Google "do no evil" meta thread

pmbug

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I remember when the internet was nascent and navigating it was an adventure. Google was born and quickly killed off it's competitors in the space like Alta Vista, Netscape and Ask Jeeves. They made a big deal about their corporate motto being "do no evil" which, back in the day, seemed really odd. Doesn't seem so odd today - especially since they dropped that motto some time ago.

Anyway, I could probably write a small book on the various evils that I perceive with Google, but it seems like Julian Assange has already written a book and an excerpt from the book (it's fairly long) is posted here:

https://wikileaks.org/google-is-not-what-it-seems/

For the record, I try not to support Google whenever possible. I changed the default search engine in my web browser to https://duckduckgo.com/ . Google lives off of the ad revenue from it's search engine. If you don't want to support them, stop using their search engine.

DuckDuckGo (DDG) is an Internet search engine that emphasizes protecting searchers' privacy and avoiding the filter bubble of personalized search results.[3] DuckDuckGo distinguishes itself from other search engines by not profiling its users and by deliberately showing all users the same search results for a given search term,[5] and emphasizes returning the best results, rather than the most results, generating those results from over 400 individual sources, including crowdsourced sites such as Wikipedia, and other search engines like Bing, Yahoo!, and Yandex.[6][7]
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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DuckDuckGo
 

11C1P

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I've been using duckduckgo.com for years as well. Sometimes I will have to use either bing or google, cause I don't like their map feature & they don't seem to have as good a choice in images as the other 2.
 

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Big brother is watching & taking notes. Between Google, Facebook, Twitter & Amazon, the amount of data they could mine on people who don't want to be data mined & have done nothing wrong is absolutely insane. I use Firefox & Duckduckgo & don't use FB that much. We do order quite a bit from Amazon, especially in the last year & a half to send stuff to our son in the army. I try to turn off history & clear it out when I forget, but do they really stop collecting your history or delete it, just cause we ask? I'm very dubious.

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pmbug

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I use Firefox (FF) too. By the way, two excellent extensions for FF are NoScript and PrivacyBadger. NoScript give you granular control over what javascript has permission to run. It's great for security (blocks malicious javascript), privacy (blocks javascript that collects info on you for 3rd parties) and faster browsing (less overhead). PrivacyBadger supposedly blocks web beacons and such that also track your movement from site to site, but I'm not well versed in exactly how it works (but I trust the author/EFF).
 

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I use Firefox (FF) too. By the way, two excellent extensions for FF are NoScript and PrivacyBadger. NoScript give you granular control over what javascript has permission to run. It's great for security (blocks malicious javascript), privacy (blocks javascript that collects info on you for 3rd parties) and faster browsing (less overhead). PrivacyBadger supposedly blocks web beacons and such that also track your movement from site to site, but I'm not well versed in exactly how it works (but I trust the author/EFF).

I'll have to check them out, I have all 3rd party cookies blocked & have to grant permission to run flash, but I don't think so for java. I wonder if that extension is similar to selecting "no page style"? I also have it set to block all trackers.
 

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I wonder if he said it with a straight face? :rotflmbo: :paperbag: :flail:

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Zuckerberg denies Facebook ever 'sold anyone's data'

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"Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg on Wednesday said the company has never sold user data after a member of the British Parliament released a trove of documents that he claimed shows the company gave special access to third parties without user consent.

In 2014, "we decided on a model where we continued to provide the developer platform for free and developers could choose to buy ads if they wanted," Zuckerberg wrote in a post on Facebook directly addressing the U.K. lawmaker Damian Collins and the mass of internal documents he released.

"Other ideas we considered but decided against included charging developers for usage of our platform, similar to how developers pay to use Amazon AWS or Google Cloud," he said. "To be clear, that's different from selling people's data. We've never sold anyone's data."

Collins, who heads a U.K. Parliament committee on social media, released a trove of documents he had seized from a firm suing Facebook, which Collins said seems to show that Facebook entered into "whitelisting agreements" with companies without its users' consent.

"Facebook have clearly entered into whitelisting agreements with certain companies, which meant that after the platform changes in 2014/15 they maintained full access to friends data," Collins wrote in a note attached to the document dump. "It is not clear that there was any user consent for this, nor how Facebook decided which companies should be whitelisted or not."

Zuckerberg said Wednesday that certain developers were purged from the platform in 2014 because they were "sketchy." He noted that Facebook does not "let everyone develop on our platform" for a number of reasons.

"Some of the developers whose sketchy apps were kicked off our platform sued us to reverse the change and give them more access to people's data," he wrote. "We're confident this change was the right thing to do and that we'll win these lawsuits."

Facebook has been under intense scrutiny over its privacy policies and how it handles user data.

Lawmakers in Britain tore into Zuckerberg for failing to appear personally before a parliamentary panel last month and some American lawmakers have urged increase regulatory oversight over the company."


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* bump *

...
Gizmodo's Kashmir Hill recently accepted a monumental challenge: blocking tech giants from her everyday life due to privacy concerns and sheer curiosity. But she took the challenge to extreme lengths to demonstrate just how pervasive these companies are beyond just the apps they provide.

How? By actively blocking all communication with Google's 8,699,648 (!) IP addresses on every device she owned. Not merely finding alternatives for the various Google apps we all rely on, but preventing those devices from pinging a single Google server.

