5
camel
110d

"Many already Know this, but from this point on, Google is your wife."

I can't say how many times there has been a question which had a straightforward answer with one search.

Comments
  • 5
    You can AskJeeves your question, PhDuckDuckGo for a diagnosis, or settle for Uncle Bing’s advice.

    It’s best to simply avoid the creepy stalker google.
  • 1
    @Root Was gonna say google is the damn neighbor that you cannot trust and never tell anything to because they tell everyone.
  • 8
    @Root Google is also a verb, So, searching anywhere on internet can be called "googling"
  • 2
    @theabbie It shouldn’t be.
  • 8
    @Root Google in incognito is still better if you don't want to get tracked.
  • 2
    @theabbie No because a) browser fingerprinting, and b) they tie their profiling to your IP anyway.

    Incognito doesn’t stop tracking.
  • 8
    @Root Browser Fingerprinting and IP address are unreliable tracking methods. And, almost 80% of websites have google ads. So, visiting them will get you tracked anyways (if not adblockers).
  • 1
    @theabbie

    "Browser Fingerprinting and IP address are unreliable tracking methods."

    Did you google that? Ever think that the results you got were intended to make you think they were unreliable? If I were an evil intent empire who controlled access to information. I would direct people to misinformation related to my own activities as much as possible.
  • 8
    @Demolishun You don't need to Google that to understand that it's unreliable. If you know how web works, Neither IP address nor Browser Fingerprits are unique, nor is there combination. It might be used as such, but making a bold assumption that it might be the same person would not help. They can loosely profile you, but that's how web works.
  • 1
    @theabbie

    Even with do not track set on mozilla you can uniquely identify a browser:

    https://blog.mozilla.org/internetci...
  • 9
    @Demolishun That's enough proof that you can't use internet without being tracked. Google surely has much more advantage in this case, but, tracking is Inevitable.
  • 2
    @theabbie

    I did a test:

    https://hidester.com/browser-finger...

    In incognito it shows the same fingerprint in each tab. In normal mode it shows a different one. So they at least show different fingerprints (which makes sense). It really depends upon what info the servers use to fingerprint. My guess is that google has enough info to fingerprint based upon behavior that is confirmed by browser fingerprinting. I mean their phones listen to you too. So there is no escape.
  • 8
    @Demolishun If someone is Google-Phobic doesn't use any google stuff, uses secure browser and then uses Google in incognito mode, they won't get tracked. And Google shows best search results, without any doubt. So, you can have best search results without being tracked.
  • 0
    @Demolishun @Root, I sincerely don't understand why the tracking and data collecting that Google does is harmful to you. Why is it so bad that they earn money based on your search history? Their service is excellent, and I think your 'privacy' (which you don't have on the internet anyway) is a small price to pay for that.
  • 1
    In fact, Google is the primary reason why I am a developer right now. There may have been another company providing search service in an alternate universe which was more ethical, but in this one Google has helped me tremendously and for that I am grateful.
  • 2
    @camel They are manipulating the public and hiding information from you. Google, Twitter, and Facebook are currently being questioned by the government involving collusion to suppress political expression. They work together to tell you a false story. This is extremely dangerous to liberty. There is a lot more to this, so you should educate yourself. This isn't about selling you toilet paper. A handful of people in silicon valley have the power to sway the minds of billions of people through information filtering. Do you want them to have this power? Do you want ANYONE to have this power?
  • 2
    @Demolishun I agree with you on a moral basis. These companies must be questioned for such practices that may potentially bring humanity to ruin.

    However, that is not enough reason to prohibit me from using the best service that mankind has ever known. I won't handicap my work just because the company might be 'evil'. As for them influencing me, I have enough sources on both sides of the spectrum where I live (not USA) and enough of a conscience that I won't be swayed by the information control by Google.

