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11-18-2017 08:05 AM
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  1. a5cent's Avatar
    Here’s another one.
    Apple seems to have (perhaps) perfected facial recognition to unlock devices. Doesn’t this mean they are collecting the actual live faces of millions of humans? So does the government, for drivers licenses. Large corporations do for security badges. But Apple sells phones and computers. Should we worry? Does it matter? Again, interesting.
    As far as I know Apple doesn't send any of its face print information "home". It stays on your phone, where it should stay. If that's true, then no, there is nothing to worry about, as they aren't even collecting anything.

    None of the fruits of modern technology require anything to be sent back "home"... ever... it works that way because that's what is most profitable to those companies, and as a society we don't care enough to resist it.
    Nate W, RumoredNow, yipsan and 1 others like this.
    11-13-2017 08:29 PM
  2. N1cks's Avatar
    In fact, Facebook will know more about you than Google will.
    This is true. But the difference is, Facebook is social media. Checking in, posting, adding friends, tagging people etc are deliberate things. FB collects info from the like button embedded in webpages & from cookies, but you can always sign out.

    Apparently, LinkedIn profiles are the most valuable.

    Microsoft got LinkedIn's users at a discount

    What is Your Data Worth?
    a5cent and Nate W like this.
    11-13-2017 08:32 PM
  3. Nate W's Avatar
    Oh, of course. I was just interested in others opinions.

    To me, you can’t escape the modern world so I don’t worry too much about it. I think it’s up to us to be smart and protect what we want the best we can while enjoying the fruits of modern technology.
    I gotcha...If I clicked the Accept button on anything it's because I never fully read the ToS or carelessly did it. Nowadays when I click Accept its because I'm testing how the device/services perform while all of it are active. Well knowing most of my info is game. YouTube is the one service I too cannot avoid either way while using W10M or an Android device. It's the era/century we live in too and almost unavoidable.
    TgeekB and libra89 like this.
    11-13-2017 09:07 PM
  4. tgp's Avatar
    For example, the company I once worked for had a 96% success rate at identifying stolen credit cards (before they were reported as such) based solely on how a person would dial a number at a public pay phone (yes, that was also a bit before my time but I did get to see it in action). This was impressive 25 years ago. Can you imagine what they can discern now? Probably not... ignorance is bliss I say ;-)
    Yes it is in the credit card companies' best interest to catch unauthorized usage, because pretty much all cards have $0 liability to the user. They are very good at it. In fact, they're a bit too good. I'm always a bit worried about getting cut off when I'm overseas. Yes, I always report my upcoming travels, but they'll shut them down anyway if they suspect something.

    Come to think of it, that is very clever! The credit card companies know about my travels even if I never use the card while on the trip. They have me conditioned to deliberately call them and say, "Hey, I just want you to know that I'm going to be in Spain and Morocco next week."

    You are correct that I don't care about tech companies collecting data about me. I question how much less they know about people who try to avoid it. It might make a bit of difference, but probably not much. At least not enough to lose out on the benefits by going all in. Google is the leader in AI, no doubt because of their data collection. Is that good, or bad?

    Anyway, I still say it is hypocritical to try to avoid a company like Microsoft or Google or Facebook, and then go out and use a credit card, shop at a department store, or drive on highways, ride subways, or go through airports where your every move is on camera.
    Laura Knotek likes this.
    11-13-2017 10:07 PM
  5. Wolfjt's Avatar
    Let me know if I misunderstand what you’ve said.
    You said no one knows exactly what Google collects.
    You also said you know Google collects more than anyone by reading the TOS. Which is it?
    Im not sure any of us know for sure, but I believe Google is more open than anyone and if we found out they were doing more than they say, their business model would be doomed.
    I’m not saying I trust any of them explicitly, but I don’t understand the focus on Google being the worst and I don’t know how we can avoid all this without crawling under a rock.
    Now it’s time for a beer!
    I agree 100%
    11-13-2017 11:06 PM
  6. a5cent's Avatar
    Anyway, I still say it is hypocritical to try to avoid a company like Microsoft or Google or Facebook, and then go out and use a credit card, shop at a department store, or drive on highways, ride subways, or go through airports where your every move is on camera.
    I don't know tgp. I still think hypocrisy is a very unfair accusation. I consider you to be one of the smartest people in these forums and I'm surprised that even your analysis seems to lack any and all nuance.

