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Google AdSense Forum

This 37 message thread spans 2 pages: 37 ( [1] 2 > >     
Google Wants Adsense Publishers to Give Them More Personal Info

 7:04 am on May 31, 2012 (gmt 0)

New email from our friends at the plex tonight. They want to do us a favor, (well, at least me -- don't know if everyone else got the same "offer")...

Weíre contacting you to let you know about a recent change within your AdSense account.

We understand that some publishers may prefer to receive AdSense-related messages at a different email address than the Google Account used as their AdSense login. From now on, every user on an AdSense account can specify a personal contact email, contact name and optionally a phone number.

Wow. How generous of Google.

Or is it that obtaining one of my other "personal" email addresses, another version of my name and a phone number will help them to connect all the dots and whomp up a nice profile to sell off to marketeers?

...I think they know who I am, they've been sending me checks for 8 years.

Thanks, but no thanks, (I didn't believe it when the constant nag screen at Adsense login asked me to give them my phone number to "protect my account").

I'll make a deal with Google; "Give me a phone number and the name and personal email address of someone over at the plex who I can call when I feel like chatting about garbage SEPRs, greedy bots, image and content scraping, loss of traffic and revenue -- and I'll give you mine.



 7:46 am on May 31, 2012 (gmt 0)

I don't think that it is a problem on this occasion. I seldom use my gmail address so I have changed mine.


 10:02 am on May 31, 2012 (gmt 0)

asked me to give them my phone number to "protect my account").

Hmmm...well, they've had my company/personal e-mail address from day 1 and they've certainly had my company telephone plus my mobile number for years since I used that to activate specific websites' geo-positions etc.

Is it under GWT? I don't use it for my sites but do for some clients.


 10:23 am on May 31, 2012 (gmt 0)

This is in Adsense, and the OP is quoting an email I believe.
Yep, this is the dialog I was complaining about the other week that Wouldn't Go Away! Now its a small horizontal strip with, wonder of wonders, a close 'x' :)

Be aware - if you go to change anything on that page, you *must* give them a phone number :(


 12:27 pm on May 31, 2012 (gmt 0)

(not provided)

they don't get a phone number as long as I don't get my keyword data. Although if they had half a brain they'd realize I have a Google Voice account and THEY gave ME my phone number


 1:17 pm on May 31, 2012 (gmt 0)

I havenít any ideal why one would publish on the internet or use the internet as a business platform and NOT want to be easily found or located.

Hey Google give me call, for security, profiling or to just chat!


 1:40 pm on May 31, 2012 (gmt 0)

I havenít any ideal why one would publish on the internet or use the internet as a business platform and NOT want to be easily found or located.

I could give you a few ideas, going back over the years. (Hint: three personal protection orders) My websites are visible, no reason for me to be.


 1:50 pm on May 31, 2012 (gmt 0)

I havenít any ideal why one would publish on the internet or use the internet as a business platform and NOT want to be easily found or located.

Publishing things that can be objected to by religious fanatics..plus as Netmeg hinted..there are an awful lot of violent people out there who think that disagreements are solved by force, sometimes lethal force..

Even an unhappy customer ( or someone you refused to sell to ) can decide to key your car, or break into or vandalise your home or office, or attack your family, or phone you every 10 minutes..

Not to mention those of us who don't need someone on the other side of the world phoning us at 03.00 am our time to ask "if they can have a pink vinyl widget..and do they come in pink and vinyl ?"..


 1:51 pm on May 31, 2012 (gmt 0)

I gave them my number and a rep called offering to meet for a spot of tea...!


 2:21 pm on May 31, 2012 (gmt 0)

I got the email today and just deleted it without reading when I saw "update contact..." in the subject line.


 2:51 pm on May 31, 2012 (gmt 0)

Update contact

I doubt I'd even see such an email. The anti-phishing filter would can it immediately.


 3:02 pm on May 31, 2012 (gmt 0)

My websites are visible, no reason for me to be.

I got the email late last night but the Adsense interface was bugging the piss out of me on every page load all day yesterday. That's stopped.

Y'all don't know me, I'm super-paranoid, this is probably just a convienience for publishers; They already send us email to an alternate address and should know enough phone numbers from Google Places listings. In the case of alternate emails they have those too from youtube account logins. I understand the seperation between Google offices but they all use the single log in and should know this stuff already if it's a matter of data collection.

