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sad but true. I'd be interested to know if this data (i.e. non-Google search engine queries) is sent to Google. I'm assuming it is.



>> I'd be interested to know if this data (i.e. non-Google search engine queries) is sent to Google.

Because Chrome keeps a log of all your activity, your DDG searches are easy to find here: https://myactivity.google.com/myactivity

So if you're web based (like me) then activities such as sending an email, checking out YT, reading HN, watching Twitch, and jerking off, all end up as entries in that log file.


This relies on several things:

* Enabling Chrome Sync, which is opt-in

* Syncing history, which is on by default if you enable sync

* Not using a custom passphrase for sync data (not using one is the default)

* Having "My Activity" save "Web & App activity", which is opt-out

* Having synced Chrome history data sent to "Web & App activity", which is opt-out

For the last two bullets, the opt-outs are at https://myaccount.google.com/activitycontrols .


Chrome Sync is so sweet though. It's probably pretty close to impossible to live w/o Chrome Sync. It's my favorite tech feature. The USP for me is "As a user I want switch devices while I'm browsing, so whatever I was reading prior to having to go to the bath room I can seamlessly continue reading."


Am I missing something? Since I can do that with Firefox Sync too. Even more i can send a tab from my device to any number of other devices too.


Safari does it, too, I believe (I don't really use it... One man's "pretty close to impossible to live w/o" is another man's "eh? what?")


Unless you turned that off, or never enabled it in the first place.

Edit: And presumably you're using Incognito for... some of those activities, which wouldn't be captured regardless.


>> which wouldn't be captured regardless

They would be captured by the ISP.

Did you know that Google happens to partner up with a lot of ISPs? Hmm, I wonder what for. What could they possibly have that Google needs?

;)


Like most search engines DuckDuckGo uses https so your isp can’t see what you search for.


But they can know which domains you visit, which would strongly imply a number of searches using DuckDuckGo, which might be interesting to Google.


edge caching :-)


> They would be captured by the ISP.

Ever heard of https?


Yes. As you have pointed out, the ISP can only log a host name [0]. Well, if the user story is porn, then as it happens, host names are pretty darn telling. Also, looking at a list of host names in chronological order might help them to classify me as "closet this" or "closet that", as I find myself less and less inhibited by society's rules the closer I come to crescendo.

https://www.upturn.org/reports/2016/what-isps-can-see/

EDIT: spelling


So if you're web based (like me) then activities such as sending an email, checking out YT, reading HN, watching Twitch, and jerking off, all end up as entries in that log file.

Do you really think Google would have trained an AI to determine that last activity? How would they have trained the AI?


>> Do you really think

Yes!

>> How

How graphic do you want me to be? But isn't the real question: is there utility for an ad network to know about your preferences in porn? If there is such utility, you're best to believe Google implemented a way to get them.

If I was an ad network I would love to hear about your porn habits. I would absolutely love it.


How graphic do you want me to be?

If you know, you are obviously one of the people who has that data. If you don't know, you aren't.

If I was an ad network I would love to hear about your porn habits. I would absolutely love it.

Such networks don't have to know whether or not and the exact moment a given user jerks it. Though, it would actually be better if you were actively browsing around and not jerking it currently. I guess that's why discovery and AI are so bad on porn sites. It's actually better for their ad revenue!


Presumably you aren't visiting porn sites for the articles. Voila, no AI needed.


Since I've already outed myself as a porn consumer I might as well get this off my chest: the recommendation engines of the video sites I visit (all the big ones) have poor, very poor AI. It's like they don't know me as a customer. I'm out here busting my balls to find "The Perfect Clip" but it's a jungle and they are not making it easy on me.


I'm out here busting my balls to find "The Perfect Clip"

I think the causal order is flipped around here.


Presumably you aren't visiting porn sites for the articles. Voila, no AI needed.

Sloppy. How do they know I'm not preparing for actual intercourse? How do they know I'm not downloading porn for later? I could also be watching gun videos, since they've been hosted there.

Granted, it's probably 95% accurate.


Anything you do in Chrome is reported to google. Not necessarily the data, but the meta-data.


You mean if you opt-in (or haven't opted out), right? I was under the impression this was optional.


But you're an honest, decent citizen with nothing to hide, right? Why would you want to opt out?

And anyway, it's “to improve your experience”, so you can't opt out. It's for your own good. Remember, Big Brother loves you.


Google has a very different definition of optional.


Yes, see how they still tracked Android users' location, despite location setting being turned off.


They have designed the whole android interface to scatter the settings around so it is very difficult to turn off many of the privacy-invasive features. And even if you manage to turn them off, somehow they always end up turning themselves on again.

Everybody working for this company should be ashamed.


>> Not necessarily the data

Yes the data. The whole request and the whole response. They need it in order to properly train their ad-network.

</speculation>


> They need it in order to properly train their ad-network.

Given that they scoop up all this data I'd appreciate if their ad-network actually improved. Just the other day the dating site scams where back.

"We'll try not to show it again" they say. Well for vacuuming the market for the best and brightest they either don't try very hard or they are very dysfunctional because they fail as a group.


Is there a Chrome extension that shows to the user what information exactly Chrome is sending home?


Imagine that the only thing that is reported to the Chrome backend is a client ID and a URL, which would be the only thing needed to render this app: https://myactivity.google.com

Would you think of Google as trustworthy because they only gave their backend two pieces of data? I myself would not, because I'm pretty sure the actual request and response messages are looked up by client ID (in their Google Analytics data store).


Give Google some privacy of what is being sent home :)

Chrome (and Chromium) creates at start and maintains SSL connections to Google. It is not easy to sniff what is being sent. Even if you MITM it, like in enterprise transparent proxies, Chrome will throw an error because of cert pinning. google domains should be whitelisted: "we recommend that you avoid the use of transparent proxies." https://support.google.com/chrome/a/answer/3504942?hl=en


Seems like patching that out of binary would be trivial task.

But I doubt the Chrome extension that would do that patching could stay at Chrome store.



There's also Bromium and some other Chromium forks and patchsets. I was talking about Chrome.


Chrome has the all powerful "omnibox" that still sends stuff to Google. Since searches or URLs go through the omnibox there's a good chance Google gets (some of) the data.




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