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Google Your Rights Online

Google Is Testing a Program That Tracks Your Purchases In the Real World 160

Posted by samzenpus
from the show-us-what-your-bought dept.
cold fjord writes "Business Insider reports, Google is beta-testing a program that tracks users' purchasing habits by registering brick-and-mortar store visits via smartphones, according to a report from Digiday. Google can access user data via Android apps or their Apple iOS apps, like Google search, Gmail, Chrome, or Google Maps. If a customer is using these apps while he shops or has them still running in the background, Google's new program pinpoints the origin of the user data and determines if the customer is in a place of business."
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Google Is Testing a Program That Tracks Your Purchases In the Real World

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Google! Apple! NSA!

    Yaaaaay!

  • Misleading title... (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 08, 2013 @01:33AM (#45365231)

    Nowhere in the article does it say it can track what you buy, there's no way an app can track purchases you made outside of your phone unless it's somehow linked to your bank/credit card account... this is just to track where you were. Basically, Google is stalking you, nothing new there.

    • by FlyHelicopters (1540845) on Friday November 08, 2013 @01:40AM (#45365263)
      Nope, only the credit card companies do that...

      Why do you think the big push was made to give everyone a VISA or MC debit card? It provides the banks with an incredible amount of information about you that they can then sell.

      Given that my debt cards pay me rewards and I pay them nothing, frankly I don't mind, it isn't like my trips to Walmart are secret or anything.

      Another reason why Google should want their Wallet to become used everywhere. Imagine the treasure trove of information if they don't even have to get into the V/MC business, yet can see "everything" you buy because you use your phone as a wallet.

      Frankly, for them to have that much information about me, I'd like the phone for free. :)

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Its nice how people sell privacy for a phone.

        Kinda like how there is a quote on bash.org about how people were asked if they would give up their voting right for an ipod, and the best thing to do would be give those that say yes an ipod.

        Before you say voting right and privacy are something totally different, they are pretty closely related. Given the number of laws, everybody breaks one, if not more. If you have no privacy, all those things can be known. Maybe you broke the speed limit one moment, your phon

        • I wouldn't give it up for an ipod, but I could see myself giving it up for a material good. Frankly the US elections just piss me off more than anything, because no matter what you do the same shit keeps getting elected. Politics is just a really cheesy soap opera.

          Voting therefore is worth nothing, so I'd trade nothing for something.

          You know what's funny is I've actually gone out of my way to deliberately not register to vote, and somehow I've managed to stay registered anyways (for early voting no less, as

        • While I get what you're saying, another arguement could be made that we're already past that point.

          The truth is, way, way too many things are illegal, and not just minor illegal, but felonies.

          You're right, everyone breaks some law, somewhere. There is a saying, "it's a poor cop who can't find something to write you a ticket for".

          So the fact is, phones or no phones, privacy or no privacy, the real problem is the endless laws for anything and everything. If we don't get that turned back, nothing else

          • You're right, everyone breaks some law, somewhere. There is a saying, "it's a poor cop who can't find something to write you a ticket for".

            The more corrupt the state, the more numerous its laws
            . -Cornelius Tacitus

            "The best way to take control over a people and control them utterly is to take a little bit of their freedom at a time, to erode rights by a thousand tiny and almost incremental reductions. In this way people will not see those rights being removed until past the point at which these changes

            • I'm quite sure there were people in 1936 in Germany that saw exactly what Hitler was doing, but they were well past the point of being able to do something about it.

              Only the military really had the power to stop him, and they were way too stuck in "obedience mode" for a very long time.

              There were several attempts before 1944, and even one in 1939 6 months before the war to remove Hitler, but frankly he simply had too much support and too many Generals were "duty-bound" to support their leader.

              Frankly,

              • The other change? SCOTUS needs to be elected by the people to 10 year terms (serve once, no reelections), the POTUS needs to be elected by popular vote. Congress gets up to 12 years, then out they go.

                I support a Judiciary that has no fear of re-election since that insulates them from exactly the same bias that our elected officials have. I would support them a whole lot more if they would stop allowing the constitution to be shredded in front of our eyes in favor of what large corporations want, but I'm

                • I support a Judiciary that has no fear of re-election since that insulates them from exactly the same bias that our elected officials have. I would support them a whole lot more if they would stop allowing the constitution to be shredded in front of our eyes in favor of what large corporations want, but I'm not sure how that change would fix it.