Sally Stitts

 5:00 pm on May 31, 2012 (gmt 0)

I got TWO more annoying emails from Google yesterday.
The first was more begging from AdSense for my mobile phone number.
I live in a valley where I have NO CELLULAR SERVICE. I only use the phone when I go on trips (seldom). I NEVER check for messages. Giving them my cell phone number would only cause confusion and misunderstanding. My land line hasn't changed in 10 years, and is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. THAT'S GOOD ENOUGH. My cellular phone is for MY use, NOT GOOGLE'S. Also included was a Googler name and phone number. No thank you. I don't ever need another reaming like they gave me before, chastising me for not adding 8 billion more ads to every page, above the fold, arguing with me about everything I do, ad-wise. They give you choices (I'm told), then argue with you about every choice that you have made. Sorry guys, after 8 years with AdSense, I know more than you do. If I didn't, I would not have survived this far, which leads to email #2 -

The second email was from Google Analytics, which I believe, is the NINTH email asking me to do arbitrage - free $100 in AdWords, with special code provided. I have no products, I have no customers. If I were to avail myself of their offer, IT WOULD BE ARBITRAGE, pure and simple. Last I heard, arbitrage will get you kicked out of the AdSense program instantly, forever, with no recourse. Why do they keep doing this? Once again, Search and AdSense are not communicating. This can get you banned.

Too bad they aren't working on things that matter, like abysmal targeting, reporting delays, a mucked up control panel (over a week now, from May 22), etc.

[edited by: Sally_Stitts at 5:25 pm (utc) on May 31, 2012]


 5:13 pm on May 31, 2012 (gmt 0)

I can't even recall how many times I've given them my phone number in response to their request to update my info. I sometimes wonder if they write it on a scrap of paper and throw it out at the end of the day.

The email I use for AdSense is myfirstnameandlastname @ mywebsite . tld.

After all these years you'd think they could figure out that my "contact name" was the same name as on my email, apparently they can't.

oh well.


 5:28 pm on May 31, 2012 (gmt 0)

I believe the phone number is optional, though they won't get a mobile number from me, as I'm one of the rare dying breed who doesn't own one. Last time I owned a mobile was four years ago.

I got a strange email three days ago from a google employee working with a big publisher on Adwords. At first I thought it was a spoof or spam, but then I realised it was a genuine email. How they got my email address (it is the one my Adsense account is registered with), or why on earth I would have been in copy is a complete mystery. Maybe I should reply and ask them. Doesn't inspire me with confidence if your information can be sent to the wrong people.


 7:57 pm on May 31, 2012 (gmt 0)

Hint: three personal protection orders

A business partner is bothering you such that you have to...?

Even an unhappy customer

Business 102 - make your customer happy, treat them fairly and always deliver..

phoning us at 03.00 am

Answering Machine or voice mail?

Respectfully, if you folks don't want to be found that's your choice. However, if your a serious business person you need to stand out, be approachable and get found!

Business 103 - don't do B2B or other business with folks that are invisible or unreachable.

All of my statements assume youíre a business...


 8:06 pm on May 31, 2012 (gmt 0)

I'm a business, but I don't sell products, and I don't have a brick and mortar storefront. I am certainly findable (online) but if you call my phone or show up uninvited at my house, I may have you killed.

That doesn't mean I'm not a "serious business person."

(The PPOs had nothing to do with business; they were unfortunate and unnecessary collateral damage)


 9:07 pm on May 31, 2012 (gmt 0)

I'm a business, very serious, over 30 years in business ( and some of my businesses do not "interconnect" at all ) ..in two countries..and my customers have absolutely no need to know where I live..nor what my private phone numbers are ( anyone with any reasonable "search skills" and determination, can get an address from a phone number ) ..Agree totally with Netmeg..

I'm well over 6 feet and built like a brick outhouse, but my wife is half my size..we don't need visitors who want to complain ( or worse ) about a cartoon I may have drawn, a post I may have made, an article I may have written..or as once happened when we had a B&M..a competitor who arrived with a foot long blade to "persuade" our staff to raise our prices in line with them..

I wasn't there when he showed up , and so had to go find him and make sure he never did so again..

You also forgot those who have been in abusive relationships and who don't want to be found and "punished" for escaping..

Should they be forced to not be in online business ?

or to have give their personal details to Google ( or facebook et al ) and risk one day them being made public..

I don't have a Google+ account ..and never will..but I do have left one gmail account..now when I log in to it ..

I see the portraits of all those who asked me for "invites" in the early days, and who now have Google+ accounts..Do they realise that a guy they never met and only exchanged a sticky mail with now has their portrait, ?

The day that Google make public the details in Google+ accounts ( and I believe that day will come..they have broken their word on so many other things that "they would never do" ) many who joined will regret having done so..

