Microsoft lambasts Google for sharing personal information of Android users

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  • Reply 81 of 122
    bullheadbullhead Posts: 493member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by MacRulez View Post


     


    Meanwhile:


     


    iOS apps are more grabby with your personal data than Android apps


    http://arstechnica.com/apple/2013/03/ios-apps-are-more-grabby-with-your-personal-data-than-android-apps/



     


    don't let facts get in the way of the troll...he has no clue what he is talking about. Not worth the time.

  • Reply 82 of 122
    kdarlingkdarling Posts: 1,640member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Bregalad View Post


    Apple gathers data and keeps it to itself.


    Google gathers data and sells it.



     


    You were doing pretty well until this part.


     


    Google doesn't sell personal data, any more than Apple does.


     


    Both sell anonymous targeted ad slots to advertisers.

  • Reply 83 of 122
    tzeshantzeshan Posts: 1,996member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by KDarling View Post


    Most of us buy stuff all the time from eBay, Amazon, and other online stores... and they all get to know our name, address, phone, email, etc.


     


    The difference here is that Google has not made it clear to buyers that the same situation exists in their app store.


     


    That is, when I buy something online, there's always a form that I have to fill out with all my info (or a checkbox to okay an address).  This automatically makes me aware that my info is going to the seller.


     


    I think Google should have an optional form already filled in, that you can change or even blank out if you wish.   Or at the least, a notice and "ok" checkbox.





    This is not true.  I don't think Amazon give my info to a merchant if it is shipped and sold by Amazon.com.  Amazon give my info to a merchant if it is shipped by the merchant because it needs to know the shipping address.  Google apparantly choose the second method although the app is delivered by Google.  There is no need for developer to know this info. Google probably uses this tactic to attract developers. 

  • Reply 84 of 122
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,907member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by DominoXML View Post


     


    Dear GG,


     


    I feel you like this spinning around, smoke screen playing.


    If you want a list of what Apple knows about it's customers than open your iTunes account and look what information is necessary there.


     


    Additional information Apple holds is your purchasing history and if you agree anonymous device diagnostics and iAd data. For both you there's comparable easy way to opt out. In addition there are system preferences to limit tracking the educated user can adjust.


     


    Apple doesn't even share subscription data. That's a main reason beside the 30 % cut e.g. newspapers have fought the Apple subscription model. In this case Apple clearly puts the user privacy in front of possible profits. All these points can be examined in the corresponding GTC documents of the services.


     


    Now to your smoke screen arguments.


    You like to compare buying apps at Google play to Amazon and Ebay purchases.


    I did some purchases lately from 3rd party resellers and guess what? Both companies suppress sensitive data like my email address and phone number. Communication is in both cases done through the store. What the sellers get's is my shipping address and if I choose bank transfer they might get my banking account.


     


    In short only the data necessary for the transaction is exposed and I can choose to cancel the transaction in the case I don't feel comfortable with it.


     


    And now compare this to Google's way:


     


    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20130213/09394921962/google-play-flaw-gives-app-developers-purchasers-information.shtml


     


    Even if sharing the data on free apps is just an oversight the point of Macbook Pro still stands that there is often a lot of unnecessary data shared.


    As an Apple dev you don't have access to this data through iTunes connect.


     


    I have just checked that I have downloaded about 750 iOS and 50 Mac apps from about 500 different devs over the years.


    If would use Google play now 500 persons or companies would have my communication data.


     


    You can say what you want, but I don't feel comfortable with this, because defending privacy and preventing financial fraud starts with controlling your data and reducing the amount revealed to a necessary minimum.


     


    Google doesn't even effectively curate it's store which means that they don't take the effort to check whether the app dev is trustworthy. A fraudulent dev doesn't even have to put malicious code in his apps. He / she can simply collect thousands of addresses and sell them to spammers or start his own targeted phishing attack with a minimum risk to get caught because those addresses were legally obtained.


     


    It's OK to defend Google's way, but please stop trying to spin around it's shortcomings.