    Obviously, companies that target adds aren't the only entities interested in collecting information about customers and/or people in general. That doesn't mean all types of tracking are identical or equally egregious. You seem to make no distinction between who is doing the tracking, for what reasons they collect the data, and the amount of information those entities have access to. In your mind they're apparently all interchangeable, so worrying about one more than another seems pointless or hypocritical to you. ??? :-/

    At least in Switzerland, the only entities legally capable of tracking and logging location information on any cell phone, irrespective of OS, is the government (via carriers). If you live in an oppressive/authoritarian state, that might be terrible, but from your earlier posts I take it you don't find this problematic in the U.S.. As I live in Switzerland, I don't either, in part because accessing that information requires at least some court involvement.

    The same is true of my credit card transactions. Card issuers can't combine that data with other information, hand it out to other companies, or use it for anything else but credit card related processing. The view one company gleans from this data is quite limited, and it's specific to the task I'm paying them to do. Nothing more.

    Companies like Google and Facebook can cast a much wider data-net, across very different types of services, which they consolidate into a single profile. For these sorts of companies, there is no limit to the breadth or depth of information required to do their job. More is always better. It baffles my mind that you see no difference between this and the previously mentioned examples.

    I doubt it, but maybe U.S. carriers, financial institutions, government agencies etc have few to no legal restrictions on what information they can share? For example, I recently read the U.S. congress has allowed U.S. ISPs to sniff any data transferred between their customers and the internet services they use (consent is implicit), and sell that to whomever they want, without data anonymiztion. The U.S. citizenry either (like you said) just bent over or did nothing. If that's true, then I guess you might have a point that it makes no difference to you folks, but that's in no way comparable to the environment I live in. Maybe you're right that we're judging this from the viewpoints of slightly different cultures, which has lead to very different opinions on how undignified it is to turn an entire populace into a product.

    That's the only reason I can come up with why we still don't see eye-to-eye on this.
    RumoredNow and ochhanz like this.
    11-14-2017 04:10 PM
  7. tgp's Avatar
    @a5cent I think there probably isn't a big difference in how our respective countries' businesses such as credit card companies handle user data. I think the biggest difference is probably that I don't care and you do.

    What I don't understand about how you and others feel (and act) is that if I cared, I wouldn't use a credit card, drive on a toll road, or go places under camera. That is what I find baffling.

    I don't feel that someone picking and choosing what they allow and what they don't makes a significant difference in the end result. I'm sure that all of us would be astounded if we actually knew what was going on. But still, I wouldn't care.

    I believe that these companies are self-governed. I think some of our differences are a bit culture based. Business in the US is based on free market, much more so than Europe and most of the rest of the world. If nefarious things start going on, customers will drop them. Europe relies on government regulation.
    Nate W and TgeekB like this.
    11-14-2017 04:44 PM
  8. a5cent's Avatar
    @a5cent I think there probably isn't a big difference in how our respective countries' businesses such as credit card companies handle user data.
    Well, ISPs and carriers are very different (objectively better here).

    I don't know anything about the banking industry in the U.S., but based on the little information I do have (i.e. the recent fraud perpetrated by Wells Fargo, the recently revised laws to inhibit class action law suits against banks, etc), it doesn't sound very similar to me. It sounds like even more bending over, but ultimately, none of that is related to privacy policies, and I don't know enough about the U.S. banking system to have an opinion on it.

    I don't want to get into the whole Fox News propaganda BS, whose views on Europe are about as nuanced and sophisticated as a worms views on interstellar space travel ;-) There certainly are differences, and you'd be right if you're comparing the U.S. to some specific regions, but if you can't get any more specific than "Europe" you're certainly wrong.

    What I don't understand about how you and others feel (and act) is that if I cared, I wouldn't use a credit card, drive on a toll road, or go places under camera. That is what I find baffling.
    Well, I thought I did a good job of explaining the difference between driving a toll road and using an online service. I have no idea why that isn't getting through. If [edit] privacy policies and business practices [/edit] actually are the same, I'd expect you to agree. Ah well, doesn't look like we'll get anywhere here... probably best to move on.

