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Book Googling Security reviewed on Slashdot  (View post)

Juha-Matti Laurio [PersonRank 10]

Wednesday, November 12, 2008
15 years ago5,510 views

The new book Googling Security: How Much Does Google Know About You? (320p.) of Greg Conti has been reviewed on Slashdot.


Amazon link:

Above 1 comments were made in the forum before this was blogged,

Jim McNelis [PersonRank 1]

15 years ago #

I call BS. If our data wasn't secure with Google, they would be out of business. Plain and simple.

For anyone worried about Google's employees looking at your data, get some perspective. 20,000 or so many of them have time to look at the millions and millions of users' data? The answer is none.

David Mulder [PersonRank 10]

15 years ago #

Under the current policies and evertything I actually don't mind the data google has access to, the problem is only once – for example – america would decide that it wants to become your big brother in the fight against terrorism and if they would force google to collaborate. That's when its too late. It would actually be really interesting if google would decide that you could host google services on your own data servers. Say you would go to, and you would first give a domain name and next your openid. The interfaces would still be hosted by google, but the data would be on your own servers. Great for google would be that they could cut the cost for lots of servers and it would solve lots of privacy scared people.

mrbene [PersonRank 10]

15 years ago #

Jim, it seems you've missed the point. This book is not about Google disclosure to the public or to their employees. This is about personal disclosure to Google, and the implicit relationships that can be interpreted from the data resulting from your use of their services.

Take the recent Flu Trends service that Google has provided. Lets say I'm part of a tech startup that is providing the same service, 6 months ago, via partnership with hospitals in my state. I've figured out some way to make money off these trends, and I've used seed money to provide light-weight terminals (touch screen and all that) to hospital waiting rooms. These connect to Google for more information about symptoms.

Now Flu Trends comes along and mines that data, and I'm providing my competitor with all the data I've gathered, at least implicitly.

Ken Leebow [PersonRank 1]

15 years ago #

They know everything. The trade-off in the digital age is all the incredible information we can access. However, the downside is, our privacy and anonymity are long gone.

We're fooling ourselves if we think otherwise. It's one of those unintended consequences. Sort of like the industrial age turned out to wreak havoc on the environment.

An Interest sidebar: It does not appear that too many people care about this Internet dilemma.

Andy Wong [PersonRank 10]

15 years ago #

You lost privacy if you want better services from your house servant, because you need to let he/she know your preferences and habits.

I know and many people know that Google knows me everything online, yes, everything, just as my ISP knows everything of my online traffic.

Advocates for privacy, thanks for the fighting, keeping a bit pressure on Google is always a good thing. You know, absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Besides, without spending a cent, you may have multiple identities online, you may have cheap but strong encryption like pgp etc.There are so many technologies emerging since mid 80s which uncle Sam was afraid of. If you really want privacy, basically you have 2 ways:
1. Don't get online.
2. Invest a little bit above average to your computing skills, and keep self disciplined.

mrbene [PersonRank 10]

15 years ago #

But Ken, why would I worry about tomorrow if I can get something cheap or free today?

For the record – I do care about this and other technological dilemmas.

Mrrix32 [PersonRank 10]

15 years ago #

Google has a lot of information about me, it has some information that even my closest friends don't know. It has my debit card details, emails I almost sent, "secret" notes and my search history.

But if you think about it, the only piece of information Google has on me which wasn't given voluntarily was a satellite photo of my house, and they wouldn't know who lived their if I hadn't saved it to my account.

mrbene [PersonRank 10]

15 years ago #

Hmmm.. @Mrrix32

Web sites I browse, via logs generated by Google Analytics or their ad scripts.
Which news results I click on, and which ones I don't click on.
Search terms I don't search for, but type in the search bar (auto-suggest).
My geographic location, based on the IP that my ISP assigned me.

The world isn't just black and white, explicitly given vs public domain. There's a whole lot of information that can be collected where a "normal user" wouldn't expect that it's being collected, or at least wouldn't expect that a specific third party were collecting.

Mrrix32 [PersonRank 10]

15 years ago #

[put at-character here]mrbene
Good point about the tracking scripts, as they can obtain lots of information that way.

But with news results and search queries you choose to use Google as your search engine, which means you have chosen to give them that information.

Richard [PersonRank 0]

15 years ago #

The biggest problem comes when we use the browser google chrome and not or

mrbene [PersonRank 10]

15 years ago #

[put at-character here]Mrrix32
The point on News Results is regarding the dynamic URL re-writing that happens on-click of a news result – load up HTTP Headers / Ethereal / Fiddler2 and take a look at what happens when you click a link that looks like it goes directly to from the News search results, while logged in.
The point on Search Bar is a direct reference to the default behavior of Chrome when it came out – the browser automatically contacted the Search Suggest service without prior consent.

Both of these are situations that I feel are unexpected behaviors even for an individual of decent technical knowledge.

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