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Google Privacy Security Your Rights Online

Google Offering Cash For Your Cache 152

Posted by samzenpus
from the have-a-couple-bucks dept.
pigrabbitbear writes "The gradual transformation of the web into an ultra-personalized, corporate-owned social space in the cloud has raised more than a few legitimate concerns about data privacy. Google, for obvious reasons, has always been one of the top cheerleaders for this metamorphosis. Touting a fresh new privacy policy that allows data about you from all of their services to coalesce, they've recently been particularly bullish about rendering that increasingly realistic digital portrait of you that lies stuffed away in their servers. It has led us again to question: How much are we comfortable with our machines knowing about us? How much is our privacy really worth? With their new program, Google is now asking those questions quite directly, and preceding them with dollar signs. Are we all on the verge of making our own information age Faustian bargains?"
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Google Offering Cash For Your Cache

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  • by Lieutenant Buddha (1660501) on Friday February 10, 2012 @02:01AM (#38992447)
    Let me be the first (!) to say that I would not be entirely opposed to this idea. I am not a rich man and my data is private, just not... *that* private. While I disagree with the sale of personal data on principle, in practice I am really not concerned at all with anything I can envision them doing with that information. In a word, meh.
    • by Mr. Underbridge (666784) on Friday February 10, 2012 @02:09AM (#38992477)

      Well, given what they could assimilate on most users, they know who you are, where you live, your medical problems, your political leanings, and your sexual orientation. I think that would give pause to anyone who is, or would ever like to be, employed.

      While I don't envision them doing anything evil with that data, I can most certainly envision it being possible.

      • by Opportunist (166417) on Friday February 10, 2012 @03:15AM (#38992777)

        Well, my boss knows my political position (welcome to our wonderful world of politicial influence in pretty much any place that is remotely touching administration), he knows my medical problems (after all, he's the guy who has to sign my sick days), where I live (because he needs a place to send my mail to) and as far as I can tell, he doesn't give half a shit if I enjoy sucking off goats as long as I do my job.

        That doesn't mean that I enjoy some random company having any data of me. Hence I usually give them more data than they want. Poison the cache with random data and let's see how they find out how they match up.

        • by Zontar The Mindless (9002) <plasticfish.info ... com minus author> on Friday February 10, 2012 @03:50AM (#38992937)

          ...I usually give them more data than they want. Poison the cache with random data and let's see how they find out how they match up.

          That's kind of how I feel about Facebook photo tagging. Last week I got tagged in 6 photos taken on 3 different continents.

          Of course, the date and/or location were wrong for 2 of them, and I was only actually *in* 4 of the photos, which should make things even more interesting.

          So... Good luck figuring that out. :)

          • by justforgetme (1814588) on Friday February 10, 2012 @04:40AM (#38993115) Homepage

            ohh.. There is already software for that, don't worry. After all facebook doesn't need you to tag yourself, they have already identified you and just wait for your confirmation.

            In the summer I can remember Facebook identifying me in some photos nobody had ever touched.
            Last month they wanted to verify some locations in Europe I've been photographed in
            Next month they are going to be asking me where I was at the time of the murder of a member of parliament.

            Joke aside feature recognition algos have become unbelievably efficient for location estimation and face recognition, I'm not sure if Facebook's questions are just deductive logic from the info your peers provide or if they actually try to produce data from the images but the later is equally doable.

            • by Tim C (15259)

              After all facebook doesn't need you to tag yourself, they have already identified you and just wait for your confirmation.

              Their facial recognition software is impressive, but certainly not perfect. I don't have any hard data but in my experience while it does correctly identify people quite often, there are still significant false positives and negatives.

              • That's just their public version of the software, to convince you they're more flawed than they are! /tinfoil-hat

        • But on the other hand... some bosses might turn you in to PETA for giving goats blowjobs against their wills. Never mind the fact that us humans are animals ourselves.

          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by Anonymous Coward

            Those goats must be a lot more puritanical than I am...

