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business in Business Channel,
Written by: Nacim TAMINE on Apr 22 2010, 5:30am

When google snitches

As everyone probably know, Google became the giant of data minig, today, it owns the biggest users data base ever made, with traces stored on computer servers, Google knows everything that a user has made over the last 9 months: this includes Web searches, emails, navigation, but also places of connection or the configuration of the computer. These data are very useful for governments investigations, when it come to national security or crime enforcement, Google receives requests for data disclosure from authorities, sometime they are able to refuse the request, and sometimes they agree to do so. Google has recently released a map of government requests to its services. it shows the number of requests for access to private data and the number of requests to delete content that it has received from each government.

Peter Fleischer (Google advisor for personal data) stated "We want more transparency" at the presentation of the page "Government Requests" at the Paris headquarters. Now we all agree on the fact that this is a good policy and it is nice to know that such a data mining giant as Google agreed to give these kind of information ( I personally find it a little bit ironic), but it seems that the transparency has reached its limit as some journalists pointed that few far east countries very known for their very drastic policy of censorship were not present in the map, the only answer given was "We could not evaluate, really".

Citizens Comments

Mohamed Hamdouni says:

@ Nacim: Thanks for bringing this topic (a rising concern for all Internet citizens we are) Just a clarification: Google keeps all data they collected during 18 months but they agreed (after some pressur) to anonymize these data after this period (mean that logs can no longer be associated to your IP or specific cookie ID)
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Apr 22 2010, 4:53am | Report

Nacim TAMINE says:

Most of people do not realize how compromising it can be for their personal data to use all Google services or Facebook... A lot of governments in Europe have decided to communicate about it through different media. In France, you can see often a TV advisement payed by the government explaining that posting any data on the web can be dangerous for your future career. On the other hand and as you said on your email, it is clear that Goolge would never reached its position without mining as much data as possible.
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Apr 22 2010, 5:19am | Report

Cedric Voisin says:

You may also have heard about GAIA attack?

 

If not GAIA is the authentication mechanism used by all Google on-line services to store user account and password.

How long will you trust google :)?

 

Source:

http://www.itworld.com/security/105132/report-google-attack-targeted-gaia-password-system?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ItworldToday+%28ITworld+Today%29

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Apr 22 2010, 9:10am | Report

Nacim TAMINE says:

Dude, it is not about trusting google, it is about catching new technologies train!

your account can be hacked just as you can get robbed outside and loose all your work+your data.

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Apr 22 2010, 9:49am | Report

Cedric Voisin says:

That's all about trust, technology also is matter of trust.
Public disclosure of your personal information, and many more,...

Google is a great non-trustable company, as FB and a lot more.

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Apr 22 2010, 9:59am | Report

Cedric Voisin says:

Will add something, do you think Google has been able to push such new technology that perfectly suit people habits/needs without spying on you?

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Apr 22 2010, 10:01am | Report

Nacim TAMINE says:

@Cedric: you are right, and that was the subject of my first comment.

Nothing is free in the  e-world.

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Apr 22 2010, 10:07am | Report

Cedric Voisin says:

Yes, you can't trust anyone on the web...
And it may become worst with Internet regulation or paid website!

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Apr 22 2010, 10:08am | Report

Nacim TAMINE says:

Again I am surprised how the Great evil position has been taken from Microsoft by Google.

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Apr 22 2010, 10:11am | Report

Cedric Voisin says:

You're totally right Nacim these past years, we heard more about Google and Apple than Microsoft...

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Apr 22 2010, 10:16am | Report

Brian Weiss says:

I perfectly understand that every thing I put online is public information, and when I open a doorway into my computer I understand some one might walk through and rob me! But I do it anyway. :)

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Apr 23 2010, 11:32am | Report

Mohamed Hamdouni says:

@ Brian: I think you are totally right

Surfing the web is like driving a car, you know someone can rob your car, you know you can have a car accident, you know peoples can drive faster or slower than you but you don't hesitate to go on the highway (with no or almost no fear)

@ Cédric: Who should we trust? if not Google, not Microsoft, not Apple and so on... no one can protect your digital life with a 100% guarantee, the only way to be sure to not retrieve information about you on places you don't want them is to not use computers, phones, GPS (and even TVs in few time) etc... and EVEN with that you may retrieve a pic of you doing crazy thing on Facebook because one of your friend or someone else posted it on his own account... so you will think that you should not have any social life too because of this risks...