                  Simple, offer them $1 Million a year for retirement, so that while they serve, they have no concerns over what powerful companies they piss off since they will have no need for a job when they leave their position.

                  Right now, way too many people leave Congress and go to work for companies that they used to pass laws for, I'm sure some of those jobs are "favors".

                  While it would cost a lot more to give every Congress person $1 Million a year in retirement, at least it would have them bribed by the people r

        • You still have control though which is the crucial point. If you revert to paying cash, your trips to Walmart are no longer being tracked.

          Let's not get too excited, Google is looking to monetise tracking information in the same was as grocery store reward cards allow the stores to mine purchase data and send you focused offers. The NSA is not interested in your buy one, get one free selections but Google is interested in directing you to their corporate clients based on where you happen to be.

          The quid

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward

          You may not care what you purchase at Wal-Mart, but there are a lot of people who might want that info:

          1: The local DA. Here in the US with private prisons running the show, DAs -have- to keep the beds full. Judges have to convict or else they will face an anonymous donor spending big bucks on their rival candidate. Police have a quota of how many people that need to have cuffs slapped on and hauled in.

          I remember a case a few years back where a local DA got ahold of E911 records from a phone company. T

        • by mcgrew (92797) *

          Christ, you paranoid morons...

          Remember how you can also lose voting rights after having been convicted of a felony. So no privacy means politicians can take away the voting rights of whoever they chose, based on that everybody but the very careful people break laws

          Yeah, jaywalking is a felony. Moron (the AC and the idiot who modded him up). I've been vocally critical of politicians and other rich and powerful assholes the whole fifteen years I've had internet soapboxes, calling them thieves and traitors, wh

      • by Animats (122034)

        Why do you think the big push was made to give everyone a VISA or MC debit card? It provides the banks with an incredible amount of information about you that they can then sell.

        The funny thing is that banks don't do that much. Their merchant customers don't like their sales info being given to other merchants.

      • by mcgrew (92797) *

        Well, I have no debit card and only one credit card that I only use for shopping online or when I'm out of cash and the bank is closed, so Visa knows I buy beer at Shell and breakfast burritos at McDonalds, that I have a BOOST mobile phone, that I've registered a copyright and ten ISBNs, and bought a few books (mostly Asimov). Other than that? Well, I'm sure the NSA can clue them in. "Give you data? No, agent Smith, but we're willing to trade!"

    • by smash (1351)
      That's why google wallet/NFC payments are being pushed.
    • You may be **grammatically** correct that Google **technically** is tracking your location not your purchases...

      But you're giving Google a free pass here:

      Basically, Google is stalking you, nothing new there.

      "meh, privacy is dead" right? right??

      wrong.

      Privacy rights, and Google's accountability to them are as alive as **we the people demand**

      We don't have to accept that new tech features must invariably require chipping away at our privacy until Google has enough data to extrapolate anything they want....

      You

      • You must understand that Google ***IS DEFINITELY*** intending to track people's purchases using this tracking. They do what is known in the industry as "data analysis" where you compare two or more data sets that overlap to fill in missing pieces of information.

        Goto Flurry.com read what they do and understand this is a Google site they do data analytics. Read the ToS of Angry Birds they pay and
        send user data to Flurry.com, in turn Flurry.com shows ADs tailored to you, I'm not sure if Flurry or rovio.com show the ads but you signed into
        this just by purchasing Angry Birds or a myriad of other on-line software. I do read the ToS's and privacy statements.

        Reading the ToS's and privacy statements is a good way to find what needs to be blocked. in rovio.com 's case it's

    • Nowhere in the article does it say it can track what you buy, there's no way an app can track purchases you made outside of your phone unless it's somehow linked to your bank/credit card account... this is just to track where you were. Basically, Google is stalking you, nothing new there.

      Bluetooth LE beacons can let an enabled app determine your location to a reasonably precise location at a given time - say a checkout line (and as I recall, Android permissions are all or nothing, ask only at install) - it'd be trivial to send that info back to the mother ship. And if Google is partnering with the store, they are probably getting date + time + which register information about purchases made at the store.

      I'm sure Google can put two and two together.

      And even with iOS's finer grained permissio

      • by Albanach (527650)

        Bluetooth LE beacons can let an enabled app determine your location to a reasonably precise location at a given time

        Given how few phones have bluetooth enabled, it doesn't seem like a very efficient solution. Much easier just to use wifi access points. Most phones are going to be constantly searching for wifi and that's a lot easier to log. I notice lots more large chain stores are making free wifi available which would probably allow for customer tracking if Google and or Apple were to cooperate.

