Animation: How Google views user privacy






The video's description may be sincere.

The main question arises, though: Why do they gather all these data? Why do they insist that users always log on and so link their data (especially Google Chrome can be irritating with it "Why don't you log on" nagging - it's nagware!) to one single account, from which highly sensitive data can be given to law enforcement under legitimate requests, OR taken by the NSA under non-legitimate circumstances? And why do they (on a related note) store the data about user behaviour, logins etc. more or less forever?

If the data did not exist in this centralized form, they couldn't be abused.


Needs an update.


Hey! That was one of the Blues Brothers!



hahaha, actually we just give them whatever they want" ~google.


Personally I like the Lavabit approach to government information requests.


What a whitewash. To start with, a lot of the data is available not with a warrant but with just a subpoena: the user's login history (log in from IPX at time Y), and also correlation (who logged in from IP X at time Y). How do you think Petraus got nailed?

It also neglects to note that Google collects a huge amount of information it doesn't have to collect or retain. E.g. a warrant could get someone's entire search history (gathered to better profile a user), and thanks to Google+, every page viewed with a +1 on it. If Google has a way to identify Doubleclick ID, this can then also be used to get every page viewed by the target that has a Doubleclick ad!

Google doesn't care about user privacy, because lets face it, we the users are the product, not the customer, and the product being sold is information gathered about us to create advertisements.

They only want you to think they care about privacy.


Q: Why do they gather all these data?

To target you with ads.

Q: Why do they insist that users always log on and so link their data

They don't "insist". You can use Google and Youtube without logging on. In any case they don't need you to log on to know that it's you on their various properties.

Q: to one single account

You can open as many accounts as you want, but like I already said: they don't need you to have an account to know its you.

Q: why do they ... store the data about user behaviour, logins

They're an advertising company, not a search company. They're interested in advertising to you and keep you hooked by offering services that work better than the alternatives. Data on you doesn't decrease in value - the more they have, the more valuable the data.


Close down and delete server contents? Pretty awesome business model you got there. Where do I buy stock?


I do realize all these things.

Except your claim that they don't "insist". They do. I have an anonymous (pseudonymous, rather) YouTube account, and every time I log in, they nag me about my real name and cell phone number. I have been unable to locate the "NO, once and for all, do not ask me about this ever again" button in the user interface.

My Chromium browser also keeps telling me that I'm "missing out" when I use it without logging in to my Google account. That's what made me call it "nagware".

But all your valid points raise a new question: Why do we keep on and on and on feeding them our personal data? If we were smart, we would stop doing that.


But they don't insist. You can view youtube videos without logging in. When you've logged in they do nag you about providing other details, which I'll agree is annoying.


You don't have to use Chrome at all. There's SRWare's Iron and Comodo's Dragon and all three are based on Chromium which you can also get. So there's no need to have Chrome phoning home at all.

Edit: Meant for this to be a reply to @agger_​modspil


But they don't insist. You can view youtube videos without logging in. When you've logged in they do nag you about providing other details, which I'll agree is annoying.

You're reading what @agger_modspil is saying, but not listening. You are trying to redefine "insist" to only mean "require".

No, they don't necessarily require you to give a real name and phone number for various services, but they sure as hell do repeatedly insist upon it.

Google is badgerware. I use Mac, Windows, iOS and Android extensively in my work and Android (by far) is the most invasive. Even trying to use Google's apps feels like information rape by the time I'm done trying to get everything they shoehorn into a system out of my VMs and test devices.

For example:

Google makes a lot of interesting choices...

Google Removes Vital Privacy Feature From Android

Now let's look at just one Google app of many:

Try installing Google's Picasa photo gallery software on a computer and watch how on first launch they put up a dialog box (that you cannot close or cancel) that forces you to scan your computer for pictures.

The only two "choices" in this mandatory dialog box is scanning your entire computer or just everything in your user folder. The ONLY way to stop this process is to force quit the application whether you are on Windows or Mac.

