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Comment Re:"Flaw"? (Score 2) 269

It's not that my name and email and home address is data that I don't want people to know, it's that I don't want it handed to strangers without my permission (ideally) or my explicit understanding (at the very least). And I definitely don't want it given out on the internet to strangers without being asked first.

What I greatly prefer in Apple's way of doing this compared to Google's is that my privacy is assumed important with Apple, and is, at best, assumed proprietary to Google, but is to be sold or given away at their discretion apparently (which I did not expect!).

Comment Re:"Flaw"? (Score 2) 269

Its fairly simple.

The repercussions of violating privacy are much higher for Google than they are for other companies. Therefore logic dictates that Google will do more to prevent these violations.

You'll have to demonstrate that the bolded part is true. For example, this story contradicts it.

Apple, for example, treats customer privacy as a feature with which to sell their products. I'd suggest Apple's incentive for protecting privacy is greater than Google's.

If the typical company lets your private data get out (and as I'm sure you know, many have) they still have products to sell. Google's product *is* that data. They have nothing else. If the data gets away from them *or* if they lose the confidence of the public to keep it safe, Google is out of business, the end for them.

But the data here *did* get out, and not only that, but this is by their design and not an accident. The same goes for magazine subscriptions. On the Play Store, the publisher gets your name, email, and home address. On iTunes, the publisher can ask for it, but you can say "no" and you get the exact same magazine, no limitations. On Google Play, your only option is to not subscribe at all.

Do you want your data held by a company that specializes in making consumer electronics, or a company that specializes in *data*?

The former, because I trust Apple. And you are still glossing over the fact that Google collecting the data already *is* an invasion of privacy.

The only reason I have, up to now, accepted Google's inherent privacy implications is that, like you, I assumed (wrongly) that they would keep it all in house. That the worst of it was that I'd get ads based on my emails and such. And this data collection also allows for some very cool (if creepy) things like Google Now.

Unfortunately, for me, this is the last straw. Google has asked for a *lot* of my data, far more than Apple ever has, and with that data comes a degree of trust. Google has violated that trust in my mind, and will not get it back easily.

Were Apple to ever to the same, I'd have a similar response.

Comment Re:"Flaw"? (Score 1) 269

Sorry, I misread that last statement. What you wrote is so mind-numbingly absurd, my subconscious mind must have crashed upon reading it.

Your logic is that Google takes as much of my data as they possibly can, and that's *not* an invasion of privacy? Google's whole business model is to take in as much data as possible and exploit it to their fullest ability to do so.

Honestly, I can't comprehend how anyone who has even a modicum of how it works (and you clearly understand it well) can't see this.

Comment Re:I thought it was creepy, yeah... (Score 1) 269

Calling someone a "fanboi" is the first sign that you are probably the fanboy in this equation.

It's also an ad hominem, as you are attacking the man, not the argument. The argument is that Google is atrocious at user privacy. Do you disagree with this statement? If not, then please explain how your ad hominem isn't a sign of fanboyism?

Comment Re:"Flaw"? (Score 2) 269

Absolutely. I'm just explaining the institutional reasons why Google repeatedly betrays their customers, not that it's a good thing. That aspect of it is downright disturbing.

I was also pointing out that the upside is it leads to flexible services that are quickly deployed. And is one of Google's greatest strengths. The two go hand in hand.

Comment Re:"Flaw"? (Score 1) 269

If this were the iOS or Windows Phone stores, then yes, that would be true. But with Google Play, the developer actually IS the merchant.

The problem here is that it's not presented that way. The Play Store appears, to the customer, exactly like any other storefront. If it's really more like a flea market with individual merchants all collected together under one roof, instead of like a retail store, then this is something that is not only obscured to the buyer (which is a gross deception), it's also not even obvious to the developers, who seem quite surprised to receive this amount of info.

Only do those not reading. When you click the "$1.99 Buy" button then "Continue" button, you're presented with Google Checkout:

Review your purchase
Pay to:
Pay with:

Google Checkout is nothing more then an online merchant processor and works just like PayPal.

