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“When you use Google services, you trust us with your information.”

Google privacy policy. Here I am again at the hurdle I have so far refused to jump, of, more aptly, the hoop I have refused to go through. Thought I could download an app from Verizon called Family Base which gives parents control over their children’s use of the internet and apps, allows them to turn access on and off, create a schedule, curfews, etc. All for the good of the children, to follow up on research that shows that too much screen time decreases their ability to concentrate, makes them read less, interferes with their sleep, and so on. The protections against cyber bullying and access to developmentally inappropriate or generally inappropriate content being a part of that, in case trust and integrity in those areas lags.

But to get the app, even for the free one month trial, I need to have and register a Google account, which means giving Google access to more information about me and everyone connected with me than I want. Always it comes down to that, and there isn’t an app to deal with it.

I share my dilemma and objections to my loved ones, who are in the living room watching a football game and the advertisements (which are now as entertaining as the game, if not more, so why bother with leaving to get a bite to eat or change over a load of laundry?). I get an annoyed look from my daughter, who suggests I drop it and get over it. My response is that smarter people than I objecting who have objected to what “everyone else” was doing had been told exactly the same thing, but they’d gone on to change the world, so why should I listen now? You can’t change the world, Mom. No, not by myself, I answer, but why not try, and see who might be interested in helping? How about coming alongside those who see the danger, and help them change the world for the better, or at least slow its slide toward chaos or bondage?

Back to the privacy policy. I’ve never read the whole thing before–never had to, before a blatant breech of privacy rights was named as part of the agreement. All in terms like, “We collect information to provide better services to all our users” and even “”like which ads you’ll find most useful [definition of ‘useful,’ please?], the people who matter most to you online [Celebrities? Candidates? Relatives? Political dissidents? Religious leaders? Thinkers, writers and activists who threaten the power of the corporations?]

Info Google lists as collectibles (some optional, but required for enhanced access to services):

  • Name, email address, phone number, credit card information
  • Google profile with name and photo (Google may use face recognition on all posted photos and analyze associated info)
  • What you look at, how often, and for how long
  • What you search for online
  • Information about your device, including unique device identifiers
  • Whom you call, when, types of calls, locations, and duration
  • Your location, by using IP address, GPS, other sensors, Wifi network and cell towers used
  • Information on how you use your computer (by means of cookies, pixel tags, etc.)
  • Detailed information on how you use your device, including apps and online sites, by complex analytics programs (Google Analytics, etc.) that accurately infer more about who you are, what you think, how you feel, what is going on in your life, and how you are likely to or can be induced to think and act in the future. This information is sold to other customers for their own purposes, leaked by hacking, and/or yielded to government intelligence agencies on demand. Also may be published for purposes of advertising services and products of Google and/or its business customers, with your photograph
  • Contents of your emails

All information collected may be processed outside the country

How to limit the collection of this info:

  • By not using the internet for searches or viewing content
  • Not sharing information with others using your electronic devices
  • Not clicking “Like”

Google concludes, in large print:

“We keep you personal information private and safe — and put you in control.”

 
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Posted by on October 11, 2015 in Culture & Society, Technology

 

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