It then happily goes about not only scanning everything and grabbing all your photos, but it also starts scanning all your photos for facial recognition (whether you want it to or not).

It's only after Picasa goes about scanning all your shit (whether you wanted it to or not in the first place) that one can slowly dig through the settings to find a way to stop it.

I'm thankful that I've only run Google Picasa in a Windows, etc. VM that I later destroyed.

I prefer my Android tablets over the Apple iOS iPad for many reasons, but unlike my Mac running OS X on my laptop, every time I pick up my Android tablet I get the distinct feeling I'm being watched... closely by Google.

Oh, I should also mention that Google Picasa makes you "agree" to an extremely long EULA before the app will even run. They also make it so it's not easy to copy and paste the EULA, nor save it, but was able to snag the text on a Mac:

Some of the highlights of the EULA:

  1. Your relationship with Google

Aw, how sweet, I've now entered into a "relationship" with Google by running an app.

you may be required to provide information about yourself ...You agree that any registration information you give to Google will always be accurate, correct and up to date.

I guess they need my real name in order for everything to be "accurate" and run smoothly in a photo gallery app.

8.3 Google reserves the right (but shall have no obligation) to pre-screen, review, flag, filter, modify, refuse or remove any or all Content

How quaint, they call spying "pre-screening".

11.1 ... By submitting, posting or displaying the content you give Google a perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, and non-exclusive licence to reproduce, adapt, modify, translate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute any Content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services.

Google basically co-owns your photos now. Congrats.

11.2 You agree that this licence includes a right for Google to make such Content available to other companies, organizations or individuals with whom Google has relationships

Oh wait, Google and anyone else they like also co-owns your photos now. Stellar.

11.3 You understand that Google .. may transmit or distribute your Content over various public networks and in various media ... You agree that this licence shall permit Google to take these actions.

That's fine, but what if I don't want Google to transmit my images to anyone else or secretly to their servers or the NSA? I just want to use a private photo gallery for my photos on my computer. Oh, well...

11.4 You confirm and warrant to Google that you have all the rights, power and authority necessary to grant the above licence.

This seems to give Google all the permission it needs to grab all my photos and facial recognition data without my knowledge before I was able to stop the process after installation. Actually, they can probably take the photos anyway from the entire hard drive if they want to, really.

17.1 Some of the Services are supported by advertising revenue and may display advertisements and promotions. These advertisements may be targeted to the content of information stored on the Services, queries made through the Services or other information.

17.2 The manner, mode and extent of advertising by Google on the Services are subject to change without specific notice to you.

So random advertisers get to look at my photos too? And, the extent of their access to my photos and perhaps data can increase without my knowledge, maybe in a software update? Great.

Such a great photo gallery app, it is.

Oh, and they install a Picasa plugin into your browser without your knowledge as well just for launching the app. Also, go look in your launchagents as well for more crap they smuggle into your computer without your knowledge. Then check Windows for more, etc.....

Google is evil.


At least this part of the video properly conveys some of the shit-ton of data Googles keeps on you...


I wonder if google does any internal searches on the digital trail from the investigators for leverage against said investigators? It would be legal as it is google's data ... right?

That would be cool ... or scary.


Cute, but stupid.


Why this explanation by Google on user privacy is shown now? Why not before when the issue of NSA leak is on its hot topic.


Probably becaus Google wasn't sure themselves how much of the process has been undermined by NSA meddling. The company looks foolish if the integrity of their process is made a mockery of in the next Snowden leak.
Which can even be said of the video as it is right now.


So the only metric we're allowed to use for desirable behavior on the part of corporations is the quality of their business model? That's asinine and that attitude is the reason that most of the largest and most successful corporations do some evil shit. Lavabit took a stand for the rights and privacy of their user base. I much prefer companies that are willing to sabotage themselves for the good of society than ones that try to profit by any means necessary.