The results were both calamitous and eye-opening.
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More: https://www.forbes.com/sites/jasone...-blocking-google-from-your-life/#6ad978921fec
 

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So YouTube is owned by Google, the "don't be evil" company. Surely they wouldn't engage in capricious and arbitrary censorship, right?

Google-owned YouTube manually adjusted search results for “Federal Reserve” after MSNBC host Chris Hayes complained about the prominence of anti-Fed videos in the top results, according to a source who worked at the tech company.

Google allegedly added the search term “Federal Reserve” to a “blacklist” file of “controversial” YouTube search queries. This caused search results for the term to be re-ranked to favor YouTube-approved mainstream media sources.
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More: https://www.breitbart.com/tech/2019...results-in-response-to-msnbc-hosts-complaint/
 

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Google Chrome "Incognito mode" is not so incognito...

With the release of Chrome 76, Google fixed a loophole that allowed web sites to detect if a visitor was using Incognito mode. Unfortunately, their fix led to two other methods that can still be used to detect when a visitor is browsing privately.

Some web sites were using Incognito mode detection in order to prevent users from bypassing paywalls or to give private browsing users a different browsing experience.

This was being done by checking for the availability of Chrome's FileSystem API, which was disabled in Incognito mode. If a site could access the FileSystem API then the visitor was in a normal browsing session and if it could not access the API the user was in Incognito mode.

As Google wanted users to be able to browse the web privately and for their browsing mode choices to be private as well, they have closed a loophole by making the API available in both browsing modes. As part of this fix, instead of using disk storage for the FileSystem API, when in Incognito mode they are using a transient memory filesystem that gets cleared when a session is closed.

The use of a memory filesystem, though, create two new loopholes that could be used to detect Incognito mode, which are described below.
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Unfortunately, sites have already started to use Mishra's filesystem quota detection method to determine if a visitor is in Incognito mode.

As noted by Microsoft Edge developer Eric Lawrence, the New York Times, is testing this method to detect when a visitor in in private mode.
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https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/ne...-mode-can-still-be-detected-by-these-methods/
 

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So YouTube is owned by Google, the "don't be evil" company. Surely they wouldn't engage in capricious and arbitrary censorship, right?



More: https://www.breitbart.com/tech/2019...results-in-response-to-msnbc-hosts-complaint/

They've been blocking or demonetizing most videos/channels that are gun related, especially ones that are even remotely "how to". The video that I watched to help me build my first AR lower got taken down with in the last few months. Taofledermaus (which I think a lot of people on here would like) who often shoot weird projectiles to see what the do has been getting hammered lately. They also do a lot of other non projectile related testing that is very interesting too.
 

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*bump*

A group of state attorneys general led by Texas are likely to file an antitrust lawsuit against Alphabet Inc’s Google and are working on potential litigation for later this year, a person familiar with the situation said on Friday.

The Justice Department is also moving toward bringing a case as soon as this summer, The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.
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https://www.reuters.com/article/us-...-lawsuits-against-google-source-idUSKBN22R37I

Some high priced lawyers are gonna make bank this year.
 

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US Navy Opens Medical Vault For Google​

Editorial
January 1, 2023

by James Bandler (ProPublica) In early February 2016, the security gate at a U.S. military base near Washington, D.C., swung open to admit a Navy doctor accompanying a pair of surprising visitors: two artificial intelligence scientists from Google.

In a cavernous, temperature-controlled warehouse at the Joint Pathology Center, they stood amid stacks holding the crown jewels of the center’s collection: tens of millions of pathology slides containing slivers of skin, tumor biopsies and slices of organs from armed service members and veterans.

Standing with their Navy sponsor behind them, the Google scientists posed for a photograph, beaming.

Mostly unknown to the public, the trove and the staff who study it have long been regarded in pathology circles as vital national resources: Scientists used a dead soldier’s specimen that was archived here to perform the first genetic sequencing of the 1918 Flu.

Read the full article:

 

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The U.S. Justice Department on Tuesday filed its second antitrust lawsuit against Google in just over two years. ...

This lawsuit, which is focused on Google's online advertising business and seeks to make Google divest parts of the business, is the first against the company filed under the Biden administration. The Department's earlier lawsuit, filed in October 2020 under the Trump administration, accused Google of using its alleged monopoly power to cut off competition for internet search through exclusionary agreements. That case is expected to go to trial in September.
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More (long):

 

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Experts interviewed for this article said the DOJ will face the challenge of charting relatively underexplored areas of antitrust law in proving to the court that Google's conduct violated the law and harmed competition without benefitting consumers. Though that's a tall order, it could come with a huge upside if the agency succeeds, possibly expanding the scope of antitrust law for digital monopoly cases to come.
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Compared to the DOJ's earlier lawsuit, which argued Google maintained its monopoly over search services through exclusionary contracts with phone manufacturers, this one advances more nontraditional theories of harm, according to Francis, the NYU Law professor and former FTC official. That also makes it more likely that Google will move to dismiss the case to at least narrow the claims it may have to fight later on — a move it did not take in the earlier suit, he added.

"This case breaks much more new ground and it articulates theories, or it seems to articulate theories, that are right out on the border of what existing antitrust prohibits," Francis said. "And we're going to find out, when all is said and done, where the boundaries of digital monopolization really lie."
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