Google and data

Hey, guys
I was pretty sure that we talked about this on here already, but I couldn’t find the topic anymore and maybe I’m wrong and it never existed, but as you all probably know by now is that Google is (or rather was? I think, I read somewhere that they want to stop it since they have no use for it? Can’t find it again…) tracking everything even when the location services are/were disabled. Read up about it here.

So, now something new surfaced and I’ll just leave it here. But you should get some bags ready, I nearly puked on my phone and V.

The MAC address, identifier, type, and two measures of signal strength of every nearby Bluetooth beacon

So, yeah. Got Bluetooth turned on and Google will know where your device was when. Doesn’t even matter, if you’re using Android or not.


I dont really care about privacy these days. (My motto: Want to get your privacy back? Cut off your internet).

But I wonder how much battery life you would save from disabling the Location History functions, which consequently must include GPS location gathering (battery hungry) and data transmission via either WiFi or mobile data (also battery hungry). Not to mention the unnecessary wakes that could be prevented if this feature was not activated.


My main concern is that you can’t opt out, even, if you want to. If people want to get stuff for their data, then so be it, but I hate this greedy attitude to just take all the data you can get despite users specifically turning off i.e. location services and including random persons being near. They can basically make a location profile of more or less every android user and every iPhone, windows phone, etc. user walking around with his bluetooth enabled (with the newer iPhones that force you to get a bluetooth headset this gets even more relevant). It’s just some scary shit imo.


hm. I have a tracfone = old Android (4.1) phone and I remember that once I noticed a battery drain which I could not explain. I looked a bit aroudn in the internet (not on the phone :smiley: b/c it’s not usable for this) and as a result (I do not remember the details of what I read) turned off “location” or sth similar on the phone. As a result, battery life is back to normal.
Don’t know if that is related…
But as Patrick I am less concerned about privacy, I don’t care cause I am one of 5780qw813580183713 certainly, oh sorry for the numbers :smiley:

Yeah, I just never opted in to Location services when I had my Android phone. I mean it’s not that hard to just type in a zipcode to get relevant data and you save both a lot of privacy and battery life. But now I just don’t use a smartphone, so I never have to worry about it!


The thing is that Google collects location data nonetheless and also from other phones. That’s what’s worrisome. Going non-Smartphone is probably really the only way to go to be save :confused:

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No smartphone = peace is upon you.

(Quote from the non confirmed local psyche guru).

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Here’s something i’ve been struggling with a bit. I would love to hear counter arguments. This is put forth a bit more black and white than i truly feel, but this is more to illustrate my point and make for an interesting discussion.

Google is a company. Not a non-profit company, but a money making factory. They are in the bussiness of giving out free stuff, fur a non monetary fee, that fee being information.

I trust google with my data. I trust google to do what it does, which is advertise to me based on this information. I trust them to keep my data safe, as proof of them willfully doing damaging things with my (our) data will damage their brand, the trust people place in them, and thus damage their income.

I trust them to not hand over all their data to government agencies on the drop of a hat. Sure, after a court order they might, but not without a fight.

Yes, google gathers data, yes they use it. That is what their entire company is build upon. They earn money by getting people to buy their advertising services, and they are effective thanks to the info they gather.

I’ve seen countless arguments where “google unknowingly gathers this or that info”.

Have any of you ever seen reports where google mishandled the gathered data? Where it was sold to a third party, where actual customer and location info ended up in the hands of people who went on to do nefarious things with it?

I am honestly curious about this. Just to be clear, I am not talking about gathering data, that is their bussiness model, I’m talking about how they handle the data. Their slogan is/used to be “don’t be evil”. Does that still stand?

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This is pretty easy to confute: Privacy concerns regarding Google - Wikipedia
Just give this a quick read in the sections concerning governments. The quotes in the beginning already say a lot about the attitude of Alphabet/Google regarding working with government agencies and they are the company that basically challenges no request by any US government agency with or without any court ruling to give up data. Apple and Microsoft are a lot more trustworthy in that regard imo.

I’ll look for something more specific concerning to whom they sell their data. I just found a lot of articles that they’re sharing basically all the data they have including real names with all their advertising services.


Thanks, that does tell a couple of things about sharing with governments, too little OR too much. Thats not how I remembered it, guess I was wrong there.

They claim not to sell the data they have to anyone (Google Safety Center - Stay Safer Online), so I look forward to how wrong this info may be.

Thank you :slight_smile:

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Hmm, maybe they are indeed just using their data for their own advertising services and the advertisers and other third-parties can’t see anything about the person that watched the advertisement. I’ll try to look around a bit more as soon as I have a bit more time :slight_smile:

Hence why I stay as far away from Google as possible.
They’ve never been trustworthy, in my opinion, and when an outsider finds information like this, Google acts surprised, and like it wasn’t supposed to be there. At least Apple and Microsoft are open about their privacy policies and tracking. (Microsoft - usually, Apple - always, to my knowledge).

I wasn’t always against Google - my aversion towards them didn’t start until late in college, when I started to understand computer systems better, and how much value our data has.


