1. mulasien's Avatar
    (hoping this doesn't turn into a flame thread, but feels it's worth discussing)

    My answer: "....So?"

    I've seen a few threads here where people lam-blast free services (mostly by Google) on the grounds that they use those free services to target you for advertising.

    My response: "So? What's the problem?"

    Stay with me on this one....

    I fully realize that Google tracks my searches, my map searches, etc. I also fully realize that they use that information to put relevant ads in front of me. I also know that someone, somewhere, can access information about what I do online along with the other 11ty bajillion who are also doing the exact same thing.

    Here's the thing, though. The ad gets put in front of me, and I can just ignore it if I wish. In return, I get free access to hands down one of the best online mapping systems in existence, a search engine that knows the answer to pretty much everything, , a really useful free email/calendar/task manager service, and (at least when I was on Android) a really groundbreaking card information system to give me relevant information when I needed it (via Google Now).

    I know that Google tracks my searches, and that I've recently searched for: kale smoothie recipes, information on a 2007 Cadillac DTS, where to download Norton Power Eraser, and whether or not Stevia is safe to take during pregnancy (for my wife). Oh no! The horror! I feel so violated (tongue firmly in cheek).

    If I was REALLY afraid of being tracked, I could turn those services off real quick.

    I guess I don't understand the (IMO) overly strong aversion on this site to free services in exchange for targeted advertising. Do the same people here who are so incredibly leery of it also use no social networks of any kind, or only Apple services (and no others) on the blind faith that Apple is not doing the same?

    Really, I don't get the sentiment. Edumacate me .
    jclisenby likes this.
    04-08-2013 03:17 PM
  2. sting7k's Avatar
    There's nothing wrong with that. You are your own person.

    I don't think it's so much that everyone here has a problem with it. I think their problem is all the Android people coming and preaching about the freeness of it all. Some users here are merely stating that it isn't actually free. You are paying with your information.

    I also think everyone will agree if it doesn't bother you then by all means enjoy. But you should understand that it does bother some people.

    Some people like chocolate ice cream and some like strawberry ice cream. Some have no issue giving Google all their information in exchange for services and some do have an issue.

    Personally, I do find it creepy when I see an ad for something I was just searching for 10 minutes ago. But I understand the cost of Google's services.
    kch50428 and Just_Me_D like this.
    04-08-2013 03:27 PM
  3. kch50428's Avatar
    There's nothing wrong with that. You are your own person.

    I don't think it's so much that everyone here has a problem with it. I think their problem is all the Android people coming and preaching about the freeness of it all. Some users here are merely stating that it isn't actually free. You are paying with your information.

    I also think everyone will agree if it doesn't bother you then by all means enjoy. But you should understand that it does bother some people.

    Some people like chocolate ice cream and some like strawberry ice cream. Some have no issue giving Google all their information in exchange for services and some do have an issue.

    Personally, I do find it creepy when I see an ad for something I was just searching for 10 minutes ago. But I understand the cost of Google's services.
    'Nuf said.
    04-08-2013 03:35 PM
  4. mulasien's Avatar
    There's nothing wrong with that. You are your own person.

    I don't think it's so much that everyone here has a problem with it. I think their problem is all the Android people coming and preaching about the freeness of it all. Some users here are merely stating that it isn't actually free. You are paying with your information.

    I also think everyone will agree if it doesn't bother you then by all means enjoy. But you should understand that it does bother some people.

    Some people like chocolate ice cream and some like strawberry ice cream. Some have no issue giving Google all their information in exchange for services and some do have an issue.

    Personally, I do find it creepy when I see an ad for something I was just searching for 10 minutes ago. But I understand the cost of Google's services.
    That's a pretty dang good response. Don't think I can take issue with that.
    Just_Me_D likes this.
    04-08-2013 04:07 PM
  5. cardfan's Avatar
    Google knows where you live, work, play, where you go, etc. Google knows your interests, your friends, what sites you visit, foods you like, illnesses you might have, etc. Knowledge is power.

    5 years from now instead of pulling up a credit report from Transunion, they might be pulling up a google report. Want to be insured? Want a job? Want that loan? Let's take a look at that google report. Oh wait, how about that Facebook report? They know the same things about you and are even less transparent.

    You are the product. Maybe you don't mind it now but you have no way of knowing how this can used against you later. Based on your google report, we deem you to be a bad risk for us. Sorry. Heck, they don't even have to tell you why you were denied.
    04-08-2013 04:20 PM
  6. mulasien's Avatar
    Google knows where you live, work, play, where you go, etc. Google knows your interests, your friends, what sites you visit, foods you like, illnesses you might have, etc. Knowledge is power.

    5 years from now instead of pulling up a credit report from Transunion, they might be pulling up a google report. Want to be insured? Want a job? Want that loan? Let's take a look at that google report. Oh wait, how about that Facebook report? They know the same things about you and are even less transparent.

    You are the product. Maybe you don't mind it now but you have no way of knowing how this can used against you later. Based on your google report, we deem you to be a bad risk for us. Sorry. Heck, they don't even have to tell you why you were denied.
    (edited response from my earlier one) And at that point, people would stop using Google services in a heartbeat, and Google would go bankrupt. Wouldn't be good business sense to do that.
    04-08-2013 04:32 PM
  7. jclisenby's Avatar
    Google doesn't use this stuff for harm. It's all encrypted and stored on their databases. It all helps to make the Internet a better place for everyone. It makes more relevant ads and info for you when you search. There are so many privacy nuts out there that freak out whenever their information is stored. They do it to help you.


