And that would be one reason why
I have deleted everything Google from all my systems, Mac, iOS, Windows, Linux. Actually I did that years ago. And by ‘everything Google’ I mean to include Gmail, Maps, Waze, Google Earth…
Google's Apple-mandated privacy labels for its Chrome and Search apps on iOS have drawn criticism from tiny search rival DuckDuckGo, which tweeted "no wonder they wanted to hide it." Apple now requires all App Store developers to label their apps to inform users of what data they collect. This has been mandatory since December …
I would love to, but I can't. Apple devices suck galaxies through a millipore filter, and there isn't much of anything else.
I also need Google Maps because if you sent me into a 2-acre wood, in a week you'd have to send in a rescue party.
I have, however, abandoned Google Mail and pay for a mail provider, so tomorrow if my Google account crapped out for whatever reason (entirely possible) I'd just have to create a new account.
OpenStreetMap may not be comprehensive, but it's accurate enough on the whole to get you out of a wood, and there are other options such as streetmap.co.uk who even have OS mapping. Talking of OS mapping, there's always the OS itself which has some stuff available for free, or you can subscribe or redeem a code when you buy a paper map.
Google (in the UK at anyrate, and I'd imagine elsewhere too) is not the only option.
Being top quality is one saving grace for google, offering those map resources in exchange for your soul.
Docs are also good, but what is also unsurpassed and offered as part of the deal with the devil is their junk Mail filters. Absolutely uncanny levels of correct discrimination compared to anyone else. I guess thanks to their massive user base and wealth of machine learning resource.
When cleansing the W orld of toxic infiltrators, Faecebook is the abyss, the nadir the absolute scum pit. It’s not even very good.
Last Time I checked, the latest version ("Effective 30 September 2020") was over 8,000 words long and presented in a way that prevents data subjects identifying which rights they can exercise (like most other "privacy policies" out there).
Kicking out all the biggest most popular apps in China (the ones coming together on this new Chinese tracking standard), some of which are government supported, would probably lead to a much bigger fight.
I could see some type of compromise where they allow this China specific tracking for apps downloaded from their Chinese app store only. With how closely tied China's technology companies and the government are, there wouldn't be much choice.
<cynic> Or they added a bunch of stuff to cover what they're really interested in. People will look at that huge long list and freak out. They'll roll out an update with fewer things listed and make out like they're the good guys, they listen, don't be evil, blah blah. </cynic>
There is quite a lot of paranoia here. Are you guys a bunch of secret agents or something?
I don't like Google's insistent inclusion of Googlecrap on my Android phone, updating every three days. So I block auto updates and just update the others every now and again. GoogleMaps is a fabulous piece of tech, Translate works just about well enough to be useful, I love YouTube, Gmail is reliable enough, and Google Search, for all its faults and its vastly reduced scope nowadays, is still better than Bing.
In short, I use the stuff I need or like to use. In return, they want to track me or analyse what I do. Go ahead. Knock yourselves out. Be my guest. Cheap at the price. I'd much rather they did that than charged me real money.
Google have been hoovering up our data for decades and their AI-directed marketing, which is based on it, is as rubbish as it was on Day 1. I don't think I've ever seen an online advert in all these years that I've felt the slightest desire to click on. If people pay Google for that stuff, that's their business.
One minor concern is that Google has built a surveillance state infrastructure that the Stasi would have surrendered a kidney for, in the pursuit of profit. Nation states will appropriate or have already appropriated this data.
But then I expect our governments to be spying on us, one way or another. Most like at the OS level. They are paranoid control freaks. It's what governments have always done and always will, regardless of any privacy laws. Again, that's not really a problem for me. Knock yourselves out, guys. Nothing I surf to gives them leverage over me. My only gripe is that I would consider spying on me to be a waste of the money I pay in taxes.
I'd certainly rather be spied on doing stuff online than just blocked from doing it, which will be their 'Plan B'.
And however much spying a government does, if people really want to remove it, they will.
I consider the benefits of free access to the Google software that I use to outweigh any tin-foil-hat desire to keep my surfing secret from them.
I didn't downvote, but I do have a thought. Some people, such as yourself, may be okay with what Google gets up to.
I'm not. Not because I'm worried about privacy, but because I am supposed to have the right to access data held on me, rectify errors, and request deletion.
All this tracking and profiling happens in the background. You don't have access to any of it (the stuff Google deigns to admit to is, if you read it, pretty useless for making any sort of targeted advertising). Given that others can use your machine and/or following a dumb link sent to you as a joke by a friend might get noticed, I would imagine there are many errors in the assumptions made. And, of course, you don't get to say "delete everything you have on me". They might delete the stuff with your name showing, but the other things that use machine identifiers? Well, that's anonymous blah blah bullshit bullshit.
They are collecting all sorts of (potentially incorrect) information on YOU to sell to others to make themselves money, and they see no reason to involve you in any way other than "the target". Given how ubiquitous the likes of doubleclick and analytics are, the information that isn't flat out wrong is probably scarily accurate. Right down to political affiliation, hobbies, education level, income, location (home, office, you right now), and general state of health (have you ever Googled a symptom?)... things that you might just not really want to have regurgitated on demand to whoever is willing to pay.
I guess it has been a long time.
It is 75 years since a democratically elected government, in a major Western country, murdered 6 million people for their religious beliefs, their racial ancestry and their sexual practices.
It is even over 30 years since half of Europe was locked down by totalitarian governments so that even expressing dissent was a serious crime and almost everyone was continuously informing on their neighbours.
I dislike my privacy being violated: I dislike being charged higher prices because a company knows I am well off or that I particularly like their product; I dislike an insurance company being able to precisely target my elderly mother's premiums instead of spreading the risks and the costs amongst the population.
But what I really care about is the privacy of other people! I need investigative journalists to discover and publicise abuse of power, I need my lawyer to be able to give me advice about confidential matters, I need my MP to be able to right wrongs done to me by public servants, I need my pressure group to be able to organise environmental protest action.
Even if you have little need for privacy that has no bearing on whether others need it.
That is probably true, although I think that "most people" have not even thought about it.
What I want is to make sure that (i) this is very visible and obvious so people will at least think about it, and (ii) there are alternatives, which are private and have reasonably clear costs. I want people to make informed decisions.
If they were told "you can use Google's services for free but they sell all your data to anyone who asks" or "you can buy this other phone over here that is just as good but costs £200 more but which keeps your data private" then they can make an informed choice.
Most people would be happy to sell their data for the next 2 years for £200. Some would sell it for less. Others would not sell even for lots more. That is how the capitalist system should work. But today it doesn't because those prices are hidden and not subject to market forces.
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