          • Exactly, PETA would want you to give them tips on how to not get kicked in the nuts in the process.
        • by muon-catalyzed (2483394) on Friday February 10, 2012 @04:09AM (#38993013)
          Does not matter what Google would do, just wait until all those data "leak" in some breach and the blackhats get their hands on it.
          • by swillden (191260) <shawn-ds@willden.org> on Friday February 10, 2012 @10:44AM (#38994809) Homepage Journal

            Does not matter what Google would do, just wait until all those data "leak" in some breach and the blackhats get their hands on it.

            That's always possible, of course. As someone who works on securing data at Google, though, I have to say that I think your data is safer in Google's servers than just about anywhere. Almost certainly safer than on your own computer. Prior to joining Google I spent 15 years working as a security and privacy consultant for companies all over the world, big and small, so I have a pretty good feel for the state of information security around the world. In my expert opinion, Google does an excellent job. Far better than, for example, your bank.

            I'm not sure how much I'm free to say here, so I'm not going to give any details. I'll just say that Google has excellent security infrastructure, and uses it well. Google's security operations teams review everything that remotely touches on security or privacy, and they're world class. Much of my work touches on the cryptographic security infrastructure, and I love the fact that I get my designs and implementations reviewed by serious cryptographers. I also love the fact that in the year I've been with Google I've never yet had any potential security issue I raised be ignored. It's no accident that Google is one of the few major sites on the web that uses SSL for basically all of its user-facing pages -- it's clearly indicative of the "secure by default" mentality of Google engineers.

            Even better, most of the security focus at Google isn't directed at keeping the data secure from outside hackers -- most of the threat analyses that I write are focused on preventing abuses by insiders. Not because Google doesn't trust its employees, but because insiders have the most access. If you can make it impossible for employees to access data, you can be pretty sure that it's secure from outside hackers.

            Of course, sometimes employees have to be able to get to information. To address that Google has extensive logging infrastructure and systems to identify potential abuses -- and accessing information without a good reason is a firing offense, regardless of whether or not you actually misuse it.

            Nothing is perfect, of course, and no real system is invulnerable, so I won't say breaches are impossible. I will say that they're unlikely.

        • by tlhIngan (30335)

          That doesn't mean that I enjoy some random company having any data of me. Hence I usually give them more data than they want. Poison the cache with random data and let's see how they find out how they match up.

          The problem with Google is, being EVERYWHERE (in some form or another), your attempts at poisoning requires active effort, or your real habits will quickly overwhelm the faked data.

          And yes, should everything Google disappear overnight, the internet will be quite broken

          • Active effort... well, it takes a bit of time to write a program that picks random words from a dictionary, puts them into Google, follows one of the first x random links and keeps following the linked pages. Rinse repeat a few billion times (or a few seconds, depending on what comes first) and your browser history is quite worthless.

        • Well, my boss knows my political position (welcome to our wonderful world of politicial influence in pretty much any place that is remotely touching administration), he knows my medical problems (after all, he's the guy who has to sign my sick days), where I live (because he needs a place to send my mail to) and as far as I can tell, he doesn't give half a shit if I enjoy sucking off goats as long as I do my job.

          That doesn't mean that I enjoy some random company having any data of me. Hence I usually give them more data than they want. Poison the cache with random data and let's see how they find out how they match up.

          Sure, but if another company found out that your employer knowingly employs a guy who has methadone treatments on thursdays and sucks off goats on the weekends it could end up costing you your job due to potential bad PR.
          IMO all that information isn't particularly interesting or meaningful by its-self but once you tie it all together, it can be a different story.

