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Old 08-10-2012, 11:01 PM   #31
Ninjalawyer
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Originally Posted by HansTWN View Post
Look at what Google did with collecting everybody's Wifi data. And what happened? Were they severely punished? Does anyone really know if they have deleted any of the data? So, how can you trust any of them?
You make it sound like the collection was a big conspiracy rather inadvertence. Canada's Privacy Commission (the decision is here if you're interested) investigated Google and was convinced that the collection was avoidable, but not intentional, and sanctioned Google appropriately.

Interestingly, the Privacy Commissioner even suggested Google took appropriate steps when it realized what had happened:

Quote:
53. In finding Google in contravention of the Act, we wish nonetheless to recognize and commend the company for the manner in which it handled the incident. But for the measures the company undertook to segregate and secure Canadian payload data, the ramifications of the incident in question could have been far more serious.

54. By all measures, the personal information collected from Canadian WiFi networks appears to have been appropriately safeguarded and is now pending destruction.
But hey, I'm sure the Privacy Commissioner is on Google's payroll and this isn't just your personal bogeyman.

Off topic, I know, but I had to dispel at least a bit of the FUD in this thread.
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Old 08-10-2012, 11:34 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by Ninjalawyer View Post
You make it sound like the collection was a big conspiracy rather inadvertence. Canada's Privacy Commission (the decision is here if you're interested) investigated Google and was convinced that the collection was avoidable, but not intentional, and sanctioned Google appropriately.

Interestingly, the Privacy Commissioner even suggested Google took appropriate steps when it realized what had happened:



But hey, I'm sure the Privacy Commissioner is on Google's payroll and this isn't just your personal bogeyman.

Off topic, I know, but I had to dispel at least a bit of the FUD in this thread.
Which is why they're being looked at again in the UK and Europe as they've just admitted that they hadn't actual deleted all the data that they were legally obliged to... but, hey what's a year or two when obeying court orders...
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Old 08-10-2012, 11:49 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ninjalawyer View Post
You make it sound like the collection was a big conspiracy rather inadvertence. Canada's Privacy Commission (the decision is here if you're interested) investigated Google and was convinced that the collection was avoidable, but not intentional, and sanctioned Google appropriately.

Interestingly, the Privacy Commissioner even suggested Google took appropriate steps when it realized what had happened:



But hey, I'm sure the Privacy Commissioner is on Google's payroll and this isn't just your personal bogeyman.

Off topic, I know, but I had to dispel at least a bit of the FUD in this thread.
A company that is on the leading edge of technology, a company that is in the business of gathering our data, "inadvertently" collected user data off non-password protected WiFi networks? Now that is tough sell. Obviously it is not easy to prove they did it intentionally, which is all that matters to the law. It it really was unintentional they would have deleted the data immediately not waited for a court order. And as for penalties, you would also have to show what they did with the data. All that is nearly impossible for outsiders.

Last edited by HansTWN; 08-11-2012 at 07:56 AM.
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Old 08-11-2012, 07:09 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by HansTWN View Post
A company that is on the leading edge of technology, a company that is in the business of gathering our data, "inadvertently" collected user data off non-password protected WiFi networks? Now that is tough sell.
No, it is an easy sell. Since collecting all data and analyze them later is the easy and obvious implementation and since most probably these implementation details deciscions was made by very few people maybe just the guy that implmeneted it it is very easy to see how it happened.
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Old 08-11-2012, 07:23 AM   #35
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A little story of how easily it can go wrong.
In order to free up memory on my phone and tablets I have moved my music to Google Drive and use the Google Music Player on my devices.
Lately I have been travelling, using entirely different IPs than I normally do, connecting through WiFi in hotels or hot spots in malls, MickyD or Starbucks. Google finds this fishy and temporarily stopped my account due to "unusual activities". I could get it back with them sending me an SMS code, but not having roaming on (I use pre-paid, so roaming is ridiculously expensive). Hence I wasn't able to access my data until I got back home.
In this case it was just music. I'll survive the lack of songs, but I sure learned that you do not put anything in the Cloud that is important to you. Maybe as an easy method of accessing through different devices, but I will make sure that I have private files and private backups of important data.
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Old 08-11-2012, 10:02 AM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HansTWN View Post
A company that is on the leading edge of technology, a company that is in the business of gathering our data, "inadvertently" collected user data off non-password protected WiFi networks? Now that is tough sell. Obviously it is not easy to prove they did it intentionally, which is all that matters to the law. It it really was unintentional they would have deleted the data immediately not waited for a court order. And as for penalties, you would also have to show what they did with the data. All that is nearly impossible for outsiders.
Actually, since this was before the Privacy Commissioner in Canada (an administrative tribunal), not before a court, it didn't matter whether or not Google did it intentionally. So actually, it is somewhat telling that it was found that Google did it unintentionally, but was still sanctioned.