        • by jp10558 (748604)

          Really? I have ended up with many bluetooth devices in the last couple years. It started with my car's hands free system, and then I found I can use it to also play audio through my car without using a line in cable (less wear on the phone headphone jack).

          I'm looking for some bluetooth headphones for the same reason when I'm not in my car.

          Then I got an upgraded jack for my radar detector that hooks up to my phone for "social" detection or some such.

          Then my new GPS hooks up to my phone for more up to date go

    • Nowhere in the article does it say it can track what you buy, there's no way an app can track purchases you made outside of your phone unless it's somehow linked to your bank/credit card account... this is just to track where you were. Basically, Google is stalking you, nothing new there.

      Your at 0 people don't want what you noticed seen. The articles quote digiday.com who say "Google declined multiple requests for comment."
      and builds an article around it as they have free rein.

      Remember there are companies that wish Google harm so expand upon the truth through the media,
      There's one more anti-Google misleading article just behind this one, that I'm sure will make the front page soon.

      This articles title was scary stuff about Google a company I've put my trust into for many years.
      My searches ar

  • Dear Slashdot... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by girlintraining (1395911) on Friday November 08, 2013 @01:44AM (#45365283)

    Do you still think Google is trying to stop the NSA from spying on you, when they are gathering the exact same information, and unlike the NSA, don't have any rules restricting their use.

    When will we stop saying who can and cannot spy on us and steal our personal information, and start saying that the answer is nobody. Whether you're the NSA, or you're Google, you are evil. The end.

    • by m00sh (2538182)

      Do you still think Google is trying to stop the NSA from spying on you, when they are gathering the exact same information, and unlike the NSA, don't have any rules restricting their use.

      When will we stop saying who can and cannot spy on us and steal our personal information, and start saying that the answer is nobody. Whether you're the NSA, or you're Google, you are evil. The end.

      Or you can not use any Google products. Gmail, google maps, search etc are free so that they can advertise to you and collect data on you.

      • by girlintraining (1395911) on Friday November 08, 2013 @02:17AM (#45365413)

        Or you can not use any Google products. Gmail, google maps, search etc are free so that they can advertise to you and collect data on you.

        Funny story. In the early 90s a new network started being used regularily by hundreds of colleges, science labs, and educational facilities. It had been built up for military purposes as an experiment, but after building a new one, the military turned it over to the academic community. It was a global network, massively redundant, and was initially used to exchange files and e-mail. Researchers quickly developed some simple protocols to allow anyone on the network to exchange information freely with anyone else on the network. A need arose to catalog and organize the rapidly increasing number of nodes on this network, and the information just started pouring in. That network... was called the internet.

        It's original inventors hoped that this free and equal peer-based network they had built would be used to share human knowledge across cultures around the world, bringing together millions, and now billions, of people together. They never asked for money. They didn't believe in advertising revenue to support it... the people who built and maintained the network did so not out of greed, or desire for wealth, but because they genuinely believed in one of the foundational principles of science:

        Knowledge should be free.

        I know today it's just a historical footnote, that greed and the desire for wealth has created not one, but seven of the largest companies on the planet, whose sole business plans are to exploit the free exchange of information by putting up artificial barriers and charging for access to things, while spying on us and abusing the data flow... and that today, we just accept this.

        But those of us that built the network remember there are other motivations than greed... some of us still build things for others, because we want them to be free. Because we want them to have knowledge, and information -- because we understood, instinctively, that the biggest advances of the 21st century wasn't going to be in science or technology, but in an expanding concept of what it means to be human. We couldn't put it into those words, not then, but we knew it would be important that this resource remain free and open to all -- that the fastest route to human growth, worldwide, everyone, everywhere, would mean making sure knowledge was equally available. Because knowledge is power... and we knew, from tens of thousands of years of human history, that when you try to hold onto knowledge, to power, it corrupts you. It destroys you. It sucks your soul right out and pours in a neverending need for more... more what? More everything.

        And so those of us who were around back then recognize Google, and the NSA, and all these other organizations and governments for what they are: An unnatural restriction on the potential of the human race. They're strangling us with their greed. They're creating the next Dark Age... because the power imbalance between the information-rich and the information-poor is growing, exponentially. And Google is one of the central players.

        Google... is evil.

        • Knowledge should be free.

