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Google Communications Privacy

Google's Allo App Can Reveal To Your Friends What You've Searched (recode.net) 61

Google's new messaging app Allo can reveal your search history and other personal information when you include the Google Assistant bot in chats, according to a report. From the article: My friend directed Assistant to identify itself. Instead of offering a name or a pithy retort, it responded with a link from Harry Potter fan website Pottermore. The link led to an extract from "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix," the fifth book in J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series. But the response was not merely a nonsequitur. It was a result related to previous searches my friend said he had done a few days earlier. [...] When I asked "What is my job?" in my conversation with my friend, Assistant responded by sharing a Google Maps image showing the address at which I used to work -- the address of a co-working space, not the publicly listed address of my previous employer. Google had the address on file because I had included it in my personal Google Maps settings. It did not ask my permission to share that.
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Google's Allo App Can Reveal To Your Friends What You've Searched

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  • Well Shit (Score:5, Funny)

    by Nidi62 ( 1525137 ) on Friday March 17, 2017 @12:42PM (#54059413)
    I guess I shouldn't have done all those searches on "the best way to murder a friend without getting caught"
    • For most people if their privacy is invaded they will not get into trouble. However it doesn't mean that there isn't aspect of their life that they would like to keep private. We have our outward persona and our inner desires. They normally will not fully match up. So you know this guy who it Big Tough Ladies man then you dig around and find that he enjoys chick flicks and Musical Theater, doesn't really show anything that would put him in a compromising position. But steps on how he wants to present hi

    • by hyades1 ( 1149581 ) <hyades1@hotmail.com> on Friday March 17, 2017 @01:14PM (#54059713)

      Probably the "Do sheep enjoy being sodomized?" query wasn't the best idea, either.

    • Just do a bunch of searches for midget gangbang porn. Your friends will instantly regret digging into your search history and will abandon it before they find any of the real stuff.

  • by fredrated ( 639554 ) on Friday March 17, 2017 @12:47PM (#54059463) Journal

    does anyone know why Slashdot tries to open other web pages when I come to this site, and without my clicking on anything?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    When I asked "What is my job?" in my conversation with my friend, Assistant responded by sharing a Google Maps image showing the address at which I used to work -- the address of a co-working space, not the publicly listed address of my previous employer. Google had the address on file because I had included it in my personal Google Maps settings.

    Look, it's abundantly clear by now. There are companies... Google, Facebook, Yahoo, plenty of others... whose whole business is built on farming as much information about you as they can. What you look at on the web, even if it's a page that seems to have nothing to do with them on the surface. What you buy. Where you travel in real life. Who your friends are. What you say to your friends. What you say to your family. Your politics. Your religion or lack of religion. Your hobbies. Whether you're

  • If you hook an AI up to a database that knows "everything" that "everyone" does on the internet, it will retrieve that information upon request!

  • > Google had the address on file because I had included it in my personal Google Maps settings. It did not ask my permission to share that.

    Well I like those folks who enter all personal information into... and they whine "nobody asked my permission"...

    Don't you know that if you feed that Internet Beast with your information it will chew it up, swallow it and transform it in a poop that you may not like? And it won't ask if it can poop your precious personal info?

  • This is VERY bad (Score:4, Interesting)

    by JustNiz ( 692889 ) on Friday March 17, 2017 @01:54PM (#54060063)

    I can see this being VERY damaging to society as a whole.

    For example, imagine the trouble that can ensue from Allo revealing what your search history is. For example imagine your discover your wife/husband has been googling lots of articles about divorce. It may actually be because they are finding ways to best help a friend through their problems, but you can imagine the stress discovering just that fact in isolation might cause in a relationship.

    Its also directly encouraging a "N. Korea" type society where you can be judged on your private thoughts. For example you could be a perfectly stable person but just because you googled some stuff about the NRA, your opinions are now perceived as sufficiently alternative from the current pee-cee status quo that you might not even get through any job interview in CA.

    • by Desler ( 1608317 )

      Then simply don't use Allo. Are you going to die without it?

      • by JustNiz ( 692889 )

        Of course not, but the fact that Allo can do this indicates the existence of other avenues/approaches that can and therefore will be abused.

    • " judged on your private thoughts"

      If you are searching on the public internet, then it isn't your private thoughts. The Internet is NOT private, and not secure either. It is a public network.
      • by JustNiz ( 692889 )

        No you missed my point. Sure the internet isn't private but now you can be judged on whatever people interpret as your private thoughts behind the searches you conduct.

  • by technomom ( 444378 ) on Friday March 17, 2017 @02:05PM (#54060175)
    For the ten people who use Allo to chat with other people.
    • For the ten people who use Allo to chat with other people.

      ...a service that is owned and operated by Google. Also known as that not-so-small company.

      Gee, I can't wait to see more examples of don't-be-evil capitalism. Sure is a good thing they've got such an ethical motto to follow.

  • by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Friday March 17, 2017 @02:27PM (#54060367)

    "Hey man, want to see a movie this weekend"?

    @Google Assistant @: I can tell from recent searches you are into hairy men, would you be our guest at a viewing of Beauty and the Beast?

  • Reminds me of this story:

    http://www.baen.com/chapters/W... [baen.com]

  • Are you leaving your footprints on the internet?
    Forget about privacy!
  • it says "Shut up, you silly old bat!"

    but seriously why is this a 'feature'? who needs this 'functionality'?

    ok google we know you are evil, but try not to be sadistic!

Man is an animal that makes bargains: no other animal does this-- no dog exchanges bones with another. -- Adam Smith

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