This was a fascinating post.
Everything in this first paragraph I completely agree with. It's analysis
, and at least IMO your analysis is generally quite good.
Originally Posted by SolipsismX
OTx2: I've always been surprised Google has never offered a free VPN to secure public WiFi as well any private network where the user doesn't want their data tracked by other nodes on the network. They could not only see what you do when you go to google.com but have access to all your other traffic through the VPN, save for SSL to sites within the VPN. This would give a lot more data to pull from and could even offer targeted ads if you don't want to pay a small usage fee, like other "free" VPN services have done. This seems like a gold mine of data
But your conclusion is a complete 180 from mine! Of course, the next part is opinion
, not analysis, and it's understandable that people have different opinions. Still, it was almost humorous to me to see just how opposite your conclusion was from mine.
... and I'd gladly let Google see what I'm posting here to AppleInsider instead of someone at a WiFi hotspot.
I would much
rather someone at an open WiFi see what I'm posting on AI or any random public site.
1) Unless I'm also posting on another site tied to my real-world identity, during the same visit, without SSL, they have no way to tie that data together. It's no different than anyone else reading my post here. Losing credentials is another story, but in any case, I understand how to protect myself in those situations.
2) There is no way to similarly protect yourself from google, and they have waaaaay too much personal information about most people already. It's just wrong. As in: arguably immoral. For those people who are adults and have knowingly
opted to give google the keys to their brain, oh well, that's their choice. But google also gathers data on millions of people who choose to not use their services, and there is currently nothing that anyone can do about it. They are unregulated and out of control.
The gmail class action lawsuit has been denied "class action" status for technical reasons, but "Judge Koh denied Google’s motion to dismiss the case in September, however, when she failed to accept the argument that anyone sending an e-mail to a Gmail user has implicitly consented to Google scanning the e-mail’s content for purposes of ad feeds. http://jolt.law.harvard.edu/digest/jurisdiction/district-courts/privacy-class-action-against-google-denied
This lawsuit will not go away, but it will morph. It's not just people sending
gmail users (foolishly thinking it's a private conversation) but the other way around. You can be just sitting around minding your own business and have a friend send you an email that says: "Hey Joe, happy birthday! Hope your ((horrifying medical condition)) is getting better! -Sam" In a few seconds, through absolutely no action of your own, you've now been tagged as a close friend of Sam, a victim of a specific medical condition, and your birthday is there to help confirm your identity (along with whatever else other people have sent you). This particular practice should be illegal, as you have never even implicitly given permission for that data to be released, let alone snarfed up and analyzed.