The best thing to do according to what could happen is to take the technology and innovations train and just care about what you let on it (keep in mind that you may want to leave it at one time or another)

@ Nacim: Suure, it's important to educate people and I think that the governments is rights when they do this thru TV spots (as they did it for "road safety", "health", etc...)

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Apr 24 2010, 1:35am | Report

Richard Bashara says:

What a complicated issue... On the one hand, syncing our data and sharing publicly supposedly bands the internet community together, but how much of ourselves do we have to compromise to achieve this end? 

My motto is, if you post something that could be compromising you deserve to reap the wrath for it. Like Brian said, I am fully aware of this issue and do it anyway.  I use an anonymous pen-name for my social networks (like Twitter) and I rely heavily on security settings from Facebook to hide the questionable (or not) things I do. 

One way or another, it is getting increasingly difficult to live life without leaving a digital trace around somewhere...  Be careful, guard your HDD and its contents. 

On the other hand, certain corners of the internet have tried the anonymous approach and those communities are some of the most questionable out there.  Is it cool to let someone spout off whatever they feel all over your internet?  Yes and no... There are a lot of unintended consequences that come from anonymous communities.  

I suppose this will have to evolve as the internet community grows. 

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Apr 26 2010, 8:00pm | Report

John Kendall says:

I can see where this can aide Law Enforcement in catching the Bad Guy.  That's great!  I am all for that!

But not to get Political(I am from the U.S.A.) Government can use this to attack people they feel are objectionable to their cause.  This is not good!  And I ain't for that!

So, I will just sit on the post and see what happens.  Happy Trails!

JB

 

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Jul 1 2010, 12:57am | Report

Nacim TAMINE says:

@John: The so old debate between security and freedom.

We are definitly loosing focus on freedom these days, while I do not feel like the world is more dangerous...

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Jul 1 2010, 10:10am | Report

John Kendall says:

Nacim, you need to visit my neighborhood! 

Just kidding!

Mohammad wrote, "the only way to be sure to not retrieve information about you on places you don't want them is to not use computers, phones, GPS (and even TVs in few time) etc... and EVEN with that you may retrieve a pic of you doing crazy thing on Facebook because one of your friend or someone else posted it on his own account... so you will think that you should not have any social life too because of this risks..."

How true this is but you left out one thing:  Lock yourself indoors and do not come out.  There is a satelite up there with a very strong camera and it takes lots of pictures.  They even have a few of me, I seen 'em!

Like I really care, Heck I turned myself into that report a friend website the government set up to find out who was against them. I'm going to do what I do no matter what someone else may think.  Like mentioned earlier, "If you do compromising things you deserve what happens." Oh, it was something like that.

Never mind!

JB

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Jul 6 2010, 6:27am | Report

tom solder says:

I see y'all have been into this subject for quite a while, maybe you even put it to bed long ago. Unfortunately for me, I only got hit with this recently, so I'm sorta behind the 8-ball. However, I feel the need to offer my 2cents, possibly hoping to modify my thoughts if others see them as incorrect or just plain naive.

I think the problem we have as 'intercitizens' (d'ya like that word? send 25 dollahs to the above address and it's yours!), is not that others would have their way with our data. Rather, our problem is one of understanding which data is ok for the internet and which is definitely not, and knowing how to keep the two worlds completely separated.

That implies the need for (at least) two distinct identities. Choose one for the internet, keeping it totally separate from the real you, and choose another for your personal life. As long as your 'interdentity' (another word that'll cost ya 25 dollahs) never screws up and divulges personal info, you are in fat city.

I think this would be a lot like acting in a play. You have all the fun you want, as long as you 'remain in character'.

This is actually not a new concept. As parents, we instinctively knew that conversations between Mom and Dad were different, depending on whether or not the children were about.

My problem is, I never considered that what I knew as a parent was necessary to apply in my dealings as an 'intercitizen'.

Accomplishing this becomes more difficult every day as more and more of our financial world is hurled, even compelled, onto the internet. What's perhaps even worse, is waking up to reality one day, and seeing your entire life pass before your very eyes -- not that you're dieing; rather, that you are looking at every thing you have ever done as an 'intercitizen'  is now playing on yoo-toob.

 

tom

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Sep 29 2010, 9:36pm | Report

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