You act as though that implies anything useful. As an Android user, one expects the purchase to go through Google's payment system. What one doesn't expect is their name, email address, and location, to be sent without any notification that that's going to happen.

Comment Re:You're kidding yourself (Score 1) 269

All arguments about this particular situation aside, it's stupid to point your finger at a particular technology company and say "bad privacy!!1!".

What? This "particular situation aside"??? This particular situation is the thing we are talking about! And I never blamed the technology behind it. I blamed the company that doesn't give two shits about privacy.

Your credit card company knows what you buy and where you live. The checkout chick at Woolies/Kmart/Whatever can know your name when you hand over the card. eBay has a record of everything you've purchased (and when, and from whom...). Anyone at all you've dealt with could be storing your previous address. Need I go on?

And none of these things bother me. It's not that they need data from me in order to do commerce with them, it's what they do with it afterwards.

...and don't even get me started on store loyalty cards!

I don't use them.

And I don't how any of this justifies Google's gross disregard for privacy.

Comment Re:"Flaw"? (Score 3, Insightful) 269

XMFD @ trusting Apple over Google. They're both interested in your data for a variety of reasons. Get your head out of the sand.

With Apple, I'm the customer, with Google, I'm the product.

And in practice, Apple has been consistently far beyond Google in terms of protecting my privacy. This is just one of an endless supply of examples that demonstrates this. Perhaps you should take your own advice and look at the world as it is and not as you imagine it to be.

Comment Re:The canonical answer is: your own. (Score 1) 70

This is incorrect. What is actually stored on the Apple servers in Virginia is metadata. This includes device keys for devices authorized on the account, and rights certificates to RE- download already downloaded content from the content distribution network.

Please quit speaking about things for which you have no understanding.

I have:

Contacts, bookmarks, songs (my original files, not Apple's versions), iWork documents, photographs, and a multitude of other files and data, stored in Apple's iCloud servers. All of which I can freely download at any time.

You are correct that any purchases I've made, along with songs Apple has been able to match, are not stored individually, but even all of those files are re-downloadable by me.

And I'm positive that you are not aware of the implementation details for the iCloud.

You have no clue when I'm aware of. I do wish you'd quit yapping about things you don't understand. You are focussing on something that is completely meaningless to the discussion at hand: the behind the scenes implementation, while completely ignoring the real discussion: access to the data.

Comment Re:"Flaw"? (Score 4, Insightful) 269

This! I've sold software on Google Checkout/Wallet since day one, and always expect/demand customers data. I would like to get data from iOS sales too! This developer needs to get a job.

If you want my data, you are free to ask me for it. I'm quite offended to hear you "expect/demand" it. Why? It belongs to me, and if you want it, you may ask. If it's for income, just ask me to pay what your product is worth instead of tricking me with a low price and making up the difference with the theft of my personal data.

This is exactly why I prefer Apple's iOS ecosystem. I know what I'm getting into, and am in full control over my personal data. I'm much more happy to part with a bit more money than with most of my privacy.

Comment Re:"Flaw"? (Score 4, Insightful) 269

If this were the iOS or Windows Phone stores, then yes, that would be true. But with Google Play, the developer actually IS the merchant.

The problem here is that it's not presented that way. The Play Store appears, to the customer, exactly like any other storefront. If it's really more like a flea market with individual merchants all collected together under one roof, instead of like a retail store, then this is something that is not only obscured to the buyer (which is a gross deception), it's also not even obvious to the developers, who seem quite surprised to receive this amount of info.

The Play Store itself is only an intermediary. The system is setup like any other online store where there are "ordered" and goods are "shipped". Blame the fact that Google basically grafted the paid Android store onto a system that was meant for real-world goods.

I blame the fact on the combination of Google not caring one whit about end user privacy, coupled with Google's greatest strength: they do things in the quick-and-dirty somewhat Unix-style. Instead of creating a monolithic retail system, they slap together a few subsystems and call it a day.