          Acquiring knowledge has generally been expensive. Libraries cost money for both the building and books. Education costs money, even if it is free to the student. Somebody is paying in some fashion whether it is taxes or time taken from profitable pursuits. The network that you speak of was paid for mainly by taxes, tuition, or profits. The internet has been a wonderful resource to make knowledge easier to access, but the infrastructure costs money. Staff to maintain both information and infrastructure

          • Acquiring knowledge has generally been expensive. Libraries cost money for both the building and books. Education costs money, even if it is free to the student.

            The internet changed all of that. Acquiring knowledge now costs such a tiny, tiny amount, that we can afford to give it away to every single member of the human race... and we give up very little for the honor of doing so. As a society, we have the privilege of being able to give every single person on this planet free and total access to the collective knowledge of all of the sciences, technology, culture, all of it.

            And yet we don't. What does that say about us, as a people?

            he internet has been a wonderful resource to make knowledge easier to access, but the infrastructure costs money.

            No. Nothing costs money. A cost

            • The internet changed all of that. Acquiring knowledge now costs such a tiny, tiny amount, that we can afford to give it away to every single member of the human race...

              Providing the raw data of knowledge isn't expensive, providing a good Internet connection and a useful computer can be, in many parts of the world they are just not wired for it. Even more, there are a billion people without electricity or running water, they have more pressing issues than access to the Internet.

              What does that say about us, as a people?

              That we are human beings, and humans have something called "human nature". It won't change just because 3 billion people can read Wikipedia.

              The infrastructure doesn't cost money, it costs whatever we could have built instead of the infrastructure.

              "Money" is just an easy way to keep track of the val

              • but there really are bad people in the world who want to kill us, what would you suggest doing about that?

                we were discussing google and the NSA. no reason to now bring the cops into the discussion...

              • It was a major campaign promise. Still hasn't been closed 5 years later. Why?

                Most likely because he's a lying politician (my use of the word "lying" may have been redundant), like most are in the two major parties. Still, fools keep voting for them.

                It isn't a perfect system, but there really are bad people in the world who want to kill us, what would you suggest doing about that?

                If it means throwing away our freedoms--as we have with the NSA, TSA, PATRIOT ACT, et al.--nothing. As far as I've heard, we're supposed to be the land of the free and the home of the brave, so I think the fact that some bogeymen were so easily able to make us discard some of the freedoms that supposedly make us 'better' is absolutely pat

                • Do those freedoms envisioned back when the "west" was still frontier and mail took 3 months to reach Europe still work in a world of Nuclear, Chemical, and Biological weapons? Does it work in a world of suicide bombers, high explosives, and a world in which you can reach any major city in less than 24 hours?

                  Maybe, but I think it is a conversation worth having, and we haven't had it yet. Instead we have a government that has done a lot of things "for our own good" without actually having Americans be par

                  • Do those freedoms envisioned back when the "west" was still frontier and mail took 3 months to reach Europe still work in a world of Nuclear, Chemical, and Biological weapons? Does it work in a world of suicide bombers, high explosives, and a world in which you can reach any major city in less than 24 hours?

                    Yes. I believe freedom to be more important than safety to begin with, so such nonsense isn't going to persuade me in the least. Terrorist bogeymen are largely nonexistent to begin with; the threat is highly exaggerated.

                    Anyway, if I had a choice between risking annihilated and allowing the government to violate everyone's freedoms as it pleases (which is pretty much the current situation), I'd choose the former. I don't care for police states, and I think a world without freedom isn't a world worth living i

              • by mcgrew (92797) *

                What does that say about us, as a people? That we are human beings, and humans have something called "human nature".

                Um, I'm afraid You're wrong. [psmag.com] That theory/myth was recently smashed; there is no such thing as "human nature," only cultural nature. "All you touch and all you see is all your life will ever be", as Pink Floyd so artfully puts it.

                "Money" is just an easy way to keep track of the value of "stuff"

                And you've fallen prey to exactly what the linked article was talking about. What's the value of rain?

                • Those are great ideas... where they fall apart is when they come into contact with people who disagree with them, sometimes violently.

                  Many people throughout history had such views. For a time, the Native Americans held such views, until they were overrun by the white man from Europe.

                  Native Americans largely believed that you couldn't "own" the land, that you lived with the land, that you respected family, the tribe, nature, etc.

                  All well and good, until someone comes along who sees it differently and

            • by mcgrew (92797) *

              As a society, we have the privilege of being able to give every single person on this planet free and total access to the collective knowledge of all of the sciences, technology, culture, all of it. And yet we don't.