    Do understand that this isn't an opposition to your point of view. The government should prosecute these companies for potential crimes. My boycotting the company doesn't solve anything. My only question is this: if there is a choice between two search engines, one of which gave me objectively better results and saved my time, why wouldn't I go for that?
  • 2
    @Demolishun from where I see it, it's just unfortunate consequence of sudden attribution of power. The human framework is having a hard time adapting to this change. Everything else is blowing it out of proportion. As for the data and how it is manipulative, it's mostly preying on already existing manipulation hotspots. Of course there needs to be amendment here but stretching it that thin only scares off the less knowledgeable.
  • 4
    @camel Who said anything about boycotting? You cannot escape google services. They are a thing and they are everywhere. I use an Android phone because it does what I want. I am just aware that some of their practices are really fucked up. I hope that justice prevails.
  • 1
    @camel I have found duckduckgo to get me better technical results for programming and electronics related searches. Less garbage in the feed. I like using google account for logging into websites. I pretty much ignore the gmail on those. So I use some services.
  • 1
    @Demolishun That's interesting. I'll try out duckduckgo for a while then, thanks for the suggestion!
  • 4
    @camel @theabbie
    I don’t have time today to explain this with yet another person.

    Perhaps @linuxxx wants to?

    tl;dr:
    Surveillance state, filtering/manipulating information, behavior analysis and prediction, behavior coercion, politics bias. If you really want to go to an extreme: China and 1984; that’s where this sort of thing can lead.

    It’s true that escaping google’s watchful eyes and eidetic memory is difficult, but that’s all the more reason to try.

    Also: Google is only “the best search engine ever created” because it tailors results to what you want/expect to see. It’s designed to make you like it more by echoing what you already think. If you use it via a fresh device on a different network, the results will be no better than bing or DuckDuckGo. Ask @kiki; he repeated this experiment recently.
  • 0
    Interestingly enough the ISP at our work lost its internet feed. I switched to a hotspot and my fingerprint is exactly the same. This is in incognito mode of firefox. So even from a completely different ISP is recognized the same browser.
  • 1
    @Demolishun Browser fingerprint isn’t tied to IP, silly. It’s everything your browser does, all of the settings, your hardware capabilities, OS version, everything scrap of data they can get or infer. But not IP because a) only a tiny fraction of people have a static address, and b) multiple people live in the same house and therefore share a public IP. It attempts to uniquely identify a single browser on a single computer.

    Browsing behavior seek to uniquely identify a single user on any browser on any computer. This is more than simply browser history: it includes visit patterns, length of visits, search terms, time of day, inferred reading speed from navigations, typing speed, mouse movements, etc. data collected depends on browser (chrome) and site (google analytics, ads, pixels/beacons, recaptcha, browser replay services, heat trackers, etc.)

    IP identifies a group of individuals related in some way: blood, business, preferences (e.g. a particular coffee shop), etc. IPs change with time, but the change affects everyone at that location at once; easy enough to correlate.

    IP, fingerprint, and browsing behavior all together tie you to a profile. If any one of these change, the other two are easily enough to identify you.

    And of course these profiles are stored and can later be tied to other profiles as they converge, so if anything remains similar, it can eventually be tied back to you.
  • 1
    @Root My test just proves that browser fingerprinting works.
  • 0
    @Root as I mentioned before, I agree that it's a problem. For my use case, as I have said before, I have other varied sources for my political dosage. I don't go to Google or Facebook for news and actively contemplate any such content, regardless of source. As for how it manipulates general political perspective, as @3rdWorldPoison mentioned, they simply amplify already existing hotspots of extremism. The problem exists with the awareness of this fact.

    Regardless, controlling information distribution and manipulating public perception on a certain topic should be considered a crime, and the companies should be treated to an appropriate punishment. I simply fail to realise why I should stop using the product, because a) it does not affect my political beliefs in any way shape or form, b) it is superior to any other search engine and has only resulted in gain for me, personally, and c) it is being treated to said punishment, and is being actively investigated.
  • 2
    @camel
    It doesn’t impact your views — as far as you are aware. Subjective, and I can’t say either way for another person, but I found it does affect mine simply because I do not see multiple viewpoints, or see some viewpoints as held by only a few, and/or only ever in a negative light. There are also many stories and sources that simply do not appear in google’s results.