And the reason they couldn't delete it immediately was because they were legally obligated to report it to various country's privacy commissioners, and then had a legal obligation to preserve the date because it was evidence.
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Old 08-11-2012, 10:28 AM   #37
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Actually, since this was before the Privacy Commissioner in Canada (an administrative tribunal), not before a court, it didn't matter whether or not Google did it intentionally. So actually, it is somewhat telling that it was found that Google did it unintentionally, but was still sanctioned.
The original single lone programmer excuse was a myth.
It was not unintentional, that was just Google's original claim, since abandoned.

"From the FCC report:
Quote:
The design document showed that, in addition to collecting data that Google could use to map the location of wireless access points, Engineer Doe intended to collect, store, and analyze payload data from unencrypted Wi-Fi Networks. The design document notes that ‘[w]ardriving can be used in a number of ways,’ including ‘to observe the typical Wi-Fi usage snapshots.’ In a discussion of ‘Privacy Considerations,’ the design document states, ‘A typical concern might be that we are logging user traffic along with sufficient data to precisely triangulate their position at a given time, along with information about what they are doing.’ …
" http://www.forbes.com/sites/kashmirh...ey-were-doing/

Quote:
Google now faces calls for a new investigation by Britain’s Information Commissioner, who is studying the FCC report. In 2010 he accepted assurances from the firm that it harvested emails, text messages and other personal data “inadvertently”.

Some commentators have suggested that Google used Mr Milner and his earlier anonymity to dodge its corporate responsibility for the data-harvesting exercise. The FCC found that Mr Milner had told colleagues and senior managers about what his software would do, but they did nothing to stop it being deployed.

"In my opinion, it would be wrong to scapegoat Milner for the privacy debacle caused by the Street View cars," said Graham Cluley of the computer security firm Sophos

"For some time, Google maintained that the problem was entirely down to a "rogue engineer", but the recently released report reveals that Milner/"Engineer Doe" "Engineer Doe" told colleagues in 2007 and 2008 about the sensitive nature of the data being collected by the Street View mapping cars, and suggested that the project should be reviewed for privacy issues."
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technolog...r-profile.html

But heh, it isn't a problem in the US anyway, because the FCC has ruled that this sort of mass eavesdropping is legal. European countries take a different view.
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Old 08-11-2012, 10:29 AM   #38
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you do not put anything in the Cloud that is important to you.
Agree.

I see the cloud as a convenient way to backup your onsite backup, like music, pictures, etc.

Let's say house got fire, knock on wood! Having a cloud copy of my pictures ensures I won't loss my family memories.

I mean, c'mon ... the government , restaurants and retailers have been collecting our info for years, this is nothing new. That's how we get all those paper ads in the mail.
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Old 08-11-2012, 11:02 AM   #39
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i'm sure they don't want to see my stash of gay ____
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Old 08-11-2012, 11:02 AM   #40
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I wasn't getting through to my relatives on why they needed more storage, then my Mom stepped in. She used the example of when Netflix took their favorite show off streaming and they couldn't watch it. The light came on..

Only downside, now I have to make another trip home for more tech support.
How do you store Nextflix videos on your hard drive? Serious question, I'd love to have all episodes of 'Breaking Bad' or 'Battlestar Galactica' on my HD! ('Lilyhammer', not so much)

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Old 08-11-2012, 02:08 PM   #41
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I remember we had the same problem when DRM first started. People spent hundreds of pounds downloading music from online stores, then one day, the stores were like 'sorry, we're going out of business, and our DRM will be discontinued so none of those songs you paid for will be working ever again.'