              Some of us do. Take, for instance, slashdot's "grammar nazi's" (sorry, just had to bait one). Their correction to someone's aliterate mistake is FREE KNOWLEDGE, even if it's usually casting pearls before swine.

              I've learned a lot from slashdot comments. I've learned a lot from wikipedia. All it c

          • By a similar token the need for the NSA is an ugly reality. Not every group or society on the planet is willing to live in peace within their own borders. Seventy years ago it was Germany, Italy, and Japan. Not long after that was settled, North Korea decided it would invade South Korea. After WW2 the Soviet Union and its allies used or threatened to use military force on many occasions including in Germany, Hungary, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Afghanistan, Berlin, Cuba. North Vietnam invaded South Vietnam. The list goes on and on. Saddam's Iraq invaded Kuwait and annexed it until the UN authorized the US and allied forces to remove Iraq's army from Kuwait. Chinese state controlled media just published maps showing targets for Chinese nuclear weapons in the US and also publicized the existence of their extensive submarine force. Russia has started probing US and European air defenses again, and has made mock nuclear attacks. Even ignoring terrorism the NSA has plenty to watch for, and will for the foreseeable future.

            There are may things limiting human potential. One of the biggest is human nature.

            I only wish you would include the United States in your estimation. The US is the largest arms dealer in the world, and has its armies in more countries than any other. Their black ops agencies have overthrown governments and trained terrorists in every corner of the globe.

            The world can indeed be a dangerous place. The United States is a major player on that world stage, and not some innocent bystander that needs to protect itself from all those other bad countries. The US needs to protect itself in the

        • Well said and makes me think of this quote from Fear and Loathing:

          "We had all the momentum; we were riding the crest of a high and beautiful wave. So now, less than five years later, you can go up on a steep hill in Las Vegas and look west, and with the right kind of eyes you can almost see the high-water mark - that place where the wave finally broke and rolled back."

        • Or you can not use any Google products. Gmail, google maps, search etc are free so that they can advertise to you and collect data on you.

          Funny story. In the early 90s a new network started being used regularily by hundreds of colleges, science labs, and educational facilities. It had been built up for military purposes as an experiment, but after building a new one, the military turned it over to the academic community. It was a global network, massively redundant, and was initially used to exchange files and e-mail. Researchers quickly developed some simple protocols to allow anyone on the network to exchange information freely with anyone else on the network. A need arose to catalog and organize the rapidly increasing number of nodes on this network, and the information just started pouring in. That network... was called the internet.

          It's original inventors hoped that this free and equal peer-based network they had built would be used to share human knowledge across cultures around the world, bringing together millions, and now billions, of people together. They never asked for money. They didn't believe in advertising revenue to support it... the people who built and maintained the network did so not out of greed, or desire for wealth, but because they genuinely believed in one of the foundational principles of science:

          Knowledge should be free.

          I know today it's just a historical footnote, that greed and the desire for wealth has created not one, but seven of the largest companies on the planet, whose sole business plans are to exploit the free exchange of information by putting up artificial barriers and charging for access to things, while spying on us and abusing the data flow... and that today, we just accept this.

          But those of us that built the network remember there are other motivations than greed... some of us still build things for others, because we want them to be free. Because we want them to have knowledge, and information -- because we understood, instinctively, that the biggest advances of the 21st century wasn't going to be in science or technology, but in an expanding concept of what it means to be human. We couldn't put it into those words, not then, but we knew it would be important that this resource remain free and open to all -- that the fastest route to human growth, worldwide, everyone, everywhere, would mean making sure knowledge was equally available. Because knowledge is power... and we knew, from tens of thousands of years of human history, that when you try to hold onto knowledge, to power, it corrupts you. It destroys you. It sucks your soul right out and pours in a neverending need for more... more what? More everything.

          And so those of us who were around back then recognize Google, and the NSA, and all these other organizations and governments for what they are: An unnatural restriction on the potential of the human race. They're strangling us with their greed. They're creating the next Dark Age... because the power imbalance between the information-rich and the information-poor is growing, exponentially. And Google is one of the central players.

          Google... is evil.

          I think I love you.

        • by FunkDup (995643)

          Knowledge should be free.