     


    BTW: iAds are also highly targeted but I think that even on advertising the privacy settings are very thoughtful. 


    I know that Google isn't directly selling private user data (would be silly because 3rd parties reselling it would drive the value down).


    My complain is that because data collection is a main pillar of their business they are way to lax on everybody willing to abuse it.



    I don't think I've defended the "Google Play way". It is what it is. I did try to explain why I think Google and Apple differ on the way they approach their app stores. I also said I'd rather Google make it clearer that your basic contact information is shared with the developer when purchasing an app (they don't share it with free apps). I also agreed with someone else's suggestion that a user checkbox acknowledging the OK would be a good move.


     


    Regarding your comment that I've compared Google's policy with eBay and Amazon I have not. I'm really not at all familiar with eBay, don't use 'em. I also haven't taken the time to look at Amazon's policy so I certainly wouldn't comment on them either.


     


    As far as what personal information Apple collects and what data is shared, I really do hope MacBook Pro follows thru with compiling a comparative list to Google's. I don't know that anyone has ever done so, and it would be a great service to iOS users to help make them aware of what types of data are collected and/or connected to your profile and how to control what they can. He's thorough when he wants to be and would be a great person to put it together. 


     


    Most of us know about Google. Apple is a bit of a mystery and much more secretive IMO.

  • Reply 85 of 122
    dominoxmldominoxml Posts: 110member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post


    I don't think I've defended the "Google Play way". It is what it is. I did try to explain why I think Google and Apple differ on the way they approach their app stores. I also said I'd rather Google make it clearer that your basic contact information is shared with the developer when purchasing an app (they don't share it with free apps). I also agreed with someone else's suggestion that a user checkbox acknowledging the OK would be a good move.


     


    Regarding your comment that I've compared Google's policy with eBay and Amazon I have not. I'm really not at all familiar with eBay, don't use 'em. I also haven't taken the time to look at Amazon's policy so I certainly wouldn't comment on them either.


     


    As far as what personal information Apple collects and what data is shared, I really do hope MacBook Pro follows thru with compiling a comparative list to Google's. I don't know that anyone has ever done so, and it would be a great service to iOS users to help make them aware of what types of data are collected and/or connected to your profile and how to control what they can. He's thorough when he wants to be and would be a great person to put it together. 


     


    Most of us know about Google. Apple is a bit of a mystery and much more secretive IMO.



     


    Sorry that I have mixed up some stuff here (Ebay, Amazon).


     


     


    It's not true that most of us know about Google. Nobody really knows all details what Google really does except themselves.


     


    And well, Apple seems always to be a bit of a mystery because of their culture of keeping things secret.


    I'm not aware of any attempt from Apple to intentionally share more than the necessary minimum of data and I doubt that they even consider this business because they would rather let iAds die rather than trying to maximize it's profit by getting intrusive.


     


    All I want to say here is that I have done data-mining and merging of multiple data-sets to one single database. What I have learned is that errors like wrong device clock settings or handling of timezones, linking or aggregation errors, typos or input errors, people willingly faking data etc. can lead to wrong conclusions about persons and proceedings. I consider even an error rate of one out of a million as not acceptable in case of highly private data and that's hard to achieve.


     


    Gathering that much data loads such a huge responsibility on companies that a careless approach can put a huge risk on you. If you even share private data with others you can't control, the risk multiplies. 


     


    I haven't checked Macbook Pros list e.g. by setting up a proxy server between my devices and Google servers, but if those data entries are nearby accurate I wouldn't feel comfortable with the thought to combine them into one profile like Google is currently on the way especially when looking on realtime data from Google Glass.

  • Reply 86 of 122

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by TBell View Post


     


    Amazon and eBay do not have my phone number as it is not required for a credit card transaction. Moreover, if I walk into an Apple Store and buy an iPhone case made by Switcheasy, I would not expect Apple to give Switcheasy any of my personal information. I did business with Apple, not Switcheasy. Here not only is Google getting your information, but the developer is getting it as well. 



