Privacy at Google: The Selfish Ledger

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by sunapple, May 18, 2018.

  1. sunapple macrumors 68000

    sunapple

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    #1
    The Verge has their hands on an internal video from Google's experimental departement, X. The video, which is from late 2016, is linked here: https://www.theverge.com/2018/5/17/17344250/google-x-selfish-ledger-video-data-privacy

    This video, which Google claims was not an actual depiction of their future plans and products, is about a so-called Selfish Ledger. A book containing every bit of data Google's collected about a person.

    Privacy is one of the biggest issues in tech, so this video sure was timed nicely. It basically depicts something that you could accuse Google of doing already, all of their products collect as much data about you as possible. Maybe we shouldn't think in doomsday scenario's, but it sure sounds creepy.
     
  2. Apple OC macrumors 68040

    Apple OC

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    #2
    I wouldn't be surprised if these DNA collection companies are exposed for sharing data next.
     
  3. sunapple thread starter macrumors 68000

    sunapple

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    #3
    Favorite part of the article, the Black Mirror reference:

    Surely they know how this could turn bad, right? Right?
     
  4. sunapple thread starter macrumors 68000

    sunapple

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    #4
  5. FrankieTDouglas macrumors 65816

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    #5
    Exactly the reason why I decided against doing a 23andMe. Voluntarily adding myself into a DNA database, in a time where we already witness how companies abuse personal data of an even less intimate nature.

    No, you're right. This story is incredible, for all of the wrong reasons. Google is creepy as ****. The Apple vs Android fanboy debate aside, I'm actually amazed anyone would use an Android phone and willingly let Google have access to every aspect of their phone interactions.
     
  6. steve23094 macrumors 68020

    steve23094

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    #6
    That’s pretty freaky. I do want I can to limit data collection about myself.
     
  7. sunapple thread starter macrumors 68000

    sunapple

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    #7
    Exactly, the smartphone knows everything about everyone. It’s practically obligatory to have one in this society and to be connected to the internet wherever you go is also a standard nowadays. Data collecting gold mine.
    --- Post Merged, May 20, 2018 ---
    I do too, but there’s a line. I never wanted to be paranoid about these things, but once you start thinking about it you just want to take action.

    For instance, when DuckDuckGo became a standard search engine in iOS 8 (?), I switched from Google and never looked back. Google can still track you however, it’s just less obvious.

    I know people who for instance always use VPNs, have never been on social media and know way more details about this stuff than I do, but you could argue that at some point you have to able to put a rest to it before you become too obsessed :)
     
  8. steve23094 macrumors 68020

    steve23094

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    #8
    I’m similar to you.

    I switched to DuckDuckGo when it became available on iOS and macOS. If I’m searching something really obscure I sometimes have to use Google. I have locked down all my privacy settings on Google though and irregularly delete my Google data. I use Google sheets but I am thinking of changing to Numbers.

    I use Adblockers and regularly delete my internet history. I have all the non-tracking options switched on.

    I don’t use Facebook. I occasionally use Twitter as I find it a good way to quickly get in touch with companies (normally a developer about software I own).

    I use WhatsApp begrudgingly because I have to for work.

    I also use a good VPN service (Mullvad) but not all the time, just when I feel I want that extra bit of privacy. I spotted a discrepancy in Mullvad’s privacy policy and contacted them about it and they published an update, which was a good response.

    The thing that worries me is that I can’t control my data that leaks from other people. For example if somebody else has my phone number on their phone and shares their contacts list with god knows who.
     
  9. SandboxGeneral Moderator emeritus

    SandboxGeneral

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    #9
    For a little while I had a Google Home, a Google Home Mini and a Chromecast. Then I installed a Pi-Hole, a DNS server which can block ads, tracking, malware, cryptomining and all sorts of stuff.

    Once I saw how much the Google products, and my 1 Microsoft Windows PC, phone home with telemetry and request tracking stats and so forth, I removed all the Google hardware in my home.

    I like the Pi-Hole so much that I built one for my office network and run it there now too.

    I like many of the services Google has, but this collection of user data is over the top by them and many companies. Even if they're using said data in a reasonable manner, what happens when they get hacked or suffer some kind of data loss into the wild? Then all that user data is available to all. We see it in the news all the time.
     
  10. steve23094 macrumors 68020

    steve23094

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    #10
    I have thought about a Pi-Hole before. Does it ever interfere with the correct operation of any websites? I know I have to sometimes turn off my Adblocker with some sites.

    I also use cashback sites and they use cookies to track purchases.

    Is it quick and easy to temporarily disable Pi-Hole?
     
  11. SandboxGeneral, May 20, 2018
    Last edited: May 20, 2018

    SandboxGeneral Moderator emeritus

    SandboxGeneral

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    #11
    It has the ability to whitelist and blacklist sites easily. It also will depend on how many block lists you choose to subscribe to and what sites the curators add to them. If you find a site you like or trust gets blocked by a list, just look at the query log and then whitelist it.

    If you want to totally disable all functions of Pi-Hole, there is a quick Disable button you can use and can set it on a time based function too.

    Out of the box it comes with a few block lists that are pretty well curated to not have too many false-positives. I've added a lot more to mine and had to tweak it a little for my needs.

    Here is a screen on my own Pi-Hole GUI. Also, you can run it from CLI as well.
    Screen Shot 2018-05-20 at 8.01.06 AM.png
     
  12. sunapple thread starter macrumors 68000

    sunapple

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    #12
    Same goes for webshops where you have to fill out personal details like home address for delivery. I googled (yes, using Google) my full name and found my home address along with mobile phone number on two different websites.

    Those websites say they got your info from databases that are accessible by anyone and that the data probably ended up there from some webshop. The claim they publish your info for family members who want to come in contact with you. Complete BS.

    It was probably mentioned in the fine print that my data could be published or sold. It’s just impossible to always keep track of the terms. And sometimes you need a service. I’d like to ditch WhatsApp and YouTube, but good luck with that.
     

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