news from Google

Peter Beckman beckman at
Fri Dec 11 16:05:01 CST 2009

On Fri, 11 Dec 2009, Scott Weeks wrote:

> --- beckman at wrote:
> From: Peter Beckman <beckman at>
>  At least Google seems to be honest about it.
> ----------------------------------------------
> Yeah, trust them...

  I said "seems."  It's hard to verify if ANY company follows what is said
  in their Privacy Policy.

> ---------------------------
>  What does Bing say they keep about you when you search, not logged into
>  your Passport account?  IP + searches, date and time?  And what do they
>  actually do?
> ---------------------------
> NOW you're getting warm.  What IS the difference in what a corp says they
> do and what they actually do?

  Who knows?  Since they won't let you check (then again, I never asked if I
  could), how do you know what they are really doing with the data you know
  they might have?

> ---------------------------
>  What about Yahoo, now that they will use Bing?  Or even
>  AltaVista?  How do we know the difference between the reality of what they
>  do versus their Privacy Policy?
> ----------------------------
> Yahoo and Altavista are one and the same.  Excite is owned by
> who own many other companies that collect and make money from knowing
> what you do.  Webcrawler is owned by InfoSpace (
> They are ALL making money doing the same thing.

  I don't see that trend slowing.  So when you search on AltaVista, assuming
  AltaVista uses Yahoo and Yahoo using Bing, does AV, Yahoo! AND Microsoft
  (via Bing) all get a copy of that single search request and thusly your
  data?  I'm guessing the 3 companies have different privacy policies that
  each apply to that data separately...  makes your head spin.

> ----------------------------------
>  You don't get to have Privacy on the Internet.  It's a fallacy.  You have
>  to work really hard to truly have privacy on the 'net.  And lie a lot.
> ----------------------------------
> Yes, you have to work hard and (one last time :-) DBS.  Use your sniffers
> at home to see what's talking to what; manage your cookies; force your
> ISPs machinery to change your DHCP-assigned address a lot; use SSH
> tunnels, blah, blah, blah.

  That's a lot of work, more overhead than many are willing to put in.
  Maybe someday I'll eat my words, but I'm just not paranoid enough to work
  that hard to avoid search engines or other companies to log my use of
  their service.

  I'm more worried about all the data at the doctor's office, the federal
  government, credit card and reporting companies, phone companies, etc. and
  I'm not doing much about that either.

> In FF goto "Tools", 'Options', 'Privacy', and select: "Accept cookies
> from sites'; 'Accept third-party cookies'; 'Keep until: <ask me every
> time> just to get a taste.  Be sure to click on 'Show Details' when the
> flood of cookies comes and pay attention to the details.  Don't go to
> sites that bork when you use these settings any longer.  Also, look in
> 'Show cookies' and 'Exceptions'.  Funny how M$ won't let you do that in

  Using a combo of Ad Blocker Plus and NoScript in Firefox helps reduce that
  significantly, without all the popups.  But yeah, it's hard to use the
  Internet and not get tracked by a bunch of different entities you know
  nothing about.

  Which gives further proof that my earlier statement rings true:

     You don't get to have Privacy on the Internet.  It's a fallacy.  You have
     to work really hard to truly have privacy on the 'net.  And lie a lot.

Peter Beckman                                                  Internet Guy
beckman at                       

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