For instance, since Android 5, the standard contact app doesn't allow you to modify a contact which is not synced with an account. Why even do this? The list of tracking settings that can be turned permanently on, but only temporarily off is ever growing. At some point, you just give up because it's such a silly waste of time. Google knows this very well.
Almost all the google websites, except google search, work badly on anything except chrome. I mean, google groups is rotten already on chrome, but just try it on firefox for the full experience.
Maps (the website) used to be a game-changer in the past. It was insanely fast. Nowdays I hate it. The UI is just horrid. On Firefox it just misbehaves constantly. I only use it for streetview, and still I'm appalled at how badly it has evolved.
They are pushing still impressive libraries and tools. But there's not a single of their products I still like to use.
It is true that Google has done this several times over, but we shouldn't normalize it as nothing new, move on. We should still call it out each and every time we see it, even if we are repeating ourselves. Also, what might be obvious to our community is not to those outside, which in the end are the majority.
They're usually made so the authors feel better about themselves, but they have a very negative effect on the rest of the community reading them as it gives them a sense of powerlessness.
I always try to counteract such comments with 2 arguments:
1) it may not be news to you, but it's probably news for a lot of other people. Most people have their own real-world issues to think about, they don't wonder about for hours every day on what Google may be doing against them while utilizing Google's services. Most people are trusting and think company X (or their government) "wouldn't do evil thing Y" to them. Of course, they're usually wrong. Company X/government would absolutely do that evil thing Y to them if they are not vigilant or it benefits them monetarily or otherwise.
2) Something is still news if it happens again or it gets escalated to a higher degree of aggressiveness from that company X/government. Should we all hear about something evil Google has done once and be done with it? Then make our choice whether or not to trust them and use their services forever? Of course not. These things need a "build-up" period before a decision is made. This is why the expression "breaking the camel's back" exists, and it's what happened now with Chrome 69 and these new issues coming up. It's only now that people have said "Okay, are you f-king serious now, Google?! I've let your shit slide in the past, but no longer!"
Seems like the right response would be to stop using the problem products. If you think you can't afford to, I hope you like Google. This is in no way surprising.
Only YouTube is irreplaceable, and you need an account to save videos and subscribe to channels. Luckily a throwaway Google account with BS info and a temporary backup e-mail address is easily created every 3 months.
Sigh! Google makes phone verification compulsory when you try to create the Google account (mandatory to use Google products).
Here's how it should go:
Me: Hey support, feature X isn't working for me.
Google: What browser are you using?
Google: Ok, thanks for reporting a bug in our software. We'll address the issue with Firefox and get back to you.
What actually happens:
Google: Please use Google Chrome
Reminds me of when Microsoft used to optimize it's products for Windows and other OSs were an afterthought...
And while I have stopped trusting MS (again) after their recent browser failure it seems they are very much trying to sell software and services on all platforms.
I finally divested this Spring after giving Google six months to come out with something that would reawaken my old optimism. Besides coming out with a mean go engine, all the news out of Google in that time was depressing.
I'm frankly surprised at how easily a true believer like myself could do a one-eighty in their opinion of the company. I know there's a possibility that they turn this thing around and I look foolish, but they'd have to do that without my cheerleading.
1. Youtube comes out with the promise of revolutionizing video, I immediately love it because of its idiosyncrasy and unpredictability. Despite low production values, the videos are varied enough that I can always find something interesting and the algorithm is quite good at suggesting things I'll like.
2. Google acquires youtube, whether because of more money or improving the algorithm, the offerings get even better
3. Youtube merges with google+.
4. Youtube hires new management and begins modeling itself after the old cable companies whose lunch it had 'till now been happily eating.
5. Youtube's algorithms progressively play it safer with their recommendations, the youtube personalities I follow either become more mainstream (Joe Rogan) or increasingly complain of being arbitrarily demonetized (Phillip Defranco).
