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October 13th, 2003, 02:53 PM #1
- Join Date
- January 18th, 2005
Google-Watch.org - a site looking into the worry implications
of Google's near monopoly of web search engines.
Take a look at this...
1. Google's immortal cookie:
Google was the first search engine to use a cookie that expires
in 2038. This was at a time when federal websites were prohibited
from using persistent cookies altogether. Now it's years later,
and immortal cookies are commonplace among search engines; Google
set the standard because no one bothered to challenge them. This
cookie places a unique ID number on your hard disk. Anytime you
land on a Google page, you get a Google cookie if you don't
already have one. If you have one, they read and record your
unique ID number.
2. Google records everything they can:
For all searches they record the cookie ID, your Internet IP
address, the time and date, your search terms, and your browser
configuration. Increasingly, Google is customizing results based
on your IP number. This is referred to in the industry as "IP
delivery based on geolocation."
3. Google retains all data indefinitely:
Google has no data retention policies. There is evidence that
they are able to easily access all the user information they
collect and save.
4. Google won't say why they need this data:
Inquiries to Google about their privacy policies are ignored.
When the New York Times (2002-11-28) asked Sergey Brin about
whether Google ever gets subpoenaed for this information, he had
5. Google hires spooks:
Matt Cutts, a key Google engineer, used to work for the National
Security Agency. Google wants to hire more people with security clearances, so that they can peddle their corporate assets to the spooks in Washington.
6. Google's toolbar is spyware:
With the advanced features enabled, Google's free toolbar for
Explorer phones home with every page you surf, and yes, it reads
only because Alexa lost a class-action lawsuit when their toolbar
this. Worse yet, Google's toolbar updates to new versions
quietly, and without asking. This means that if you have the
toolbar installed, Google essentially has complete access to your
hard disk every time you connect to Google (which is many times a
day). Most software vendors, and even Microsoft, ask if you'd
like an updated version. But not Google. Any software that
updates automatically presents a massive security risk.
7. Google's cache copy is illegal:
Judging from Ninth Circuit precedent on the application of U.S.
copyright laws to the Internet, Google's cache copy appears to be
illegal. The only way a webmaster can avoid having his site
cached on Google is to put a "noarchive" meta in the header of
every page on his site. Surfers like the cache, but webmasters
don't. Many webmasters have deleted questionable material from
their sites, only to discover later that the problem pages live
merrily on in Google's cache. The cache copy should be "opt-in"
for webmasters, not "opt-out."
8. Google is not your friend:
Young, stupid script kiddies and many bloggers still think Google
is "way kool," so by now Google enjoys a 75 percent monopoly for
all external referrals to most websites. No webmaster can avoid
seeking Google's approval these days, assuming he wants to increase traffic to his site. If he tries to take advantage of some of the known weaknesses in Google's semi-secret algorithms,
he may find himself penalized by Google, and his traffic
disappears. There are no detailed, published standards issued by
Google, and there is no appeal process for penalized sites.
Google is completely unaccountable. Most of the time they don't
even answer email from webmasters.
9. Google is a privacy time bomb:
With 200 million searches per day, most from outside the U.S.,
Google amounts to a privacy disaster waiting to happen. Those
newly-commissioned data-mining bureaucrats in Washington can only
dream about the sort of slick efficiency that Google has already
October 13th, 2003, 03:19 PM #2
- Join Date
- January 18th, 2005
Wow, this is incredible.
But I think it would be a little more incredible if Yahoo, MSN, AltaVista, Lycos, Ask Jeeves and everybody else didn't do it too.
Everything can be easily explained away as a good business practice-- especially the part about hiring "spooks." It's not easy to find good people for any job, and it seems to me that so-called "spooks" would be an excellent way to stimulate any team.
And there's my pro-Google rant (and we're not even ranked that well...)
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