        • I don't do anything to try and fool Google, but the last time I looked at the data they provided in my advertising preferences, they thought I was 35 years older than I am, based on my political and research interests. My algorithms professor who pointed me to the appropriate page [google.com] also mentioned that Google can't even figure out her gender, so evidently their servers are just as susceptible to stereotypes to about who goes into computer science as us humans are. But if I really wanted to mess with them, my
      • by Tim C (15259)
        Well now, my employer already knows where I live and who I am (duh), my sexual orientation (and I know my boss's - I'm straight, he's gay, who cares?), I don't care who knows my political leanings (left of centre, from a UK perspective). That only leaves medical problems, which a) Google most certainly does not know, and b) currently amount to a mild case of psoriasis on my scalp and a mild strain injury to my right wrist/hand (from DIY). The former is visible, while the latter I have certainly moaned about
        • a mild strain injury to my right wrist/hand (from DIY).

          Try getting someone else to do it, perhaps hire a professional if you don't have a friend who would be willing to help. Or at least be more gentle :-P

      • by Chrisq (894406)

        Well, given what they could assimilate on most users, they know who you are, where you live, your medical problems, your political leanings, and your sexual orientation. I think that would give pause to anyone who is, or would ever like to be, employed.

        While I don't envision them doing anything evil with that data, I can most certainly envision it being possible.

        That's why I always use your name and address when I sign up for anything online.

    • by bky1701 (979071) on Friday February 10, 2012 @02:11AM (#38992489) Homepage
      "I am really not concerned at all with anything I can envision them doing with that information. In a word, meh."

      The fact they are going to pay what is likely to be, in Google terms (think ad click cost), a huge sum should send up some red flags. (If it isn't that much, then it isn't going to be worth installing the plug for most users.) They stand to profit a lot from this data, else they wouldn't pay for it. Keep in mind all the data they receive for free.
      • Probably not profit much at all on the specific data collected, but on the models they produce from analysing it all
    • by ToadProphet (1148333) on Friday February 10, 2012 @02:33AM (#38992591)

      I am really not concerned at all with anything I can envision them doing with that information.

      And that's the problem.

      Nobody knows what the future will hold in terms of laws and governance. The things that you do today, that are likely well within the limits of the law and likely of no interest to the state, may make you an enemy of a new state tomorrow. Your sig is an excellent example - suggesting that you might be an atheist could wind you up on a watch list of the future. Sounds preposterous, sure, but one never knows.

      And yes, we're talking about handing what likely amounts to rather dull data over to a corporation. But again, you don't know who that corporation may hand that data over to tomorrow.

      • Where you stand on the fight for privacy fight boils down this: How much is your hypocracy worth to you, and how much does other peoples hypocracy cost you.

      • So your protection against the holocaust would be to have refused to do fill in the census report as a Jew. Yeah, that would have worked really well.

        The defense against tyranny is not to hide from lists but to prevent tyrans from rising to power. Basically you are saying "I am not on any lists (as far as you know) so I am safe". First they came for the people on the list and you did nothing but vote for the tyrant since he offered you a tax cut.

        Fight for a better future so that if your data chances hands, i

        • So your protection against the holocaust would be to have refused to do fill in the census report as a Jew. Yeah, that would have worked really well.

          No, and that's a silly example.
          Perhaps you're unfamiliar with the reasons why many people and organizations in western countries are uncomfortable with allowing governments to keep data that specifically identifies them. And why many fight for laws to ensure that any data retained is done so in a way that prevents them from identifying the individual in the census. So we do, in fact, refuse to identify the individual as a Jew. Or as a communist. Etc.

          The defense against tyranny is not to hide from lists but to prevent tyrans from rising to power. Basically you are saying "I am not on any lists (as far as you know) so I am safe".

          No, I'm not saying that at all. And I'm not simply talking

        • And what when the kid fell down the well? Everything else being equal, did those lists being accurate give the Nazis more or less power?

          You're employing a false dichotomy here, as well as a strawman ("I am not on any lists (as far as you know) so I am safe" -- the "as far as you know" being a WTF in and of itself, what is your point with that?)-- what for? Does one need to give up privacy to be able to fight the rise of tyranny? Nope.

          First they came for the people on the list and you did nothing but vote fo

    • by jasno (124830)

      It sounds like a great idea - let's admit that private information about an individual is property of that individual. They have the right to sell it - or in my case to *not* sell it.