          I generally agree with this, but people choosing to profit is not evil at this point in our evolution, and may never be.

          seven of the largest companies on the planet, whose sole business plans are to exploit the free exchange of information by putting up artificial barriers and charging for access to things

          This is true as far as their own IP goes, but this isn't generally true even for Apple and Microsoft. Google in particular is doing quite the opposite. They are providing access to all the information they can, for the cheapest possible price. I don't really see how any other large companies are doing this either.

          They're creating the next Dark Age

          You can't even accuse Microsoft of that. You might have argued they've slowe

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by pitchpipe (708843)

        Or you can not use any Google products. Gmail, google maps, search etc are free so that they can advertise to you and collect data on you.

        I keep hearing this over and over again but you know what? Every fucking website that I go on has some tracker from Google on it, not to mention the shit I can't see tracking me. So tell me again how I'm not supposed to have them tracking me: don't use the internet? Go fuck yourself

        • You can block Google's trackers, same way you block ads.
          • I've reported on this before. electronics sites I use to buy things (mouse, digikey, etc) use google and if you block it, the site has problems working correctly.

            google's presence on the net (in non-google domains) is NOT just about tracking. they forced their way (in a 'friendly' way) into sites and now its impossible to remove google from your lives unless you fully unplug!

        • by tibman (623933)

          shhh! you'll summon APK with questions like that

      • That is a fair point...

        I can switch to Bing, or Yahoo, or whatever... I can't switch to the "other" American Government when I'm unhappy with the one that I have.

        What if we divided America in half, right down the center. Each side created a "new Federal Government" for their half and competed for citizens by offering a government that worked for them. Everyone was a "citizen" of both countries and could freely travel to either side, if one side wanted to attract more people, they would have to offer

    • by wvmarle (1070040)

      This sounds more like Google helping the NSA in data collection.

    • by vidnet (580068) on Friday November 08, 2013 @02:06AM (#45365377) Homepage

      You:

      they are gathering the exact same information, and unlike the NSA, don't have any rules restricting their use

      The article:

      Google gets permission to do this kind of tracking when Android users opt in

      Do you really not see a difference between an experimental, opt-in location system and an international, clandestine spy program?

      • Do you really not see a difference between an experimental, opt-in location system and an international, clandestine spy program?

        They're functionally identical. Every phone you buy today has the same basic EULA: All your personal data is ours, to do with as we please. Try going without a cell phone; We're expected to be wired in. Employers want cell phones. Parents want cell phones. There was an article on slashdot talking about wiring in 5 year olds. This is the future; the interconnected society. You want to be a part of society, you have internet, you have a phone -- you're connected.

        And pardon me, but considering how pervasive it

        • And pardon me, but considering how pervasive it is, how deeply it's integrated into our lives, and how little protection there is for all of it... an international, clandestine spy program is far better, at least from a human rights standpoint.

          It's so pervasive that we have someone on a website for geeks defending the practice as "it's OK if it is Opt in".

          Can anyone actually be competitive in the marketplace without harnessing themselves to some datamining service or another? Anyone besides Ted Kazinski?

        • by vidnet (580068)

          You're either confused or trolling.

          This is not some fine print hidden in the bowels of the EULA, that you accept just by using a cell phone.

          You have to explicitly enable the feature. When you do, there's a popup that says, and I blockquote:

          Allow Google's location service to collect anonymous location data. Some data may be stored on your device. Collection may occur even when no apps are running.
          Agree | Disagree

          If you Agree, this feature is one of the things your anonymous data is used for.
          If you Disagree,

      • Do you really not see a difference between an experimental, opt-in location system and an international, clandestine spy program?

        Does the average person who has "opted-in" know what they are getting into or is this fine print inserted to make the lawyers happy and subsequently buried by professional marketing turd polishers?

        • I'm sure that somewhere in our lives within the thousand and one EULAs we've all clicked, someone added "Oh, and this includes the NSA, and we get your first born child, thanks!"

          It's probably been grafted into the DNA of a Monsanto genetically engineered soybean, and by biting that soybean, you agree to the terms of the DNA-spliced EULA embedded therein. Or you can choose not to eat the soybean that they passed laws in California not to tell you about. And it was in a EULA embedded on the Golden Gate Bridge

      • by Mitreya (579078)

        Do you really not see a difference between an experimental, opt-in location system and an international, clandestine spy program?

        They are all opt-in when they are starting out. Doesn't make it equal to NSA, but "opt-in" is only temporary until it's not

        EZ-Pass and their ilk were totally opt-in (and even offered a discount, at least in NH) when they started.