     


    Normally when you buy something, you are the customer. However, when doing anything on Google's turf, you are always the product.

  • Reply 87 of 122

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post





    I'm fairly certain you will often get a dialogue box asking if it's OK for Apple to share your contact information with the publisher/developer.


    LOL you don't even own an apple product, how the hell would you even know.  Easy there Sally, you're BS is stacking deeper and deeper. 

  • Reply 88 of 122

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post





    Where did you find evidence that Google sold your information?


     






    already explained that in my gmail I get lots of promotion mails even though I never subscribed to those mails. So how did they got my email id and my interests?


     


    I try to keep unsubscribing every time and great thing is there is no option to disable ads on gmail or opt-out of gmail collecting your data.


     


    God knows what happens if we mark the mail as spam...

  • Reply 89 of 122
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,907member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Prasad Velkuri View Post


     






    already explained that in my gmail I get lots of promotion mails even though I never subscribed to those mails. So how did they got my email id and my interests?


     


    I try to keep unsubscribing every time and great thing is there is no option to disable ads on gmail or opt-out of gmail collecting your data.


     


    God knows what happens if we mark the mail as spam...



    Think about how many times you've submitted your email address to buy something on-line, make an inquiry or join a forum. Do you have any idea of the advertising companies that track what you do just at AI that have no association with Google whatsoever? Now multiply that by the number of forums you've joined. I think Google is like Coke, used as a convenient catch-all name.


     


    The good news if you were right is that Google will soon be out of business with all the big advertisers already having bought your "private information", probably reselling it themselves too, and not needing Google anymore. 

  • Reply 90 of 122
    anonymouseanonymouse Posts: 6,581member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post


    Think about how many times you've submitted your email address to buy something on-line, make an inquiry or join a forum. Do you have any idea of the advertising companies that track what you do just at AI that have no association with Google whatsoever? Now multiply that by the number of forums you've joined. I think Google is like Coke, used as a convenient catch-all name.



     


    In your half truths, you're right, but ultimately you are wrong. Yes, Google isn't the only company tracking you, but no one, no one, has even close to as many ways to track everything you do and everywhere you go online as Google, not even close, not even remotely close, and you know that, we all know that. So let's stop this lie where we pretend they are all the same, they aren't, and we all understand the concept of degrees of creepy. Sure, your credit card company has a history of your charges, where you spend money and how much, but they don't actually know what you spent that money on. Yes, Amazon knows that you bought some things, but they don't know all the web sites you've been to in the past year.


     


    So, no, Google is not like Coke. Google is not a convenient catch-all. Google is the biggest threat to privacy, on- and off-line, that we face. A bigger threat than Facebook, or anyone else, by orders of magnitude. Google collects personal information at a level that the government is prohibited from doing so. Why should we be comfortable with a private company having that much information about us when the only thing keeping it from the government is a national security letter.


     


    Even if Google were the most benevolent, honest company imaginable, what they have is dangerous and threatens our freedom. The fact that they have shown themselves, repeatedly, to be dishonest and unscrupulous makes it doubly dangerous. Are they selling our information in the detail? It doesn't matter. It exists. They could. The only sane assumption is that if they haven't, they eventually will. (And not necessarily in bulk, to advertisers.) 

  • Reply 91 of 122
    I don't like the fact that Microsoft, instead of promoting its own product, is simply attacking its competition. That said all the points they raised are correct and it's not as if google haven't gone for them in the past. Googles going to end up very lonely... They're even falling out with Samsung over control of their platform. If its Google vs the world then Googles gonna loose...... Just like apple in the 90's.
  • Reply 92 of 122


    From what I've seen posted by developers they get the brand of phone you're using, OS version, and some other system information. They don't get your name, address, sex, phone number, email, credit card number, favorite food, what car you drive, etc.


    I also think this is funny coming from Microsoft who wants to put a "Always On" device with a "Always On" camera in your living room.

  • Reply 93 of 122
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,907member


    Marginally related, and something I was not aware of: The Feds, and the IRS in particular have been reading our emails as needed for sometime, no warrants needed.


