Is Google a friend or an enemy?

Discussion in 'privacy general' started by firefox2008, Mar 21, 2014.

  1. firefox2008

    firefox2008 Registered Member

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  2. Techwiz

    Techwiz Registered Member

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    IMHO, friend would not be applicable term, expect in the sickest sense that they take an interest in what interests you. Likewise, enemy would not be applicable since the company harbors no ill will against you. That being said, a better way to think of Google might be an overly attached and expensive girlfriend. She keeps track of everything you do, where you go, who you talk with, and wants to know what you think about certain things. She openly shares opinion (reviews, ratings, etc.) and has suggestions for you ( google search). She spends a lot of her time trying to get you interested in spending money on the things she thinks are amazing (google play store). She thinks firefox is so 2011, but Google chrome is thee must have hot sell. She wants you to be involved in the same activities, so she steers you to services she thinks you both will like (google drive, google+, etc.). Did we mention she's obsessed with sharing pictures, video, and gossip. Keep in mind that if you dump her, she's going to be really hard to avoid.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2014
  3. FreddyFreeloader

    FreddyFreeloader Registered Member

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    Google is an advertising platform, nothing more, nothing less.
     
  4. MisterB

    MisterB Registered Member

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    Google is neither friend nor enemy. It is much better than some corporate entities in terms of stated and practiced ethics but it is still a big corporation that makes huge amounts of money from its users. It can be a useful tool if you know how to use it.

    I liked Google a lot better 10 years ago. I still use its services and block almost all of the advertising and tracking. I really only use the search service and gmail. As intrusive as Google can be these days, compare it to Facebook and it doesn't look that bad in regards to privacy and Facebook doesn't do anything noble or scholarly like Google does. Try to find something like an obscure Anglo-Saxon text from the 10 century AD out of print for over 60 years and Google not only has found it, they've paid someone to scan it and provide server space and bandwidth to make it available for the few souls in the world interested in it. You can do some serious research with Google. That is the side of Google I like. I don't like the Chrome/Android/Tracking and Advertising side of it.
     
  5. Nebulus

    Nebulus Registered Member

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    Google is a corporation so it cannot be my friend. As for being an enemy, I guess that spying on me can qualify as a hostile act...
     
  6. Minimalist

    Minimalist Registered Member

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    I consider it neither as friend nor as enemy. It provides good and rather secure free services and software. The price for using them is my privacy. There are also other companies that invade my privacy but I don't get anything from them. So IMO Google is not the worst in that regard.

    hqsec
     
  7. gorhill

    gorhill Developer

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    A for-profit corporation which purpose is to grow equity for its shareholders.
     
  8. jdd58

    jdd58 Registered Member

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    I love that analogy. Great job.
     
  9. dw2108

    dw2108 Registered Member

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    Don't forget, the Google Girl is oft infected as well. NO SHOTS FOR THAT!

    Dave
     
  10. Taliscicero

    Taliscicero Registered Member

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    Google is a tool that you use and work within but also wants to self preserve and benefit off of you. Make Google work for you, figure out how to work in a way that best benefits you with the least downfalls.
     
  11. JohnMatrix

    JohnMatrix Registered Member

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    Some good comments above me. For me, Google is still a necessary evil, their search engine is top notch, people still send me messages through Gmail and I frequently watch YouTube.

    However, slowly I'm moving away from Google and I realize Google does a lot of things better than its competitors, including being evil.
     
  12. guest

    guest Guest

    I don't quite understand this question. Google is a corporation and corporation prioritize profit much higher than friendship (we need a better word for this). Having said that, I take benefit out of it as much as I can. When it can't serve purpose anymore to me, or there's something that can give me better services, I'll leave it. There's no need to worry about friendship/good-terms relationship (oh gawd I hate this word so much) from a user's perspective. It will be different if you're doing a business cooperation with Google, however it will be pretty much limited to what the contract says.

    They failed miserably when trying to compete with Facebook and Twitter with their... sigh, G+.

    Should I make my own multi-billions corporation now? :D
     
  13. Wroll

    Wroll Registered Member

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    The problem with Google and the rest of big Co. is that they prioritize profit more than progress. If you're new on the market and have a better product prepare yourself for the worst anticompetive crap.
     
  14. mattdocs12345

    mattdocs12345 Registered Member

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  15. Enigm

    Enigm Registered Member

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    How would you react if your server-logs showed a visit from 'nsabot' ??
     
  16. MrBrian

    MrBrian Registered Member

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    From Assange: Google Is Not What It Seems:
     
  17. deBoetie

    deBoetie Registered Member

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    Since I'm a non-consenting product, I vote sometimes enemy. Free is way too expensive for the stuff they do.

    It does do evil, it bends government policies undemocratically, and doesn't pay taxes.
     
  18. J_L

    J_L Registered Member

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    Not many things in this world are either definitely positive or negative. Google and most other organisations are one of them. I do consider them as more of a good thing though.
     
  19. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

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    They only do what we let them do.

    That's not exactly fair for the naive, I know. But "fair" just isn't part of the life package ;)
     
  20. noone_particular

    noone_particular Registered Member

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    Basically true. I don't think that naive is the correct term here. If all that was required was not using their services, it might apply. It's requiring a constantly increasing level of knowledge and skill to keep oneself from becoming someone elses product. Blocking connections to them breaks a lot of sites or makes it impossible to use their features (Google APIs). Even the Tor Stack Exchange uses them.

    It's reached the point that I'm questioning if it's worth the effort. Even if you remove the ads, the trackers, and all of the social network garbage, there's still more trash and nonsense left than anything else. If it wasn't for the ability it gives to access uncensored news, I'd probably shut it off.
     
  21. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

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    Yes, "naive" isn't accurate, or fair ;) What I'm pointing to is some mix of "trusting" and "unable and/or unwilling to defend against commodification".
    I don't block anything that breaks sites. I always block ads and tracking scripts, of course. But for the most part I just rely on compartmentalization of multiple personas, each in its own VM, and connecting through its own mix of VPNs, JondoNym and Tor. I really don't care what Google knows about mirimir, as long as it's not connected to my other personas.
    It's no longer even uncensored :( But it's still the best way to find stuff.
     
  22. Dragon1952

    Dragon1952 Registered Member

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    “Long before company founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin hired Schmidt in 2001, their initial research upon which Google was based had been partly funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). And even as Schmidt’s Google developed an image as the overly friendly giant of global tech, it was building a close relationship with the intelligence community,” Assange continues.....http://malwaretips.com/threads/wikileaks-julian-assange-warns-google-is-not-what-it-seems.35813/
     
  23. CloneRanger

    CloneRanger Registered Member

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    The Assange write up After interview was VERY revealing ! Enough said
     
  24. luciddream

    luciddream Registered Member

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    Yep. A lot of PC things being said here, walking on tip toes. I will just come out and say that I don't trust them... not one bit. And avoid them in all ways possible. "Enemy" may be going a bit too far though. Then again it may be applicable, depending on just how far they're taking all the data mining. Is it going to fusion centers to target us, normal people that simply like our freedoms as potential terrorists? If so, that would qualify as an enemy in my book.
     
  25. deBoetie

    deBoetie Registered Member

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    It's interesting that according to this report:

    http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/nov/03/larry-page-google-dont-be-evil-sergey-brin

    the founders say they don't know themselves, and it highlights the inadequacy of the negative "don't be evil" slogan they had. I think I agree with you, in common with any huge organisation or country, they will do bad things, sometimes very bad. But dangerous to typecast them as one way or the other, and that presumably applies to the people within the company too.

    Loss of trust is quite an evidence-based and rational stance for most tech companies and governments.
     
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