7. Present day
If you use Youtube as a substitute for television, it might not look like a decline. But I find television generally boring, and Youtube seemed to promise a general improvement. With a better algorithm for suggesting videos and a less hostile relationship to creators it still could be, but for years now it's been moving in the opposite direction on both counts.
There are flaws in the algorithm - 1) for scaling reasons it doesn't run full deep learning over everything, but uses a simple popular-only algorithm first. 2) it is optimised for next video watch time, which is a very shallow measure of what the user really wants long term.
- The mobile page does not allow quality selection, and always selects quality options far below what would be supported by your connection (It sometimes drops to 240p, and I have not seen it select anything above 480p, yet can easily stream 1080p on the desktop site or other players).
- The mobile page does not respect the "Request Desktop Site" option, even in Chrome - and neither does their own "Desktop Site" link; Both still use the abysmal mobile player, and only by enabling both can you use a high-quality video player.
- Anything 60fps has issues on my mobile device, while other web players are fine - even 720p60 lags, while I can stream 1080p60 elsewhere.
I uninstalled the app years ago when it requested additional permissions with an update, and implemented a 30-second delay (with countdown!) before launching until I updated. YouTube is no longer the pinnacle of web video, and have not been for years.
If you know exactly what you want to watch it's fine, but the whole browsing/surfing experience sucks.
Videos are not enough to sustain, they're like apps; a part of a larger revenue model. This disincentivizes smaller, interesting producers and pushes the platform to be more like network television was, with handfuls of large, conventionally attractive people.
I don't find it terrible at all now, but i hope it doesn't keep going in this direction. It's currently a wonderful resource for people who want to do all kinds of things from home and garden improvements, to cooking, improve mental and physical health, etc. Far closer to the utopian dreams of early internet enthusiasts than most other sites.
There was a post on HN a while back which compares Google Maps with traditional paper maps. It had a lot of insights I wish I could find it.
No kidding there. If you leave it alone for a few minutes (that is, not scrolling, zooming, clicking anything), it will give you a Black Window of Death.
Does anyone know a decent alternative? (please don't say waze)
Maps (Offline OpenStreetMap maps) - https://f-droid.org/app/com.github.axet.maps
For the record OpenStreetMap doesn't have one official app. It doesn't even have any "official" apps. People use OSM data to make other maps.
What is it about privacy that bothers people so much more than the myriad of other violations that take place across the world, and what makes the fact that corporations are committing this sin so much worse than when individuals do it?
If you have your home and/or
work address set in Gmaps, and you disable all tracking in myactivity.google.com. The address will disappear and GMaps will invite you to reactive App and Web tracking. If you do it, your saved addresses will reappear. This is slightly dodgy.
It is punitive. They are (and are within their rights to) withholding value because you aren't giving them what they want, which is mineable activity information.
I notice that there are always cartoons of happy users getting additional useful features from their services when tracking is enbled, but never cute cartoons of the other actors extracting value based upon advertising etc. Truth In Condescending Explain-o-Toons, now! etc.
However, once you disable the tracking, the UI no longer show the address and even say "Set location" under Home address and Work address. This let you think that Google doesn't have this information, which is false. This makes me feel like Google got info about me and I can't use it. I find this part dodgy. Once you disable a setting it should be clearer that data is not deleted.
Google Maps UI has a feature to display your set home address, once you turn off tracking or whatever it no longer has access to that home address in its UI so the default state is to ask you to set one.
If that's the case then the real problem would be that the address data is siloed off somewhere in your Google account under maps and isn't accessible to be changed/cleared from your general account settings.
This example shows that that most likely isn't true, since when you disable that setting, they keep all data anyway.
I think it's more of a UX dark pattern where they act like "we only track you if you specifically allow us", but if you don't allow them they will track you anyway, they just do it all behind the scenes.
Seems like a clear violation of GDPR which specifies that collection of additional data except as required to provide the service must be voluntarily.
And no - ads/tracking doesn't count, and no - it is not voluntarily if they punish you for not accepting it.
If data were kept in this fashion under a GDPR right to erasure request, Google would face some hefty fines.
