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Google to co-fund anti-spyware coalition
engine




msg:1237295
 12:32 pm on Jan 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

Web search powerhouse Google has joined with Sun Microsystems to fund a new anti-spyware coalition that is on tap to launch on Jan. 25, according to information reaching eWEEK.

[eweek.com...]

 

mack




msg:1237296
 12:53 pm on Jan 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

Google and Sun are getting very cosey lately. First Toolbar distribution, now this.

Mack.

Brett_Tabke




msg:1237297
 2:08 pm on Jan 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

Sounds like the wolves taking care of the sheep.

willybfriendly




msg:1237298
 2:36 pm on Jan 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

You called it Brett. If the G-Bar is not spyware then...

WBF

LeoXIV




msg:1237299
 2:50 pm on Jan 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

yes extacly, who defines 'spyware'?

well at least it is good publicty. there was a good article in Wired about Gator's brand transformation to a more market friendly one.

Chico_Loco




msg:1237300
 3:36 pm on Jan 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

Sounds like another angle for Google to get their brand out over Microsoft (this time over their Spyware Removal Tool).

[edit]errmmm - never mind - upon closer look it would appear there's no actual application involved.[/edit]

oddsod




msg:1237301
 4:00 pm on Jan 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

Sounds like the wolves taking care of the sheep.

Exactly! I started this thread [webmasterworld.com] earlier today but it doesn't seem too many people are bothered about Google in relation to privacy!

walkman




msg:1237302
 4:16 pm on Jan 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

>> Sounds like the wolves taking care of the sheep.
>> yes extacly, who defines 'spyware'?

see, if Google funds "anti-spyware" coalition, it can't be a spyware company. Marketing ploy IMO

Kufu




msg:1237303
 4:21 pm on Jan 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

oddsod,

No one is really forcing us to use the Google tools. Google simply offers things which are immensely useful in return for gathering information.

I am, to some extent, willing to live with that tradeoff; but if at any point one or all of Googles offerings were to become mandatory in order to be able to use the engine, then I would quickly look somewhere else.

When installing the Google toolbar, we can read a full privacy policy, and choose to disable the reporting of anonymous data. And it is also incredibly easy to uninstall, unlike other spyware which hides and is sometimes impossible to clean out, unless someone has written a special script.

Am I being too naive?

oddsod




msg:1237304
 4:27 pm on Jan 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

Kufu, I fail to see how user-permission type tools, like the toolbar, account for more than a fraction of the infractions. Besides, a lot of small, "assumed" permissions, like the 38 year cookie, can mount collectively to 10x the amount of information you think they are storing on you.

Brett_Tabke




msg:1237305
 4:39 pm on Jan 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

I think the question that most people have, is if Google should be forced to disclose to people any personal information they have about them. Just like we do with credit reports.

Kufu




msg:1237306
 4:42 pm on Jan 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

Webmasterworld cookie expiration date that is sitting on my puter right now:

Saturday, January 23, 2016 8:15:57 AM

:)

I worry about privacy a lot, but there is only so much one can do.

Kufu




msg:1237307
 4:44 pm on Jan 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

Brett,

Now that would be ideal; however, Google would fight that tooth and nail, since it would disclose a lot of information about their ranking methods.

oddsod




msg:1237308
 4:45 pm on Jan 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

Brett, I think that this is actually something we here in Europe are entitled to. I can ask any company or organisation in the UK to disclose all the information it has about me (subject to legal / national security type exceptions). And they cannot charge me more than a small, token fee for that information. In fact, that's been used in several comedy programs like Mark Thomas to great effect... where you send the council 10 for a full video of the 87 times you walked past their CCTV camera outside the civic center yesterday afternoon. And they spend the entire week trying to figure out how to pixelate all faces except yours hehe.

Now that Google has a well publicised UK presence maybe somebody should turn up and demand that kind of info from them. Mark, where are you?

Live_Lead




msg:1237309
 5:17 pm on Jan 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

You can see Google UK's Data Protection Act entry here:

[esd.informationcommissioner.gov.uk...]

(Google in the box)

And helfully the government even drafts a letter you can send to access any information an organisation might hold about you:

[informationcommissioner.gov.uk...]

The statutory fee for access is 2

Brett_Tabke




msg:1237310
 5:27 pm on Jan 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

Webmasterworld cookie expiration date that is sitting on my puter right now:

Saturday, January 23, 2016 8:15:57 AM

Check your preferences. Cookie duration is controlable by you. If you wish to delete the WebmasterWorld cookie - you can also do that from your control panel.
[webmasterworld.com...]

JudgeJeffries




msg:1237311
 5:31 pm on Jan 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

Whinge whinge whinge bleat bleat bleat...if you dont like it move your searches elsewhere. If only!

oddsod




msg:1237312
 5:54 pm on Jan 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

Live Lead, just so that people don't get the wrong idea let me add that registering under the Data Protection Act is a legal requirement for Google, it's not something they did voluntarily out of the "do no evil" ethos. It does not say anything about their privacy policy. Also, the company registered here is Google UK Ltd ;), not GOOG.

The statutory fee for accessing your credit history with Equifax is 2.00 but I don't see how that is relevant. Am I missing something?

JudgeJefferies, a lot of people seem to think that if you don't use Google tools or Google search ... Google is not watching you. If I use no Google tools whatsoever, and don't use the Google search engine they can keep tabs on my movements via Adsense ads, Analytics and lots more. Even if I've never used the internet there's likely a lot of personal information about me that they have and which is growing by the day. From an aerial view of my garden redesign to a copy of my print book that they've decided to reproduce for free on the net... their reach shouldn't be underestimated.