      Want to charge me for gmail instead? Ok, sign me up. Just don't data-mine it or sell it to a third-party. The same goes for facebook - I'd gladly sign back up if I was allowed to be the customer.

      • Actually, that would work pretty well, but it will never happen.

        "Your private information is copyrighted to you, subject to the penalties of the copyright laws if they sell it to all their ad partners."

    • by wanzeo (1800058) on Friday February 10, 2012 @05:10AM (#38993243)

      1. Install virtual machine
      2. Install Chrome
      3. Write Python script to browse web continuously
      4. ???^h^h^h Sell cache
      5. Profit!

  • If you dont want to sell your private data, may be you should not be storing it (with us) in the first place.
  • by bky1701 (979071) on Friday February 10, 2012 @02:04AM (#38992463) Homepage
    Alright, when I heard about the privacy policy changes, I thought "oh, well, not like they will really be doing anything new." Yet almost instantly afterwards, we see two attempts on Google's part to grab even more data. The first question that comes to mind is why they want it so badly. If they are ready to pay you for browsing history, this is not simply about getting ad clicks from you personally. I doubt they would ever recoup the money they spent from whatever slight improvement in ad targeting they would get. No, something deeper is at work, and as someone essentially locked into gmail, I am extremely uncomfortable even considering what they are up to. If this is Google's future, it is time to cut my losses and go anywhere else.
    • by InterGuru (50986) <jhd.interguru@com> on Friday February 10, 2012 @02:49AM (#38992681) Homepage

      "and as someone essentially locked into gmail"

      Non techie solution, do your searches on Bing. Also, use a separate dedicated browser for Facebook ( I use Opera ). Of course assume that anything you put on the net is public.

    • by drolli (522659)

      well. i use google maps, search and google+. However my homepage and email are with a paid for provider under a jurisdiction i approve of.

      The point is: googles business in understanding what you look for to provide you with the best advertisements possible.

      The combination: "he agreed to meet casually with a group of friends (google+) at x after searching (google search) for y and while going there (google maps) he paid something at shop z (via NFC for example) and checked in at time t and while he was waiti

    • by tapspace (2368622)

      I've already deleted my facebook. I'm scrambling to figure a way to ditch gmail right now (since the privacy policy changes). Don't use bing as InterGuru suggests, but rather https://ssl.scroogle.org/ [scroogle.org] or startingpage.com

    • by swillden (191260)

      I am extremely uncomfortable even considering what they are up to. If this is Google's future, it is time to cut my losses and go anywhere else.

      Another option is to opt out of all Google tracking and ads personalization. Check out the tools at http://www.google.com/intl/en/privacy/tools.html [google.com]

  • ... does this mean Google is going to build the world's largest known Kama Sutra?

  • How about I set this up with one of my old (read, mostly fake) accounts on an old computer, and occasionally use that computer to go to lolcatz, loldogz, Engrish, Cracked, Slashdot, and ESPN, and never use my email or anything else on that computer? Think that would get flagged by this service? Or maybe all types of ultra-religious type sites?
    Any other funky suggestions to play with Google's head?
    (Not that I would do this, it would take too much time)

  • by MrEricSir (398214) on Friday February 10, 2012 @02:10AM (#38992485) Homepage

    Speaking as someone who took a class about the myth of Faust [sfsu.edu], I can tell you in my expert opinion that my notes and papers from that course were lost when a brownout fried my hard drives. Damn! If only I'd sold my soul to a cloud backup service.

    But this sounds more like a modernized, snoopier incarnation of AllAdvantage than a genuine Faustian bargain; particularly because you can quit whenever you want.

  • Strategic move (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hcs_$reboot (1536101) on Friday February 10, 2012 @02:14AM (#38992509)
    After all the buzz made around the coming merge of private data indexes [usatoday.com], that new offer - get money from Google in exchange of your websites visits information - is a way to show users that, actually, and unless you request it, Google is not inspecting your web searches. This is a reassuring move.
    • LOL??? What you search for on Google, and what other websites you visit -- or even, simply what network traffic you generate, all of it -- are not exactly the same thing.

