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We all seem to love using Google and the ....(32 posts)

We all seem to love using Google and the ....Live Steam
Jan 18, 2004 7:11 PM
Google toolbar, but this was sent to me by a friend and makes me question whether I sould continue to use it. Any opinions on what this email has to say? Will this cause you to stop using Google?

1. Google's immortal cookie:
Google was the first search engine to use a cookie that expires in 2038. This was at a time when federal websites were prohibited from using persistent cookies altogether. Now it's years later, and immortal cookies are commonplace among search engines; Google set the standard because no one bothered to challenge them. This cookie places a unique ID number on your hard disk. Anytime you land on a Google page, you get a Google cookie if you don't already have one. If you have one, they read and record your unique ID number.

2. Google records everything they can:
For all searches they record the cookie ID, your Internet IP address, the time and date, your search terms, and your browser configuration. Increasingly, Google is customizing results based on your IP number. This is referred to in the industry as "IP delivery based on geolocation."

3. Google retains all data indefinitely:
Google has no data retention policies. There is evidence that they are able to easily access all the user information they collect and save.

4. Google won't say why they need this data:
Inquiries to Google about their privacy policies are ignored. When the New York Times (2002-11-28) asked Sergey Brin about whether Google ever gets subpoenaed for this information, he had no comment.

5. Google hires spooks:
Matt Cutts, a key Google engineer, used to work for the National Security Agency. Google wants to hire more people with security clearances, so that they can peddle their corporate assets to the spooks in Washington.

6. Google's toolbar is spyware:
With the advanced features enabled, Google's free toolbar for Explorer phones home with every page you surf, and yes, it reads your cookie too. Their privacy policy confesses this, but that's only because Alexa lost a class-action lawsuit when their toolbar did the same thing, and their privacy policy failed to explain this. Worse yet, Google's toolbar updates to new versions quietly, and without asking. This means that if you have the toolbar installed, Google essentially has complete access to your hard disk every time you connect to Google (which is many times a day). Most software vendors, and even Microsoft, ask if you'd like an updated version. But not Google. Any software that updates automatically presents a massive security risk.

7. Google's cache copy is illegal:
Judging from Ninth Circuit precedent on the application of U.S. copyright laws to the Internet, Google's cache copy appears to be illegal. The only way a webmaster can avoid having his site cached on Google is to put a "noarchive" meta in the header of every page on his site. Surfers like the cache, but webmasters don't. Many webmasters have deleted questionable material from their sites, only to discover later that the problem pages live merrily on in Google's cache. The cache copy should be "opt-in" for webmasters, not "opt-out."

8. Google is not your friend:
Young, stupid script kiddies and many bloggers still think Google is "way kool," so by now Google enjoys a 75 percent monopoly for all external referrals to most websites. No webmaster can avoid seeking Google's approval these days, assuming he wants to increase traffic to his site. If he tries to take advantage of some of the known weaknesses in Google's semi-secret algorithms, he may find himself penalized by Google, and his traffic disappears. There are no detailed, published standards issued by Google, and there is no appeal process for penalized sites. Google is completely unaccountable. Most of the time they don't even answer email from webmasters.

9. Google is a privacy time bomb:
With 200 million searches per day, most from outside the U
What do you have to hide ? ?MR_GRUMPY
Jan 19, 2004 6:09 AM
It's the U.N. and the Queen of England that is behind this.

On the other hand, maybe it's John Ashcroft. If it is, it must be a "good" thing.
I have no reason to be concerned, but I thought some of you ...Live Steam
Jan 19, 2004 7:04 AM
'neocomms' might have reason to be concerned given the current state of affairs. My only problem with it is it may compromise the performance of my computer. Now that I won't tolerate!
such paranoiamohair_chair
Jan 19, 2004 7:15 AM
It's not like google is going to tatoo it's logo on your ass. None of this stuff means anything to me. Most of this frightens only people who are clueless about how the Internet works. These are usually the same people who get all upset that the supermarket can track the things you buy if you use their "club" card. So what? They can put a guy at the checkstand who writes it all down, too. And what are you afraid of anyway? An evil corporation knows you bought tampons and is going to use it against you somehow? Man, I hope so. Is there nothing more embarrassing that that?

If Google bothers you, don't use it. There are plenty of options. I think if anyone really buys into everything on that list, they probably don't use the Internet much anyway.
Please see above! Only concerned for my bites :O) nmLive Steam
Jan 19, 2004 7:21 AM
The "so what" of supermarket clubs.dr hoo
Jan 19, 2004 8:45 AM
Suppose your health insurance rates go up one day. You find out that your rates were raised because you buy booze and beef and butter. Would that bother you?

Is it happening? I don't have any evidence that it has.

