Comments: Google, Privacy, and You 30 June, 2007 — Stuart Brown

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Sergio Alvaré wrote:

Tío, deberías escribir un libro. A estas horas de la noche cualquier se mete eso entre pecho y espalda. Pero como parece interesante, directo para favoritos.

Daniel Swiecki wrote:

Excellent article. There was much talk about this after the "Privacy is Dead, get over it" (

I think the amount of data Google is allowed to gather for "Ad targeting" is rediculous! And the tracking cookies that are installed along with Google toolbar aren't the best thing either.

This article will surely get dugg.

Eli wrote:

Sadly, I'm a user of everything Google - Gmail, Analytics, AdSense, Toolbar.
I may consider moving away from Google a little bit in the next few weeks.

Arjun Muralidharan wrote:

I use Google Services completely: Calendar, Docs, Gmail, and all the tools for websites.

The Internet b itself is an open platform to drop your privacy anyway, if you are member of a Star Trek Imitators forum, your Mom might find out today.

As a student, my generation will definitely have to live with this, and advertising will take on new heights. Maybe in a positive way: If I only get to see ads that interest me, I won't be bothered by them anymore.

Andrew Fenn wrote:

I personally don't care about Google collecting data on me. I am more afraid of the US Government with their agreement with England to send credit card data with the passengers name, seat no, etc for anyone flying to the US. Thats just stupid and open to fraud problems.

Also and this is the most important issue so please read....

I am sick of articles on Google and Chinese censorship/Privacy Issues when Yahoo helped the Chinese government jail a Yahoo User for ten years.

When Google does something similar to this then you have a point but they haven't abused the users of whom they collect data on so why are there so many articles on this and not on Yahoo? Is Yahoo allowed to be evil?

AL wrote:

@Andrew Fenn:
Yahoo's motto isn't "Don't be evil", now is it? ;)

Adam Griffiths wrote:

I am not bothered about Google collecting data on me, I dont click on Google Ads anyway, even if something interests me. I always have to be doing somehting so I dont click on them because then I wont get important things done. When Google start giving data out or somehting like that I'll be worried.

I use all Google's tools for my websites, most tools are really good and lots of people use them because of this. I don't think that just because Google know where I am located I will stop using their services. Neither will most other people. Their services are the best for someone who has no money to spend on a paid service by a small company that may not be trusted anyway.

Yahoo needed to help the Chinese government simply becase the person they jailed was a threat, they would't have done it for any other reason.

Alexander Wylar wrote:

The above blog tells you how to escape Google's grip.

Philip wrote:

Remember that you as a consumer always have the choice whether to follow an ad link or not.
Targeting usually works around segmentation not one-to-one, so my bet is Google may collect a lot of information but is not using this on the granular level described in the article.
And by the way, ad serving systems like Atlas tie together a lot more data then you might think as they are offering site-side personalization for quite a nice handfull of marketeers too.

Stuart wrote:

All very true, and I'm not inclined to think that Google is a massive threat right at this moment, but it's always good to be mindful of exactly how much data one company could have on you - and folk do forget precisely how much info Google could pull up on them.

Todd wrote:

another awesome write up.

It is scary how much data they can (and do) collect. Many people will not mind, as Google have got a great reputation for themselves, being the saviour of the web etc, but it's only a matter of time before they start using this data for other purposes, which could potentially harm a lot of users.

Allen wrote:

never use toolbar, it can get whatever it wants to know in your computer, use firefox instead of IE.

brinkofacomplex wrote:

I, too, am a Google patriot. I don't mind my info being used for statistics and personalization, but the creation of a profile that others can see isn't a comfortable idea.
I wonder what Google's information-gathering policy is with its Calendar, or Desktop (which can index all the information on your computer).

Jimmy wrote:

Thanks for the information. I never trust Goolge from now on. Protecting my personal information is my responsibility because it might harm the privacy of my friends and families as well. Thus I would not trade my personal information with conveniency. Unfortunately many people doesn't aware htis kind of evil act. We should help to widely spread the message to alert people about this.

Harvey wrote:

It all started heading downhill after they changed their terms and conditions / privacy statement on the Google site. A couple of years ago it was a 2 sentence statement saying the equivalent of "Google will never share your personal data".

Now it's a multipage legal-department-approved uber document.

This was proof at the time that the engineers are no longer in charge at Google. And that's a scary thought. "Don't be evil" is going to turn into "Don't be evil*".

(* for full disclosure of the don't be evil statement, please contact your local Google office for a copy of our Don't be evil handbook. All errors and omissions excepted.)

Will wrote:

Don't you think it's a little hypocritical that in this very same "section" of your site you have a post entitled "Google Analytics rocks the proverbial socks?" ... come on... nobody who uses the Google suite isn't aware of how easy it is to track their movements. And they're all FREE... so Google's gonna have to make money some way or another. Until we start saying something more like "Uh, this Google program kind of blows and they haven't bought the app that does it better (like google video before the days of google youtube)," or they start flying paramilitary dudes through my skylights a la Brazil, I'm not too worried about it.

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