Is Google evil and intrusive?


#1

So, what do you guys think given the last few years of revelations? Do you see Google as an evil company? A surveillance machine?


Instances of Google as a verb, or, "Google it."
#2

Yes. Google is a surveillance machine.

I use it as little as possible. I wish I could say I did not use it at all. But, it has market dominance and so sometimes that makes it difficult to avoid. I also don’t think that its market dominance is either an accident or entirely due to Google’s business acumen. I think what has happened to Google is what happens to all media/ICT companies one they get sufficiently big that their market reach starts to be noticed by the Western powers. In particular, the Yank powers. When that happens, someone pays them a visit and explains “how things really work”. If they agree, then they suddenly find themselves in an extremely hospitable operating environment. If they don’t, then things start to happen that makes their operation more and more difficult.

Google were swallowed up by the Western deep state some time ago.


#3

Indeed … yes !

IMHO, and as an European citizen, maybe i will be a little hard … Google privacy statement is a joke ! Most of their commercial processes is based on your data or with the plan to collect ever more data … violating your life, violating your mind by collecting data and analyzing usage related to your needs, interest, life !

Android is an example of something which has been perverted and is a real privacy black hole ! What about the cloud, bigdata …

You don’t have access to all the data collected about you … only the not immersed part of the iceberg.

These goals are always justified by security concern or to improve and facilitate your Internet life … which is for me just an excuse !

Today all large companies (F.M.A.A.G …) which regulates Internet and imposes their vision for the Internet network and by repercussion to the Internet users practice the same sport.

All other large companies that have the structure and power to do so want to collect data about their current customers and future customers to analyze them or to resell.

In Europe, today, we seem to be more protected than in the United States … what about tomorrow because politician are trying to debrid or contouring using the same excuses.

Data will be the next Dollar or Euro coins.

As Peter Parker’s Uncle Ben said … “With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility”

I Repeat this is just my own position !

Kr,


#4

Yeah my previous speakers explained why. But the great thing is that you can live terrifically without Google.

Mickey :relaxed:


#5

I think you can live without google, you can use Duck duck go, start page, browsers like firefox, Opera, you can use Nokia here, Via michelin, Open street maps to search for places, use phones with Ubuntu touch, Lineage OS or Maru OS , but if you use telegram and a friend also has WhatsApp in android, I’m sure Google and Facebook know that.

Google is very intrusive in your life.


#6

LineageOS is Android, which by design exfiltrates data.

If you want privacy, do not generate data!
They cant grab what is not there.


#7

Hey, I resemble that remark Steve :-). But your assessment is correct from my point of view. Also they jumped into bed with the Obama administration and some questionable practices.

In less than a heartbeat after buying a product it was popping up in all my other searches using Google. I trust them further than I can throw the world. No fulcrum is big enough. The problem is they seem to be the very best at ferreting out the esoteric stuff I seem to search for and their maps are the best, IMO.

I need to concentrate on using Duck, Duck Go as @Josele13 suggested. I tried it a few years back, but gave up for some reason. Need to do another go at it.

Cheers, Fred


#8

Nowadays Google is better in everything, it has the best in search, mail, translator, maps, etc … Android is very good as an operating system, but the amount of data that its apps collects, the tracking you have with android and the monitoring that he does in your searches, makes it despicable. Ethics is something that every company should have, it must be professional and useful to others, they make their scale of how you are to offer your best advertising, facebook and amazon also live on your data.

You can avoid them, maybe they do, but you can not live in a bubble far from everything either. It is not healthy for you, you have to look for the balance of this if and this does not. Ubuntu offers you many possibilities of total anonymity, but there is always someone with a superprogram that detects everything.

It is not good to give everything and you can not isolate yourself, you are in the network and all the data that you put someone picks them up. Sometimes who should not catch them.

Use the tools you need to surf the Internet, give very little of you, because you do not tell everything that happens in your home to your neighbor, it tells you what is fair and necessary.

Sorry for my English ,

Regards…


#9

The search part is arguable. It has the best contextual search for you, which means its search results are tailored to you, but I find DuckDuckGo better at finding obscure parts of the internet that Google just “forgets” eventually because it can’t match with your profile.

Maps and translation I have to agree. Osm is good, but not nearly as good as GMaps… It’s still very usable if you’re willing to invest the time and effort. But the sheer amount of data that Google has makes things like translation and maps really really good.

Anyone can do email, not sure what advantage GMail has over others.


#10

I’m glad you tell me that Google is not better at something, that means there are developers and small companies that work hard to make good applications, Google has a lot of money, many developers are not up to the task of a colossus, and they work very well

Regards…


#11

Today I ran a real world test of DuckDuckGo vs. Google on a somewhat obscure search.

“lenono G780 locks up at power on HDD constantly being acessed”. Yes, I misspelled two words, told you it was real world. :slight_smile:

The results were day and night DuckDuckGo failed miserably, now I remember why I don’t use it.

Yes they are big, evil and track your every keystroke, but they give you answers you seek.

Fred


#12

Oh for the good old days!

Today, companies, and their tax money, wield the real power, however they might have started out.

