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[dupe] Google Has Dropped Ban on Personally Identifiable Web Tracking (slashdot.org)
63 points by pcunite on Oct 22, 2016 | hide | past | web | favorite | 19 comments

Lots of older discussion in: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12760003

What I don't understand is that the article says that the change was made in the summer. So how come no-one spotted this until now?

I thought about this as well, I think its just a symptom of "privacy policy fatigue", how many of these notifications does the average person using a handful of services receive in a year? The velocity of updates to them seems to be increasing. Also quantifying the impact or intent of the changes is not always obvious and clear.

Can we crawl privacy policies and commit each change into a repo -- and maintain this as a public resource?

There was a website doing this a few years ago, it showed diffs for privacy policies and terms of service. You could also get email notifications when a site changed. However, it shut down some years ago.

Unfortunately I can't remember the site's name, or find it in my bookmarks, sorry.

Google has gradually become more and more aggressive. Boiling a frog alive comes to my mind.

My general recommendation is: do not use Google products unless you really have to. Do not recommend Google products to your friends and relatives.

This is minimum you can do.

Only thing that will really signal them that they are doing something wrong is loosing the market share.

I reset Android on my Samsung S5 and was surprised Google's Gallery app requires access to the Contacts app. I denied Gallery access to my Contacts and now I can't see my pictures but I can take pictures.

I want a personal mobile phone that I can use to communicate with my friends and surf web pages with no history shared with anyone.

Who else wants this?

So much so I ran my aged n900(s) until last month. The latest one stopped staying connected to Tmo, and then only 2g connection(not internal problem as older n900s also exhibit same behavior... 3g spectrum reassigned to LTE, perhaps?). Now I run a N4 loaded w/ CM(kitkat), location/feedback/reporting disabled, everything but phone & messaging under Privacy Guard, only browser and messaging allowed through firewall and I tend to leave my phone at home unless I need it for particular work assignments. It is a fairly hobbled device, but it's great for voice, texts and basic web lookups. Sure, it's all still trackable one way or another, doesn't mean I have to make the job easier for those who believe they value my privacy more than I do.

Certainly not the carriers or vendors.

Sadly, it seems "the public" just doesn't care all that much. (If they're even aware of the implications of their complacency, which seems doubtful.)

People definitely care on a deep level, but how could a non-technical person express their lack of consent? I hear people expressing their concerns in the form of paranoid theories. But their theories are true. Many people I know already censor themselves around phones, assuming the devices are listening and sending personal conversations back to some server.

OK, I'll give you the benefit of the doubt. If the (ostensible) purpose of laws is to keep people/corporations in check, and our representatives make the laws, then the answer to your question, it seems to me, would be political activism, would it not?

There are reasonably well organised political advocacy groups around privacy, "digital rights", and so on.

The trouble is, most of our elections are decided on a very small number of very high profile and high impact policies: economics, education, healthcare, and the like.

Technology raises many minor issues that affect lots of people, often for the worse, but few are going to care about those issues more than their child's education or putting food on plates.

Meanwhile, the tech firms getting insanely rich off these kinds of measures have small armies of lobbyists "advising" the technologically naive political classes on what they should be doing, backed by effectively unlimited war chests.

Until we have political systems that aren't dominated by rare elections decided by very few issues, this will unfortunately continue.

Oh sure, I agree. My point was that in order for our political systems to be less dominated by "the standard issues," people need to literally get out there, en masse, for anything to seriously change. (Think civil rights movement scale, not OWS). But I think you've hinted at the larger issue when you said "people care more about putting food on plates" - too many people simply do not have the freedom (time/resources) to care about anything other than "keeping their heads above water", as it were.

Among the "normal" non-geek people I know, most seem to take the pragmatic view that they don't like or want these kinds of intrusions, but since they assume everyone making devices like smartphones is at it, they grudgingly accept it rather than give up what they regard as a valuable device altogether.

I think at some point soon, reality is going to force ordinary people to become more aware of the privacy and security implications of all these technologies they accept into their lives. The trouble is, as we've just seen with the IoT DDoS attack, by the time large numbers of people become sufficiently aware and motivated to do something about these issues, serious problems may already have happened.

You can't hide your browsing from your carrier. AFAIK, Apple is not that motivated to track their customers, and has made privacy and security part of their brand.

You can hide your browsing history from your carrier easily with a VPN.

I am curious does Cyanogen address any privacy concerns on Android?

Google News: Google Updated Private Policy To Ban on Personally Identifiable Web Tracking. How to Opt in/out Sharing Data? http://www.themobileupdates.com/news/google-news-google-upda...

This is ill. I suspect making this change allows unrestrained data analysis, such as deep learning with all the models, including those models that just so happen to have encoded your identity somewhere in the hidden layers.

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