Google - Don't Be Evil...

Discussion in 'privacy general' started by Cerxes, May 18, 2007.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Cerxes

    Cerxes Registered Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2005
    Posts:
    581
    Location:
    Northern Europe
    Here´s an interesting article about Google:

    http://www.osnews.com/story.php/17928/Google--Dont-Be-Evil

    Until recently I used Google as my main search engine and I also used Gmail, but I´m now using alternatives since I don´t trust Google anymore from a privacy perspective. /Cerxes.
     
  2. EASTER.2010

    EASTER.2010 Guest

    Don't ya know the internet is nothing more than a wide open party-line like it used to be with telephones in the 1960's. Especially internet email services, there is always some ONE who can easily access your emails so don't ever think you can get privacy happy when you want to exchange messages that way from a girlfriend or whatever. It's wide-open for review just like telephones can be tapped. Internet Service providers LOG everything coming in and passing out from their base too and keep a list of your internet phone number commonly referred to as your IP addy.

    I couldn't care less what they read about from me because i always fully understand that everything used across these lines are potentially public record. My nose stays clean :D
     
  3. sunrise

    sunrise Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2007
    Posts:
    75
    in tht case, how can we safely (or what tools) send emails safely to third parties knowing contents will not be read or if hijack, cant be read? Tools that the sender can utilize without the need for third party to have the tool or know-how, being third party is a user who do not know how to use any security tools, just a normal everyday user.

    Thanks!
     
  4. Cerxes

    Cerxes Registered Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2005
    Posts:
    581
    Location:
    Northern Europe
    I only feel that it´s a pitty when a company starts with the good intention to be the "surfers best friend", and when it becomes big enough it turns into something very different. This is nothing unique for Google, but I´m afraid it´s turning into another example of "the wolf that wears sheep clothes". /Cerxes.
     
  5. Rmus

    Rmus Exploit Analyst

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2005
    Posts:
    3,943
    Location:
    California
    The first part of the article deals with activities which certainly reveal a high level of hypocrisy -- with respect to it's decisions in the China dispute, for example.

    However, activities directly affecting us as users of the web deserve some scrutiny.

    The user would have to let Google store the cookie. In a recent browser test, I ran it four times successively, and it always returned:

    Regarding IP, it's a silly metaphor. Explain what your IP address reveals and how that is bad.
    Anyway, for dialup people, it changes. For broadband with a static IP, the web site sees your router. If you are "overly concerned" there are other methods.

    In the browser test I mentioned above, this was retrieved about my dialup IP:

    Code:
    Your Are Visiting From:
    xx.xxx.xx.110 is from United States(US) in North America
    Host name: node110.xx.xxx.xx.1dial.com
    
    Whois Server Version 1.3
    
    Domain name: 1DIAL.COM
    Administrative Contact:
        Hostmaster, Ad-Base Systems  hostmaster@adbasesystems.com
        325 Mt Lebanon Blvd
        Pittsburgh, PA 15234
        US
        412-440-2070    Fax: 412-379-1010
    
    A link to an article on DoubleClick states,

    (Note the impact of the "loaded" words I put in bold.)

    This happens only if the user allows tracking cookies. Even then, the characterizations seem a bit over-blown.

    These cookies can be easily blocked, of course. Opera:

    http://www.urs2.net/rsj/computing/imgs/operacookies.gif

    For IE see here and note the comment:

    http://www.mvps.org/winhelp2002/cookies.htm
    Continuing,

    Only if you register and store the cookie.

    Wow, this is nothing new. Many sites have this capability. I store my Amazon.com cookie in Opera's Server Manager, and it provides a great service: when I go to the site, my name is at the top, Amazon knows my buying history so that there are lists of new jazz recordings (my main area of interest at Amazon) and other things related to what I buy. A user could choose not to store the cookie, and she/he would appear to Amazon as an anonymous visitor to the site.

    Similar tracking occurs in other activities. If you have a local library card, your library may have a history of every book you have checked out.

