Consumer Watchdog blasts Google over privacy

Consumer Watchdog blasts Google over privacy

Summary: Consumer Watchdog got their hands on a "secret presentation" in which Google defends its behavioral targeting methods. Reading through the document(pdf), it certainly doesn't seem that scary to me, but they seem to have their own take on it.

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TOPICS: Legal, Google
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Consumer Watchdog got their hands on a "secret presentation" in which Google defends its behavioral targeting methods. Reading through the document(pdf), it certainly doesn't seem that scary to me, but they seem to have their own take on it.

I personally don't have any problems with Google's privacy practices -- in fact, I don't even own a tin foil hat. I find that people and organizations like Consumer Watchdog are far too paranoid, and tend read too much into things. I subscribe to the idea that Google collects information to make my life better, but that's just me.

Where do you stand on Google and privacy? Let's hear what you think in the TalkBack!

Topics: Legal, Google

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28 comments
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  • Wow. No real surprise there

    [i]it certainly doesn?t seem that scary to me[/i]

    Of course not, you've proclaimed that you "Love everything Google does" and think the world of them (but would you fall on your sword, too?)

    [i]subscribe to the idea that Google collects information to make my life better, but that?s just me.[/i]

    But I'm guessing that all the information the government collects on us (cameras, eavsdropping, ect) to ensure eveyone's safety is totally unexceptable?
    John Zern
    • Indeed

      Will he and all Google lovers have the same open mind when Microsoft starts collecting the same amount of information as Google does to...wait for it...improve my life!!

      They wouldnt cry foul at Microsoft, would they??
      DontBeEvil
  • RE: Consumer Watchdog blasts Google over privacy

    They collect information to make more money, if that means by offering better services then they'll do that, if not they'll do that too.

    They're a business, like any other. It neither scares me nor warms my cockles, it's life. It's all much ado about nothing.
    SimpleRules
  • Google collects information...

    Google collects information to make my life better and Microsoft collects information to screw you with "windows genuine advantage" and similarities.
    fake_user
    • Ha Ha

      First of MS dont collect personaly identifiable information Via WGA, and if you actualy paid for your copy of windows then you would be ok!

      Read the T's n C's you would find that they actualy sell your info to advertisers too which MS dont btw.

      If your ok with that then thats fine but I try and stop getting spyware on my computer so why would I use google?
      jdbukis@...
      • The trouble is...

        The trouble is, that google collects information any time you visit a site that they advertize on.
        belkorin
  • I bet google collects more info then the gov...

    I think its scary when a multi billion dollar company has more information on you then the government.

    What makes them even more sketchy is the fact that they removed their moto to not be evil or whatever.

    I was a big supporter of google back before I think they became evil. And I thought they had become evil before other people even started talking about it in the news. So I use other search engines, doesn't mean I don't check once and awhile to see what google is offering.
    x21x
  • It's a function of accuracy.

    I don't mind too much that Google keeps track of a lot of things "about" me, as long as it's accurate. Where life gets painful is when the data is NOT accurate, but treated by businesses and governments as though it were. Credit bureaus exemplify the issue: Citizens for Public Accountability published a study that estimated over 7 MILLION people had been denied credit or charged higher rates due to false or inaccurate data in credit reports in just the last ten years.

    Inaccuracies in government databases have led to everything from preventing Senator Ted Kennedy from flying commercially (the TSA database fiasco) to having people misidentified as suspects shot and killed by federal, state and local police. The courts have absolved all law enforcement agencies from any responsibility for these tragedies, even when they are caused by negligence or gross incompetence.

    Google search histories have become prime fishing grounds for law enforcement types who are digging for even the remotest clues in criminal investigations. How sad would it be to have them kick in your doors just because the last person to use your IP address before you was a suspected tax evader or child molester?
    terry flores
    • Really?

      [i]having people misidentified as suspects shot and killed by federal, state and local police[/i]

      That's so much BS, its almost not worth answering. Last time I checked, law enforcement doesn't shoot unless shot at first, not much of an "misidentified" innocent.

      Oh, and they [b][i]are not[/i][/b] absolved of anything, they take the hit when they screw up.

      But the funny thing is, companies like Google screw us all the time, and it appears that these very victims absovle Google of any blame

      Go figure.
      John Zern
  • Google knows everything about you!

    including that you are going to meet your boyfrined whom you find from Internet gayclub through Google search and gmail, while your wife in hospital. Then your wife starts notice strange ads appears in computer screens while checking her emails. THIS IS WHAT EXACTLY HAPPENS IF YOU USE BOTH GOOGLE AND GMAIL. Think about privacy. It's your friend's privacy too! Don't send me email from gmail. I will not be reply any email from gmails.
    privacy matters
    • LOL...