If this was not so then many banks would have been nationalized around 2008.

Heathrobinson.


#13

I’m not suggesting otherwise. Governments have been bought up by the corporates and are basically their lackeys. Any new player that makes it up through the ranks, therefore, is given the message that they are playing by the corporate class’s rules now, or else.


#14

… they give you answers they want you to see :slight_smile:

often you believe they were the ones you were looking for…

there is a reason the French are building their own search engine… :slight_smile:

Please remember, the visible, searchable part of the internet is only one of many sources of information…
0101010101010101010101010101010101…


#15

I don’t mind Google. Sure, they track you, but they provide the best services I can find on the internet. I could probably find self hosted alternatives to everything google offers, but the good outweighs the bad for me and wasting my time trying to get some obscure site working and transferring all my stuff over doesn’t justify the switch.


#16

If you do not care about your privacy then the Google products are probably the most comfortable ones for you.

But some people care about their privacy and they can fortunately use great alternatives:

  • Search engine: DuckDuckGo, Qwant or if you cannot cope without Google results Startpage
  • Browser: Firefox, Midori, Brave
  • Email: Posteo, Openmailbox, Mailbox.org
  • mobile phone OS: Ubuntu Touch, Pure OS, Eelo
  • any other stuff

I do not think that Google offers the best products. :stuck_out_tongue:

Mickey :slight_smile:


#17
  • Email = ProtonMail, RiseUp
  • mobile phone OS = LineageOS without GApps (use F-Droid and Yalp Store to get apks)
  • use Tor wisely, don’t abuse it as if it was a VPN

Midori is unmaintained, Epiphany (GNOME Web) would be best (comes with DDG by default).

However, one must be aware that Google’s reach is even more inconspicuous than that. Most websites contain Google trackers, and there’s Google ads, Google forms, many Google APIs being used everywhere, not just where you see their name.


#18

Even here you’re tracked by Google… (found in the source)

  (function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){
  (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o),
  m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m)
  })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga');
  ga('create', 'UA-58211742-1', {"cookieDomain":"auto","userId":5123});

As a matter of fact you can count that 90% of the website have this can of tag in their source as they are using Google analytics for their own stats
=> It’s not a bad thing usually it’s to improve the website => why this page is most visited and not this one, etc… . (I speak at the owner’s website level)
Also, each time you see this on a website:

You are tracked by Google even if you do not use the form (means even if you do not click on the “I’m not a robot”). This one is about conveniance for many website, conveniance in this case means => lazy IMHO.

You are using a widget for your website like a weather widget, a currency change or even a moon phase widget or any other things? (and i do not even speak about Gmap or other G-widget)
= Google track YOUR website! because widgets use Google analytics most of the time…

The bad thing is … everything goes to the same company, in this case Google
And the worse is if you use Google Chrome… (+60% of the people), add Safari for the Apple fans or Baidu for China or Yandex for Russia and you got +90% of the planet is tracked


#19

I’ve always been a Firefox user, but I’m using Chrome now…
I have faced some issues with Firefox in this release that I didn’t face before, most notably the video and screen tearing issue.( I solved it though, but the solution created constant crash and freeze, so…)

Apart from the browser, the search engine of Google is unmatched, at least when it comes to my necessities as a student and programmer.

Now it’s a world where it’s not actually downright possible to completely avoid using Google. It has become popular and almost synonym of ‘internet’ and ‘web’ because it harnesses information of people to get closer to people and their choices…

Maybe a necessary evil I think?


#20

I do think Google has become the most intrusive company. They are worse than Microsoft, Facebook, and Amazon. However Amazon is doing its best to catch up with things like their key, car, Alexa, etc programs. Plus Amazon has a huge amount of data in S3 and EC2. Who knows what they are doing with it. They claim that data is private but come on how do you really know? We don’t.

However back to Google. They do spy on many activities. They are also anti-competitive although they do open source many projects, which is helpful.

Still their tracking is second to none.

  1. Android - the most heavily used consumer OS on the planet (not counting IoT). Now overtaken Windows. Google has confirmed they do track your locations and there is nothing you can really do about it. Well short of not using Android devices.
  2. Chrome - many trackers in this browser although groups like Brave and Vivaldi remove them.
  3. Adsense - tracks which sites you visit and harvests data.
  4. Mail - well known for tracking your messages and content.
  5. Voice - logging and monitoring on this app.
  6. Search - logging and monitoring here too although I use Duckduckgo.
  7. Google home -listening to what you say as do Android phones.
  8. Ring (which they bought) - has been caught logging information.
  9. Nest - sends data back to Google’s servers.
  10. The list goes and on and on.

So while there is much talk about Facebook, and I am not saying this isn’t an issue, Google is far far worse. FB does not have a browser. FB does not have ring or nest (IoT). FB does not have a mobile OS. FB does not have mail. Etc, etc, etc.

Yeah Google is evil. However I admit I use Youtube a lot because there is a lot of good content. There are no real competitors here and that stinks. I am hoping Librem5 works because I so want to dump Android although I have stripped most Google services out of it. Still the base is Android and I know I am still being spied on by the Google.