What I don't understand is when we started expecting _anything other than this_ in a commercial transaction. Google's whole thing is they give out services in exchange for information.
Have you tried from another device or browser?
Looking back, when they announced they were going to become an AI-first company these sort of drastic data-grabs and privacy issues should have been apparent. But hindsight is 20/20...
You know what they meant. Google is milking users for all data they can derive from their activity and creating value from that. It's not so much the use of the data that's the problem as the lengths they go to to create that data.
I recall someone from one of the major tech companies talking about how their users "emit data", implying the data just happens and their role is purely passive with the users practically handing them that data. That's a perverse way of looking at it when you contrast it with e.g. the GDPR's premise that data belongs to the user and companies need (withdrawable) consent to collect and process it.
In the US tech companies don't collect user data, users "emit" it -- even if the only reason the data is "emitted" is because the tech is actively spying on its users' every move.
They provide a lot of value, but in the end, I think a lot of their products will eventually use market and mindshare.
As a user you expect a reasonable level of privacy unless the software explicitly requests your consent for providing certain information or explicitly asks you to provide that information manually. If the software then hands that information off to a third party you expect that only to happen with explicit consent.
The problem in this case is that Google isn't interested in consent. It tries to get as much information as it can without needing to ask for consent and when it does ask for consent it's through coercion by tying that consent request to actions that are not reflective of the scope of the request ("You want to save your home location? Okay but in order to do that we need to be able to track your every move forever").
That's arguably far more malicious than explicitly saying "please let us share this info with company XYZ so we can continue offering this service for free". That most companies selling data to third parties aren't so explicit about it is irrelevant -- this is just about the claim that "selling data" is inherently more malicious than what Google is doing.
That said, no, selling does not mean "surrendering any and every control over it". GDPR and friends specifically address that by stating that the human being the data is about continues to own that data and can withdraw consent at any time (at any depth of sharing).
If you can only explain why selling is worse by creating a scenario where the selling is done without consent or in an equally malicious/shady way, that doesn't demonstrate that selling is inherently worse.
Selling isn't worse. Selling without regard for a user's rights is bad. But Google is already engaging in abusive behavior as far as users' rights are concerned.
Also, I know this is hard to understand if you're not used to real privacy laws, but if a company sells your data and you invoke your rights against the company, it's the company's responsibility to go after whoever they sold the data to, not yours.
> if a company sells your data and you invoke your rights against the company, it's the company's responsibility to go after whoever they sold the data to, not yours.
Can you point me to more details on this? I have my doubts about it.
The GDPR treats personal information as property of the user. Even if access to and processing of that data is permitted by the user, it remains the property of the user. If the company is permitted to also pass that data on, they're still responsible for ensuring the data is handled appropriately.
I'm not sure what you are doubting. The GDPR is (in)famous for this.
This is why GDPR compliance makes it nearly impossible to hand over information to third parties who aren't GDPR compliant and why EU companies are nervous about working with Google and other US companies (because the Privacy Shield is not any more trustworthy than Safe Harbor which died an extremely swift death).
As far as the user concerned there's no difference between you "selling" their data and you handing it over to a third party as a data processor. You can't "sell" it because it's not yours, you can just take money for handing it over -- but that's between you and the third party, the user isn't part of that transaction.
Think of it this way: users can't sell you their data (they literally can't) so the data isn't your property. You can't sell what isn't yours, so the data you hand over to a third party is still owned by the user who gave it to you with the (GDPR-backed) expectation that you're retaining the control necessary to comply with their requests.
FWIW I'm not sure how this works for third-party tracking (e.g. Facebook widgets). Google Analytics avoids this by requiring compliant websites to enable IP anonymization (which supposedly should be sufficient) but liability still resides with the website owner (and the Data Protection Agreement makes this perfectly clear).
As you want sources, here's what a quick Google yields:
And especially this:
> Under the GDPR, EU citizens must be given the easy ability to withdraw their consent, often called "the right to be forgotten". If consent is withdrawn, those data subjects have the right to have their personal data erased and no longer used for processing by the data collector, and by any other entity who has ever used or purchased that data.