      Did this happen to you?

      But I do agree it's not a good idea at all to use gmail too much personal information and relationship to other people can be formed from who you email, not to mention business secrets!

      Why do you think google wants you to message people on AIM and GTalk through their gmail interface... they want to know who you talk to and what you say... and if the person on the other end uses the website for those conversions with other people, they probably record everything that that person says about you to other people...
      x21x
      • Yeh, it did happen....

        Note that I am not gay nor bi. So it didn't happen this way, but different way. After I wrote to people who use gmail about dangers using gmail for private or confidential correspondence, I received strange emails. This means that some one was reading my email warning about privacy issues. Someone who works for gmail might have send me! This means that you put emails on gmail, hotmail, yahoo, etc., somebody will read the contents. They also valid reasons to read emails you keep on your gmail boxes. Basically you are exposing what your friends and business partners wrote to you to others who can access your accounts!
        privacy matters
  • RE: Consumer Watchdog blasts Google over privacy

    You are right Garrett. If someone does not like Googles
    privacy policy stop using it. Why make such hue and cry.
    There are alternate services available for all the
    services that Google provides
    dassani.sidharth@...
  • I have no Google ID

    And I don't ever intend to.

    I use Metacrawler for search. OpenOffice provides my Office Suite. And all the fancy stuff Google Maps can do? Yahoo and MapQuest do the same thing.

    If Google has information on me, it's not information I've provided to them, in which case there really IS a problem.
    MariusSilverwolf
    • Read the linked document

      check out Google's TOS



      "11. Content licence from you

      11.1 You retain copyright and any other rights you already hold in Content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services. By submitting, posting or displaying the content you give Google a perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, and non-exclusive licence to reproduce, adapt, modify, translate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute any Content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services. This licence is for the sole purpose of enabling Google to display, distribute and promote the Services and may be revoked for certain Services as defined in the Additional Terms of those Services.

      11.2 You agree that this licence includes a right for Google to make such Content available to other companies, organizations or individuals with whom Google has relationships for the provision of syndicated services, and to use such Content in connection with the provision of those services.

      11.3 You understand that Google, in performing the required technical steps to provide the Services to our users, may (a) transmit or distribute your Content over various public networks and in various media; and (b) make such changes to your Content as are necessary to conform and adapt that Content to the technical requirements of connecting networks, devices, services or media. You agree that this licence shall permit Google to take these actions.

      11.4 You confirm and warrant to Google that you have all the rights, power and authority necessary to grant the above licence."


      WTF?



      "By submitting, posting or displaying the content you give Google a perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, and non-exclusive licence to reproduce, adapt, modify, translate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute any Content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services."

      So that email I sent cussing out someone is now their's to publicly display????????


      edit* it seems that this wording is necessary for GoogleDocs if you were to share some document with another person or make it available to the public.
      snafu_77
      • You are exposing your friends' privacy to Google...

        That's correct! You are submitting all the emails that your friends and business associates sent to you to Google without having permission from them. If you signed non disclosure agreement NDA with customers (or etc) and use Gmail or other public email systems, you are in fact violating NDA. You can get sued and have to pay compensation for negligence.
        privacy matters
  • Google is a shadow government

    http://www.infowars.net/articles/march2008/310308Google.htm
    Comnenus
  • "Chrome OS is coming to town"...

    Sung to the tune of "Santa Claus is coming to town"

    Oh you better watch out, you better not try
    To hide from Google I'm telling you why
    Chrome OS is coming to town

    They collect your hist-ry and sell it twice
    Then tell you we "do no evil", we're nice
    But Chrome OS is coming to town

    They'll spy on all your surfing
    They'll target your gmail
    So forget about privacy
    If you try, that's epic fail

    So, you better watch out, you better not try
    To hide from Google I'm telling you why
    Chrome OS is coming to town
    mgp3
    • Micro$haft does the same thing

      So all you're doing is trading in one evil for another...
      Wintel BSOD
  • I don't see anything wrong with target ads in exchange for fee stuff

    If Google gives people free stuff, target ads are nothing more than the price for the stuff.

    The dynamic use of user data to generate target ads is of no concern to me.

    Now, if Google just started using my private data and selling them to the highest bid, then I would be concerned. Oh Wait .... that is Facebook, MySpace, Tweeter, etc.

    wackoae