I just buy a TB drive every year or so, fill it up, label it, and then stick it in a box somewhere. I know they can crash and everything, but I haven't had one go so far, and I know that it'll be there if i need it.
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Old 08-11-2012, 03:55 PM   #42
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The original single lone programmer excuse was a myth.
It was not unintentional, that was just Google's original claim, since abandoned.

"From the FCC report:
" http://www.forbes.com/sites/kashmirh...ey-were-doing/


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technolog...r-profile.html

But heh, it isn't a problem in the US anyway, because the FCC has ruled that this sort of mass eavesdropping is legal. European countries take a different view.
It was unintentional in the sense that it wasn't some clandestine program by Google to breach people's security for their own nefarious purposes, as Hans seemed to be implying. This is consistent with the decision of Canada's Privacy Commissioner which described the admin reasons at Google that the inclusion of the relevant code didn't trigger a privacy review by counsel. And I don't know how upset I am about Google cars taking snapshots of unencrypted wi-fi data as they drive by, wi-fi data the affected people were blasting into the air.

As for the topic of this thread, I use cloud storage all the time for important and unimportant documents. Dropbox and Skydrive mirror my data across several computers, making it accessible wherever I am from those computers or from my phone. If those services ever shutdown over night, it would be annoying in the sense that I wouldn't have synced copies, but I'd still have copies because of the previous mirroring.

Depending on the service, storing something in the cloud doesn't meaning it's only stored in the cloud.

Last edited by Ninjalawyer; 08-12-2012 at 02:43 AM.
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Old 08-11-2012, 09:22 PM   #43
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It was unintentional in the sense that it wasn't some clandestine program by Google to breach people's security for their own nefarious purposes, as Hans seemed to be implying. This is consistent with the decision of Canada's Privacy Commissioner which described the admin reasons at Google that the inclusion of the relevant code didn't trigger a privacy review by counsel. And I don't know how upset I am about Google cars taking snapshots of unencrypted wi-fi data as they drive drive by, wi-fi data the affected people were blasting into the air.

As for the topic of this thread, I use cloud storage all the time for important and unimportant documents. Dropbox and Skydrive mirror my data across several computers, making it accessible wherever I am from those computers or from my phone. If those services ever shutdown over night, it would be annoying in the sense that I wouldn't have synced copies, but I'd still have copies because of the previous mirroring.

Depending on the service, storing something in the cloud doesn't meaning it's only stored in the cloud.
I wasn't implying some "nefarious" purpose (I suppose you are referring to acts like stealing bank account passwords, etc). I implied that Google collected this data on purpose and that there can be no legitimate reason for them to collect that data. The fact that they didn't delete it immediately after "discovering" that they had collected it also supports my theory.
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Old 08-12-2012, 02:43 AM   #44
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I wasn't implying some "nefarious" purpose (I suppose you are referring to acts like stealing bank account passwords, etc). I implied that Google collected this data on purpose and that there can be no legitimate reason for them to collect that data. The fact that they didn't delete it immediately after "discovering" that they had collected it also supports my theory.
It doesn't support your theory, because deleting the data would have been illegal in several jurisdictions, or at least resulted in an adverse inference being drawn against them by the relevant privacy commissions. In Canada we would call it "spoilation" of evidence.

I could be wrong, but it really doesn't seem like upper-management at Google instituted some super-secret data gathering program. It appears that an engineer inserted some code and his immediate superiors were told about it but didn't flag it for review by Google's counsel because they didn't understand the privacy implications.

Having dealt extensively with corporations, I can tell you this isn't particularly surprising; the legal department doesn't see everything, and if something isn't flagged for their review by management it can easily be missed. One company I worked with didn't even bother involving their legal department in contract negotiations or review unless the contract was worth at least $150k. It's a risk they take because lawyers (even in-house lawyers) are expensive, and usually management is decent at realizing when there could be an issue; unfortunately, problems happen because laws are complicated and management usually has no legal training.

What do you think Google's purpose was in collecting the data?
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Old 08-12-2012, 02:56 AM   #45
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What do you think Google's purpose was in collecting the data?
They want to know everything about everybody to improve their personalized ad-targeting algorithms.
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