      Also, how does Google stating everything you do on their sites is tracked like forever, mean that they are "not" doing that, and how stupid and/or paid do people have to be to mod that nonsense up??

  • by scottbomb (1290580) on Friday February 10, 2012 @02:20AM (#38992531) Journal

    Wow! That's like, FIVE WHOLE CENTS A DAY!

    Tell Google to get bent. When they're offering $25/mo, we'll talk.

    • When they're offering $25/mo, we'll talk.

      I bet when they're buying millions of DSL lines in bulk, they'll get a much better price than $25.

      You do want a free Internet connection, don't you?

  • In Soviet Russia IIIII'm the CAAAT!

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Please extract blood and DNA sample. Hello Mr Smith. Amazon has a selection of gay and goat porn that might interest you. If these selections are in error please hit the "escapee" key and select your sexual preference. This week we have a selection of Asian bisexual gang bang videos available. If you would like to select from another area of interest please click on the Harry Potter tab below.

  • by Animats (122034) on Friday February 10, 2012 @02:45AM (#38992653) Homepage

    I don't use Google services, except occasionally as a developer. I'm only logged in when I'm doing development uploads to Chrome add-ons. (And that's a port of something I have for Mozilla). Mail is handled by my own web sites, filtered by Spam Assassin, retrieved with IMAP, and filed in Thunderbird. Open source code is on Sourceforge. Backups are on a paid service. Videos are on blip.tv. Documents and spreadsheets are in Open Office/Libre Office. 3D work is in Autodesk Inventor or Blender. I have Facebook and LinkedIn accounts for social networking. I used to use Google Voice for an SMS project, but Google's connection to the phone network (which is through a weird third party provider) had trouble telling which numbers could send and receive SMS, and I switched that project to Twilio.

    Google has a nice search engine, but I don't see any need to use any of their other services targeted to individuals.

    • by priyaaa (2571293)
      I am fully addicted to google. I use all the products of google and integrate them to get most out of it. However, now i feel like my privacy is lost in some way.
      • by swillden (191260)

        I am fully addicted to google. I use all the products of google and integrate them to get most out of it. However, now i feel like my privacy is lost in some way.

        Google provides tools that allow you to see and control what Google stores about you, and to opt out of tracking and ad personalization.

        http://www.google.com/intl/en/privacy/tools.html

        • Okay, now that is kinda sweet. Google is my recent pet hate, but this alleviates that somewhat.

          • by swillden (191260)
            Google really doesn't want to track you against your will. Google's theory is that with personalization Google can help you find what you want -- including what you want to buy -- so much better than without it, that you'll want Google to know as much as possible about you so it can be as helpful as possible to you. But if you don't like that deal, Google doesn't want to force it on you.
            • Well, I prefer learning how the search algorithms work. After a while you simple get good at constructing successful queries. To use the example google touted: when I want to search for golf, the car, I enter "golf car", otherwise "golf sports". well, I might just do "golf" first and then refine. And I like it that way. I don't need hand holding, and I don't need to be fed stuff I already know. The basic assumption of Google now is that it's for dumb fucks. Because for you, a harness is as good as an adult,

              • by swillden (191260)

                The basic assumption of Google now is that it's for dumb fucks.

                The basic assumption of Google is that it's for everyone. The fact is that most users don't know how to tweak their query arguments to get the answer they want -- not because they're dumb but because they're not geeks. Users misspell things, use the wrong terms, etc. Google's goal is to help them find what they're looking for, even when they screw up.

                There's no doubt that as the web has changed from a geek playground to something that absolutely everyone uses, and as Google has changed to accommodate t

                • Google's official mission is to "organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful". That's a crazy-ambitious goal, but Google is serious about it, and has recognized that the sheer volume of information means that making it accessible and useful requires figuring out what people are interested in.