    Either way, it was nice chatting with you again ;-)
    Last edited by a5cent; 11-14-2017 at 05:50 PM. Reason: see edit
    Laura Knotek and tgp like this.
    11-14-2017 05:30 PM
  9. tgp's Avatar
    Well, I thought I did a good job of explaining the difference between driving a toll road and using an online service. I have no idea why that isn't getting through.
    You did a fine job explaining it. I just don't agree with you!

    Either way, it was nice chatting with you again ;-)
    Indeed! Think of what we would have missed here if we agreed!
    11-14-2017 05:48 PM
  10. a5cent's Avatar
    You did a fine job explaining it. I just don't agree with you!
    Dammnit tgp, now you're making me want to know why not ?!!?!?!?

    But no, STOP. ;-)

    Indeed! Think of what we would have missed here if we agreed!
    Very true, nothing more boring than a group of people who agree on everything ;-)
    tgp, Nate W, libra89 and 4 others like this.
    11-14-2017 05:52 PM
  11. TgeekB's Avatar
    As I said before, great conversation. Just differing opinions.
    libra89, a5cent and Laura Knotek like this.
    11-14-2017 06:19 PM
  12. Wolfjt's Avatar
    You did a fine job explaining it. I just don't agree with you!



    Indeed! Think of what we would have missed here if we agreed!
    This has been a great convo. And look, we can disagree and still be civil and respectful. What an increadable achievement in this day and age.
    11-15-2017 06:41 AM
  13. OsmiousH's Avatar
    I've disabled pretty much every thing in the personal info & privacy settings except for YouTube.

    If I use Bing, Outlook, Here etc - am I flying under Google's radar or can Google still skim data somehow?

    I'm not a privacy nut... I use Facebook!
    I'm just wondering if you can truly opt-out with Google.
    I'd imagine the EU Privacy guys would be all over Google if they were somehow stealing data through Android.

    I'm looking at moving from my Lumia to Android or iOS. I like both platforms...but I don't trust the 'do no evil' company. Can someone put my mind at ease?
    If you use android then definitely alot of information is being sent to google without the user's (obvious) consent. Mainly, Your location (google maps, traffic tracking etc.) Your wifi details (not confirm but alot of claims have been tossed around) Your history (even if you disable the synced history 'features' they use it to fine tune searches and ads) and your voice and video (these are also claims all around the internet, some proven, others not so much). Also, google makes most of its money through advertising (targeted ads) so I guess you better be a bit concerned
    11-15-2017 10:56 AM
  14. Alijah Simon's Avatar
    I've disabled pretty much every thing in the personal info & privacy settings except for YouTube.

    If I use Bing, Outlook, Here etc - am I flying under Google's radar or can Google still skim data somehow?

    I'm not a privacy nut... I use Facebook!
    I'm just wondering if you can truly opt-out with Google.
    I'd imagine the EU Privacy guys would be all over Google if they were somehow stealing data through Android.

    I'm looking at moving from my Lumia to Android or iOS. I like both platforms...but I don't trust the 'do no evil' company. Can someone put my mind at ease?
    If you're using Microsoft's services, you may as well be using Google's. There isn't an important difference between the privacy of each. If anything, Google has seemed less willing to give out info to court orders, whereas Microsoft allegedly gives almost no pushback. The safest place to be is on iOS and macOS, which are famously private and secure, especially if you don't use iCloud for anything you wouldn't want to be made public.

    Also check out Telegram Messenger.
    11-15-2017 11:17 AM
  15. COLIN BARNHORST's Avatar
    Data collection is not spying. Mining the data for exploitable information is. It doesn't matter what the exploitation is, good or bad, it is spying. The user can't control the exploitation so the whole activity is intrusion into privacy. Does that make Google the de facto Big Brother? The scary answer is "who controls Google?" Not owns, controls.
    11-15-2017 12:10 PM
  16. deadonthefloor's Avatar
    Here's the thing.
    To me, it's not about what Google does with the data, but what Google's understanding of data can do to you.

    Firstly, the data they aggregate makes you a more desirable advertising target to marketers. Today this is fine, and some even find it beneficial.