This is a strength when it comes to flexibility and speed of execution, but is a weakness when it comes to making something consistent and reliable for the user. I prefer products with well thought out designs, where every detail is worked over and refined, but I do also understand the appeal of the infinitely flexible. I won't tell anyone which they should prefer, but I will say that end users are being presented something that doesn't match the reality of the system being presented.

Honestly though, this isn't news. Every Android developer has known this for YEARS. And this is no different than any other online store out there.

The developers have known this, but this has been unknown to the users. I had no clue this happened (but assumed Google was nowhere near as protective of my privacy as Apple, so have kept that in the back of my mind when using the Play Store).

However, I really would have greatly preferred to know this ahead of time. This isn't some design detail which needn't be exposed to the end user, but something that really needs to be openly and clearly made aware of. For me, this is a breach of trust, and while I won't eschew Google's services altogether because of it, I also won't quickly forget this breach either.

Comment Re:"Flaw"? (Score 4, Insightful) 269

Coke doesn't get my name when I buy their products in a store or at a restaurant. Levi doesn't either. Nor does Adobe when I buy their software at Best Buy. Or Lenovo or Microsoft or Sony. Neither does Rovio when I buy their apps on the App Store.

The problem here is that Google really doesn't care at all about privacy. It's not part of their corporate culture, and it can't be, when their entire business model is centered around exploiting data, not protecting it. Primary to any Google service is Google's wholesale commercial access to every bit of data you provide. Privacy is then applied secondarily, usually in the sense of keeping the personal data within Google's proprietary control, and only releasing aggregated and somewhat anonymized data to third parties, but that's just an afterthought. It's window dressing to make the initial privacy violation more digestible. Which for most of us here, it is... up to a point.

There are many things to like about Google, and I'm sure many here will (quite hypocritically) give up privacy in order to keep using the things they do like. I have no problem with this tradeoff if made knowingly, though it is annoying to hear people harp on with Benjamin Franklin quotes, then sell him down the river as fits their fancies.

It's things like this which makes Apple's system so appealing for many. With Apple, you can trust that your privacy is an inherent part of the system. With Google, you privacy is inherently compromised from the get-go. Even MS is miles ahead of Google with regards to privacy, and MS has historically been one of the most cynically profit-driven companies to ever exist!

Anyway, to your point, the developers already have my money. That's all they deserve from the transaction. If they want my name, email address, and location, they can ask for it. And if I'm willing to grant it, they can have it. Otherwise, they'll just have to settle for my money, which should be more than sufficient. If it's not, they can raise their prices, as I'd much rather pay up front for the things I use, rather than be on the hook with hidden costs that, unlike my checkbook, are often out of my control.

Comment Re:The canonical answer is: your own. (Score 1) 70

Every document stored in iCloud (music, tv shows, movies, contacts, apps, books,pages documents, etc.) are downloadable. If you couldn't, it would make for a shitty cloud (you can upload all you want, but you can never access your files? How does that even make any sense).

You can also store all of Apple's iCloud documents in other services. Gmail contacts, Amazon Music Locker, Dropbox, etc. I'm not sure you are aware of how iCloud works from the user's point of view.

As for logins, that's not what is being discussed. No one makes a fuss that you can't log into your gmail account using your own server's PAM configuration, or on your NT domain. No one complains that you have to sign into Netflix to watch your Netflix content. You're right that Cromebooks require a (somewhat ironic) Google account, and that it's something to consider. But even that lets you use iCloud, Evernote, Dropbox, whatever. That's just for logging in to your computer and (of course) to get ever more people using Google services.

> Now it's true that you could argue that people who buy into these ecosystems know what they are getting into, but that's nonetheless 5 examples of devices specifically tied to back end cloud services, with the easy potential for more devices as other vendors attempt to get into the Android/iPhone/Nook/Kindle/ChromeBook space themselves.

Except that wasn't my question. Where is this a problem? How is your data locked away? Even with the Chromebook, if you decide to buy an iPad instead, it's simple enough to transfer all your data into iCloud, of if you prefer, just keep using all the Google apps as is.

I'm definitely not saying there aren't downsides, or things to consider, just that having your data locked away isn't one of them.

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