Will it happen? I wouldn't bet against it happening in the next 10 years.

Data bases never shrink, they never go away, and access to them always expands.
True about data basesLive Steam
Jan 19, 2004 9:05 AM
Hillarity the Witch wants to allow electronic transfer of medical records for "easy transportability for those who need access to them", in her new healthcare initiative :O) Hmm, I wonder if she figured this out from having to "access" all those FBI files way back when :O)

We sort of got into this discussion a while ago when discussing health costs and insurance. Some postulated that insurance could or should be different because of one's activities, lifestyles, etc. such as cycling vs. living a sedentary lifestyle. Eating McDs vs. eating healthy. Insurance companies already do it when they ask if you smoke. What is to prevent them from asking other questions regarding how we conduct our lives?

Quite the conundrum! Should you be compensated for living a healthier life or should someone be penalized for overeating, drinking too much and not exercising? Does the government have the obligation and right to protect us in what ever means they view as being responsible and effective? After all the government is made up of elected citizens. Citizens that must obey and are subject to the same laws as we. They are not exempt form the same exposure to privacy issues, yet they enact legislation that they believe to be in the better interests of the nation as a whole. I'm not saying they are correct. I am just pointing out that they expose themselves to these issues as well.
I'll take that betmohair_chair
Jan 19, 2004 1:41 PM
That's absurd. That's just paranoia run amok.

I will bet my fortune that health insurance rates will never be dependent on what you people at the supermarket. It's just not a reasonable method of determining risk, and even if an insurer decided to do it, it wouldn't survive a court challenge.

Since they can't track the ingrediants you consume at restaurants and out of vending machines, people who consume the worst crap and are likely to have the worst health problems don't even show up on their list. If anything, people buying anything at the market should get lower rate, because at least they aren't downing BigMacs.

Plus, usually only one family member does the shopping at the market, and buys food for more than one person. And what if mom buys a ton of butter for the church bake sale?

Face it, there's no possible way your supermarket purchases can be used to form any kind of health model.
I do fint it to be curious that ...Live Steam
Jan 19, 2004 7:25 AM
so far, two responses from generally liberal members of this board have no problem with a commercial enterprise tracking your movements, purchases, etc in cyber space, but believe the government should not be doing so in order to protect our safety and the interests of this country. What's with that?
you talkin to me?mohair_chair
Jan 19, 2004 7:55 AM
Me? Generally liberal? Hmmm. If disagreement with you on ocassion makes me generally liberal, I guess I am.

Anyway, commercial enterprise tracking has a definable purpose and a definable benefit to the consumer. Google costs you nothing, but in return, they are interested in things you do with it. Supermarkets track what you buy, but you get cheaper prices. Paranoid conspiracy theorists aside, commerical tracking is done primarily to refine the business model. If no one ever buys the mustard and gizzard flavored yams, the market is going to stop carrying them. If they can sell 5 boxes of Honey Nuy Cheerios at $3 but only 2 at $4, what's the right price. If people who buy pasta sauce usually buy pasta, shouldn't they be next to each other in the aisle? And so on. That's why they want to know what you buy.

The government tracking movements doesn't have any definable purpose and no definable benefits. There's no proof that it will accomplish anything, and its benefit seems more post facto that preventative. First of all, since I am not a criminal, the government doesn't need to know where I spend my time and how I get there. Unless they know I will commit a crime, why would they need to track me? Second, I'm not going to let the government treat me like a criminal and assume I am planning on committing crimes, or if it does, I'm going to start committing crimes to make it worthwhile. Third, because it is so limited in scope, the whole idea is really quite absurd.

If I fly from San Francisco to Los Angeles, there's a record of that with the airline. If I drive, there isn't. Isn't that a huge hole in the system? If I'm up to no good, I'm driving and I'm paying cash along the way. The government has no idea where I am. There's no record on trains, buses, subways, cabs, etc. Maybe someone will note my license plate along the way, so I'll get someone else to buy and register a car. Voila, I'm completely invisible and nothing will prevent me from carrying out my plan.

If the government really wants to implement a comprehensive system to track everyone's movements, it will face a national uprising. We'll have to check in everywhere we go with little scan cards or biometrics. Every building we enter. Every vehicle we get in. You'll check in when you leave your house and when you come home, and there will be tracking devices implanted as well. Will this ever happen? Not in this country.
whaddaya think lojack really is?rufus
Jan 19, 2004 8:13 AM
and for no sprint and his obsession with conspiracy theories, that was a joke.
I guess you're not a left as someLive Steam
Jan 19, 2004 8:29 AM
I really don't have a problem with most of what is done, or at least the reasoning behind it. My problem is when what they are doing compromises my system and how it operates. I am then losing the value of what I purchased ie. my system slows down because of all the junk they chose to dump into my computer. My system and space are supporting their business and I'm not being compensated in any way. That is invasion and should not be allowed. I am sure there is another way for them to do business, but that would cost these net companies gigabytes of space on their drives. So they instead choose to dump it off onto our HDs.

