again soon, the number may go up significantly.
"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
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"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
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post #69 of 90

There is a partial solution, and that is to boycott Google. The problem is, they're ubiquitous. You would find it very difficult to avoid them. I like the idea of paying per infringement: a million people = one hundred million dollars.

 
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post #70 of 90

Snakes...do no evil, my ass! I wish Apple would make their own Search.

post #71 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

"This settlement is intended to provide a strong message to Google and other companies under order that their actions will be under close scrutiny and that the Commission will respond to violations quickly and vigorously."

That may be the intent but it's nothing more than an extremely minor irritant.

Google says (in the voice of Cartman) "Whatever! I do what I want!"

post #72 of 90

Google lies to users, harvests their data, makes untold amounts of money from that, and when caught…….?

 

One drop of blood in exchange for a 'get out of jail free' card….

 

$22 million? For Google? That's supposed to hurt. Really. And the agreement of "denial of wrongdoing"? 

 

Wait... How does Google get to negotiate ANYTHING here? They ADMITTED to ignoring the rules. Hold them RESPONSIBLE. NO DENIAL. PERIOD.

 

Pay MORE. Be Censured. Pointed to as an example and consequence of WRONGDOING.

 

If this has little consequence, if they earn more by breaking the rules, then everybody will start doing it… it's a free for all. 

 

This sets such a bad precedent. Never mind that it's the "largest fine" ever… that's a meaningless statistic.


Edited by tribalogical - 8/9/12 at 11:14pm
post #73 of 90
Goocrosoft will laugh this off just like MS laughed off the IE fines. Long live Goocrosoft!
post #74 of 90

It's a bit of a drop in the ocean with respect to the web privacy problem. I have Safari 6 sending out the "do not track" header with each page request and yet I have 305 websites storing cookies on my computer, even though I regularly visit about 15. In other words 290 advertising companies are tracking me and targeting ads for a few free page views.

 

I can see it happen too. One day I Google for an overseas holiday, and then miraculously for the rest of the week, all the other "unrelated" sites I visit are showing special prices on plane tickets.

post #75 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by rednival View Post

 

The browser is open source and everyone can see what the code is doing.  Exploiting users through the browser is a low I am sure Google wouldn't sink to.

 

Android is "open source" too, that doesn't mean you have access to all of it.

post #76 of 90

The fine itself is, of course, pathetically small. The fact that they didn't have to admit guilt is a more than a bit ridiculous, although, in fact, paying the fine will be seen by the public as an admission of guilt -- the public is quite familiar with this little corporate dance.

 

The real damage to Google is the tarnished reputation it comes out of this with. Pretty much all the major news outlets have been giving this prominent coverage, and it's being reported that, "Google lied to consumers." That's a good solid body blow that they won't recover from before the end of the round. As they get hit with more and more negative publicity, from more and more lies and criminal behavior, the public perception of Google will gradually shift to a more realistic view: Google is not your friend.

post #77 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

 

Android is "open source" too, that doesn't mean you have access to all of it.

 

I suppose if you sincerely believe Google will throw in some code to do something nefarious in the release of Chrome, avoid it.

 

Personally, I am not that paranoid of Google....yet.  I think cookies are demonized and people believe they are far more destructive and evil than they actually are, but that doesn't change the fact that Google broke an agreement and LIED about how to fix it.  The lying is the the thing that gets me more than the tracking.  That's messed up and they deserve the fine and it is why they got the fine (if I understand the article).  I won't even argue about the "evil" tag.  Call lying it what it is.

 

It is not difficult to detect when software is phoning home and sending private information.  Seeing what is sent can be more tricky, but detecting the transmission isn't.  It wouldn't only be underhanded and evil for Google to do something like that, it would be utterly and completely stupid.  They would get caught.  There are far too many people watching Google like a hawk.  That isn't to say anyone that boycotts Chrome is wrong.  The world needs Google conspiracy theorist because it gives me peace of mind.  I know they'll pounce them when and if they doing something screwed up (like the blunder that cost them this fine).

 

My point isn't about apologizing for Google or defending Chrome but more about accuracy.  Chrome has never been found to be doing anything underhanded, and if it is ever suspected of doing something, you'll know.  That said, use whatever browser you are comfortable with.  There's absolutely no reason to use Chrome (or any Google product or service) if you're uncomfortable with doing so.  

 

If you like Chrome though and prefer it, I don't think this is a reason enough to drop it.  But that's just me...and if that makes me a "Google licker", so be it.

post #78 of 90

deleted


Edited by MacRulez - 1/21/13 at 3:04pm
post #79 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacRulez View Post


According to the FireFox CookieMonster plugin (I'm sure there's an equivalent for Safari, no?), in addition to the cookies AppleInsider.com uses itself there are also attempts to set cookies by seven third parties.

 

1. What specific information about you as an individual does Google's use of cookies obtain that those other six don't?

2. Why do you spend so much time on a site that also uses Google cookies?

3. Have you ever produced an ad-supported web site?

4. If cookie control is important to you why do you choose not to simply use a good cookie-blocker plugin?


 

You ask questions that only a person that understands what a cookie actually is and does would understand.

 

Google's mistakes were exploiting a browser and lying about the fix.  The fact that they lied about cookies makes it a PR nightmare because the public is SO paranoid about cookies because they have absolutely no clue about what they do.  The media just feeds the paranoia because they discuss the "tracking" but never really elaborate what is tracked or how.  If you're mad about the cookies themselves, you better be mad at everyone in Internet advertising.  Especially be mad at Facebook.  Everyone does exactly what Google did by using third-party cookies, and Facebook goes beyond anything Google does with the cookie itself.  

 

But Facebook doesn't have agreements with the FTC, nor have they (so far) lied about how to avoid being tracked.  So Google doesn't get a free pass and they don't deserve slack.  Just realize what they are attempting to do with third party cookies is the norm.  Exploiting a browser loop hole to do it and lying about the fix is where Google deviated from the norm and got themselves fined- and really bad PR.

 

[EDIT] 

Keep in mind I am not defending Google.  All I am saying is if you want to get up in arms about tracking cookies, realize you have to lump Microsoft, Yahoo, maybe even Apple (not entirely sure how the advertising features in iOS work- if they don't track anything- good for them) in with Google.  FTC is not fining Google for placing tracking cookies, but for doing it when user has requested that they not be tracked.


Edited by rednival - 8/10/12 at 9:53am
post #80 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by rednival View Post

But Facebook doesn't have agreements with the FTC, nor have they (so far) lied about how to avoid being tracked.  

Facebook is also under an FTC compliance order. I'll assume that the FTC had no issue with bypassing Safari settings as they've not made any issue of Facebook 9and others) using the same or similar exploit. The FTC's fine was due to Google's statement on their applicable privacy explanations page that if Safari users already had settings to discard cookies then no further action was needed. That wasn't correct. Seemingly the FTC was not too concerned with the actual bypassing of user settings as that's not what the fine was for.

 

In essence, bypass all you want but don't tell users flawed instructions on how to avoid it. At least that's the way I see it. 

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