Just as many have regretted putting their lives and details into facebook only to find that the privacy settings changed and now everyone has their details..some have already suffered assaults and even death because privacy policies have changed in certain internet sites ( or the sites have been hacked and the data released)..Google ( and customers/ visitors ) do not "need" our personal phone numbers etc..They just want them..

I don't trust them to keep them confidential or safe..so they will not get them..

@edge..You can have all the customers who don't want to use my sites because I don't give out those "serious" business signals..( not doing so has never harmed me or my businesses though ) ..when you get them, I sincerely hope you find no fanatics or flakes or those who have dosed up on "bath salts" just before they ring the doorbell..

This subject has come up before here ( tangentially )..we always divide into 2 groups..those who have already had to contend with the violent crazies..and those who luckily for them, who have not..so far..

The existence of law enforcement officers who arrive too late ( if they arrive at all )..is not a comfort..

Nor are promises by companies to keep all information confidential..

What they don't know..can never come back to bite me :)


 9:35 pm on May 31, 2012 (gmt 0)

That was well put. I do send out "business signals" for a couple sites with toll free numbers hiding the local numbers, and being incorporated means we have to maintain a physical location to recieve registered mail so hiding MYSELF and WIFE isn't the same as trying to be shady.


 12:32 am on Jun 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

The day they give me a number I can casually call whenever I have a quick query is the day I will happily give them the same for me.
Google is a huuuuge corporation - I *want* all communication with them in writing...


 1:59 am on Jun 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

FWIW -- Google could easliy "google me" and get all the info they are asking me to (willingly) submit.

I can be found easily by anyone who needs or wants to find me, (my cell phone is on several of my websites).

If you do a minute or two of cross-referencing, you can look down at the pool in my backyard via Google maps.

The difference is if I were to "submit" the info into a Google web form, by the terms of use I would be granting Google virtually unlimited rights to permanently store, "share with partners", aggregate and resell my personal info -- and to build and maintain a marketing profile which they can store and use offline for whatever they choose to use it for.

And that's the big difference.

Facebook's terms are the same but worse -- whenever anyone browses, clicks, plays, "shares", submits or otherwise interacts with something on FB, data is collected and become an "asset" for FB -- and is FB is free to do whatever they want with it -- forever.

Which game you play, how long you play for and your score could be used as factors to determine your insurance or mortgage rates, help decide what college you or your kids get into, or any other number of marketing profiles that can be built based on a little psychology and some statistics.

Remember the saying, "Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get you".

...they are.


 2:08 pm on Jun 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

My home office address is on my mailing list and websites. But I have a pool out front full of sharks with FREAKIN' LAZER BEAMS ATTACHED TO THEIR HEADS...


 2:22 pm on Jun 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

That's a good idea. I've had pretty good luck with snipers on the roof.


 2:23 pm on Jun 3, 2012 (gmt 0)

You paranoid peeps really don't give them credit for actually trying to fix something.

Remember posts we've seen from people who've had their accounts hacked or lost their passwords or whatever and got permanently locked out of AdSense?

Sounds like Google is trying to give you a self-service method of recovering a password at a minimum and regaining access to your account in the event this happens.

I just gave them what they wanted and didn't think twice about it.

If you had a normal 9-5 job and your boss asked for the same for your personnel file would you give the boss such a ration of crap just for asking?



 2:44 pm on Jun 3, 2012 (gmt 0)

If you had a normal 9-5 job and your boss asked for the same for your personnel file would you give the boss such a ration of crap just for asking?

I wouldn't give a boss a private cell phone number either..and I doubt if a boss would give me theirs..
Larry didn't offer his with the "request" for mine..

Then again I've only ever had 9-5s waaaay back when paying my way though studies..and that was only in the "breaks" ..and once in the UK shortly before leaving it when I was salaried* ( but only answerable to one person , who allowed me to come and go as I pleased and asked me for no "reports" etc ..just good "results" ) at the same time as running my own business..

Both times were waaay before cell phones existed..and none of those I worked for was also in the business of selling on the details of their customers, users or visitors..

Asking for this isn't Google "fixing something"..nothing was broken..it is just more data hoovering..if Google don't think I "need" their phone number to deal with them ..then they don't "need" mine..

They already have one of mine due to android..they are just too dumb to notice that it matches the gmail account that is running on it ..or they want the others that they don't the details of..

*it did pay exceedingly well , and I was allowed to dictate the precise terms of the post, including not having to answer to or be supervised etc by anyone, a "nominal boss" was required on paper ..mine was the CEO ..I also got to decide the salary :) and the duration of the contract .