    Tappin and Talkin from my iPhone 5
    04-08-2013 05:16 PM
  8. sting7k's Avatar
    I would like to add that while I find the search tracking creepy; Google (or Facebook for that matter) having information I willing give them does not creep me out. Google knows my address because I gave it to them. I don't feel they need to know that I was looking for new underwear 10 minutes ago. Even if they show me an ad for the best underwear deal ever; I will never click on it. I fast forward through commercials with my DVR. I have adblock plus on my personal computers. I mostly use private browsing now. I think the creep factor goes with me just hating commercials and ads. I never give them any time of day. All the commercials and marketing I see all over the place honestly feel like a complete waste of a company's money. I see it fail so often and get ignored by 99.9% of people that I just don't get it. So to me I see no value in Google tracking my quest for underwear.

    But Google knowing my address makes Google Now pretty sweet to get commute info; that's value.
    04-10-2013 12:16 PM
  9. androidluvr2's Avatar
    Do the same people here who are so incredibly leery of it also use no social networks of any kind
    I don't use social networks of any kind unless posting anonymously as I am here. I also turn off search history, etc.

    or only Apple services (and no others) on the blind faith that Apple is not doing the same?
    Apple is doing it to the extent they can, of course. Do you know why CVS and Walgreens, etc. have those cards that you earn rewards on? It is to track your purchase history to sell it to advertisers.
    04-10-2013 12:52 PM
  10. androidluvr2's Avatar
    I don't think it's so much that everyone here has a problem with it. I think their problem is all the Android people coming and preaching about the freeness of it all. Some users here are merely stating that it isn't actually free. You are paying with your information.
    My android device certainly wasn't free, it was $300. I think it is more the ease of unlocking/rooting that people like about Android and that is open source so you can get custom ROMs quite easily and depending on the device, lots of them.


    Personally, I do find it creepy when I see an ad for something I was just searching for 10 minutes ago.
    I do, too.
    04-10-2013 01:08 PM
  11. Just_Me_D's Avatar
    Google doesn't use this stuff for harm. It's all encrypted and stored on their databases. It all helps to make the Internet a better place for everyone. It makes more relevant ads and info for you when you search. There are so many privacy nuts out there that freak out whenever their information is stored. They do it to help you.


    Tappin and Talkin from my iPhone 5
    Normally, we are in agreement, but on this we are not. Google does not store our information to help us or to make the internet a better place for us. They store it for financial gain. Yes, they take steps to protect the information they mine from us and yes, the customized ads can be beneficial to us, however, to say that Google does these things to help us without acknowledging that it is first helping itself is not being forthright. Opting to do away with Google Reader is a prime example.
    04-10-2013 01:32 PM
  12. jclisenby's Avatar
    Normally, we are in agreement, but on this we are not. Google does not store our information to help us or to make the internet a better place for us. They store it for financial gain. Yes, they take steps to protect the information they mine from us and yes, the customized ads can be beneficial to us, however, to say that Google does these things to help us without acknowledging that it is first helping itself is not being forthright. Opting to do away with Google Reader is a prime example.
    Yeah. The Google Reader stunt really sucks. I absolutely agree that they are in it to make money, but that's business. All the data is making the Internet a better and more efficient place for us all. I just don't like people bashing Google when they're doing a good job with the Internet. People like to portray them as a company that's out to get them. Totally wrong.


    Tappin and Talkin from my iPhone 5
    04-10-2013 01:35 PM
  13. Massie's Avatar
    I don't use social networks of any kind unless posting anonymously as I am here. I also turn off search history, etc.
    I always assume that online anonymity is an illusion. For instance, less than a minute of searching makes me think you might be Michael G or Edward B.
    04-10-2013 01:46 PM
  14. androidluvr2's Avatar
    I always assume that online anonymity is an illusion. For instance, less than a minute of searching makes me think you might be Michael G or Edward B.
    Michelle G or Edwina B.
    04-10-2013 01:49 PM
  15. SeanHRCC's Avatar
    Actually, for clarity's sake, what was being debated was whether or not these features are actually "free", not that google is tracking you...i think people who own smart phones and have for some time have pretty much come to expect that kind of privacy invasion. What was being argued was the fact that the features are not free...that there is a very real and clear cost to them, even if there is no monetary investment up front from the consumer. We had a particular individual who seemed to think that just because he felt it was worth it meant that it was completely free.
    04-10-2013 02:10 PM
  16. mulasien's Avatar
    Actually, for clarity's sake, what was being debated was whether or not these features are actually "free", not that google is tracking you...i think people who own smart phones and have for some time have pretty much come to expect that kind of privacy invasion. What was being argued was the fact that the features are not free...that there is a very real and clear cost to them, even if there is no monetary investment up front from the consumer. We had a particular individual who seemed to think that just because he felt it was worth it meant that it was completely free.
    For clarification, am I that said individual, or someone else? My position was that I realize that there's a slight invasion of privacy, but I'm fine with it in return for what we receive back.

    I also subscribe to the rule of don't put anything on the Internet you don't want the whole world to see.
    04-10-2013 03:50 PM

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