Google CEO on Privacy

If you have something that you don’t want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place.

Google CEO: Secrets Are for Filthy People

Asa Dotzler suggests people switch to Bing.

So, he’s a secretive guy himself, yet says that secrets is for filthy people?

/me smells huge hypocrisy

A fool he is if he can’t notice such a simple contradiction

Yes, it was a silly thing to say. He’s getting lots of grief for it from bloggers. Few people buy the “If you have nothing to hide, why worry argument?” And we know he doesn’t either.

The rest of what he says boils down to “we can be forced to give any data over to the authorities”. True enough but that begs the question: Why do you keep all those log files as long as you do? Making money of other people’s data clearly trumps the public interest in protecting privacy. So much for “do no evil”.

Facebook is getting lots of grief as well for their changes that supposedly give users more control over privacy settings. No one buys that either. Changes mostly seem to be about encouraging people to share everything with everyone.

i always have a hard time justifying google to myself, sure they do a tremendous amount of good things… the list goes on and on with their contributions to the internet environment. I wouldn’t fault anyone that sang their praises.

but, google is a business… and their revenue stream is generated by keeping track of your behavior and interests, whether you want them to or not. The data they collect is staggering to me, and i’m sure i don’t have a real grasp of everything they actually track and record.

so i’m left with this feeling of the mafioso guy that contributes to the church… great thing that stems from unsavory conduct.

hard to resist the services that they provide because they are extremely useful… but i manage. :slight_smile:

Here’s one thing I don’t understand - you create a profile on a site with hundreds of millions of users - a social site no less - and your only goal is to show no information about yourself?

I’m not suggesting posting your phone number and panty size but for the love of spaghetti monster, if you’re going to publish a picture of yourself you might as well give out a few things more - no, those evil identity thieves won’t be able to clone your face on their passports if they know which country you live in.

Exactly facebook/myspace/blogging etc just don’t do them if you worry about privacy.

Skype - use an ID made up specially for that unique purpose, and check it in google before you sign up.

Wow! A CEO is actually honest, good on him!

Those objecting to the legal situation need to lobby elected representatives. Non-story, and I have to wonder about the agenda of the 2nd link.

I’d very much like to know yours, Heidi :stuck_out_tongue: :stuck_out_tongue:

There new defaults are a lot more liberal than there old defaults so if you wanted to use it to connect with friends you might end up sharing a lot of information you didn’t intend to share with a wider group of people if you don’t spend some time configuring the settings. For example, why do you need to share your birthday with friends of friends?

There’s a detailed description of the changes here. I think a lot of people are clueless about how easy it is to cross reference information between different databases. With a birthday and place of birth and other assorted bits of personal info, for some people you are halfway to cracking their social or various account logins if the answered all those silly password recovery questions many sites use. When it comes to these type of services, lying is good.

In the specific case of Facebook, this silly attitude about wanting public information private came about because of what Facebook was like when it started. Back in the ancient days (2004), when it was still called “The Facebook”, the only people who could use it were students a relatively small number of American universities. This gave a lot of people using it the illusion that there was some part of the internet that was somehow half-private. A lot of users thought the only people who could find out anything about you (besides Mark Zuckerberg) were the three other people you knew using Facebook, and that creepy dude on campus who knew everything about the BTK killer and followed you everywhere. Now, Facebook is seemingly just as open and creepy or perhaps more creepy than other sites like MySpace. This is the sort of thought that people who have been using Facebook a long time who don’t understand that the only reason sites like Facebook exist is to sell advertising and the information they aggregate.

Not to hurt anyones feelings but privacy is more a function of “Who cares?” in a World of 6,500,000,000 people. Unless you are Tiger Woods (And he had a degree of privacy until his accident brought forth interest) chances are it is too much trouble to ferret out your secrets. Not to say that blatant posting of what you do (or your reveling photos) can have consequences if a employer or insurance company might go looking.

I saw on a crime show recently where some guys had gunned down a guy in his yard. They had left a sports bag behind that they had carried the guns in. It had a price tag from Walmart. The police checked the Local Walmarts and found that Walmart not only had a record of the amount of bags sold at any given day/time but even had video of the people who had purchased them. By matching the photo to the criminals the police caught the killers.

So if you do not wish to be noticed in the modern World it is more a function of not coming to the attention of others. Strange, it also works the other way. If you want to get noticed anymore, you need to do ever more outlandish things. Thus the Balloon boy, Mother of 8, and other stunts.

I know that if anyone really made the effort they would find out my real identity instead of the Super hero MattB, people know me by on the 'net. This would be unfortunate and could endanger my standing in the Community. Not to mention all the endorsement deals.

Read anything by Daniel Solove and find out why privacy is important. The Future on Reputation is free online. Or see his essay '(, also free online.

You misunderstand, privacy may be important but it is only achievable when no one makes a concerted effort to find you out. Which unlikely never happens because you probably are not a unique snowflake. Making yourself unique enough to attract attention is not an easy task.

