Comments on: Google's data mining bonanza and your privacy: an infographic News, Views, and Insight from the ESET Security Community Mon, 03 Feb 2014 08:49:00 +0000 hourly 1 By: Fish Fry Sun, 03 Jun 2012 07:03:14 +0000 I recently bought an Android smartphone (regretably). What really bothers me is the ease and insistence with which Google helps you to connect your various contacts. If I connect an email address of a friend from my gmail contacts with their cell phone number from my SIM card address book, I have just given Google private information on my friend. So it is not only my own privacy I have to be worried about, but also that of my "real" social network. That is really too much!

By: Just Me Tue, 22 May 2012 16:18:39 +0000 This was a great read.  I have a Google Ad Sense account that I signed up for using an anonymous user name.  I have also never given Google my legal name or mailing address at any time, on any product.  I am big into privacy and actually have never given my legal name or address to any web site with the exception of secure HTTPs connections with banks.
Shorty after I signed up for Google Ad Sense, I started receiving $100 coupons in the mail.  They were addressed only to me (despite living in a house with multiple people).  I am very curious if it is legal for Google to be “somehow” linking my anonymous user ID to my legal name and address.  Especially when I never gave them that information, and they obtained it “somehow.”  Thoughts?

By: Herve Thu, 03 May 2012 10:29:43 +0000 Excellent. As TEd says, the missing piece is location though this is not a displayed on the dashboard. Woudl probably freak people a lot.
Interestingly though, I can not find the web history! It's Tasks, YouTuber and Others. Really looked up and down many times with no luck. Very weird. Wonder if this is because I am in the UK.

By: Aryeh Goretsky Wed, 25 Apr 2012 21:31:52 +0000 John,

Have you tried visiting the Google Dashboard page, just to see if anything is displayed?


Aryeh Goretsky

By: John Roberts Wed, 25 Apr 2012 19:58:28 +0000 I have used Google's search engine quite a lot but I do not use Gmail.  I do not have a Google "account", at least as far as I know.  I have used Google Chrome, and the now discontinued Google Desktop in the past.  I have not been a user of Google's other services.  It woudl appear I have nothing to do with Google's privacy policy, am I correct or diluded.

By: chris Mon, 23 Apr 2012 17:58:31 +0000 I must echo Janet. Have not seen such in-depth explaination of what is going on with little ol’ email.

By: Marda Thu, 05 Apr 2012 01:35:27 +0000 Upon reading this page, I just opt out of two opt outs, I do not remember the names.  Google has been dealing me a fit the past three days.  When I search for a site, it sends me to a page of advertising for a particular item.  And then I have to close the google page down because it does not let me back up.
Here is hoping that this works.

By: Carl Wed, 04 Apr 2012 22:17:59 +0000 When I look for the "Websites authorized to access the account" that link does not appear at all.  When I look for "Web History" I see "Disabled."  When I visit the Ads Preference page, it complains that I have cookies disabled. I take it this means I have already taken action and as private as is currently possible with Google?  It's not clear to me.

By: Janet Batchelor Wed, 04 Apr 2012 21:23:15 +0000 This is the first time I've seen one of these newsletters — read your article and went to Dashboard. Wow!!  Thanks so much for the education and information.

By: Don Sat, 31 Mar 2012 17:35:16 +0000 what seems most obvious to me is why would anyone open a Google account or any other account using their real name and profile information, such as zip code, gender, etc., unless it is absolutely required FOR YOUR OWN BENEFIT.  I never;
- use my real name
- use my real zip code
- use my real gender (actually I mix it up to confuse)
- use my real age (same as gender; sometimes I'm 16, or 25 or 57, etc.)
- input my annual salary (same as gender; sometimes I make $20,000/year, sometimes 0, sometimes $50,000/year)
 - and so on.
My hope is that even my false self has information that is totally contradictory and inconsistent.   If I Google my real name nothing comes up.  Seems to be that simple.  Then again, I'm not into all of the social nonsense nor have a need to be connected all of the time sharing my life with the world.  I don't believe my life is any more or less interesting than that of others, I really just don't care if you had a great bowel movement this morning or not.  Further if I want to connect with friends, I can stiull do it using a false ID; I just need to tell my real, actual friends (not the 461 friends some have on Facebook) that my Facebook page is under the name of Stephen Cobb, in Waterloo, Montana, age 31, gender female, annual income $ 13,500/year.  Why do people feel the need to be honest on any of these social sites at all.  This also, screws up any empolyers or potential employers that want to look at a Facebook or Google+ page.