                  Then why not find new ways to tag information, instead of your the users looking for the information? Not that I claim those two exclude each other, but still.... nice try.

                  Google, lik

                  • by swillden (191260)

                    Then why not find new ways to tag information, instead of your the users looking for the information? Not that I claim those two exclude each other, but still.... nice try.

                    Lots of that is going on as well.

                    But no matter how well you can describe and classify the information, that only addresses one side of the problem -- and not the hardest one, frankly. Google became popular not because it had a great web crawler but because the PageRank algorithm allowed it to do a better job of figuring out which parts of that were relevant to the user. Now, with orders of magnitude more information out there, relevance is vastly harder to obtain.

                    There needs to be an open source peer to peer search engines or whatever, everything else is bollocks.

                    I don't see how that could work, but it

    • by Karljohan (807381)

      I used to use Google services for most things, however my experience from earlier IT moves (dot com crash, "free life time" email addresses, etc) forced me to anticipate a speedy change of climate so I'm prepared and remove most data from their services at the moment.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Information is worth money - so why am I not being paid?

    That is one thought, but I don't think it is not the cornerstone of the issue. Where I see the problem is the we have digital goods that are being given away and resold by every Tom, Dick and Harry. If my information is worth something to someone, then it should be protected and I should have the ability to protect it. Where is my protection? Almost every contract I see seems to base the concept of privacy as: We can take your information, share it wit

  • I wonder if EU will make a rant about it. There is a saying -- don't steal, government hates competition. Governments would happily extend their monopoly to data retention.
    • What has been created by this half century of massive corporate propaganda is what's called "anti-politics". So that anything that goes wrong, you blame the government. Well okay, there's plenty to blame the government about, but the government is the one institution that people can change... the one institution that you can affect without institutional change. That's exactly why all the anger and fear has been directed at the government. The government has a defect - it's potentially democratic. Corporatio

  • Sounds like a *great* way to screw over enemies and politicians. figure out how to Install this on their boxes and collect the money. Get some lulz while yer at it.

  • Just use false data if it bothers you.

    The only problem is, consistency of false data, otherwise google will note the mismatched data and realise you are telling porkies.

  • I see a new marketing niche emerging - Big G Snoop devices for sale to the [AnyCountry] mob organization.
  • by Hognoxious (631665) on Friday February 10, 2012 @04:04AM (#38992993) Homepage Journal

    Gas, gash or cache - nobody rides for free

  • It's called NoScript (Score:4, Informative)

    by Jane Q. Public (1010737) on Friday February 10, 2012 @04:56AM (#38993195)
    And you just don't allow Google Analytics. And similar scripts.

    And of course, it also means you don't use Google+ (which they have already stated is an "identity service", and any social networking benefits are just "bait"... I'm just quoting Google themselves).

    Or Gmail, which is also scanned for content. Or...

    Basically it means that if you don't want everything available you scanned and analyzed, you just don't use Google's services. Period. Heck, I don't even use Google search except through an open router.

    Most safeguarding of your information is ridiculously easy, if you simply don't use the services of those who would exploit it. Relying on their "de-personalization" of the data is foolish: we have already seen by intentional (and otherwise) data dumps, just how much "personal" information can be derived from this "depersonalized" data. Lots of things you don't want other people to know. AND... things which are none of Law Enforcement's business, even if... especially if... you are innocent.
    • by zakkie (170306)

      I'm busy backing out of all Google services now. I've stripped AdSense and Analytics from my site, and I will remove my Google+ account and delete my gmail one too. Google may not yet be evil, but they look and smell rotten from here.

      • by swillden (191260)
        Another option is to use the tools Google provides to opt out of tracking and personalization and to view and delete data stored about you. http://www.google.com/intl/en/privacy/tools.html [google.com]
    • by Devout2 (2026726)
      NoScript is far too invasive; better use AdBlock and Ghostery with web bug blocking on, and perhaps even cookie blocking on (and add sites like slashdot to the exceptions of cookie blocking)
      As for the flash cookies use something like BetterPrivacy to clean them all every few hours or every time the browser starts/closes.
      • by yahwotqa (817672)

        With cookies, it's better to allow them for current session only(!) than to block it. That way you do not end up on any "blocks cookies" list, and if they're doing cookie-based user profiling, they'll get new user profile everytime you visit.

