Google gonna rape your privacy if you don't take action

pmbug

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On March 1st, Google will implement its new, unified privacy policy, which will affect data Google has collected on you prior to March 1st as well as data it collects on you in the future. Until now, your Google Web History (your Google searches and sites visited) was cordoned off from Google's other products. This protection was especially important because search data can reveal particularly sensitive information about you, including facts about your location, interests, age, sexual orientation, religion, health concerns, and more. If you want to keep Google from combining your Web History with the data they have gathered about you in their other products, such as YouTube or Google Plus, you may want to remove all items from your Web History and stop your Web History from being recorded in the future.

Here's how you can do that:

1. Sign into your Google account.
2. Go to https://www.google.com/history
3. Click "remove all Web History."
4. Click "ok."

Note that removing your Web History also pauses it. Web History will remain off until you enable it again.

[UPDATE 2/22/2012]: Note that disabling Web History in your Google account will not prevent Google from gathering and storing this information and using it for internal purposes. It also does not change the fact that any information gathered and stored by Google could be sought by law enforcement.

With Web History enabled, Google will keep these records indefinitely; with it disabled, they will be partially anonymized after 18 months, and certain kinds of uses, including sending you customized search results, will be prevented. If you want to do more to reduce the records Google keeps, the advice in EFF's Six Tips to Protect Your Search Privacy white paper remains relevant.

If you have several Google accounts, you will need to do this for each of them.
https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2012/...story-googles-new-privacy-policy-takes-effect
 

DCFusor

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The sad truth is they're going to rape you anyway, as does facebook and anyone else who can get your data. While I don't doubt that their procedure will help, it's well known that the government is involved and doing their own thing with all the data, the onion joke clip on facebook as an adjunct to the CIA notwithstanding.

For quite some time now, it's not been legal for the government to look at say, your financial records without a warrant. But you know what? It's perfectly legal for them to BUY them from a credit agency who can see them without one, and they've been doing that right along - just one example.

While Asimov is kind of for beginners at sci-fi, I find myself quoting him more and more - we'll need the Heinlein as more things hit the fan, I suppose - he's tops when things get really nasty.

At any rate, Asimov had a character in the foundation trilogy (a young girl) discuss how one keeps a secret, and it's sage advice. She said something along the lines of (sorry about any misquote, this is from very long term memory)

"When I have a secret, I don't put tape over my mouth and withdraw, oh no, that makes it obvious I'm hiding something. Instead, I talk as much as normal, but about boring things no one will want to listen to - it's much more effective."

I think that's the strategy that's going to work going forward here. I can't see anything else will work. Using encryption raises flags, going dark raises flags - you have to know they already have a ton of your history spread around in databases to compare against. If you were doing something marginally dodgy, and just stop, that's as bad as doing it more - taper it off slowly as though it's now boring you (and any watcher)....you get the idea.

 
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Spiralpiece

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Thank you very much for the post. I just copied that and bcc'd it to about 20 google account holders I know.... Wake up folks!

I can't wait for one of them to try the "I don't have anything to hide" excuse with me. ohhhh boy!!! I CAN'T WAIT! :flail:

3 days until my Facebook account is 100% deleted as well... It's been dormant for over a year anyway. Ugh, why did I ever bother.
 

swissaustrian

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What alternatives to google are you guys using?

I've used scroogle recently, but they're down since two weeks.
Now I'm using startpage.com
 

pmbug

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I still use Google's search engine. I don't use gmail, google+ or hold a youtube account though.
 

DCFusor

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Information gathering is so pervasive I think any alternative is sort of pointless. All this stuff is sold back and forth at some point - or ordered to be turned over to a government (along with orders not to reveal it's happened), it's too valuable to toss in the trash.

Going with something purported to be super private just gives them an easy point for data collection on all those who seem to think they have something to hide, it's counter productive in the end. All you're doing is self-selecting for them.

I think it's amusing in some cases. Having been at this web thing since the beginning, I've used a number of deliberate misspellings of my name, and tracked who I handed them out to. The watch as they sell the info, despite privacy policies that say they never will. Of course, that's not the only leak point at all - a disgruntled employee with a carload of backup tapes is pretty common, as is the ubiquitous government order to turn over the goods in secret or else be prosecuted for something else. The revealed paperwork in the warrant-less wiretapping cases is fairly revealing about that one, as are the bank regs in the Patriot act (which are classified but slowly leaking out - people talk).