    It could however be used in the future to influence behavior.
    Case in Point. There is now a company out there that grew out of Alphabet's x lab (or whatever it was previously under Google), called MoonshotCVE.

    The intent of this company is to track video search history on YouTube in order to detect when a would be Islamic State supporter was being radicalized and divert his result sets to de-escalation videos.

    While this was intended originally to Counter Violent Extremism (hence the CVE), a certain political candidate had suggested that the program be turned domestically to a certain 'basket of deplorables'.

    Now, if we take another look at how AI is changing big data analysis, there is another trend emerging. Some of the AI algorithm research has been done has found that instead of improving the algorithms, the studies done were modifying the behavior of its participants. There was a presentation done at the Microsoft's "Faculty Summit 2017: The Edge of AI" where one of the researchers admitted as much. She also stated that to counter this, all AI related classes at Harvard have now introduced an ethics component to prevent this from happening in the future.

    I do not trust a profit driven company to be so ethical. We may come to a point where you impulsively buy products and services because you've been conditioned to want them, unbeknownst to you.

    There is a war on for our minds, and I do not want to give the capitalists the ammunition.
    ochhanz likes this.
    11-15-2017 12:13 PM
  17. RHoudek2's Avatar
    is the reason we're targeting Google here is because they're open about what they do? We tend to believe that Microsoft and Apple and other companies do much less with our data.
    I think the reason to distrust Google more than MS or Apple is because Google is a Data/Advertising company, whereas MS and Apple are Software/Hardware companies.

    For me PERSONALLY, I stopped trusting Google when they or Alphabet started buying military grade robotics companies like Boston Dynamic.
    11-15-2017 12:34 PM
  18. dlalonde's Avatar
    I've disabled pretty much every thing in the personal info & privacy settings except for YouTube.

    If I use Bing, Outlook, Here etc - am I flying under Google's radar or can Google still skim data somehow?

    I'm not a privacy nut... I use Facebook!
    I'm just wondering if you can truly opt-out with Google.
    I'd imagine the EU Privacy guys would be all over Google if they were somehow stealing data through Android.

    I'm looking at moving from my Lumia to Android or iOS. I like both platforms...but I don't trust the 'do no evil' company. Can someone put my mind at ease?
    Honestly, you should use an Android powered phone with the expectation that Google snoops on everything. Every single thing. That's the way I do it. You can't really opt out of Google. You can turn a bunch of toggles off but that garantees nothing. You can be certain that if they're taking data they don't want you to turn off or they don't want you to know they take, there won't be a toggle for it.

    I've come to accept that some privacy has to be sacrificed in order to get good products today. It sucks but the only way to opt out is to not use online services. Even then, governments or places like Equifax use online services so you can't escape it completely.

    Since Nadella took the reins, that's also what Microsoft has come to terms with which is why Windows Phone 8/8.1 was more private than Windows 10 Mobile is.

    But no matter if you use a product from Google, Apple or Microsoft, the company will snoop on what you do with the product. They all use the information differently but still.

    So then the only thing you can do is balance convenience with privacy. Do you really need Google Photos, Google Drive or OneDrive for your pictures? Would you mind if what you put on there gets leaked or used by someone else? No? Then go nuts. Yes? Then buy a good backup hard drive for your pictures to keep them locally.

    You can also spread your data around by using different services. Use alternate apps like Tinfoil for Facebook.

    But again, if you're using a device, the maker of the said device will probably know what you're doing on it. I trust Google with a lot of things but I use my Android phone like Google is looking over my shoulder.

    If you want to be off the grid you can't have a mobile phone. It's really that simple.
    Last edited by dlalonde; 11-15-2017 at 01:52 PM. Reason: Typo
    Laura Knotek likes this.
    11-15-2017 01:32 PM
  19. dalascby's Avatar
    It's not just what Google is doing with the data, Android still remains the most vulnerable and most targeted OS by hackers. It is the weak link in terms of security, corporate data security managers are still very wary of Android. Meanwhile, Windows phone has been deamed "most secure" (and obviously its not a huge target because of low usage volume). I avoid Android in my home, the only exception is my Amazon Fire TV.