Now if you do Google searches on converting openSUSE into a detonation method for your Armageddon device, followed up with questions to the Forum here, where your registration can be accessed by some Top Secret Government Organization, well… some guys did get to live in Bermuda after Guantanamo. BTW, Armageddon devices work better with Puppy Linux.

Privacy is dead, sorta like Kde 3.5

No, I don’t. You seem to be arguing you don’t need privacy because you are lost in the crowd and that unless you work hard to be noticed you won’t be. That sounds awful like “security by obscurity” which is complete nonsense. So some clueless college students post stuff like the material discussed here. Is this a big deal? Yes. It wouldn’t have been a big deal if it had just be gossip at the local Starbucks (what it would have been ten fifteen years ago), or at least not for long, but on Facebook it never goes away. The chances that a potential employer or someone of similar standing is going to read this 5 , 10, 15 or more years later is really high and the person who posted it or who discussed in the post will have to live with whatever the consequences are.

I couldn’t agree more. Strong(er) privacy is needed both on the Net and in real life. Unfortunately, it seems we’re slowly losing it since some big @ss corporations need and want to know as much as possible about you so they can not only (probably) misuse that information but so they can also better “adjust” their marketing at you personally and sell you often worthless stuff and grow bigger and bigger

“losing oneself” in the crowd will not eliminate the possibility of “they” finding out what they want about you

Security by obscurity is what I argue is all you have left today. Not that privacy may not be wanted or even necessary in a World of people that some are out to hurt/take advantage of you. Besides don’t knock Security by obscurity (apathy) it works and none of the proposals that are being made for privacy will work. Herein the Google CEO is correct in the sense of do not publish anything that can be used against you. It may be a shame that we no longer can truly escape our pasts in this new world. It is just a fact to deal with it.

Sure we can create regulations and laws that says all kind of draconian things will happen to those that abuse privacy. Who is going to monitor and enforce them? Are those monitors imbued with the power to look at your information to see if a violation has happened? If so your privacy is no more. Would it be nice to take down the devices that record our purchases. our hourly use of electricity , our images (UK folks seem to love the cameras) and or conversation on the 'net (How anything published to others over the Public Internet can be considered private eludes me.)?

Perhaps so, but that train has already left the station.

Like it is said in the sport of Boxing; “Protect yourself at all times”. In this World of limited Privacy be careful not to draw too much attention to yourself unless you enjoy the scrutiny.

As a follow on because I had seen the Statistic on the news the other day that 53% of people have googled up someones name, I decide to google mine. One of the first things to pop up was a request by Google to fill in my Google Profile so others could know all about me. I would be real gone gump to do such a ludicrous thing. As it displays now there is no way for a causal searcher to spot any information of me. (I did spot my name in references to a real old address I had back in my Service days in a previous lifetime buried down 3 pages.)

With all the other people of similar name having higher returns I am effectively invisible in the noise. However knowing some few things about myself I can refine the search to get my address and phone number off a phone directory search. Using those I can probably, if I wanted to pay money, get more information such as any criminal record, traffic violations, and possibly relatives and their identity.

Thus I have limited privacy. What do you find out about yourself when you do a search?

Several problems: a lot of people, maybe most, haven’t come to terms yet with privacy, or lack thereof, on the Internet. If you look at the various studies that have been done on Facebook us,e such at the T3 study, there’s is some evidence that users are being a lot somewhat cautious than than they were a couple of years ago. Facebook users want some level of privacy.

I don’t buy the technological determinism of the Internet killed privacy and there’s nothing very much you can do about it so get over it. Lots on technologies created privacy issues when they first appeared, and people got annoyed about it, and laws were passed that provided protection. I can hop on to me neighbor’s porch and open their mail, I can secretly record phone conversations, I can ask the guy down at the video rental store what another customer rented, etc. I can do all these things but they are illegal.

The VPPA, the Video Privacy Protection Act, is actually one of the few laws that have been used effectively against Facebook. A few years ago Facebook wanted to link up their data with data from Blockbuster. It didn’t happen because they got hit with a bunch of lawsuits citing the VPPA. They just settled the suits a few months ago. The VPPA is also being used to prevent sharing and realease of YouTube video data. It’s just an accident that the VPPA was written in a way that it applies to online data as it was written at a time when cassette tapes were the norm but it shows that laws can be applied to this medium and that can provide effective protections of privacy.

At the end of the day privacy is a social-political-legal issue. And eventually the community and the laws will catch up with any new technology assuming we decide we want to maintain some level of privacy.

Good arguments and well thought out. I will just point out the CEO of Google was saying they (he) would follow the Law if required to turn over private data. You say there ought be a law against collecting data, and I respond that who do you trust to enforce these laws? Laws are only good if the majority of people agree to abide by them and those who enforce them are incorruptible.

Thus we devolve into Politics which is not allowed by the rules (law?) of the Forum. I guess I can expect the ceremonial banishment and beheading for bringing politics up. :X