As for the government listening to our conversations electronically and monitoring our email and tracking our spending and movements, well that falls into another category. Yes it may seem to be invasion of privacy, but what is the alternative? It also may be imperfect, but again, what is the alternative? I doubt the US is the only non-communist country doing such. I would bet that every western European country has a form of monitoring what happens within their borders.

Innocent people have nothing to fear or hide from the government. The listening and monitoring make it more difficult for the bad guys to do business. It's not a perfect system, but nothing is perfect. Another event like 9/11 or worse and people will be saying that the government isn't doing enough. I don't know if there is any correct answer, other than to do and hope for the best.
innocent peoplemohair_chair
Jan 19, 2004 8:46 AM
One of the scariest statements you can make is: Innocent people have nothing to fear or hide from the government.

If it's really true, doesn't that also mean that the government has nothing to fear from innocent people?

Call me liberal if you like, but you cannot use our fundamental civil rights against us. For instance, I am protected by the United States Constitution from illegal search and seizure. That means I don't have to explain why I don't want the government coming into my house. And not doing so does not make me guilty of anything!!!
Left? LEFT?!?!dr hoo
Jan 19, 2004 8:53 AM
What's the alternative?

How about a government that collects information only when it suspects something about a specific person. And not one that gathers information on EVERY SINGLE CITIZEN with NO REASON to suspect them. Police states watch everyone. Free societies do not.

When did the idea of privacy and limited government become a liberal issue and not a conservative one? When did you decide that if the Euros do it it's ok for us to do it too?

People with your attitude are FAR more dangerous to me than terrorists. On this, our founding fathers would agree with me.
I agree with you, yet ...Live Steam
Jan 19, 2004 9:19 AM
I do not see the alternative in this new age of electronic warfare. I, as you do, hate the idea that someone can listen in on my personal conversations. However, it is nothing new. It has been happening for decades under both Republican and Democratic administrations.

Your idea about them collecting something about a specific person has problems too. What would be the threshhold required to allow such? How long would it take to meet that? How would the delay compromise our security? I don't have the answers. I am concerned too. But, what is the alternative? We will never know how these measures may have worked to save life, limb and national security. We only know how they may impact on our perceived privacy. The Founding Fathers may have faced the same dilma were they to have the knowledge of how technology would progress in the future. I suspect that we will face even more issues as technology does progress beyond what we know now. Maybe someday there will be people or machines capable of reading ones thoughts, ala "Minotiry Report" with Tom Cruise. Where do we go then?
I agree with you, yet ...MJ
Jan 19, 2004 9:26 AM
sounds like you're making a gun control argument

"The Founding Fathers may have faced the same dilma were they to have the knowledge of how technology would progress in the future. I suspect that we will face even more issues as technology does progress beyond what we know now."

HEHEHE - "electronic warfare" - HEHEHEHE
seriously you need to educate yourselfMJ
Jan 19, 2004 9:22 AM
while it is truly funny to see you post things such as:

"I doubt the US is the only non-communist country doing such. I would bet that every western European country has a form of monitoring what happens within their borders."

it reflects a deep level of ignorance which detracts from whatever it is that you are trying to say...

there are at last count only two communist countries left in the world - North Korea and Cuba - China doesn't count just look at their developing trade and capitalist approach to the world - everyone knows that communism isn't a viable approach to the world - for further evidence just look at the starvation figures for North Korea and bungled Cuban economy (mind lifting Cuban related restrictions would undoubtedly lead to a speedy dismantling of the communist dictatorship just like it did in easdtern Europe and China)

seriously you need to do some reading - your world view appears to have been formed in the early 1980's and has just not managed to keeo up with reality

and as for the US being the land of free market and free trade - it's total BS - US subsidies, tariffs and protectionist measures mean that the US grants welfare to businesses and supports welfare for individuals and copanies like every other democratic socialist state in the world
I am educated enough to know ...Live Steam
Jan 19, 2004 9:48 AM
you're a bumptious fool. Did I need to mention other countries living under dictatorial control too, for you to figure out what the point of the matter was?

China isn't a communist nation? Interesting! LOL!!! I am sure Human Rights Watch and other groups would have a different perspective on how the Chinese government conducts business.