     


    According to the US government “the Fourth Amendment does not protect communications held in electronic storage, such as e-mail messages stored on a server, because Internet users do not have a reasonable expectation of privacy in such communications.”


     


    What??!


     


    http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2013/04/like-rest-of-the-feds-the-irs-can-get-your-e-mails-with-no-problem/

  • Reply 94 of 122
    macbook promacbook pro Posts: 1,605member


    Originally Posted by DominoXML View Post

    Dear GG,

     


    I feel you like this spinning around, smoke screen playing. If you want a list of what Apple knows about it's customers than open your iTunes account and look what information is necessary there. Additional information Apple holds is your purchasing history and if you agree anonymous device diagnostics and iAd data. For both you there's comparable easy way to opt out. In addition there are system preferences to limit tracking the educated user can adjust.


    Apple doesn't even share subscription data. That's a main reason beside the 30 % cut e.g. newspapers have fought the Apple subscription model. In this case Apple clearly puts the user privacy in front of possible profits. All these points can be examined in the corresponding GTC documents of the services.




    Now to your smoke screen arguments.



    You like to compare buying apps at Google play to Amazon and Ebay purchases. I did some purchases lately from 3rd party resellers and guess what? Both companies suppress sensitive data like my email address and phone number. Communication is in both cases done through the store. What the sellers get's is my shipping address and if I choose bank transfer they might get my banking account.



    In short only the data necessary for the transaction is exposed and I can choose to cancel the transaction in the case I don't feel comfortable with it. And now compare this to Google's way:

     


    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20130213/09394921962/google-play-flaw-gives-app-developers-purchasers-information.shtml



    Even if sharing the data on free apps is just an oversight the point of Macbook Pro still stands that there is often a lot of unnecessary data shared.


    As an Apple dev you don't have access to this data through iTunes connect. I have just checked that I have downloaded about 750 iOS and 50 Mac apps from about 500 different devs over the years. If would use Google play now 500 persons or companies would have my communication data.



    You can say what you want, but I don't feel comfortable with this, because defending privacy and preventing financial fraud starts with controlling your data and reducing the amount revealed to a necessary minimum.


    Google doesn't even effectively curate it's store which means that they don't take the effort to check whether the app dev is trustworthy. A fraudulent dev doesn't even have to put malicious code in his apps. He / she can simply collect thousands of addresses and sell them to spammers or start his own targeted phishing attack with a minimum risk to get caught because those addresses were legally obtained.



    It's OK to defend Google's way, but please stop trying to spin around it's shortcomings. BTW: iAds are also highly targeted but I think that even on advertising the privacy settings are very thoughtful. I know that Google isn't directly selling private user data (would be silly because 3rd parties reselling it would drive the value down). My complain is that because data collection is a main pillar of their business they are way to lax on everybody willing to abuse it.


     


    Thank you for responding. I gather from your response that he responded to me. He surely has surmised long ago that I have blocked his posts.

  • Reply 95 of 122
    dominoxmldominoxml Posts: 110member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post


    Marginally related, and something I was not aware of: The Feds, and the IRS in particular have been reading our emails as needed for sometime, no warrants needed.


     


    According to the US government “the Fourth Amendment does not protect communications held in electronic storage, such as e-mail messages stored on a server, because Internet users do not have a reasonable expectation of privacy in such communications.”


     


    What??!


     


    http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2013/04/like-rest-of-the-feds-the-irs-can-get-your-e-mails-with-no-problem/



    I would have expected that at a constitutional democracy a judicial decision or a confirmed suspicion is needed to execute something comparable to a search warrant. This "internet users don't expect privacy" is strange because national authorities don't need this carte blanche.*


    I know that governmental authorities are able to read text messages and proceed phone tabbing as well.


     


    Separation of powers demands clear rules and control whether those are followed.


    If these points are given authorities can use their power e.g. to chase criminals, a right backed by the constitution.


    *That's part of their mandate, a mandate private companies don't have.

