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'Google's Chrome Has My Dead Grandpa's Data and He Never Used the Internet' (forbes.com)

llien

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schwit1 shares a Forbes article by Joe Toscano, a former experience design consultant for Google who in 2017 "decided to step away from my role consulting with Google, due to ethical concerns."

This summer he got a big surprise when he looked in Chrome's "addresses" panel at chrome://settings/addressesIt turns out Google has info connecting me to my grandma (on my dad's side) who's alive and well but has never had the internet, and my grandpa (on my mom's side), who recently passed away in March 2019 and also never had the internet. This was disturbing for several reasons, the biggest of which being that neither of them had ever logged onto the internet in their lives. Neither even had the internet in their homes their entire lives! Beyond that, Google knew their exact addresses and their middle initials. I couldn't even have told you those things about my grandparents...

[T]he data wasn't manually entered by me or anyone using my account, but yet the data is associated with my account? How did that happen? The only thing I can think of is that at one point in history my grandpa gave his information to someone or some company in real life and his information was sold to Google at one point or another... But then that led me to another question: How did his data get associated with my Google account...?

Other questions I have: What other information does Google have about me/my family/others that I don't know about...?

He's now asking readers if they have any idea how Google connected him to his dead grandpa -- and whether Google is somehow creating an ancestry database.

Toscano also discovered Chrome has been creating a list of "Never Saved" passwords at chrome://settings/passwords?search=credentials even though "At no point did I tell Google to create and store a list of websites I had logged into that they didn't get access to but would like access to at some point in the future. Maybe in the Terms of Service/Privacy Policy I agreed to this, but who knows? Not the majority of us, and it's just creepy."

And in an update Toscano writes that he hopes the article will "provoke thought" about "why we willingly allow this to happen":Why is it okay that the internet is designed to be a surveillance machine? Why isn't it designed to be private by design? Is this how we want to carry on? Just because something is legal doesn't mean it's right. What would you like to see done? How would you like to see things changed?

Slashdot

Yet another reason to keep away from google.
Oh, and I've reached the point when duckduckgo gives me better results on most "US liberals vs US conservatives" subject.
 
Dec 25, 2018
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Google asking the Government for names and reciepts.

Or...just maybe, the Granddaddy liked some porn in secret.

Google probably knows where you live thanks to Google Earth lookong into every street.
 

Airola

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Toscano also discovered Chrome has been creating a list of "Never Saved" passwords at chrome://settings/passwords?search=credentials even though "At no point did I tell Google to create and store a list of websites I had logged into that they didn't get access to but would like access to at some point in the future. Maybe in the Terms of Service/Privacy Policy I agreed to this, but who knows? Not the majority of us, and it's just creepy."

So, user gets asked if password should be saved, user clicks "never save", saves regardless?

This is like when Microsoft wanted people to update to Windows 10 and when asked about it "no" actually meant "yes, but later" :D
 

TTOOLL

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Mar 22, 2012
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Well, just one more reason to move away from Google I guess. I can't wait to get rid of my Android phone. The only product I use daily is google keep, I'm not gonna lie, it is HARD to avoid this company.
 

sonomamashine

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Jun 29, 2019
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Against the assault of laughter
Well, just one more reason to move away from Google I guess. I can't wait to get rid of my Android phone. The only product I use daily is google keep, I'm not gonna lie, it is HARD to avoid this company.
Even if you manage to avoid all of their stuff, they will eventually buy other companies, it's just a matter of time, your fucked :messenger_grinning:.
 
Feb 23, 2018
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I mean I get what he is saying, but he makes himself sound like someone from 1998 discovering the internet for the first time. OMG my grandfathers info is on the internet, but he never used it! How is that possible!!!! What sort of wizardry is this series of pipes and tubes??!?!?!!?! WHAT HAVE YOU DONE AL GORE???????????

Like, has this guy ever heard of public records? If I go to his county courthouse I could tell him his grandfathers address and middle initial too. I'm all for wrecking Google but this has to be one of the most tepid argument to do so..
 

Gandara

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Like, has this guy ever heard of public records? If I go to his county courthouse I could tell him his grandfathers address and middle initial too. I'm all for wrecking Google but this has to be one of the most tepid argument to do so..

Exactly. I know buying a house is one thing that shows up in public records and I can find all the details online. I can find people’s age, family, etc since it’s all connected. I can do a quick search on myself and find every place I ever lived.
 

Tesseract

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Dec 7, 2008
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everyone's history gets scraped eventually

what most in the public don't want are bad dudes with high bandwidth tracker tools
 

llien

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Well, just one more reason to move away from Google I guess. I can't wait to get rid of my Android phone. The only product I use daily is google keep, I'm not gonna lie, it is HARD to avoid this company.

If you think iPHone, then, chuckle. It was caught tracking user movement (keeping data in DB, while not online) and sending it to Cuppertino, for reasons Apple failed to even make up.

Old school $25 nokia stuff is the only way that perhaps gives you some privacy.
 

Thaedolus

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Jun 9, 2004
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If you think iPHone, then, chuckle. It was caught tracking user movement (keeping data in DB, while not online) and sending it to Cuppertino, for reasons Apple failed to even make up.