Who was talking about free markets and free trade? And why is it OK for other nations to put trade restrictions and tariffs on US products but the US is not allowed to do as such on foreign products and goods? Please state your point for the last paragraph in your post. It was very disjointed.
it's self-evidentMJ
Jan 20, 2004 1:11 AM
and the fact that you can't put it together reflects upon you - not upon me

communism! hehehehehehehehe

seriously you need to do some reading - communism is dead - long live socialism
I'm sure he meant to say that the Chinese were Nazis. (nm)czardonic
Jan 20, 2004 4:41 PM
Someone said it & I agree:OldEdScott
Jan 19, 2004 12:04 PM
"If you have nothing to hide you have no reason to fear" = definition of fascism/totalitarianism.
Everybody's got something to hide...ColnagoFE
Jan 19, 2004 2:44 PM
cept for me and my monkey....with apologies to Lennon/McCartney.
they don't choose to do anythingrufus
Jan 19, 2004 12:15 PM
YOU choose to use whatever their service is, complete with whatever else comes with it. you dont want that stuff on your hard drive, then quit using google, set up your browser to never accept cookies, and don't install programs that come with spyware or adware.

your computer is as secure as you want it to be, and you don't have to have anything on it that you don't allow. if otherwise, i'd just say you were just too lazy to set it up properly to do what you want it to.
It's a losing battle anywayColnagoFE
Jan 19, 2004 8:12 AM
I'm not a fan of any type of spying--be it commercial or otherwise. No way you can stop it. The privacy battle is already lost. I'm more concerned about many items in the "Patriot" act than that Google knows I looked for the Paris Hilton video. Bottom line. Treat whatever you look at on the Internet as if you doing so might appear on the front page of the New York Times at any moment in time.
I don't have any problem as long as I know itMR_GRUMPY
Jan 19, 2004 8:18 AM
before I use the web. I would have a problem if it was a secret process to gather information. If I had something to hide, I wouldn't use Google to get information. It sounds like you've been spending too much time on the porn sites and are worried about a knock on the door.
As a Southern 'survivalist liberal,' I despiseOldEdScott
Jan 19, 2004 12:01 PM
it all. Won't use a damn Kroger or Winn-Dixie 'member discount'card, and don't want no government whether Dumocrat or Repulsican tracking me. More a matter of prinicple than fear, but some fear too. I got a problem with any Justice Department. Didn't like Reno any better than Ashcroft.
What did you think about the Clintons ....Live Steam
Jan 19, 2004 1:08 PM
stealing all of those FBI files? What about the Witch's new healthcare initiative?
Google does not require cookies.dr hoo
Jan 19, 2004 8:10 AM
You can just disable the cookies. Google will still work fine.

Google toolbar is spyware. I don't use it.

Personally, I have two browsers set up. IE has cookies and images enabled. I also have Mozilla set up as a "minimal" browser. No images, no cookies, etc. I only use IE when I have to.

I also delete my cookies with regularity. My browsers provide no information about me (as in e-mail, name, etc.). If you fill that information in when you get your computer, your browser is probably serving that up to every web page you visit. To websites I am "user".

If you want to clear space on your HD and keep things running fast, delete your temporary internet files every once in a while. Cookies don't take up all that much space, given that they are text files, but temp files DO. Once you max out your cache, it can slow things down a bit.

Personally, I would be very happy on the web with HTML 1.0, but I am a low bandwidth text kind of guy.
I am more diligent about system ...Live Steam
Jan 19, 2004 8:40 AM
maintenance these days. I now regularly delete temp files, temporary internet files and cookies using a few different utilities. I also have used a few services to check system vulnerability and visibility and believe that it's as stealth as it can be.

Mr. Grumpy seems to be preoccupied with porn and such. I don't have any need for it. I have a pretty hot wife that keeps me satisfied :O) My problem is the havoc this trash can reek on a system. I also feel that if some Internet company is going to use my computer for storage and or tracking for marketing purposes, I should be compensated. The maintenance is also a pain in the a$$. Kind of like having to clean a fish tank. No one wants to do it, but it has to be done often in order to enjoy viewing the fish :O)
Too late to worry, IMO. Blame the party of small government....Cory
Jan 19, 2004 3:43 PM
I knew most of this stuff, and assumed the rest--there's money to be made, and no politician, certainly not anyone in the Bush administration, is going to come down on the side of personal privacy when corporate contributions and profits argue otherwise. Even the books you check out of the library aren't secret, or the beer you buy at the supermarket. Everything is recorded, everything is for sale, everything is known.
We all should hate it--but what are you going to do about it? That genie isn't going back in the bottle.
Why blame Republicans? I know they haven't done ...Live Steam
Jan 19, 2004 4:04 PM
much to stem the tide, but this practice certainly didn't originate under this administration. The National Do Not Call Registery could have been passed by Bubba, but he "passed" on it.
True. They are miserable failures across the board.czardonic
Jan 20, 2004 3:07 PM
They failed to stop this, but are too inept to have started it either.