    Here are a couple of related links:

    https://www.siliconrepublic.com/ente...id-ios-malware

    "According to F-Secure’s State of Cyber Security 2017, 99pc of all malware programs aimed at mobile targets are designed for Android devices."

    Android is the most vulnerable platform: Nokia

    https://mspoweruser.com/hacker-claim...smartphone-os/
    ochhanz, RumoredNow and Hoppman like this.
    11-15-2017 02:17 PM
  20. ochhanz's Avatar
    I think the reason to distrust Google more than MS or Apple is because Google is a Data/Advertising company, whereas MS and Apple are Software/Hardware companies.

    For me PERSONALLY, I stopped trusting Google when they or Alphabet started buying military grade robotics companies like Boston Dynamic.
    , completely agree with this. Plus Google and Facebook are the big brothers of the internet, its quite insane how far their trackers reach across the web.
    RumoredNow likes this.
    11-15-2017 02:36 PM
  21. Richard Toft's Avatar
    I've been wondering the same thing, as far as I can tell the devices record a lot of data for marketing or other purposes, from other android users it seems that calls and other voice data is also recorded but what the purpose of this is I'm not sure. But I am interested if it is possible to remove all google services from the device.
    11-15-2017 03:25 PM
  22. TechFreak1's Avatar
    I do recall seeing alot of network traffic on android phones with everything disabled and no sim card installed and no apps installed.

    It was far too high and constant for my liking, however it's a given Googles bread and butter is making the user the product.

    Oh, how people laughed when I said Data was the next commodity and companies would make billions without selling a physical product.

    To be honest, there is really no getting away from telemetry and analytics.

    It will be in your smart appliances and it's already in infotainment systems. So the key point is how do you deal with that?

    You either become a tin foil hat hermit, with a tin foil suite or you take the time to read the entire TOS of a product and understand the legal rammifications of using a product.

    Or you compromise and you take appropriate precautions and the easiest way to do that is to use a VPN and a adblocker. There are countless ways how a user can be tracked, by running something in full screen can given an indication of what your using as a monitor, from which you can extrapolate if your running laptop or a tv, a simple display etc.

    My point is analytics and telemetry is everywhere, including the channels you watch on TV, the adverts you see before you channel surf so you are given "relevant adverts" that pique your interest. The easiest way to verify that, when you subscribe to a cable provider just say you don't want adverts and if the customer rep is savy enough they will tell you - that you can opt out of targetted adverts but you can't remove all adverts (because that would impact profits everywhere down the chain).

    It depends how telemetry and analytics are used therefore really it's the context and subtext that truly matters.
    Laura Knotek and a5cent like this.
    11-15-2017 05:42 PM
  23. Hoppman's Avatar
    The even bigger issue is the amount of apps with malware in the google play store, there is a new article almost daily about apps in the play store with bank credential stealing malware or Trojan dropper, it never ends as google does a lousy job of vetting their apps before they hit the play store, but that is what you get when an advertising company thinks it is a tech company.
    11-15-2017 05:47 PM
  24. Wolfjt's Avatar
    It's not just what Google is doing with the data, Android still remains the most vulnerable and most targeted OS by hackers. It is the weak link in terms of security, corporate data security managers are still very wary of Android. Meanwhile, Windows phone has been deamed "most secure" (and obviously its not a huge target because of low usage volume). I avoid Android in my home, the only exception is my Amazon Fire TV.

    Here are a couple of related links:

    https://www.siliconrepublic.com/ente...id-ios-malware

    "According to F-Secure’s State of Cyber Security 2017, 99pc of all malware programs aimed at mobile targets are designed for Android devices."

    Android is the most vulnerable platform: Nokia

    https://mspoweruser.com/hacker-claim...smartphone-os/
    The majority of sec holes are from third party app stores. And hence the reason one should use Google mobile services and not third party ROMs that many people talk about on this forum. Android is targeted just like Microsoft is/was because it owns the market. The fact that Android applications run in thier own VM tells me things are just fine. There is not widespread phones being hacked out there, where are the articles that state people are losing thier banking information on Android?
    TgeekB likes this.
    11-15-2017 07:31 PM
  25. vEEP pEEP's Avatar
    If you are online -you are at risk.
    Laura Knotek and TgeekB like this.
    11-15-2017 10:11 PM
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