I have just read this article from NY Times in which Google was being indicted for abusing loopholes in MacOS to circumvent privacy settings and serve ADs. Why am I not surprised. I have been saying this for years that Google is behaving like a Trojan on a PC. The only thing they don’t do is damage your PC but they do steal your data.
Something like this from the article got my blood boiling:
Google says that The Journal mischaracterized what it was doing. The search company said that it used “known Safari functionality” to provide features for people who were signed into Google services. Enabling the installation of additional cookies was unintentional, it said, so the company has started removing these cookies from Safari browsers.
“We didn’t anticipate that this would happen,” said Rachel Whetstone, senior vice president of communications and public policy for Google, in a statement. “It’s important to stress that, just as on other browsers, these advertising cookies do not collect personal information.”
You are telling me Google didn’t know it was installing additional tracking cookies and reaping people off? Yeah right!
I am the goto person for friends and families to fix there PCs and I am amazed how deep Google burrows itself into the PC, and how much crap they dump on a new system. If you don’t believe me, you go turn Google off on your PC, they won’t quietly go away. They are like bloody roaches, they keep coming back. If Google is on your System and you set your default search service to something else, all kinds of tricks are performed to have users use Google search services. Don’t even get me started on Toolbars. There is an active toolbar war that Google is fighting on people’s PC. Just try to turn-off their toolbar. You will be bombarded with request to turn it back on.
Google maintains at least five stubs in the AutoStarts, including the Scheduled Tasks. Try to uninstall Google’s toolbar and see. It is time someone puts Google in its place with these guerilla tactics on everyone’s PC. Let them knock themselves out on their Chromebooks. Keep out AND STAY OUT of people’s lives Google!
It is not Google’s fault, it is the fault of the people that use its Products. I have never and WILL never use Google’s products, and I am a living example that you can exist in this digital age without Google.
[Update: 2012-02-20] This news is spreading like wildfire. In the meantime the IE team has confirmed that Google is sidetracking users privacy also in IE on the PC, not to talk of Chrome: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/ie/archive/2012/02/20/google-bypassing-user-privacy-settings.aspx
When the IE team heard that Google had bypassed user privacy settings on Safari, we asked ourselves a simple question: is Google circumventing the privacy preferences of Internet Explorer users too? We’ve discovered the answer is yes: Google is employing similar methods to get around the default privacy protections in IE and track IE users with cookies. Below we spell out in more detail what we’ve discovered, as well as recommendations to IE users on how to protect their privacy from Google with the use of IE9′s Tracking Protection feature. We’ve also contacted Google and asked them to commit to honoring P3P privacy settings for users of all browsers.
We’ve found that Google bypasses the P3P Privacy Protection feature in IE. The result is similar to the recent reports of Google’s circumvention of privacy protections in Apple’s Safari Web browser, even though the actual bypass mechanism Google uses is different.
Internet Explorer 9 has an additional privacy feature called Tracking Protection which is not susceptible to this type of bypass. Microsoft recommends that customers who want to protect themselves from Google’s bypass of P3P Privacy Protection use Internet Explorer 9