What I hate about it is targeted advertising, personally. As an inventor, finding out about things I didn't know were available/practical is part of what I do all the time.
Losing that is a loss to me. Random ads were better and more likely to be useful to me for a variety of reasons.

And why in heck does Amazon think the only things I'm interested in are things I just bought? I just bought them, heck, now I have enough! I want something else now, if I want anything. They'll get better at it, of course, but gheesh. Buy a nice video camera and get ads for the next month - all video cameras? Now I bought 10 led lamps to make my solar power system better - and now that's all the ads I get.

Google cache means it doesn't matter what you think you delete online - they've got a copy of the entire web taken fairly frequently. It's helped us over at Groklaw a lot when companies try to re-write history in court cases - it's not entirely negative.

What's the most scary to me, is not the new ubiquity of cheap, almost permanent storage, but the advent of the ability to automate going through it with various algos - which only get better with time, and all that data doesn't go completely stale, ever. So data that's not useful now becomes useful later to various interests whose agenda is kind of difficult to predict in any great detail.

Even my cheap video camera now has facial recognition that works well, and within that a feature to snatch a still out of a video when some target happens to smile. In real time, battery powered...some entities don't have such limits on computing horsepower.
 

DCFusor

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Now, this IS news, at least to me. And it's not just google, they only feed stuff in.

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/“we-a...an-state-big-brother-goes-live-september-2013

"We're this far from a turnkey totalitarian state"

I used to work with these guys. Not sure this particular article is fully correct, but yeah, it's how they think and what they do - it "smells" right. The TIA program has taken on different names and scopes over its life, despite funding being voted down a number of times - which means it just comes out of the all-black budget instead, for those who know how those things work. Just because no one wanted to publicly sign on to the final death of the constitution, doesn't mean they didn't sign on.

The thing is, once you have this ability to get the dirt on everyone - you have power over everyone, including those who vote your budget, who are perhaps more dirty than your average guy to begin with, but also more sensitive to it being revealed.

Anybody who's had a background check/ high level clearance, look at what they wanted to find out about you most - and you'll realize that blackmail was their prime concern. They really didn't care what you did that much (I admitted smoking pot and it only caused minor troubles) - they care if you care who finds out much more.

This isn't the first wave of this, that happened awhile back. Note how there's never any political discussion on the budget for DHS, even though it's huge and most people agree there's really not much threat, while pointing out just how much of the money for it goes to companies owned by previous government officials, like Michael Chertoff? Building crap x ray machines has never been so profitable - and one wonders why the pros at it didn't get the contracts, but I don't wonder very much.

Of course, with that much data and processing power, you can also have some fun on the markets...and not even need the black budget. I believe Tom Clancy (who correctly predicted 9/11, except the real thing missed Congress) - also wrote "Teeth of the Tiger". Good read for how some of that might actually work.

Actually, his writing on spy work is "in your dreams" for the most part - at least based on my own experience in the field. It's what they'd like to believe they could/should/would actually do. Or is it.

No good spy is like James Bond at all. It doesn't work like that. If they even know you were there, it's a failure. A good spy gets hired as a janitor, and finds out what he can, then gets fired for accosting a chick or being drunk on the job....no one ever knows. Over the years, since people who can play it that well are always scarce, they've gone more and more to "technical means" - with this sort of thing as the result. They hit on me for speech recog software many years ago...just to look for keywords in phone conversations. Obviously without warrants, and for initial use in other countries, but once the cat's out of the bag...

Remember what I mentioned above - it's any sudden change in habit that triggers the traffic analysis checks. Keep talking...just about something else. Sadly, computers are really hard to bore.
 

pmbug

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I had pretty much assumed the NSA was just sub-contracting the datacenter storage and search functions from Google. Not sure that much is really changing here.
 

DoChenRollingBearing

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OK, I´ll start a slow change right now.

Gcv3hLnN4 u85Tkje Y4e3xc7phd85 6TYja tOO620 7MvE056Ñe27KijTS34hK r79Ijbcc4 3T4unusVV86!

Put that in your pipe and smoke it!
 
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