I'm not saying that they are misusing information... but if there's potential for misuse, there is risk.

Key_Master




msg:1237313
 6:08 pm on Jan 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

Brett, I know Google collects a massive amount of info about us but don't you think they deserve a little credit for getting involved?

This isn't the first time they have taken a stand against spyware so this lastest action can't come as a big surprise to anyone. I'm sure they have a business stake in it but so do most of us.

You want to to discuss toolbars? The Alexa toolbar scares the hell out of me. :)

Live_Lead




msg:1237314
 6:55 pm on Jan 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

For 2 you havethe right to find out what information about you is held on computer and in some paper records.

Thats any information that anyone holds on you.

The credit history and Equifax are just popular examples

oddsod




msg:1237315
 7:04 pm on Jan 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

For 2 you havethe right to find out what information about you is held on computer and in some paper records.

Thanks. I can't see what that has to do with Google though. Google is a US company and they are not obliged to disclose any info on you. Ironically, the amount of info they hold on you (or can access about you) probably exceeds that held by any other single entity in the world.

Even if they don't spy on you they have the tools to find out more about you than your government or legal system can. Why are they the best people to get your spyware software from again?

Live_Lead




msg:1237316
 7:30 pm on Jan 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

This is probably drifting somewhat but Google UK Limited would have to disclose whatever information it held about you for the 2

All you have to do is write and ask for it.

LifeinAsia




msg:1237317
 8:09 pm on Jan 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

Even if I've never used the internet there's likely a lot of personal information about me that they have and which is growing by the day.

Oddsod, I think you are taking paranoia to a new level.
There is no way that Google (or anyone else) could take the various bits of anonymous info and put it together to build a profile about you on the level you're indicating.

Yes, cookies can be used to track user behavior on a computer. Can they positively identify a user of computer A as John Doe? No. For a very few cases, someone could conceivably connect several dots to see that computer A always uses IP x.y.z.w, which is a static IP address assigned to a DSL account owned by ACME DSL company. Does ACME DSL put its subscriber list in the public domain? Very doubtful. True, the police could subpoena ACME's records and find that John Doe is the subscriber in question. But John Doe has a wife, and a brother visiting from Bristol, and three kids, all of whom invite their friends over to surf on Joe's DSL. And who's to say that he is even related to the same John Doe that bought a certain book at Amazon 4 years ago?

The art of providing useful search results of web sites is a difficult enough art form. To mine all the data that the Big G has and try to link it to individual persons is too mind boggling to consider! The Big G has MUCH better things to expend their efforts doing.

oddsod




msg:1237318
 8:42 pm on Jan 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

Oddsod, I think you are taking paranoia to a new level.

Possibly. As there don't seem to be many others here seeing the risks I do. I hope that time proves me wrong.

There have been a lot of articles lately in theregister [theregister.co.uk], the NYT, and various other places voicing the same fears about Google. I even started a thread about it here (as mentioned in msg #7) and I'm amazed that nobody has bothered to step in (even to rubbish my thoughts)! The enthusiastic disinterest in this matter is puzzling; but one message is clear: the average webmaster at WW is not bothered by it.

OK, guys, get back to the spyware issue and sorry for going a bit OT.

bedlam




msg:1237319
 9:30 pm on Jan 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

To mine all the data that the Big G has and try to link it to individual persons is too mind boggling to consider!

Not at all. It's trivial if they know your email [cdt.org] address [theregister.co.uk]:

From the gMail privacy policy [google.com]:

If you have an account, we may share the information submitted under your account among all of our services in order to provide you with a seamless experience and to improve the quality of our services.

-b

otech




msg:1237320
 8:42 am on Jan 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

Of course they know your email address, we all use Adsense or Adwords around here dont we?

Of course they can tie the personal details we give them from Urchin, Gmail, Adsense, Adwords, Sitemaps, Personalised Search, The Google Toolbar etc just by looking at the cookie.

Of course they can identify us - its not paranoid its fact - in fact in the recent news article mentioned in the Google News forum from Money UK they even admitted as much.

They can identify users down to the PC - and any other PC we use to sign in.

And usually different users of a PC have different logons - this means different cookies for each user - ie Personally identifying.

Question is, you might trust Google with this data, but do you think they can fight off all the governments in the world who want that data forever?

Dont know about your countries, but here in Australia the government continues to add new laws removing even the needs for warrants etc for suspision of Homeland Security - UK/USA already did the same sort of things from what I remember - if you cant beat it, change it!

Its far from paranoid, its FACT.

otech




msg:1237321
 8:47 am on Jan 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

And further to my last post, here is what I mean: [siliconvalley.com...]

oddsod




msg:1237322
 11:04 am on Jan 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

but do you think they can fight off all the governments in the world who want that data

In the UK the government wants to use biometrics as ID but the "ID" cards are going to carry a lot more information about you than most people realise. Combine that with what Google has on you and confidential, commercially valuable information on your business... and if it gets into the wrong hands that amount of information can be used to completely destroy your life.

Oh, well. Some people predicted 9/11 and the flooding of New Orleans, and they were called paranoid. The difference between paranoia and news is sometimes only time. Fingers crossed that won't be the case here. So, hail Google Badware-Block!

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