      • Do you really not see a difference between an experimental, opt-in location system and an international, clandestine spy program?

        Yes, the first one you mentioned is "cake and doom" and the 2nd one is "no cake, just doom."

      • Oh, and if I'm ever in a court case that involves a EULA, I'll hold it in the same regard as the contract with my Bank that says how they can mess me over and that's just policy, and the NSA's "permission" to do whatever they are doing.

        You know you are in a fascist country when the greatest threats to your well being are legal.

    • I am against both Google and the NSA's data collection policies, but your vitriol is weirdly misplaced

      See, from an engineering and legal perspective, the data the NSA and Google gather are not, as you say

      they are gathering the exact same information, and unlike the NSA, don't have any rules restricting their use.

      Now, there is so much wrong with this, but in the greater sense you and I share alot of common ground. We probably agree overall...

      No, what bothers me is how uninformed your opinions are...it's dist

    • by tibman (623933)

      I'd say the big and key difference is secret courts.

    • > When will we stop saying who can and cannot spy on us

      When we decide to turn off the GPS?

      My GPS is off 99% of the time. Only time I turn it on is when I need - really need - directions while driving.

      When Google starts collects my location info when my GPS tickbox is un-ticked, then I'll revolt. Until then, yawn.

      If you turn it on and agree to the agreement, it's your own lookout. Go buy a separate GPS unit if you're that worried about it, but stop crying like you don't have choices.

  • by guanxi (216397) on Friday November 08, 2013 @01:56AM (#45365331)

    Why all this subterfuge? Why not just include an app called "Tracking App" on every Android phone, and include it with every iPhone download?

    If Google is right and the tracking is legitimate, what do they have to hide? Consumers will welcome it. If they (and all the other businesses and governments that track you) feel a need to keep it under the radar, then there must be a reason for that.

    • by faedle (114018) on Friday November 08, 2013 @02:09AM (#45365383) Homepage Journal

      Funny, I was aware that's exactly what was going on when I turned on the Android feature that sends location data to Google. They don't exactly hide it, either, which is why I'm wondering why this story is even news. When you "check-in" or somesuch, it's doing right what it says on the tin.

      This just in: Water is wet, dogs sometimes bite, and Comcast customer service sucks.

      • by guanxi (216397)

        I was aware that's exactly what was going on when I turned on the Android feature that sends location data to Google. They don't exactly hide it, either, which is why I'm wondering why this story is even news. When you "check-in" or somesuch, it's doing right what it says on the tin.

        True in some situations but 1) certainly not always true, 2) what is obvious to you may not be obvious to most consumers, and 3) they make it a requirement to use key features, which doesn't provide much of an option to the users.

        • by thegarbz (1787294)

          I was aware that's exactly what was going on when I turned on the Android feature that sends location data to Google. They don't exactly hide it, either, which is why I'm wondering why this story is even news. When you "check-in" or somesuch, it's doing right what it says on the tin.

          True in some situations but 1) certainly not always true, 2) what is obvious to you may not be obvious to most consumers, and 3) they make it a requirement to use key features, which doesn't provide much of an option to the users.

          1) it's consistent across android platforms.
          2) if the customer can't read a whole 7 lines of large font before clicking agree or disagree then they are probably to stupid to even feed themselves.
          3) no they don't, Android phones are fully functional without any tie to a Google account and without sharing location data.

          • by faedle (114018)

            This on all three counts. Google is very transparent about what they're doing and spells it out (at least on the Android platform). You can argue the functionality of using an Android device without these services turned on, but that's the bargain. You get the cool ability to search for a tiki bar near your location because Google already KNOWS your location.

          • by guanxi (216397)

            1) it's consistent across android platforms.
            2) if the customer can't read a whole 7 lines of large font before clicking agree or disagree then they are probably to stupid to even feed themselves.
            3) no they don't, Android phones are fully functional without any tie to a Google account and without sharing location data.

            1) That feature may be, but other tracking functions, by Google and other vendors, are not explicit.

            2) Can't or don't, it doesn't happen. Plus, they don't understand what it means.

            3) Many services, apps, etc. are unavailable without tracking.

            • by thegarbz (1787294)

              That feature is what provides opt-in data tracking to Google. The only other tracking Google does on Android devices is if you attach the phone to a Google account. Then it will also track searches, purchases and the whole shebang. I don't know why you would mention other vendors here. We're talking about Google and you can buy several phones on the market without other vendor crapware.

