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Google tracking your every move.

 
 
Reply Wed 3 May, 2017 02:48 pm
I find this both cool, and creepy. If you have a Google account (i.e. gmail) and a phone that you use to log onto Google services, Google may well be tracking your every move. To see this...

1) Logon to Google (through gmail or maps or whatever) on a laptop or desktop computer.

2) Go to maps.google.com.

3) In the box in the upper left hand corner of maps you will see three horizontal lines (just to the left of the "Search Google Maps" field). Click it.

4) From the menu, click "your timeline".

5) You will see little red dots at every place you have been since it started tracking you.

6) If you click on a red dot, you will see details of how you got to that place (including a blue line showing the trip).

7) In the search box you can choose any specific date since it started tracking me, for me I can see every day in over two years. Pick a day.

8) You will see a blue line showing you your path through each day. Every trip is shown. Every stop is shown, along with the amount of time you spent there. Every friend's house. Every adult book store.

Part of me thinks this is really cool. Google promises to show this only to you. And there have been a couple of instance where it was useful, for example remembering a bike trip I took.

Part of me thinks this is really creepy. There are some times I don't want to be tracked. I assume that this information could be subpoenaed.

The lesson.... when you go to buy drugs, or to visit a prostitute, remember to turn off your gps. Google is watching you.
 
seac
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 May, 2017 03:32 pm
@maxdancona,
Google is also able to track the internet sites we visit too it seems.
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 May, 2017 03:42 pm
@seac,
I always remember to hide from Google when I visit websites I don't want them to know about. It is pretty straightforward to not use Google for these websites; duckduckgo is a good alternative. If I really want hide my online activity, I use Tor. This requires a little expertise, but this makes it impossible even for my ISP to see what I am viewing.

There are two things that are more creepy about having my location tracked.

Number one, I don't often think about it and there is a good chance I won't even think to turn it off when I am doing something I don't want them to know about.

Number two, to me, tracking in real life (where I am actually going) is more personal then tracking what websites I am visiting.


maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 May, 2017 03:43 pm
@maxdancona,
If you ever decide to rob a bank, remember to turn off location services. Better yet, leave your cellphone at home.

https://www.theverge.com/2016/6/1/11824118/google-android-location-data-police-warrants
0 Replies
 
centrox
 
  2  
Reply Wed 3 May, 2017 03:55 pm
Ever since I first got an Android phone (about 5 years ago) I have been leery of using the GPS location feature unless I really need it, e.g. want to use Maps or a speedometer app in a train, etc. That was because on my first smartphone, using GPS ran the battery quicker. Even now I have a much better modern phone, I leave GPS off unless I need it. That way, Google uses cell-tower triangulation, which can be off by miles in rural areas, and even in a city can be off by half a mile.

To be quite sure, turn the phone off, and make a crude Faraday cage by wrapping it in a couple of layers of cooking foil (like your hat?) and you'll drop right out of sight.
0 Replies
 
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 May, 2017 04:12 pm
@maxdancona,
On mine it says Location Services need to be on in the background, and they are not. So my track doesn't exist. This was on my iPhone so now I'll have try try in on a computer and see what it says.
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 May, 2017 04:29 pm
@rosborne979,
On my Android phone it was on by default. It took me a couple of years to realize what it was doing. I bet a whole lot of people are being tracked without realizing it.
0 Replies
 
tibbleinparadise
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 May, 2017 04:37 pm
@maxdancona,
I appreciate Google keeping up with me, helps me Google more easily. I just wish Facebook and Google would merge so all that would be integrated.

This will really tweak the conspiracy folks, but I'd be all for the chip in the hand thing. No more messing with debit cards or drivers licenses, just wave your hand and bam...done.

I'm not breaking any laws or doing anything wrong, so I've got nothing to hide if they wanna watch me.
roger
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 May, 2017 04:41 pm
@tibbleinparadise,
tibbleinparadise wrote:

No more messing with debit cards or drivers licenses, just wave your hand and bam...done.


Yep. I think you've got it!
0 Replies
 
Kolyo
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 May, 2017 05:31 pm
@tibbleinparadise,
tibbleinparadise wrote:

I appreciate Google keeping up with me...
I'm not breaking any laws or doing anything wrong, so I've got nothing to hide if they wanna watch me.


The Google data could even serve as an alabi if you were falsely accused of something.
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 May, 2017 05:35 pm
@tibbleinparadise,
Quote:
I appreciate Google keeping up with me, helps me Google more easily.


