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Thread: Google a threat to privacy?

  1. #1
    HEXUS webmaster Steve's Avatar
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    Google a threat to privacy?

    Google's a part of our Internet lives, but does the media giant know too much about us all? One of Google's biggest successes is its ability to deliver contextually relevant ads (most of the time.) Sponsored links were a huge success for it and now there are targeted ads powered by Google all over the Internet. Then there's blogging - people write about their lives, all stored on Google's servers, and of course there's the ability to store e-mails 'forever' with G-Mail. A lot of statistics and personal information is racking up there, isn't it? Some have their concerns. From CNN:
    some privacy advocates worry about the potential: The data's very existence -- conveniently all under a single digital roof -- makes Google a prime target for abuse by overzealous law enforcers and criminals alike.

    Through hacking or with the assistance of rogue employees, they say, criminals could steal data for blackmail or identity theft. Recent high-profile privacy breaches elsewhere underscore the vulnerability of even those systems where thoughtful security measures are taken.
    Generally, people feel safe with Google, not expecting them to breach trust or privacy, but what if someone untrustworthy gets their mitts on the information Google possesses?
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    People choose to write blogs. They should blog at their own risk at risk. Personally I believe blog's are just a 'craze' at the moment and the blogging era will subside as have many others. I have not ever 'blogged' before and I do not see what advantages it could bring to me.

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    Almost in control. autopilot's Avatar
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    I never really saw the point of blogging really. Maybe if you are like that guy in Iraq that blogged to tell the world what was really going on there, but all those millions of people that blog just too tell us what they bought at the shops today etc need to get a life. No one cares sorry.

    Back OT - I talked about this before on Hexus but got flammed for it. Maybe the people who said i was silly for not deleting sensitive email's were right, but not everyone will remember all the time. If someone got my password I would be in trouble if i don't rember to delete stuff from my online banking/auto password recovery emails etc.

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    Anyone seen this?
    http://www.albinoblacksheep.com/flash/epic

    Well, I blog, and I don't care if people read it or not. Its one way to rant about things, and kinda like an electronic diary, without having to get a diary book or start storing docs on the PC. Bloggers have no less of a life than anyone else, I am sure most people spend time doing unproductive things at some point just to feel better, and if blogging helps some, then I do not see where the problem is.

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    Almost in control. autopilot's Avatar
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    Fair enough

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    Post Possible Information Mining (Google)

    There is probably no question that the recent move by Google, Yahoo! and other e-mail providers to offer one GIG, two GIGs and even three GIGs of e-mail 'space' is really a veiled or disguised attempt at information mining. Every e-mail sent on the internet is like a post card--any person with the right know how--can read it. The freeware software 'ETHEREAL' can capture just about anything that is *not* encrypted. Most internet service providers know about ETHEREAL and even better commercial products. Second, the communication can be permanently archived. It is relatively simple to compress the *.EML file and keep the compressed file(s) (with independent backup) on two separate 500 GIG hard drives.

    Under the Patriot Act (HR 3162), law enforcement in the United States has received authorization from the U.S. Congress expanding police powers not previously seen in a democracy. http://www.epic.org/privacy/terrorism/hr3162.html

    An excellent non-partisan essay on the Patriot Act can be read here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USA_PATRIOT_Act

    There has recently been several people from around the United States that have lost their job simply by publishing an opinion in a BLOG. http://money.cnn.com/2005/02/14/news/economy/blogging/ Google itself has fired someone for BLOGGING: http://www.pcworld.com/news/article/0,aid,119715,00.asp

    There are always reasons that sound legally valid of why someone is fired or somehow forced out of their job. The most common legally valid reason put forth by an employer is 'poor performance'. There are of course several others. Sometimes the reasons put forth are true and sometimes the reasons put forth are false--a pre-text or cover up for the real reason.

    Google is a fine internet company with an innovative search engine. However it's recently released desktop search software--Google Desktop Search is somewhat troubling (at least to some) http://blogs.pcworld.com/staffblog/archives/000264.html

    I have personally installed the software and it seems to want to go out on the internet and touch base with a remote server every chance it gets. (according to my software firewall) Of course I could be wrong but it seems to me that a local hard drive search for files does not need to touch base with any remote server somewhere out on the internet. Furthermore, Windows explorer does a pretty good job of finding >99% of all files on your local hard drive. There are other non-web aware search tools that could be used instead of Google Desktop Search or Copernic Desktop Search. One such utility is Agent Ransack v. 1.7.3 (download at pricelessware.org)

    These are just a few thoughts about Google and possible information mining. In summary, I have a feeling conservative governments might be behind the multi-GIG e-mail accounts and desktop search software. And the firing of people for expressing their opinion in the public forum called the internet. enduser_123

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    with blogs your basically telling the whole world about you anyway?

    i trust google anyway, and if someone gets their hand on my data then so be it :O

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    I am getting wary of google. They are the ones that effectively invented the never expiring cookie arent they? I think they do have too much power and knowledge. Especially with google personalised homepage and stuff...
    There are some sites about the dangers of google around.
    Twigman

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