              "Anonymous data will be shared with google." If you don't understand what that means maybe you should go back to school. It

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by feral-troll (3419661)

        Funny, I was aware that's exactly what was going on when I turned on the Android feature that sends location data to Google. They don't exactly hide it, either, which is why I'm wondering why this story is even news. When you "check-in" or somesuch, it's doing right what it says on the tin.

        This just in: Water is wet, dogs sometimes bite, and Comcast customer service sucks.

        Funny, when I tell the average consumer that when they use Google Maps it streams information about their movements back to Google who archives that data and sells it, most of them are surprised. When you tell them that Google, Facebook, et al. track their browsing habits even when they are not logged in to those services... same reaction. You may be perfectly aware of the parasitic relationship you are getting into with Google but the average consumer is not, hence the outrage over the NSA surveillance. Wh

    • Because humans are funny emotional creatures. At a subconscious level they don't mind being tracked, I suspect that people are "aware" that lots of data is collected about them...

      But they don't want to be explicitly told about it...

      People like being lied too, they want to hear what they want to hear, not the truth.

      Or have you not watched who the people elect year after year? :)

  • by OhANameWhatName (2688401) on Friday November 08, 2013 @02:00AM (#45365351)

    Tracks Your Purchases In the Real World

    I do all of my shopping in Narnia. Apart from avoiding Google, I save an immense amount of money.

    • I commit all my deicides in Narnia. Killing gods for fun and prophet*. Pity the bastard* keeps coming back...

      Footnotes:
      * It's been a few years since I read the Narnia books, is there actually a prophet in Narnia? or just god?
      * Bastard in the sense of his parents not being married, amirite?

  • by bdabautcb (1040566) <bodaciouswagglerNO@SPAMyahoo.com> on Friday November 08, 2013 @02:02AM (#45365361)
    I've been on a S3 for a while, if they want to make money from my shopping habits, good luck. I haven't made a significant purchase based on advertising since I was fifteen and thought Chester Cheetoo was the coolest cat around. I understand the slippery slope argument, but if someone thinks they can turn a profit because I bought some work clothes at goodwill and then a sandwich at char-hut, go for it.
    • Re:why bother? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by faedle (114018) on Friday November 08, 2013 @02:11AM (#45365389) Homepage Journal

      That's the glory of what they're doing. They CAN make money off of you knowing that you bought work clothes at Goodwill and a sandwich at Char-hut. If you can't figure out how, you don't completely understand what they're actually doing.

      • by tlhIngan (30335)

        That's the glory of what they're doing. They CAN make money off of you knowing that you bought work clothes at Goodwill and a sandwich at Char-hut. If you can't figure out how, you don't completely understand what they're actually doing.

        That information is extremely valuable to advertisers.

        Right now, advertisers are paying twice as much money for an iOS ad impression over an Android ad impression. Even given the fact iOS is being outsold 4:1 by Android.

        It's valuable information for Google because it can mea

      • That's the glory of what they're doing. They CAN make money off of you knowing that you bought work clothes at Goodwill and a sandwich at Char-hut. If you can't figure out how, you don't completely understand what they're actually doing.

        I'm going to blow my mods by commenting: You forgot the part about why I should care? Advertising is like the Jedi mind trick, it generally only works on those who are easily led. Google's business model is to sell Jedi mind tricks, so Jabba is unconcerned by such things...

  • I think this is a great reason to not have a "smart phone."

    I've long had the view that much of the infrastructure for genuine oppression* in the US and much of the West would emerge "for your convenience" until a genuinely oppressive government came along to exploit it. What happens when everything goes through electronic payments and the government decides to cut yours off for some reason?

    * If you live in the West, no, this isn't it, but you might be able to get a sense of the potential from here.

  • Put Snowden on this! STAT!

  • if it can track my frigging receipts i'll take it come tax time, NSA or no NSA.

  • So you've had a good week slinging crack and fencing stolen goods. Yet with a good facial recognition and card tracking tool it is clear that your spending clearly does not match your reported income. And here come the cops. Or maybe you just hate paying that child support and always whine to the judge that you just don't have the money but that darned software has kept track of the alcohol you purchase and even the tips for the private dancers in the strip club are on the judges desk.

  • When will I start getting paid for allowing companies to use my data? I would settle for some cash or even a free device or two. *cough* Google Glass.

  • I don't run GAAPS on my android phone, and CyanogenMod's Privacy Guard blocks app access to location data, your phonebook, and other private data.

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