They appreciate you too. You aren't a customer of Google. You are the product. They are making quite a nice profit selling you to the highest bidder. They are in the business of selling information about you; they now know what you like, what you do with your time, the people you know and the places you visit.

If this doesn't bother you, fine. You are making them happy and rich.

Quote:
I'm not breaking any laws or doing anything wrong, so I've got nothing to hide if they wanna watch me.


This is a stupid argument. It isn't just about breaking laws (and whether you are breaking laws or not isn't up to you, it is up to a prosecutor). Privacy is a basic human right and need.

Do you want to have political opinions without fearing consequences? Do you want to own a gun, or have extra-marital sex, or oppose Black Lives Matter, or support Black Lives Matter, or use Tinder... I don't know about you, but I want to control information about me.

There is nothing illegal about my political views, or my medical history, or the fact that I like to play poker... but I don't want any of this information to get to perspective employers, or the woman I met on Tinder, or my ex-wife's attorney.

The way I look at it... data about me belongs to me. I can choose to give it away (as I sometimes do).

But it is increasingly important to me to know who is getting my data, who they will share it with, and how they are going to use it. The fact that google was collecting, storing, and using detailed location data about me without my knowledge is a little creepy.

I personally am not going to turn it off forever. But I am going to be mindful that it exists and remember to turn it off next time I spend the night with my ex-wife's best friend or go to my militant pacifist action meeting.



Kolyo
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 May, 2017 05:46 pm
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:

militant pacifist action


Is that where you position your index finger a centimeter from your sister's eye, and petulantly whine "I'm not touching you!" ?
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 May, 2017 05:48 pm
@Kolyo,
Quote:
The Google data could even serve as an alabi if you were falsely accused of something.


That's awfully optimistic. Isn't it far more likely to be used as evidence against you for a crime you didn't commit?

I don't know if location data would even be a very good alibi... since it would be pretty easy to fake it (e.g. place your cellphone in someone's car for an evening without their knowledge).


0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 May, 2017 05:50 pm
@Kolyo,
Militant pacifism is where you beat people up for their violence. You just beat them up peacefully.
0 Replies
 
roger
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 May, 2017 05:50 pm
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:

They are making quite a nice profit selling you to the highest bidder. They are in the business of selling information about you; they now know what you like, what you do with your time, the people you know and the places you visit.


Not exactly. It's information, so they can sell you to the highest bidder AND the lowest bidder, and everything in between.
0 Replies
 
tibbleinparadise
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 May, 2017 05:52 pm
@maxdancona,
I'm not sure why you are up in arms about my lack of worries about what Google does with the fact I just went to the grocery store (and looked up a recipe for alfredo sauce while I was there).

You can turn it on or off, doesn't matter to me.

I use Google a lot, they are a useful resource in my day to day life. If I'm to pay for that service by them knowing when I do a search of alfredo sauce then so be it.

I guess what I'm saying is I think it's a good deal...for me. Maybe you don't feel like it's such a good deal. That's okay!
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 May, 2017 05:55 pm
@tibbleinparadise,
They also know everyone that you are sleeping with. It isn't just alfredo sauce.
tibbleinparadise
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 May, 2017 06:02 pm
@maxdancona,
Well, that's just one person, so not very interesting. Maybe it's useful?

I have nothing to hide or that I really care if some computer algorithm is keeping up with. Hell, I don't even care if some guy in India is watching my browsing while I'm browsing. I can only imagine what he's thinking about our discussion now!
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 May, 2017 06:02 pm
@tibbleinparadise,
I am not saying that you shouldn't use the services they provide. I am saying that you are giving Google access into some pretty intimate parts of your life. Think of what someone who can scan your email and calendar, see all your searches, and know everywhere you have been and with whom you have spent time, knows about you.

Give me this information and I know a lot about your political beliefs, your interests, who you associate with, your medical issues, your vices and character flaws.

You are right, you get some benefits in exchange. You get free email and calendar and searches.

But unless you live a truly boring life with no vices, no uncomfortable beliefs, or relationships or associations... I think that taking the time to understand exactly what information you are sharing with Google (and whoever pays Google).

I am only saying that it is a good idea to understand these things and make conscious decisions about what information you are giving up.
ossobucotemp
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 May, 2017 06:48 pm
@maxdancona,
I am surely boring to searchers. Wrong, of course.
0 Replies
 
 

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