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g00gle

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posted on Feb, 25 2004 @ 08:14 PM
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First of all, a special Disclaimer: I post this just to share ideas and opinions, about the g00gle search engine. If the mods, at any time, feel that this thread is innapropriated, please feel free to delete it. I know g00gle is sponsoring this website, and I don't want ATS to be seen as being ungratefull toward g00gle or anything, I only wish to have civilised discussion about something that matters to me.

Second of all, this might be failry old news to some of you, I've found an article that date from some time now, but haven't found any thread on the subject while searching, so I bring it to you now.

Now the meat part. Ok, g00gle is known to be one of the best search engine of the world, to be it simply IS the best search engine, and it's been my favorite ever since I've used it for the first time.

A few time ago, I had heard of privacy concern regarding the g00gle search engine. I didn't cared much at that time. But sooner today I searched for "conspiracy researcher" and found a link that grabbed my attention (bear in mind it was one of the few that popped up in first)

The title said "Conspiracy researchers says G00gle's no good". So curious as I am, I followed the link and started a to read. The article didn't bothered me much, seems like just another webmaster ranting cuz his website didn't got a good-enough g00gle-rank. But then, there was this part that kind of annoyed me a little...


From the article

More than that, says Brandt, Google is a careless custodian of private information. When you search for something at Google, it saves your search terms and associates them with a cookie that is set to live on your machine for 36 years. Brandt fears that law enforcement officials could muscle Google into divulging all the terms you've ever searched for. Those terms could be "a window into your state of mind," and are therefore a clear violation of your privacy, he says.


Now that part seemed kind of worrying to me. Here's the entire article if you want to read it

It got me thinking, after all, can something really become number 1 without having any bad side? (Microsoft comes to mind) Can you really get to the top (and stay there) while always staying clean and honnest?

Do you think g00gle search engine would agree to work with law enforcement agencies? After all, with something so big and successfull, how could they (where THEY is some kind of dark and evil, no easy to identify, entity) not want to profit of it?

What's your thoughts?




posted on Feb, 25 2004 @ 08:19 PM
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It is the oppinion of one guy. I don't think it matters that much.



posted on Feb, 25 2004 @ 08:19 PM
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Not surprising. Privacy/anonymity on the internet is almost nonexistant if someone has it out for you. Anyone who uses Microsoft Windows already is vulnerable in many ways. Web sites store information about users all the time...google doesn't seem much different. Microsoft is the one we should all be worried about.



posted on Feb, 25 2004 @ 08:30 PM
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Originally posted by Shoktek
google doesn't seem much different. Microsoft is the one we should all be worried about.


Microsoft is actually the one that lots of people have been worried about, and this started a LONG LONG time ago. But I believe worries are founded and kind of necessaries, in thier case. I use their products but never really trusted the companies it self, and they're well-known for having ...say... unusual business practices so... And just look how many problem they had with the law so far.

There's been a time where I was just so innocent, and so pleased with the excellent reliability and efficacity of g00gle, I actually never worried about them, kind of thought "Hey, why would they care?".

Now I'm starting to wonder...Can something really grow that huge and be that successfull without selling his soul to the devil? Makes you think...



posted on Feb, 25 2004 @ 08:30 PM
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My Disclaimer: I know people in the technology department of Google (unrelated to the adsense program providing our ads). Also: I've studied Internet security and privacy for some time. now... the meat. Google practices a "blind" policy for retention of user session data. A unique identifier is generated that defines you, but contains no personal data, unless you've provided it to Google. (there are few situations where you would) That identifier is stored in your cookie, then, as you perform searches, Google keeps track of what you searched, the results you received, and what you clicked. This sounds nefarious, but in reality, it's a sound strategy for improving the search engine. If the developers are able to not only understand your patterns for search, but also what you click on in your search results, they can modify the algorithm to improve overall results. There are plenty of data modeling techniques that can help them profile your searches, and what you clicked on, to help identify areas for improvement. Again, this might sound like a privacy intrusion... but here's the kicker... if you're worried, just delete the cookie. Since there are no data attributes associating the unique identifier with you as a person, the only connection is the numeric cookie... so kill it if you don't like it.



posted on Feb, 25 2004 @ 08:31 PM
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Originally posted by surfup
It is the oppinion of one guy. I don't think it matters that much.