    If you have an account with LLBean and you phone in an order, as soon as the representative answers, your phone number auto-retrieves your account on her screen with your buying history right in front.

    Your Visa/MasterCard reveals a lot about your buying habits.

    Remember the Google Urchin flap? The way the media presented it, you would have thought you were being followed everywhere you went. It was difficult at first to sort it out, since there wasn't much information available. Setting up a firewall rule made it easy to identify sites that used it, and to my surprise, I learned that sans.org and The Christian Science Monitor's sites were "spying" on me.

    Corresponding with those sites revealed that Urchin was a web tracking service that Google purchased, and it is a legitimate way that web sites can generate statistics about how their site is used. Sans.org would later comment in a diary that a "concerned" user could just disable javascript.

    This is typical:

    Code:
    <script src="https://ssl.google-analytics.com/urchin.js" type="text/javascript">
    
    Google is up front about their policy (I wonder how many people read license and policy statements) so that a potential user who is bothered by this can just go some place else for email.

    Oh Good Grief! Our government, with its access to our name, address, phone #, SSN#, credit reports, IRS data - already has in place what it needs to spy on us.

    Google's adventures into other web businesses may have strayed from their original business model, but I wonder if that warrants the characterization of "evil."

    regards,

    -rich

    ________________________________________________________________
    "Talking About Security Can Lead To Anxiety, Panic, And Dread...
    Or Cool Assessments, Common Sense And Practical Planning..."
    --Bruce Schneier​
     
  6. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2003
    Posts:
    17,039
    Hi Rich

    Couldn't have said it better.

    Pete
     
  7. lucas1985

    lucas1985 Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2006
    Posts:
    4,047
    Location:
    France, May 1968
  8. Mrkvonic

    Mrkvonic Linux Systems Expert

    Joined:
    May 9, 2005
    Posts:
    8,695
    Hello,
    As I have always said, Google et al. can freely enjoy my adult explicit packets anywhere anytime they wish. Online privacy is a myth, so one might as well ignore it and get along with it.
    Mrk
     
  9. lucas1985

    lucas1985 Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2006
    Posts:
    4,047
    Location:
    France, May 1968
    I'd go ever further and say that privacy in a electronic world is a myth.
    How can I get privacy with social security numbers, credit cards and tons of documents?
     
  10. Paranoid2000

    Paranoid2000 Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 2, 2004
    Posts:
    2,839
    Location:
    North West, United Kingdom
    Hogwash - online privacy can be achieved but you have to work at achieving it with web filtering, cookie control and anonymising proxies.

    The main concern with Google is the wide variety of services it offers (making it more likely that users will allow its cookies - you do want Google to remember all your preferences, right? ;)) coupled with its increasing ability to collect data (records of searches, Google Analytics, etc).

    They are hardly the only company to be tracking users, but with their purchase of Doubleclick they are almost surely the largest.
     
  11. Mrkvonic

    Mrkvonic Linux Systems Expert

    Joined:
    May 9, 2005
    Posts:
    8,695
    Hello,

    I thought it was limewash.

    What I meant is - anything you do in the digital world is logged proper and good. That does not mean anyone will be able to associate an IP with YOU - as if that would matter anyhow. But whatever you do is out there, forever.

    Reason to worry? No. So I have used an X site 33 times last week and some server has logged the IP I was using. So? Or I have gone to Amazon and bought meself some nice book. Well?

    I don't see armies of armed salesmen knocking on my door, forcing me to buy this and that and showing my IP as a proof. Who cares? People who want to be affected by consumeric tracking will be. And those who do not want, will not be.

    Think of the digital cables. Who cares?

    Mrk
     
  12. Osaban

    Osaban Registered Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2005
    Posts:
    4,214
    Ditto
     
  13. EASTER.2010

    EASTER.2010 Guest

    I left out something in my haste to reply above, that is you can always exchange private emails and prevent your content from even being recognized if you use sophisticated letter/word/file crypting, i'm just not one of those who delved all that much in it myself.
     
  14. firefox2008

    firefox2008 Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2007
    Posts:
    125
Loading...
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.