By: Ari Goldstein Thu, 15 Mar 2012 15:58:22 +0000 I love the ESET security blog, and I also am an avid reader of the posts. I think we need to tweak our thinking to generational mentalities when discussing what Google Privacy means.  While the readers of this blog may be concerned about the privacy of their companies or their personal information, there are few teens who will take interest in this. In fact it can be argued that there are few twenty-somethings who care about this.?I applaud Google for offering up a unified privacy policy and not playing the 'If you don't like it then leave' routine, we so often find with information sharing in credit card companies, and banking establishments, for example.?Information gathering and sharing is everywhere. Unless we go by the methods of JJ Luna, we are not going to escape being melded into this Sharing Fold. Yet we can make choices without moving to a plot of land in Costa Rica without water or electricity.?Sun Microsystems was one of the leading information technology companies to work directly with the US government and several (all?) security divisions and had a reunion presentation of their establishment and growth at the Computer Museum. This reunion interview in 2006 was with the four Sun founders. Toward the end, Scott McNealy actually said – reflecting on Sun's historical interaction and work with government – to simply forget about your privacy. This was in a different context than the same statement made by Google's CEO Erik Schmit a few years ago.?My point is privacy is probably nonexistent if you want to be online, or even a part of the US infrastructure (use a bank account, pay bills, have a car, have insurance policies, have a brokerage account, etc.). You have choices to make as to which online services you can be involved in, and you, the end-user, must pick and choose what services to be a part of and what you write and document.  No modern social media company has been more abusive in their policies than Facebook. At first they offer a service where you are firewalled or blocked away from other members who are not part of your school class or those people who you have no association. As of today, this premise has gone away, and now FB members have to actively go into privacy settings to alter their 'sharing' features several times a year, to try and remain semi-private. Most kids don't care that much. This is where the generational attitudes kick in. Jump down in five year brackets and see how people care less and less about their privacy.?I personally prefer to keep track of which service i use and what information I put into those services. This is not the mindset of younger generations. I prefer a unified privacy policy over a service that has different policies for different products they offer. It is simply too difficult to keep track of these things on more than one product each year, not to mention each week. This is real transparency and other services like Yahoo!, Facebook, web cookie advertising houses, and even Microsoft are too obscure in their policy guidelines and unavailable to make changes that suit me.  Google is a forerunner in helping the end user against their other industry partners.
These 'discoveries' of how Google "REALLY" uses their tracking is a little strange to me because it singles out Google. It is simply business as usual and not a secret conspiracy as so often propertied.  Apple had one of these scandals regarding their iPhone  tracking people and supposedly sending geo location data back to Apple. NO ONE mentioned that these 'discoveries' were mostly quality of cell service, and not private information tracking for implied 'marketing purposes'. No one in the press mentioned that this was not clearly understood and tested to be sure of tracking. Even the two people who announced this Apple tracking discovery, later within their premier announcement claimed that they don't have proof of Apple transmitting data back to their data centers.  They finished their presentation with the conclusion that their findings were inconclusive. Amazingly the entire press corps never watched the entire boring video to realize that they contradicted their initial claim in the same video!?Everything you  and I use on the Microsoft platforms are probably tied to a different EULA and Privacy Terms contracts: Microsoft Operating Systems, Windows Live, Windows Messenger, Windows Live Messenger, Microsoft Media Player, Live Essentials, Microsoft Internet Explorer, XBox Live, etc. All carry unique and different privacy policies.  Yet no one mentions these services carry different privacy policies while criticizing Google's Privacy Policy changes. The same holds true with Yahoo Mail, Yahoo Search Toolbar, Yahoo Messenger, etc.?I honestly appreciate this blog post. It is very helpful. I don't necessarily agree that Google is doing something bad, as compared to other services online. The stark omission of mentioning other services makes these shocking Google Privacy reports kind of weak and one sided.