So are iphone users (who use gmail) affected by Google's new privacy and web history

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by EC99SS, Feb 29, 2012.

  1. EC99SS macrumors member

    Jan 6, 2012
    I've never really paid attention to Google's changes until today (haha of course on the last day before they go BIG BROTHER). At any rate, I read up on how they track your web history (ie searches, clicks etc). I checked on my gmail accounts and none have a history so far (fortunately I only log into Gmail from desktop to look at emails then immediately log off).

    So now I started thinking about my iphone 4S. I have 3 gmail accounts set up via exchange (only 1 syncs a calender. The others are purely for emails). Does this mean I'm always connected to gmail and google (as if I'm logged in via desktop) and now susceptible to their big brother watching and tracking of all my moves and searches?

    Also how about if someone uses the Gmail app? which I don't. Does this mean they're always connected to google?

    Poor Android users...I read there's no way for them to log off (which means all their history is tracked)

  2. scaredpoet macrumors 604


    Apr 6, 2007
    In a nutshell: yes to you all of your questions. If you are using any of Google's services in any fashion, then you are bound by the new privacy agreement and subject to its terms. It's not about how you use them: using your iPhone to connect to Gmail via Exchange doesn't change what Google does. You're using e-mail and probably calendar, and Google now has the right to use that info.

    Remember, "don't be evil." ;)
  3. EC99SS thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 6, 2012

    I guess I'm more interested in the web history tracking of Google. Since I'm using gmail via exchange does this mean I'm logged into Google which means when I web surf with safari all my sites are now tracked and logged in google?

    So far it doesn't appear so. Why I say this is because when I check my google account's history, there's nothing there under "web history". However i'm unsure if this will change once Google fully launches it's privacy and tracking practices.
  4. aliensarecool macrumors 6502a


    Feb 25, 2012
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A406 Safari/7534.48.3)

    Who cares as long as youre not doing anything super-illegal i wouldn't worry IMO. Im sure someone can track all of our history regardless of any 'agreement'
  5. Zxxv macrumors 68040

    Nov 13, 2011
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A406 Safari/7534.48.3)

    Interesting question. Should we also switch to bing or yahoo search engines in the iPhone?

    And what about using atomic web browser? I use Scroogle in that. Googles an option but if they're tracking and hoarding info ready to be sold on for marketing then really I'd prefer to remove them.

    And what about the YouTube app where im signed in?
  6. Zxxv macrumors 68040

    Nov 13, 2011
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A406 Safari/7534.48.3)

    We're all effected
  7. Menel macrumors 603


    Aug 4, 2011
    They could do it, simply based on IP.

    But most likely not. You'd have to authenticate to Google within Safari.
  8. EC99SS thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 6, 2012
    I'm not worried as I'm not doing anything illegal. It's the whole data mining bit. It's crazy what they can do with the information. They will create a full profile and I'm sure will start targeting phones. There's almost no way around it, but if I can limit just a small sample, the better.
  9. iceterminal macrumors 68000


    May 25, 2008
    Dallas Tx.
    Regardless of if you're doing something illegal, you should always be worried about someone "spying" on you and what you do.

    And remember, if you're not paying for it then you ARE the product.
  10. psonice macrumors 6502a

    Jul 22, 2005
    I've been shutting down all my google accounts because of this. Actually I'll still use a lot of them for a while (especially email, too many people have the address..) but hey. Here's my suggestions:

    1. Go to and turn off web history. This removes the worst of the web search tracking.

    2. You have iCloud set up right? Google will forward your email automatically to another address. Forward it all to iCloud (or some other email address), and disable your gmail account on your phone. This way you can log out so you're no longer connecting and getting tracked, and you still get all your email while you inform everyone that your address has changed. iCloud handles contacts and calendars too, and the web version is pretty good.

    3. Instead of google search, try - it's actually *better* than google from the few searches I've done so far, and they don't track you :) Problem here is that apple don't let you change the default search engine. Maybe set bing as the default, and add duckduckgo as a home page?

    4. Instead of google reader, try - it's better than google reader, and they have a free (and good!) iPhone app. Only downside is that they ask you to pay if you use more than 64 sites, but that's a lot and maybe it's better to pay than be sold ;D
  11. psonice macrumors 6502a

    Jul 22, 2005
    Yes, exactly. And it's not just "where they're at now", it's "where they're heading" that's worrying me.

    And that whole "nothing to worry about if you have nothing to hide" argument: consider the future there too. You might be a good christian, doer of good deeds and defender of democracy. In 10 years your government might be very right-wing and cracking down on anyone opposing the state or promoting religious views, and you'll have a lot to hide. I know that's an extreme example, and I'm not advocating paranoia in any way, but it's worth remembering that the world is always changing and that giving a big company too much personal information might not be wise.

    Also: google has too much power I reckon. The default answer to pretty much anything these days is "google it" or "just use google". There are a ton of companies making really cool products (like that newsblur site) that need support, while everyone goes to google who're pretty much drowning in cash instead. Spread the love :)
  12. takeshi74 macrumors 601

    Feb 9, 2011
    "Before they go big brother"? They're doing what they've always done. The people that think Google is just a source of free services need to realize what Google' core business is. It's not giving away services.

    A lot of people do. Don't confuse "I don't care" with "No one cares". Illegal/legal isn't the only concern.
  13. Zxxv macrumors 68040

    Nov 13, 2011
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A406 Safari/7534.48.3)

    In that case you won't mind me following you round taking notes about everything you do. Of course seeing me will bring it home. I guess I could hover in the background but then you'd have the feeling of being followed.

    All this google stuff seems like electronic tracking id cards. Stop show me your id. Let me see what you've been upto.
  14. kdarling macrumors demi-god


    Jun 9, 2007
    First university coding class = 47 years ago
    It's not a "new" agreement. It's simply a merger of 70 separate agreements into one.

    You can see and control a lot of what Google has on you by logging into your Google Dashboard:

    There's also a way to check and change the topics they have you under for advertisements, but I don't have that link handy. Might be part of the above.

    When I checked my Google ad profile a couple of weeks ago, it was surprisingly sparse. Just my most favorite search topics... electronics, books, travel, and toys... because I'm always buying stuff for my kids and grandkids. Got my sex right, but it had guessed my age wrong. Had me younger :)

    The ad part they show, though, is only their side. I believe it doesn't reflect any extra info that third party websites have collected and passed back to Google.

    Don't forget that if you use iTunes, Apple has lots of similar info that they use to sell ads. Maybe even more personal. Address, credit card, how much you spend on media and what that media is. Plus app preferences, and so forth.
  15. Zxxv macrumors 68040

    Nov 13, 2011
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A406 Safari/7534.48.3)

    Yea but I shop with apple

    I dont shop with google.

    So why is google allowed to put spy's everywhere to collect my data when they have no business with me?
  16. rjohnstone macrumors 68040


    Dec 28, 2007
    PHX, AZ.
    They aren't and they don't.
    Google can only track your habits if you're using their services.
    If you use Google to search for something and then click through that link to get to a purchase, they will know about it.
    The place you may shop at might also be using Google services to collect data about their shoppers.
    They do it all the time. Hell any site using AdSense will track you while you're on the site.
    None of the data is personally identifiable to YOU unless you actually sign into a Google service.

    I never have any of my Google accounts set to auto log in. I sign in when I want to use the service and then sign out when I'm done.

    I swear there are too many people with tin foil hats on around here.

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