So in other words: "selling" user data is no different from handing the data to a data processor.
The point of the GDPR is that personal information is something that taints your product's data and therefore something you want to avoid. Selling it to dodgy companies that abuse the heck out of it is exactly what the GDPR is meant to combat.
Where the controller has made the personal data public and is obliged pursuant to paragraph 1 to erase the
personal data, the controller, taking account of available technology and the cost of implementation, shall take
reasonable steps, including technical measures, to inform controllers which are processing the personal data that the
data subject has requested the erasure by such controllers of any links to, or copy or replication of, those personal data.
So there's an obligation to inform. Which makes sense: Assume you (with consent of the user) sell data to some company, you have to forward them the request of said user to be forgotten. But you have no authority over that company. You can report them to any and every authority if they ignore or actively refuse your request, but you as a company have no authority over them. Particularly if they don't operate within the reach of the European authorities, there's little you can do. And that's what I mean with "You surrender control of the data once you sell it".
I'm appalled every time I'm asked to train Google's object detection networks in the guise of solving a captcha.
But now when I'm asked to select all the squares containing road signs or storefronts or whatever it feels like I'm being forced to work for Google for free just so I can go about my day.
It's such a simple concept, and yet I see people on Hacker News constantly making this mistake. It's as if people are too addicted to outrage culture to even consider the arguments anymore.
Then can tell you to try to sell cycle headlamp to me because I have been looking for it in last fews days. I'd say that's selling my data.
They never were the good guy, but I guess they decided to finally stop pretending.
For my work address, email, and phone, I just append "w"
I will also use Google maps to find the route to some restaurant, turn off the GPS because I don't like being tracked and it's no too far, then head to the restaurant within 10-60 minutes of when I checked the GPS. If I have wifi on I will invariably get asked to rate the restaurant within 5 minutes of arriving there, regardless of how much time has passed since I checked the route.
I currently use a Pixel phone, but based on the experiences I've had, I will be switching to an iPhone in the hope that I get tracked less. After switching to Firefox and ddg as my daily drivers, I just need to get off of Gmail and I will be google free
It would have at least been corporate speak to have an option called GPS that people assumed was location tracking and was not. Having an option called "Location" that does not stop your phone from tracking your location when turned off has crossed the line into fraudulent behavior for me
It's like browser fingerprinting. It doesn't take very many bits of entropy before you are identifiable
The true reason is probably a little less cheeky: keeping track of copies is hard. And here we end or digression into apologetics and return to criticism, ensuring correctness in keeping track of copies is surely not a very high priority.
So the address is still there, they are just actively blocking you from making use of it in most of their apps (but evidently not all of them, as you noted above).
I get it, it's frustrating as hell, but I can understand their perspective.
It's because that private corp is so big that it is starting to control much of the internet and devices so this is an issue very much in the public purview.
It's not as simple as take it or leave it. The corp in question spends billions to insinuate itself into your life, make you dependant, eat competition, and then you can take it, but you definitely can't leave it.
Its time for google to be broken up.
Yes, either you take it, or leave it. Imagine everyone leaving google today. They can't make money. People made them rich, people can take them down. If genpop doesn't understand, you have to find your own ways to navigate thru the internet because google won't go away anytime soon.
I would love to hear your opinion about how to take google down, without making people "leave it".
You're right, but the percentage of Google users aware of how evil they are is probably less than 0.5%.
An overwhelmingly large percentage of users won't care about what could happen as long as nothing happens directly affecting them. Mass surveillance companies like Google, Facebook know this and take advantage of it.
Technology activists aren't strong enough to start a wave that would lead to people abandoning these evil corps..
Also, as others mentioned, they eat up all competition.. so there aren't really any good options left apart from Google products in areas they compete.
Please don't insult people for caring about privacy.
That is a false dilemma, because there are more than two choices. To many of us, the third option is the one we choose.