It’s that kind of thinking that allows various intelligence agencies and multi-billion dollar companies to push the boundaries to their spying powers because there is no backlash in breaking a dozen local and international laws in regards to spying on people. Before you know it, everyone is desensitized to the prospect of being spied upon, further eroding the very laws that are protecting you. Did you know that law enforcement can now hack your computer from the other side of the country (USA) without a Court Search Warrant? Without your permission. This was previously illegal until last year in which a bunch of corrupt people sneaked this law while all the drama and debacle with Donald Trump was going on.

Some people have no clue…


NEVER, ever trust Google with your data. They have been handing over data to government agencies for 15 years. Research the google maps debacle back in the 2000’s. That is an early example of the company’s behavior leading up to 2018. To sum it up, they mounted cams on their vans and not only took pictures of the streets but also took extensive detailed pictures of everyone’s houses. This got them into a lot of trouble when they got caught in the act but it seems that more than one intelligence agency bailed them out of the legal mess. Obviously, google was in bed with those agencies for that project. Not only that, but while they were taking pictures of every house, they were also hacking homeowner’s WiFi modems illegally to gather data on the homeowners. This happened in America, UK, Australia, and most of the european countries.

By my count, Google have broken over 200 international laws in 15 years. Funny how they’re still operating today without any arrest warrants for the company’s heads and CEO.


If my data gives me the best OS on the market then I am pretty fine with it.

All these “google is leaking data to governments” and “Apple never shares data” are funny. How can you know that Apple doesn’t share data? Because they have said they don’t share? They made so big “marketing fuss” about the San bernandino case to make it look like Apple is the good guy. Pretty sure that Apple shares data when they are actually requested. They have just managed to keep it hidden.

Every company will help these agencies when they are requested to actually do it. And MS is almost as worse as google “is said to be”.

I just don’t see how someone can call Apple or MS the “good guys”.


I wouldn’t call Apple or MS the good guys, but they are the “better” guys, with apple being the “best” cause they don’t sell your data to 3rd parties for advertising, like MS or Google.
Thanks to Snowden we know that they all exchange information with intelligence agencies (Prism)


I’ll just leave this here, considering google search sponsored ads.

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When did Microsoft sell data to 3rd parties? I actually think that they are much more open about what they collect and what you can delete in your profile compared to Apple, but it might be subjective.

Thanks for your response Sudoapt, and I had already conceded about the government handovers, although I would like to do some more research on what they handed over and why. But this is definitely a thing that’s going on.

Your three examples kinda proof my point though. They are all about gathering data. That IS still their business.
What I would like to know is how they handle the data. Have they indeed given out user info to third parties?

On the government thing: I’m not comfortable with the government getting google’s data on me (or anyone). But the law is the law, and I don’t really see a way to prevent this besides not operating in that country. Which for an internet search machine is rather hard I think. Does this make it ok? No, not at all, but I can’t comfortably put the full blame on Google for that.

The Microsoft/Apple/Google comparison. Microsoft and Apple are in my mind two different types of companies. They did not start out as a search machine and still aren’t. Yes I’m aware of Bing, but calling that a search machine is doing the others a disservice. They make paid software. You pay for the OS, and when you pay in money, there’s shouldn’t be hidden charges where they earn money on gathering data from you. Oversimplified, probably, but that’s what i think is fair play. Google on the other hand has never hidden the fact that they are in the business of gathering data and using that for certain goals. They offer their goods freely so that they might generate more revenue through that gathering of data.

Progress is made by finding the limits and crossing them. Is this proper behaviour? That all depends on the reactions afterwards. I’ve been part of the works council for a cable company, and some of the coolest ideas for new services had some really questionable legal grounds. The only way to find out if it can be done is by pushing and seeing if its accepted. If it is, you’re the hero who introduced an awesome new service. If it’s not you’re the villain who broke the law.

Google is in the business of info gathering and I’m not going to blame them for doing that. It’s what they do with the info that concerns me.

There are some things out on the internet and in the open about me that could be a problem in the future. I’m a trans girl, and though that is not a problem where I live, I don’t dare to go to Russia or Saudi Arabia. America is moving slowly in that direction as well. If things go weird here, it might not be safe for me here in my own country in say, 10 or 20 years. Do I worry about this? Hell yeah. Will google play a part in handing over this info? Maybe. But I’m way more concerned about “de sleepwet” that has been announced here, which allows the government to listen in on anyone without needing a cause, and the sharing of their DNA databank with 3rd parties. They already have all this info on me, and they swear its for “my own protection”.

For me google is the lesser evil i guess? With google I get neat services for my info, and I still haven’t had proof they hand it out to any non-government agencies. It’s used for directing sales that I’m interested in in my direction. I can live with this. And as I said, the government already has my secrets, they don’t need google for this. That plus the government seems willing to hand it out to third parties, and not just other governments.

Anyways, If anyone has info on google sharing with third parties, I’m still interested :wink:


Here is atleast something how they abuse your data