        Note that this doesn't work well if you leave your browser running for days without restart.

  • This move will probably kill a few startups, or at least force them to alter their strategy. There are a few out there who were trying to allow users monetize their private information in some form and give you the opt-in/opt-out ability in a centralized fashion (kind of like the apps settings page in Facebook). They all face the same problem of critical mass for adoption and their problem just got harder. Why would you bother with a www.personal.com (which has a neat app) or anything like that if you're

  • i bet if they looked at everything, the content of the cache, the names of the files i bet they could find info that ties it all to my IP address which means they could figure out who i am and start targeting me with advertising and prejudiced pricing according to my demographic and income., fuck google they can go to hell, along with amazon, and every goddamn online retailer on the internets.

    be careful about what you agree with, the devil is in the details
  • But I'm not so comfortable with Google knowing that much about me. We need cheap home servers that are always Internet connected and relatively secure, and the software to allow us to make use of them. This stuff shouldn't be sitting on Google's servers, it should be on our own.

  • I would like that you carry a portable device that is aware about you and your environment, that don't just could know i.e. your gps position or the speed at which you are walking, but everything that is around that could interest you, ready to point that out, inform more about it, or do something to eventually retrieve it later,like saving video/photos/sounds. Cellphones are going in that direction, even if are still far, at the very least can't yet include the needed intelligence, base data and storage, s

  • Already Sold It (Score:4, Insightful)

    by retroworks (652802) on Friday February 10, 2012 @07:25AM (#38993705) Homepage Journal
    The credit card industry has been doing this for decades. Every purchase we make at stores, travel, online purchases, creates a crude profile of who we are as purchasers. The credit card industry sells this info every day. And there are other examples you could also label "Faustian Bargains".. if I accept the premise that personal information about me is my "soul". Still, at least we could cheat this devil. We just need a program that runs silently in the background, in a back tab of our browser, which randomly looks up anything we might or might not be interested in, to "pollute the cache" or camouflage it. That's something I can do with google but cannot do to my credit card company.
  • Huh? (Score:4, Informative)

    by olau (314197) on Friday February 10, 2012 @08:31AM (#38993935) Homepage

    Did anyone actually click through [google.com] to read the offering from Google? They aren't interested in everyone's data, they are interested in data from some to use for market research and rather than snooping it from all the Chrome users they've got, they are paying for it.

    I can understand why someone wouldn't want to sell their browsing habits like this, I'm certainly wouldn't either. But if you've ever been at the other side of the table trying to figure out how to make a web site better for your visitors, you'll know that each individual is completely irrelevant. What you're interested in learning about is what people in general do and why.

    • The same goes for negative things. Hitler didn't care about the individuals he murdered either, so that helps. No, wait.

  • What, specifically, are they wanting to find? Because I'm pretty sure there's nothing in my browser cache that would ever be worth a nickel to anybody else unless they are some eccentric dataphile or something.
    • one futurama episode springs to mind... you know, the people who sniff data? my memory, it fails me. but this being slashdot it surely will ring a bell for someone ^^

  • People just answered honestly some benign questions from the democratic government's census agents in Europe in 20s (including small questions about a nationality and religion).

    Some years later millions of them were eliminated on the basis on these old records.
  • How much are we comfortable with our machines knowing about us?

    I am extremely comfortable with my machines knowing everything there is to know about me. I am absolutely not comfortable with other people's machines (be they Google's servers, my supermarkets servers, or even my friend's laptop) knowing any more about me than is absolutely necessary.

    For me, the issue is communications. I trust my machines, but only insofar as I can ensure that they aren't talking to anyone else without me specifically telling

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