  • Reply 96 of 122
    ijoynerijoyner Posts: 135member


    Seems like the old IBM strategy of FUD (tactics which MS inherited). However, maybe there is a grain of truth in this. Perhaps MS Phone and Android will cancel each other out.

  • Reply 97 of 122
    blah64blah64 Posts: 930member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post


     


    In your half truths, you're right, but ultimately you are wrong. Yes, Google isn't the only company tracking you, but no one, no one, has even close to as many ways to track everything you do and everywhere you go online as Google, not even close, not even remotely close, and you know that, we all know that. So let's stop this lie where we pretend they are all the same, they aren't, and we all understand the concept of degrees of creepy. Sure, your credit card company has a history of your charges, where you spend money and how much, but they don't actually know what you spent that money on. Yes, Amazon knows that you bought some things, but they don't know all the web sites you've been to in the past year.


     


    So, no, Google is not like Coke. Google is not a convenient catch-all. Google is the biggest threat to privacy, on- and off-line, that we face. A bigger threat than Facebook, or anyone else, by orders of magnitude. Google collects personal information at a level that the government is prohibited from doing so. Why should we be comfortable with a private company having that much information about us when the only thing keeping it from the government is a national security letter.


     


    Even if Google were the most benevolent, honest company imaginable, what they have is dangerous and threatens our freedom. The fact that they have shown themselves, repeatedly, to be dishonest and unscrupulous makes it doubly dangerous. Are they selling our information in the detail? It doesn't matter. It exists. They could. The only sane assumption is that if they haven't, they eventually will. (And not necessarily in bulk, to advertisers.) 



     


    Great post, the last paragraph in particular, and this is what I've told many people in recent years (those that aren't so closed-minded that they won't listen):  NO company or organization anywhere should have the breadth and depth of data that Google has on citizens around the world.  Even if their intent and past-records were sparklingly clean (and they're not anymore), it's just too dangerous, and it's only getting worse.  


     


    I'm glad more people are finally understanding this, because even 2-3 years ago no one seemed to understand this.  It wasn't even worth bringing up in conversation.

  • Reply 98 of 122
    blah64blah64 Posts: 930member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post



    A very thorough list MacBook Pro. Nicely done. I realize it may take a few minutes but can you do a similar one for Apple for comparison purposes?


     


    I'll handle this.  As we've discussed before, here's a full and complete list of all the real, personal data Apple requires to purchase their devices and buy apps from their App Store.


     


    #1) Uh, actually there is no #1.


     


    Apple requires absolutely no real, personal data to use their devices and purchase and enjoy apps.  All you need to do is not use a credit card to purchase your device (just use cash or you can always buy from craigslist), then buy iTunes gift cards.  Create an anonymous account, you may need to create a bogus email account.  Voila, you're done.  Of course Apple will ask for your email and other info, but you can just politely decline. 


     


    MacBookPro's list above is not a direct comparison, of course, because many of the items in that list are optional as well.  One could try to figure out which items are asked for, but not required, but at that point it's all splitting hairs.  


     


    The real difference is that I cannot take advantage of Google's services without their gathering a lot of personal data and/or tracking personal viewing habits/interests.  But I can take wonderful advantage of Apple's products without giving them a single tiny bit of personal data whatsoever.

  • Reply 99 of 122
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    blah64 wrote: »
    I'll handle this.  As we've discussed before, here's a full and complete list of all the real, personal data Apple requires to purchase their devices and buy apps from their App Store.

    #1) Uh, actually there is no #1.

    Apple requires absolutely no real, personal data to use their devices and purchase and enjoy apps.  All you need to do is not use a credit card to purchase your device (just use cash or you can always buy from craigslist), then buy iTunes gift cards.  Create an anonymous account, you may need to create a bogus email account.  Voila, you're done.  Of course Apple will ask for your email and other info, but you can just politely decline. 

    MacBookPro's list above is not a direct comparison, of course, because many of the items in that list are optional as well.  One could try to figure out which items are asked for, but not required, but at that point it's all splitting hairs.  

