Delivering a quality free product to get companies to sign for the expansive one when their needs increase is a very common marketing system, and allows to keep control of the market despite being vastly out of price. Works for desktop app, mobile app, web services, ... I say this as someone who once had to sign for the full version for a web property I was working at.
This is a matter where people are quick to over react so let's be super clear: I am NOT saying the limit is placed at a reasonable level, nor that companies absolutely need to have the paid version and can't extrapolate enough from the free version data (they absolutely can), nor that Google isn't majorly benefitting in other way than full version sales (they do).
What I'm saying is that "the base version is free and the full version is paid" is a very common thing that doesn't by itself mean anything nefarious is taking place.
I don't believe that Google is intentionally doing nefarious things either, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't subject them to close scrutiny over their date collection practices. Whether Google Analytics (GA) is free or not is beside the point. The free version of GA may limit what GA users see, but that doesn't stop Google from capturing far more data than they expose.
This is a company that tracks users on an industrial-size scale that no other online company can match. And yet despite that, most developers are more likely to rush to Google's defence rather than question those data collection practices. (Does a multi-billion company with an army of lawyers need developers to defend it?)
I've said this many times: the hypocrisy that runs through the programming profession when it comes to online tracking really knows no end.
If that is what you read in my message, then you are projecting what you want to see on what I actually said. Nothing I said defends Google on that front.
EVERYTHING in your post is completly out of scope of what I said in answer of parent's post. What I said, is that just because some company does something wrong doesn't mean everything that company does is wrong. Or in this case, that while Google is obviously massively syphoning data on a gigantic scale, NO analytics basic tier being free, by itself, isn't an element of wrongdoing.
If anything, your post proves my point, that when they believe they know the end results people are quick to make up the narrative in between to reach it, even if they need to throw the baby with the water too.
That covers limits on usable data by the user, does it also mean that Google only receives that amount of information?
IMO that’s a major part of a mechanized pathological attack on the public mind and exposing my friends to that feels wrong.
No, users cannot delete their personal data, unless they have a Google account. Google collects an enormous amount of personal data from people without a Google account, and offers no tools for controlling that data.
In theory one would have to go to every website and request they report/purge data from analytics, but Google provides no mechanism for websites to comply with such a request.
As I see it Google has fallen into the false position that things they agree not to do based on user settings is the same as not collecting and storing the data necessary to do them. I don't think regulators will see this Google's way.
Some of this data collection can be turned off, though it appears not for all data categories across all Google services. Visitors are not offered a clear way to access, export, or even delete all personal data collected on them by Google.
The way several Google services are collecting personal data is in breach of GDPR.
Can you provide an example?
Try Googling for how to block all Google Analytics and related services in your Hosts file.
Does it seem harder to find a simple list of IP addresses + instructions than it should be?
While Google Search results quality has gone down across the board in the last 3 or so years, it seemingly tries particularly hard to pretend it doesn’t understand what you mean with queries like these.
Apart from adware and malware it offers to block url's falling into other categories like fakenews, social, gambling, and porn.
not holding my breath
DDG seems like a good contender
I would not recommend it anymore.
At least california introduced a bill, too.
I'm really curious where all of this will lead to. I wonder how many people are informed that brexit and the trump election were carried by big data. I'm also curious if Obama got help from those big data techniques, I remember he used facebook, but I don't have details.
What you really need isn't a breakup, it's some way to foster sustainable competition for search.
Google is programming people on a massive scale. Compare your news feed to your partner/friend/colleague’s phone.
No-one I know outside of tech has any notion that what they’re seeing on that feed is only shown to them. Social targeting in tech has completely broken society with these tools - and Google is arguably worse than Facebook in this regard because their feed is ubiquitous, people just don’t realize they’re in Google’s world the entire time they’re on the phone because they didn’t touch a Facebook or Instagram icon to start an app.
We assume non-tech people out in the world don’t know much about how this works, but the average user is even more naive than any of us realised.
What actually created competition for the telephone network was the internet. Competition from cable and satellite and cellular.
That's what you need. Something similar but not exactly the same, so they can each carve out a niche and provide a backstop against the most flagrant abuses but they aren't in such direct competition that they're more inclined to cooperate than compete. So that you have companies who can make choices knowing that their position is different than their competitors and the competitor can't just mirror their action to neutralize its competitive advantage, which otherwise removes any incentive to be the first to engage in pro-consumer behavior.
Would it be “better” (given the regulatory goals) to order Google to do XYZ and provide an audit trail to demonstrate compliance?
Putting pressure on Google requires seriously increasing competition.
Let the local units rebrand and compete against each other. Maybe even auction them off to other big players. Whatever needs to be done to even the playing field. Google need a nice kick in the ass for their own good health.