It's odd that Google Maps and Google Assistant both have different methods and rules for the storage of home and work locations.
tl;dr: Yes, but you might have to jump through some hoops
Maybe it's because they created a situation where it's nearly impossible to avoid "their" software because it's integrated into the product the user actually paid for.
If you buy an Android phone you don't buy bare metal. That's not how Android phones are marketed and it's not how Google wants Android phones to be perceived. An Android phone is a device with Google Play, Google Maps and Google Search integrated into the operating system and providing core services. That's how Google wants you to think about Android and it's in their best interest for you to do so.
From a customer point of view, Google Maps is part of the Android device's core functionality. From a marketer's point of view, it's the same. From Google's point of view, it's also the same.
But although Google Maps itself has great offline functionality and in theory only needs online access for map data, traffic information and optimised routing, Google plays bait and switch by demanding you consent to being spied on in order to actually use it.
Sure, it's their software and they can do what they want but customer rights exist, privacy rights exist and competition law exists. They're being intentionally deceitful and maliciously abuse their position to coerce users into giving consent for providing Google with far more data than they need to provide the service.
In the last 18 months, Google transitioned from being a 'build products people will use to enhance their daily lives' company (with Google profiting immensely but for the enhancement of humankind) to a company that is nonchalant in the sale of human data, often to the detriment of their users' experience
I do think Google Maps is the best, but the choices exist, and for some cases they work even better.
Edit: quote removed -- see child comments.
> I think judgment matters. If you have something that you don't want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place. If you really need that kind of privacy, the reality is that search engines -- including Google -- do retain this information for some time and it's important, for example, that we are all subject in the United States to the Patriot Act and it is possible that all that information could be made available to the authorities.
Kinda changes the whole context from "secrets are for bad people" to "you shouldn't use Google with anything really secret, because government".
I'm really dismayed that a lot of good people and orgs keep misrepresenting this quote for many years by cutting it out of the context. This doesn't mean that Google is automatically your friend, btw.
Maybe it wasn’t the case when he said that quote, but the story here is they’re trying very hard to blur the line between their services and the device itself, in some very awkward ways that don’t make a lot of sense except except beyond their own business needs
For what it's worth, I've disabled the 'Google' app on my Android phone for a few weeks now, and have experienced no problems. I don't use Google for search, and I already had Chrome disabled too, so all it did was take up some memory and battery, now freed up. All I lost was an extra screen on the mobile "desktop" (which I mostly only accidentally ended up in anyway), and some (generally useless) notifications about "things I might like".
>"The goals of the advertising business model do not always correspond to providing quality search to users"
Google is vulnerable here as they’re creating a very real need for basic alternatives
Why should someone want to buy software when most of the software they see and use regularly are unreliable services?
I flew to duckduckgo, don't know about flocking...
The hidden costs of apps Google gives you for "free" is probably above $1,000. I guess the majority would give away their privacy for that amount these days.
I wish there was a SaaS application which provided assistant capabilities by a monthly subscription. You can see all the data stored, you own the data the service just creates models to enable use. And you could stop the subscription which wipes all the data including the models. Perhaps some startup founder is reading this?
Making an Android frontend seems easy enough.
(You can also DIY by installing Home Assistant and Snips on a Raspberry Pi or other computer)
It works well enough, and doesn't require every permission to be enabled. It'll work fine with whatever you give it. (Within reason. It can't give you information about your calendar unless you give it that permission, etc.)
Reminders and such get synced to my PC.
There are, of course, many holes in its functionality... hoping it gets better. Don't know if there's a better assistant app for Android at this point.
Would love to see a gif/video of that with rage as a soundtrack :D
Of course other features like News etc are not even shown on the app except in some countries while the price of the device remains the same (or more after taxes). I think I am being too harsh. They can do only so much with the resources they have :-)
 Apparently they use TomTom for map data in India (and elsewhere too?).