 4:00 pm on Jun 3, 2012 (gmt 0)

Friends, providing a phone number is optional. I only confirmed my email address and entered my name as it appears in gmail. Sometimes I don't get webmasters' reactions on things such as this one... Maybe it's the age difference.



 4:15 pm on Jun 3, 2012 (gmt 0)

Google's not my boss. And no. I don't give out information without there being a clear benefit to doing so. If I get locked out of my account for some reason, I know how to bring it to Google's attention.


 12:05 am on Jun 4, 2012 (gmt 0)

Form verification required me to enter a phone number.

If they were serious they would have asked for a timezone, or some other way to work out the appropriate time to call - 3am phonecalls aren't going to make me happy!


 3:23 am on Jun 6, 2012 (gmt 0)

Form verification required me to enter a phone number.


That form has been coming up for a couple years.

I've never given them the number.

The form page always had a "Skip This" link, (which got smaller and smaller anf lighter in color with each redesign of the form).

Today I got the nag screen "warning" that I should give them my cell number for security reasons -- with no "skip this" link on the page.

I hit the back button, then loaded the URL for the Adsense control panel again and the form was gone, (it's probably set with a "Show once" cookie).


 5:36 am on Jun 6, 2012 (gmt 0)

I'm with @Edge - I even have my phone number on almost every page on my web sites in the footer along with my real name and real address. Using any mapping program anyone can find me, and using Google's aerial maps on Google Earth and street view you can see my house and the property around it. I have nothing to hide and as far as I know I don't have any enemies. Now and again I even get a check in snail-mail with a "Thanks for the web site" or similar note. That said, my sites are all technical information sites with discussion forums. And yes - When someone calls me at 3AM with a problem, I answer the phone and help them. It happens once or twice a month. I can't say my girl friend likes it when a middle of the night call comes in and she wakes up, but she knows it's part of my dedication to my business. I have had sites online since 1996 so I'm not new to the internet.

I've used AdSense since Dec 2003 and have never had a problem. I've made well over US$1M from AdSense so I'm a happy camper. If they want a phone number, big deal. I didn't get the email this thread is about, but I'm sure I have "filled in all the blanks" for them anyway. Now and again I get a call from an AdSense rep so I know they have my phone number. And since I use AdSense, they have my SS number (for tax purposes) and other information as well.

@Leosghost - Stuff like "...a competitor who arrived with a foot long blade to "persuade" our staff to raise our prices in line with them...." tells me you're in a weird business if competitors are doing such things. Good luck to you. You also say: "...fanatics or flakes or those who have dosed up on "bath salts" just before they ring the doorbell...". Again - I don't know what business you're in or where you live, but I sure don't want to be in it or live where you do. Sounds like a TV show or a movie. If you're afraid for your life if people know who you are and where you live, not to mention if you have competitors coming to your place of business with "...foot long blade..."s I feel sorry for you. When people come to my door it's always someone stopping to tell me one of the horses or goats are loose and are on the road, or just to chat, invite me to a party or such. Of course, there are still some sales people who stop, but big deal.

If you have to worry about having to "...contend with the violent crazies..." I'd say you're leading a life which draws them to you. Since I don't lead such a life, I'm easily found and don't even own a gun (well, I have a BB pistol and a pellet rifle). Heck, I rarely even lock the doors here at night. When I do it's because my girl friend is here and she carries the mental scars of a battered woman whose ex-husband threatened her life. She has never been able to get past the fear from her past. Granted I don't live in a big city, but since I can do business from anywhere I can get internet access I chose a small town and have been living in the same place for close to 25 years.

As to: "...those who have been in abusive relationships and who don't want to be found and "punished" for escaping..." - That's a totally different story. But - That is typically a woman and I suspect it is relatively rare that such a person is running a web site. I do agree in such a case anonymity makes good sense. But I doubt Google AdSense people are giving personal information out unless it's a government/police request for information.

As I alluded to above, I do have some experience with battered women. My girl friend divorced her husband 9 years ago and she still carries a gun (he threatened her with death many times). Luckily he died a few years ago (of all things his girl friend shot him in the head with a shotgun when he was beating her).

I have to say the amount of paranoia expressed in some posts in this thread is sad. My suggestion is if someone doesn't trust, or simply doesn't like, Google (including AdSense), don't use them for anything. And if you are a person who is afraid you can be found easily and "dire" circumstances may arise because of being able to be easily found, you have probably led a life where you have made (and may still be making) enemies. Good luck with that.

This 37 message thread spans 2 pages: 37 ( [1] 2 > >
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