Old school $25 nokia stuff is the only way that perhaps gives you some privacy.

I've been mulling a plan to ditch my iPhone for a flip phone for a while now....I still want features like music and photos but if I could just get rid of the apps that suck me into them, I feel like I'll be happier in the end. The thing is I need some of that shit for work and...well..that's not changing any time soon.
 

godhandiscen

There are millions of whiny 5-year olds on Earth, and I AM THEIR KING.
Mar 15, 2007
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If you think iPHone, then, chuckle. It was caught tracking user movement (keeping data in DB, while not online) and sending it to Cuppertino, for reasons Apple failed to even make up.

Old school $25 nokia stuff is the only way that perhaps gives you some privacy.
Link? I don’t believe that considering Apple’s stance.
 

llien

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Link? I don’t believe that considering Apple’s stance.

What stance, cough_

 
Last edited:

SadlerX84

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Most likely reason is that he sent something his grandparents in the past (online birthday card or something from Amazon etc) or filled out something on their behalf in the past. (Pension, Doctors Online sign up, Disability claims etc)

My Chrome is used for work... and I have all of my customers addresses saved in that list from when I took card payments.

So it would have been something he actually did on their behalf... which makes this whole foil hat conspiracy pretty laughable.... just doesn't remember doing it I guess.
 

Wings 嫩翼翻せ

so it's not nice
Apr 2, 2013
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Well, just one more reason to move away from Google I guess. I can't wait to get rid of my Android phone. The only product I use daily is google keep, I'm not gonna lie, it is HARD to avoid this company.

I blame the generally accepted encouragement to "Google" something when it is unknown.
 

poppabk

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Holy shit guys I just checked the phone book and it has the phone numbers of thousands of people in my area with their names attached and addresses.
 
  • LOL
Reactions: Falcs

godhandiscen

There are millions of whiny 5-year olds on Earth, and I AM THEIR KING.
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What stance, cough_


The article is from 2011, Apple has changed their stance; nowadays everything is encrypted.
The information in your iOS device is more secure than in your average personal computing device; in fact, Google has a whole team of top researchers trying to publicize iOS flaws in order to downgrade its security perception.
I do not doubt there are privacy issues at Apple, but Google's main business is data collection and sales. Even Microsoft is in that business with Bing and LinkedIn. Apple's primary business is device sales, they do not want to sell your data, it is not their goal, therefore, they can conformably take a pro-privacy stance.
 
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Falcs

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Who cares. Google can have my data. What do I care? I'm never going to be famous. So what does it matter? It's not like I'll have stalkers trying to get a look at my private data.
No one in the world will ever care who I am or what I do other than my actual friends and family.
And I know Google will use my data to try to target ads and shit to me, but I have always been very sceptical of all media forms and the intended message behind all of it in general so I mostly just ignore 99% of all ads I come across on the Internet and in real life.
 
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Woahhh how do they have a Wikipedia page about Abraham Lincoln he wasn’t even alive when the internet came out
 

Kataploom

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It just happened something weird to me these days... I was trying DuckDuckGo and even unchecked all the possible options in chrome for "sending google data about usage and searches from the browser" to see if they'd still show me ads based on my personal data.

...And the day after, I just got an ad here in GAF about something I searched after I did so...

Then I realized that the ad was from Google Ads and I had to switch browser... I'm still testing it and seeing how it behaves... Jeez, there's no scape from those fuckers...
 

llien

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Feb 1, 2017
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The article is from 2011, Apple has changed their stance; nowadays everything is encrypted.
Dear god.
What does encryption have to do with ANYTHING here?
They were caught spying on customer MOVEMENT even when customer had INTERNET OFF, then ringing that home.
Then called out for it by A SENATOR, brushed it off as a bug.
Their "Stance" is to spin it,w hen caught, so that some saliable

Even Microsoft is in that business with Bing and LinkedIn. Apple's primary business is device sales...
Oh, please, give me a break, Microsoft is into selling your data, but Apple isn't into making as much money as possible off you, clearly, selling silicon for dozens of bucks back in "you are holding it wrong" ERA, to fix insanely amateurish hardware problem hints at that, doesn't it?

Remember that Dolphin browser, that was ringing home about which pages its Android users have visited?
Well, wait for it, it affected both Android and Apples devices, tell me why most sites reported only Android part?
The answer is easy, to give you that false safety feeling.

Just weeks ago we had another pile of BS, Apple user devices could be infected by merely visiting sites.
Google's Project Zero team had detected a whole net of infected devices, told Apple about it.

Apple's reaction? How unfair of Google not to mention that in that particular instance it was Chinese minority that was targeted:

I mean, who cares device could be hacked at will, really, it was just a minor incident somewhere in China.
 

Gifmaker

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Other questions I have: What other information does Google have about me/my family/others that I don't know about...?
I don't know about other countries, but per European law, you are actually able to find out. You can send a request to a company that forces them to send you a complete record of all personal data they have about you. In case of Google, you might however be in for more than you bargained for, because afair they have to print out the information and send it to you via postal service, so be prepared to receive a lot of printed pages.