    The real difference is that I cannot take advantage of Google's services without their gathering a lot of personal data and/or tracking personal viewing habits/interests.  But I can take wonderful advantage of Apple's products without giving them a single tiny bit of personal data whatsoever.

    But isn't that true if you were to buy, say, a Nexus and use Google Play gift cards?

    Google is bleeding into Apple's territory with their HW and certain services, and Apple is bleeding into Google's territory with certain services. For instance, if I want to use my iPhone 5's address book and use Siri I have to let Apple copy all my contacts to their server so they can properly parse the names I might say. They also need to know which contact belongs to me so when I say "Remind me to take out the trash when I get home." it knows where home is. I don't believe for a second Apple is selling my personal info and that any modeling is being done with anonymized data to make their services better, but it's still a need to offer up my data like a sacrificial lamb if I am to get full use of what they offer.

    That said, I fully understand what you and others are getting at, and I don't doubt that Google uses 'us' as their product in ways Apple has never dreamed of doing, but that's their business. I don't find it inherently "evil" to be a search and ad giant. Could they be doing other things with the data that isn't ethical? With Google that seems likely as they've been caught with their hand in the cookie jar before, but anyone that uses a free service that isn't designed to tie you to some paid product really should wonder why it's free. Chances are if you're not using legal tender you're an Eloi.
  • Reply 100 of 122
    blah64blah64 Posts: 930member




    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post



    But isn't that true if you were to buy, say, a Galaxy Nexus and use Google Play gift cards?


     


    Ah, but that's a Samsung product, not a Google product.  ;-)


     


     




    Google is bleeding into Apple's territory with their HW and certain services, and Apple is bleeding into Google's territory with certain services.



     


    Understood, and you have a point.  But still, Apple basically sells hardware, with services that make the hardware more appealing.  So I use a hardware purchase for that side's comparison (and some apps, for good measure).  Google, on the other hand, is basically a services company.  They're not even selling their operating system, they're giving it away.  So for that side we should use services for comparison. And while you can use Apple's products without divulging *any* personal data, it's very, very difficult to use Google's services without them getting personal data, either voluntarily, directly from you or by clever (slimy, IMO) indirect means.  Some people are okay with that, I'm not, and especially not when it's done surreptitiously. 


     




    For instance, if I want to use my iPhone 5's address book and use Siri I have to let Apple copy all my contacts to their server so they can properly parse the names I might say. They also need to know which contact belongs to me so when I say "Remind me to take out the trash when I get home." it knows where home is. I don't believe for a second Apple is selling my personal info and that any modeling is being done with anonymized data to make their services better, but it's still a need to offer up my data like a sacrificial lamb if I am to get full use of what they offer.


     



     


    Yes, this is both a good point, and something that hugely pisses me off.  It's why for many years I've asked my close friends to NOT put any of my contact or personal info in their phones.  And if the friends are not that close, they don't get my contact info! lol.   I won't use Siri until it's local to the device (which could very well be never).


     


    Seriously, this will be an important part of the future of privacy management in the "connected world".  You can do your damnedest to stay out of view from The Eye of Sauron Google, but if your friends put all your details in their phones and send personal stuff about you via their associated gmail accounts, you're fucked.  It wasn't that long ago that no one would have dreamed of giving up their friends' contact info to a 3rd party without permission, and yet now almost everyone does it without a second thought.  It's rude!


     




    That said, I full understand what you and others are getting at, but I don't doubt that Google uses 'us' as their product in ways Apple has never dreamed of doing, but that's there business. I don't find it inherently "evil" to be a search and ad giant. Now could they be doing other things with the data that isn't ethical? With Google that seems likely as they've had their hand in the cookie jar before, but anyone that uses a free service that isn't designed to tie you to some paid product really should wonder why it's free. Chances are if you're not using legal tender you're an Eloi.


     



     


    Heh.  We've read (and written) "you're the product" so often the past couple years, Eloi is a great alternative. 

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