    I also have absolutely zero faith in the US justice department to have any impact on e.g. google’s and facebook’s behavior. Especially considering the political stances of the new president-elect and his party — and his running mate who will in all likelihood take over for him. They tend to agree with google/etc. on many points, and appear to want their efforts to continue.

    Unfortunately, I only foresee these issues getting worse. I do hope I am wrong.
  • 1
    @Root

    "new president-elect"

    That does not happen until January. It is also far from settled. At this point Mr. Beijing is only a candidate for office.
  • 1
    @Root

    Also, you know that the Orange One wins no matter what the outcome is right?

    1 - wins election and takes office, continues to improve the situation

    2- loses election, creates new media network and continues to improve the situation

    In both scenarios the outcome is a win for the people in the long run. He also has changed politics forever. People are only going to accept reps that perform in the future. The impact will be greater than the Tea Parties were. That cat cannot be put back in the bag. It will be more difficult to accomplish improvements with the garbage the one side will try and make us swallow, but that is not where the power of our government resides. People are awake and understand that fight. Yes, many people are still asleep, but as things start to unfold it will wake even more people up.
  • 1
    @Demolishun I really and truly hope you are right.
  • 1
  • 2
    @Root Heading off to bed but @camel, @Root is absolutely right and I'll write out a huge ass comment tomorrow!
  • 2
    I confirm what Root said about google results being bad when google doesn’t know it’s you.
  • 2
    @camel Alright, let's start.

    Firstly, you state that you don't have privacy on the Internet anyways; nonsense.
    Just the fact that I can't find your email address just like this disproves that.

    Best service that mankind has ever known? That's subjective, not a fact.

    Aaanyways, what @Demolishun and @Root said is correct.

    Google is a manipulative, data harvesting mass surveillance engine.

    And you know what's funny? Many people just say "then don't use it."

    Alright, sure! In the meantime I'll go login to this websi.... ahh, Google captcha... aaaand already fucked. Then don't use that website! Maybe I need to use it? Maybe I don't have a choice?

    As for using or not using a product based on what the company behind it does... I don't know about you but I'd rather not give any data (I'm in an 'i don't have a choice, partially, situation) to a company which fucks over its users security and privacy wise and has an active NSA integration.

    They don't get convicted at all due to settlements and shittons of lawyers...

    It's up to the individual to choose what they're okay with but keep in mind that this can also have consequences for other people's choices.
    For example, let's say I don't want anything to do with Google (which I don't) and I HAVE to send someone an email who only has a gmail address... right, I'm fucked due to their choices :) (this goes multiple ways, for the record)

    I personally refuse to use as much Google stuff as I can. I do have an android phone but it runs a custom, degoogled rom. (I could go for an iPhone but apple is just as integrated within NSA's surveillance networks and iOS is mostly a black box)
    I use an end-to-end encrypted email provider which works great!
    I'm personally only using Signal and other open source, end to end encrypted messengers (no, WhatsApp is Facebook owned so no way in he'll I'm using that).

    It's not that hard but I prefer to vote with my usage/money, against privacy infringement and mass surveillance.
  • 1
    @linuxxx I did think of one way to thwart surveillance. That is produce a program that simulates activity on the net. If millions of people used such a program then a lot of data collection would become useless. However, I am learning from the election fraud discussion, that you can use Benford's Law to detect data manipulation. So I am not sure how reliable a fake data campaign would look like to data collectors.
  • 2
    @Demolishun It also entirely depends on what kinda data you generate I think. Like, Google is connected to PRISM. No matter how random stuff you enter, they'll probably correlate anyways
  • 0
    @linuxxx Is that related to The Hammer too?
  • 0
    @Demolishun Not sure, what's that?
  • 0
    @Demolishun
    ... The Hammer is my penis.
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