My current location has no relevance whatsoever in any of these use cases. My last viewed location in the app is usually much more relevant than my current physical location. And if its not then the center my location button is just one click away (plus another click for consent)
Very very rarely I do actually use turn-by-turn navigation but those few times shouldn't have destroy the experience for the more used scenarios. It would be so easy to prompt for location when this is activated and that's how it used to work before. This is very clearly a dark UX just to collect more data because I haven't met anyone who likes this "feature".
I also remember having used Google Maps to look up routes between two places while I was underground and GPS didn't work and my current location was indicated as being miles away from where I was.
It's almost like GPS is not actually required for anything other than indicating your current location.
> The stakes are high for the league's bid to tap the enormous potential of China's 1.4 billion people. NFL is pushing tie-ups with more than a dozen platforms on regular television and online to help reach viewers, even at rush hour, Richard Young, managing director for NFL China, told Reuters in recent interviews.
I'm NOT saying, "people shouldn't be surprised." By all means, be very outraged and surprised about it, maybe something will change. What I am saying is the fact that so many people are surprised on HN of all places means that very few people here have ever turned off Web & App Activity tracking, even just as a temporary experiment to see what would happen.
That makes me sad. Do it some time, you have no idea how many things on your phone will break. Google does not want you turning off that permission; there are a large number of other Google apps that exhibit behaviors just as outrageous as this.
Please go do some some first-hand research. You can turn off Web & App Activity temporarily. You can leave it off for even just a week, just to get a feel for what happens.
I always forget that when I'm trying to do hands-free commands while driving. I have to pull over and manually click on the contact. I can't just use voice commands and put the phone on speaker.
It's outright vindictive, to the point of being legitimately dangerous. You can still add contacts, and their names still show up everywhere on the phone. You just don't get to hands-free dial any of them, because... somehow Google needs access to my search history to do that? It's one of the most straightforward examples of higher-ups in Google prioritizing user tracking over user safety.
We already have the alternatives ready, network effects so strong smh
It has very cool feature - offline maps. By downloading your state/country's maps, you don't have to query a server for every little mapping request.
Between this app and saved podcasts, I'm able to switch off my mobile large chunks of the day.
There are trade offs between privacy and security, it's not an all or nothing affair. Even a dumb phone can be tracked via cell tower pings... I think most people who say things like you did aren't effectively thread modeling.
For example, while I do own a smartphone, I turn it off and put it in a faraday bag during Defcon :)
>Even in airplane mode, your phone is tracking where you go with the accelerometer. I don't have time to look up the video right now, but this has been tested.
I'll acknowledge that's theoretically possible, but I'm selective about what apps I grant location privlidges to - I don't think most companies would want to risk fines etc by circumventing.
If I'm attending an especially sensitive meeting, I wouldn't bring any phone with me.
There isn’t much point in creating lists of important places within the app because Google can’t seem to figure out how to show these to you in fewer than 5 taps/screens. It’s crazy when the 3rd party solution can provide more direct access in an app than the app itself.
They do this with btle as well, you have to turn on location services because they can't bother to randomize bluetooth tags (like apple) and want this setting on all the time.
|whatTheyAskFor - whatTheyNeed|/whatTheyNeed.
Maps is at 8.4.1[^1]. Before 9, it all worked reasonably, it wasn't giving me the creepy "Are you at ?" push notification, it all just worked. Yes, it's most probably still tracking me, but at least it not _that_ annoying as the new ones.
Translate is at 3.0.12[^2]. v4 was the "let's use AI". What happened in reality: offline translation, english to chinese, v3, 2014: people more or less understood after looking at it long enough. v4, 2016: blank stares at the text, then they gave us Baidu translate. Comparing the 3 things - v3, v4, baidu - v3 and baidu had some resemblance,
, v4 was something completely unrelated.
I've seen software "evolving" for 25+ years now, and I'm pretty certain each and every piece of it has a pinnacle, when functionality meets (learnable) usability. After that it's first too many functions, than dumped down interface with not enough functions, then "AI" and non-functioning functionality. There's nearly never a OK, let's take a step back, which is so desperately needed.