Being able to simply dictate who can do what on the internet solely because they can undercut everybody's price (aka give away email free in return for mining your data) is far too much power.
Are those mails marked as spam? Or what happens?
As I am the sole person to ever use this server and I have been sending to some of those emails since almost as long as gmail has even existed, the fact that they are now marked spam is simply an admission that Google doesn't actually give one shit about accuracy and solely trains their ML networks on things that bring them revenue.
This isn't specific to Google: all the companies that receive email have the same difficult problem. Email is the only major fully open federated push protocol, and spam has come close to killing it.
(Disclosure: I work for Google, nothing related to mail, speaking only for myself.)
If the trade-off is that Google accommodates mails sent from badly configured servers and I receive a lot of SPAM, or they drop that mails and limit SPAM, I will go with less SPAM. I know it's not cool for decentralized Internet, but that's the utilitarian reality for me.
We detached this subthread from https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=21673898 and marked it off-topic.
Actually you might be right: it's really Germany and France pulling the strings here.
Must be anti EU, no other notions/stances or thoughts on complex issues could be possible.
You are alienating yourself from any reasonable discussion by making such extraordinary and baseless claims that are of no merit but are meant to elicit an emotional response
Arguments like that work in echo chambers but once you step into a discussion that is in good faith you will notice that it is counter productive and doesn't lead to anything useful
The real emotional response is how often the EU has to hit up the giants for cash to appease their population, for nothing seemingly changing between the next time they decide to crack open the piggy bank and the headlines hit the tape. Do we even know how all the funds that were received from past fines were allocated exactly (line items)? Or is that just some black box people are supposed to feel good about because it game from the bad guy?
If people are taking offense to talking about things like this really shuts down their ability to think and discuss things… setting aside the fact that I don't even live in the US or the EU… well good luck to them…
I’ve seen and heard the EU demonised as “communist” by those on the right at the same time as it’s demonised as “neoliberal” by those on the left.
I’ve seen people criticise the EU for having too much power and to little, and sometimes it’s the same person saying both things.
I’ve given up on someone when I had a conversation with them that went:
Them: “Leaving will be easy because they will give us a good deal.”
Them: “That proves we should leave!”
As you say, my side lost.
That my side won’t accept it is a you-problem, not a me-problem, as I left the country. If you want to rule over the Remainers who didn’t physically leave the UK, you’ll have to bring them on board. But trying to engage me will do nothing. I’ve given up on the UK.
Have you considered the possibility that everyone who you accuse of 1 is sincere about what you label 2? I do not need to know if you think the EU is too left out too right to believe that you are sincere about not knowing its benefits.
Some people do use Bing. The reason more people don't is that there isn't a lot of reason to. Even if you can get the results to be as good as Google, actually making them better is hard. And it's just trading one giant tech company with privacy issues for another, so that's no advantage either. People need a reason to switch away from the incumbent.
But if you fund the development as public domain research and open source code, that's a different story. Now you're putting it within the capacity of even medium sized organizations to do their own indexing and run their own search with quality results. Instead of two competitors, you open it up to potentially hundreds or thousands.
If the Wikimedia Foundation or similar started doing search indexing, people might actually trust them more on privacy than they do Microsoft or Google.
And the more of them there are, each running their own fork of the code, the harder it is for SEO spammers to pollute the results, and the more advantage the little guys have over an incumbent that spammers will still continue to specifically target as long as they continue to have high market share.
If the code was available for anyone to adopt or modify, you could also get some potentially interesting new domain-specific search engines. There isn't a lot of high quality competition in the video search space, for example, and if there was then that would help to erode the dominance of YouTube by making videos hosted elsewhere more findable.
You would also be likely to see it displacing Google Custom Search pretty quickly if it was free to adopt.
And what's the cost? An amount of money less than they've received from Google in fines? The worst case is that it only helps a little instead of a lot. (And it wouldn't hurt to do the same thing against Windows considering what Windows 10 is doing on the privacy front.)
What you propose actually sounds like it could be a better way than the status quo (privacy issues or not with current providers), and if it fails, you can always go back to hitting up the rich uncles for ransom!
Even if they were to regulate beforehand, any company they would allow could evolve slowly into something that breaks the initial idea of what was allowed.
Legal systems are like code, except interpreted by humans and “common sense” instead of compilers — we just don’t have a way to make it simultaneously easy to understand (legalese), hacker-proof (legal loopholes), and future-proof (implications of new tech).
Governments do try to clear out old laws and amend the ones they want to keep, but it looks like it’s as hard for them as preventing databases from leaking is for us.
I think of the Internet as a public utility. I think it needs to be regulated as such.
What happened to those GDPR fines of 4% of global turnover? Looked good on paper but it’s an open secret now that the regulators have no teeth.