Google data scanning: creepy or useful?

Discussion in 'Apple, Inc and Tech Industry' started by ugahairydawgs, Oct 28, 2012.

  1. ugahairydawgs macrumors 68020

    ugahairydawgs

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2010
    #1
    Been thinking lately about Google and my personal reliance on it. Currently I have my family's domain using Google Apps for mail and other various services. Google has become pretty ingrained in our lives and the services are very useful and come in at a very good price (i.e., "free").

    That said, do we put too much trust in the hands of a company that admittedly wants as much info on us as possible for the purpose of ad sales? You always know that the ads are there, but I generally run ad blockers on my browsers, so I never actually see them. That changed the other day when I logged in on my wife's work laptop. It was fairly unnerving to see ads being delivered based on the message I was reading and a jolt back that with Google what I think of as mine isn't fully mine at all. Mail (and I believe docs) are already being scanned and the full integration of info indexing for Google search utility seems to be not too far off.

    Are we opening ourselves up too much to Google? Or is this a problem with the Internet in general? I know Microsoft's new Outlook service doesn't scan content for ad servicing. iCloud doesn't either. Are those services inherently "safer" because of that?
     
  2. Dolorian macrumors 65816

    Dolorian

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2007
    #2
    I wouldn't worry about it. Remember that the info Google collects from you is not shared with anyone, even within Google it is not a person or a group of persons but a computer that scans your data. The advertisers whose ads you see are not handed over your personal data by Google, for them you are just part of a statistic (X number of users who search for Y keyword will get Z ad).

    Don't let the mere fact that Google scans and collects your data turn you off. What this boils down to is to a matter of trust to confide Google your data for them to improve and make more useful the products and services from them that you enjoy and rely upon on a daily basis.

    Like you I use and rely on Google's products and services heavily and I have no problem with Google collecting my data for targeted ads and to make their products and services work better for me. I've never had any problem nor have I ever heard of anyone having any problem because of Google collecting their data.

    Personally I like the fact that I know what Google is doing with my data, they are quite transparent about it in their privacy policy. It allows me to make a fully informed decision to trust them with my data, and so I do.
     
  3. jnpy!$4g3cwk macrumors 65816

    jnpy!$4g3cwk

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2010
    #3
    I think it is creepy of Google (and practically everyone else). But, to avoid giving them info, you also have to avoid using certain "free" services.
     
  4. Ariii macrumors 6502a

    Ariii

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2012
    Location:
    Chicago
    #4
    By giving your information in exchange for 'free' services, you're basically selling them your info, I find that more than a bit creepy. Just the fact that this info exists means that there is a possibility for somebody to access it... I'm never trying Google+. At least their browser was nice; they're able to bring WebKit into a mainstream browser.
     
  5. Dolorian macrumors 65816

    Dolorian

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2007
    #5
    Well, taking that thought to it's logical conclusion it would mean that you should not keep anything anywhere in the first place as it is always possible that somebody may access it. Emails you store on a server, files you upload to Dropbox, your credit card and billing info on Amazon, your Apple ID, etc, etc all are stored in servers and there is always the possibility for somebody to acces it.
     
  6. Ariii macrumors 6502a

    Ariii

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2012
    Location:
    Chicago
    #6
    In those cases, it is necessary to give out that information... in many of those cases, that's even the whole point of it... I like to have as little random information about myself floating around the internet as I can, but in the case of what Google does, it's not necessary, and I would rather do without their 'free' services. Google Fiber sounds nice though :).
     
  7. smithrh macrumors 68020

    smithrh

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2009
    #7
    Today it's ad sales.

    Who knows what tomorrow will bring?

    Even as we speak, Google is trying to get people to attach real names to accounts. If you don't know what that means, well, I can't help you.

    Email accounts can be had for cheap - no need to depend on Google there.
     

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