As a result, I decided to stop updating some of my software, because it won't get any better for a very long while.
I wish OsmAnd (https://osmand.net/) would be more interactive on the map and complete regarding addresses. For example if I want to know which bus or subway to take to get from A to B in Hamburg I always have to resort to Maps.
It's based on OpenStreetMap and is reasonably accurate. The main disadvantage is that search is not that great but you get use to it once you know what it works and doesn't work with.
I had used that phone, and then google started pushing play services, play store into my phone.
the market app would not download any app without being transformed into the play store app which would require google play services.
These took space on my phone, and the phone did not have space to even save sms.
Installing, side loading apks and all is fine but you don't and can't tell your parents in a 3rd world country.
It became horrible one day when I wanted to just run android market on my phone and google forced to download play store, play services, and market transformed into play store and it took more than 100 MiB data. I was trying to show my parents as to how to download something from market, etc. whatsapp was becoming popular in my town.
It was horrible because 100Mib of data costs money and screen flashed twice.
Then I had to give up. I had not got much money at that time.
Now, what I do.
I make an obscure email account [not gmail] on yahoo or ms or any tuta and make a google account using that email [ not gmail ] and you can keep changing the google' account email.
Google tracks your location, but it also correlates your location against your emails [ it never stopped reading emails ], don't use gmail at all.
You cannot avoid tracking of location, but you can avoid cross check of tracking info with your gmail content.
The gmail which is use actually is never synced to any device [ have deleted all the my activity permissions ] and I have turned up forwarding from gmail to a certain address which I open using firefox klar once a day.
DO NOT USE THE SAME GOOGLE ACCOUNT FOR GMAIL AND ALL OTHER GOOGLE SERVICES.
- NVidia: Block their telemetry, and their driver installer will block, even if you downloaded that massive driver package.
- Microsoft: Block their telemetry and some aspects of XBox One will break, including the Windows-10 streaming of the XBox. I found this to not be consistently true, so I am not sure what is going on behind the scene.
- Occulus Rift: You can't even block this telemetry. It's in the same app flow as the headset. If you block the telemetry to Facebook, the headset won't even work.
I predict that more and more companies will move critical services to the same DNS name or IP that their telemetry are using.
Just more incentive to move away from Google (which is sad, because the services are great; I'd even pay for them!)
I turned off Google's activity tracking on iOS a couple of months ago, and only realised that Google Maps wasn't storing my home location when I used it for directions while stuck in traffic and it sent me to a nearby nursing home instead of my house.
I ended up turning activity tracking back on, because Apple maps still isn't fit for purpose where I live (Ireland). I often need directions down small rural roads, and four times out of five Apple Maps won't recognise the destination address, or will send me to a nearby but incorrect location.
But I am happy Android now allows setting your own DNS - you are no longer restricted to Google DNS. I am waiting for X-Privacy to be made available for Android 9.
Apple products are not an option for me. It's Linux, Windows and Android in my world.
This is stored offline on the device.
Their lack of presence in social media will hurt them in the long term. In Facebook you upload pictures, you like stuff, you spend more time on someone's profile, you hover more on an ad even if you don't click all these while you are logged in. Google doesn't have that graph unless they link gmail with search. No one logs into Google search and give their identity, but we do pretty much the same in Facebook.
Google has that information from the contacts of all Android phones, Google Photos, etc. Granted they don't probably have the information from iPhones, but then a lot of people don't have or use their FB account too.
> No one logs into Google search and give their identity
No one here. Most of the non-tech people (and some tech people) do log into Chrome and Google account, which means they are logged into Search too.
Not really. Manufacturers like Xiaomi (and I believe Samsung) use their own cloud to sync stuff.
> "Most of the non-tech people (and some tech people) do log into Chrome and Google account"
That is the recent change right? Like said, google seems desperate to get into that information graph.
Is there an open, or at least more private, app that can give me accurate traffic data?