I'm pretty sure the cookie story is based on facts, and not just "the oppinion of one guy".

As I said, I had heard of privacy concerns before, even way before I had read this article.



posted on Feb, 25 2004 @ 08:36 PM
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S.O.

Thank you very much, your input is very appreciated, as always. I knew from the start that cookies can be killed, like any other coockies. But it just got me curious.

I understand it can surely help improve the searches. But they just keep so much stuff... What if some weird guy just keep on constantly searching for, say, really really weird or potentially dangerous info? Does a bell ring somewhere to alert authorities? (ok, I'm just being parano now)

How 'bout that thing I turned off when I installed google tool-bar. Were those anonymous reports as well?

How 'bout being #1 and staying at the top, don't you think that, somewhere down the road, all the number ones have to "sell their soul to the devil" ?
(not litteraly speaking of worshipping Satan here, but I think you got my point)

How could they (whoever they are) not want to profit of something SO HUGE, and being used world wide?

I know you may not have an answer to the 2 last question, I'm just seeking for a personnal opinion here.

[Edited on 25-2-2004 by m0rbid]



posted on Feb, 25 2004 @ 08:38 PM
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Cookies really don't pose much of a security risk, unless used in a very malicious way...as skepticoverlord said, they are simply used to help make the site better.



posted on Feb, 25 2004 @ 08:42 PM
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Shoktek

I know, but say, if a computer is seized, and the user didn't expected it, I bet THEY could find a hell-a-lot of info in the diverse cookies, if the person didn't cleaned em up regularly.



posted on Feb, 25 2004 @ 08:43 PM
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shoktek i like your avatar.



posted on Feb, 25 2004 @ 09:34 PM
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I don't know... Google is a scrupulous company, as far as anybody can tell. Just because they're not sell-outs doesn't mean they're extorting money or killing people. Maybe they just don't suck, is all...



posted on Feb, 25 2004 @ 10:03 PM
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Originally posted by m0rbid
Shoktek

I know, but say, if a computer is seized, and the user didn't expected it, I bet THEY could find a hell-a-lot of info in the diverse cookies, if the person didn't cleaned em up regularly.


I suppose..but then again, if you were in a position at risk to have your computer siezed, you would be smart and clear your browsing traces. (A good program is window washer).



posted on Feb, 25 2004 @ 10:05 PM
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Originally posted by drunk
shoktek i like your avatar.


Thank you...the opening scene esp. from Full Metal Jacket is classic...



posted on Feb, 25 2004 @ 10:10 PM
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Originally posted by Shoktek
I suppose..but then again, if you were in a position at risk to have your computer siezed, you would be smart and clear your browsing traces.


Yeah I know. But thinking back to the article, it said the date programmed for the cookie to stay is 36 years, that's a friggin long time...

I bet they could collect a LOT of information on a computer of a person who isn't aware of privacy issues.



posted on Feb, 25 2004 @ 10:15 PM
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m0rbid you might find this link interesting:
google watch



posted on Feb, 25 2004 @ 10:23 PM
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Thanks MrDead, I think they talked about this website in the article, I was almost going to bed now, but I'll have to check back later and might comment on what I'll read.



posted on Feb, 26 2004 @ 08:48 AM
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MrDead

Weird...I quickly checked the google watch website yesterday evening, it was online, and now I wanted to check it again and it seems it's down...

Conspiracy? Or just normal down time?

I'll check back later...



posted on Feb, 26 2004 @ 09:43 AM
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I think it must have just been down-time morb, its working for me, I just checked it now.



posted on Feb, 26 2004 @ 08:59 PM
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Yeah, I noticed it was back up not so long after. Haven't had time to read much tho.

But something weird just happenned while I was on ATS. I was a the front page of the discussion forum, then I clicked on one of the google ads, and it brought be to www.belinda.ca . I'tried to see that ad again in the google ad bar and couldn't. I doubt they usually advertise websites of Canadian politicians. And I was at the front page, not any of the political forums.

I live in Canada. Tell me they displayed this ad by pure coincidence.



posted on Feb, 27 2004 @ 12:46 PM
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Un-Related: the two guys who founded Google just joined the lucky billionnaires club.

(according to Forbes)



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