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View Full Version : mozilla breaking away from google. how do you feel about google ?



fkkroundabout
January 15th, 2015, 07:35 PM
today mozilla posted their donation drive is over, and they received $3 million in donations from approx 400,000 people. [approx $7.5 each]
in the past mozilla received $300M per year from google to use them as the default search engine, but recently firefox have since switched their default search engines (https://blog.mozilla.org/blog/2014/11/19/promoting-choice-and-innovation-on-the-web/) to yahoo, yandex, and baidu, added duckduckgo and other options

i suppose mozilla is distancing themselves from the breadth of the google monopoly (chrome and android, renown search engine and e-mail, G+ and adwords and analytics trackers all over the internet, tonne of money)

also interesting to note is canonical could well be taking money from google, given it's the default search and canonical weren't shy to take money from amazon. ubuntu is of course not profitable, but i don't think mark shuttleworth needs google's money, although google could be quite willing to save ubuntu if canonical did abandon it, as it's used so heavily in their offices

how do you feel about google ? please do throw out any facts or observations you have on the matter

newbie-user
January 15th, 2015, 09:43 PM
I'm immersed in the Google ecosystem. Where else can I get all this stuff for free, with such a level of integration and convenience?

craig10x
January 15th, 2015, 10:25 PM
@newbie-user: Couldn't agree more ;)

MartyBuntu
January 16th, 2015, 04:11 AM
...the google monopoly...


What exactly does Google monopolise?




also interesting to note is canonical could well be taking money from google, given it's the default search and canonical weren't shy to take money from amazon. ubuntu is of course not profitable, but i don't think mark shuttleworth needs google's money, although google could be quite willing to save ubuntu if canonical did abandon it, as it's used so heavily in their offices



Ummm...what?

mastablasta
January 16th, 2015, 10:41 AM
although google could be quite willing to save ubuntu if canonical did abandon it, as it's used so heavily in their offices

not really the case.
Though google uses Ubuntu servers I believe.


What exactly does Google monopolise?

search.

vasa1
January 16th, 2015, 11:42 AM
Aren't there other search engines readily available? Are we confusing popularity (or usage choices) and monopoly?

buzzingrobot
January 16th, 2015, 01:48 PM
It's a global economy, folks, with one global market. We aren't going to see a thousand search engines bloom. The truth is that while a lot of us worry and rant about things like Google's alleged monopoly, we are responsible for Google's market domination. We made it what it is by using it.

Many of the products and services we demand, especially digital and internet services, can only be successfully provided by a very few corporations or organizations who operate on a global scale. We won't have a thousand internets blossoming, with a thousand conflicting standards.

nerdtron
January 16th, 2015, 02:39 PM
I firefox is already installed and google is you default search engine, the new update will not forcely change your search engine.
The yahoo by default search engine is only for new installs.
The beauty of firefox is that you can customize to a point that your browser is unique for the user.

I'm fine with any decisions of Mozilla since I don't donate anything, I'll support and continue to use it. These type of decision (maybe financial) are fine since mozilla needs to survive and grow. Competition is though on the internet browsers after all.

CantankRus
January 17th, 2015, 10:08 PM
Maybe it was Google who re-evaluated it's financial support of firefox due to the
decline in usage of firefox and the rise of google-chrome.

Google may be the giant in search but I feel this is just due to being the best product
and not actively using strategies to keep competitors out of the market.

Tar_Ni
January 18th, 2015, 02:54 AM
also interesting to note is canonical could well be taking money from google, given it's the default search and canonical weren't shy to take money from amazon. ubuntu is of course not profitable, but i don't think mark shuttleworth needs google's money, although google could be quite willing to save ubuntu if canonical did abandon it, as it's used so heavily in their offices

I don't really see how that could be done, especially after the Amazon dashboard mess. And for Google to give away large amounts money, in exchange Canonical would have to promote some kind of Google's product in Ubuntu. What would that be, Chrome as the default browser? It came close in 2011: http://www.networkworld.com/article/2178239/software/chrome-nearly-replaced-firefox-in-ubuntu-linux--mark-shuttleworth-says.html I don't believe that will happen, as Canonical and their users remain staunch supporters of FOSS. Chromium, perhaps, but clearly not Google Chrome.

On a personal note, I don't trust Google and despise their tracking methods which I view as a serious threat for privacy. It's so bad I have to use an extension to stop their tracking, even if you don't use Google's product at all, their Google-Anlatytics tracking API follow you around the web. And it's unbelievable the sheer amount of personal data that people give in the hands of a single compagny named Google. As such, I prefer to avoid their products and use alternatives. For instance, I use Startpage instead of Google Search. Tutanota instead of Gmail. Libreoffice and Mega cloud instead of Google drive and doc. Youtube is pretty much the only link I have with Google, after all that's where most of the cool videos are. But Dailymotion and Vimeo are not bad either.

Tar_Ni
January 18th, 2015, 03:08 AM
Maybe it was Google who re-evaluated it's financial support of firefox due to the
decline in usage of firefox and the rise of google-chrome.

No, it's clearly Mozilla who made the decision not to renegociate the contract. It serves 2 purposes, one is to diversify their sources of revenue and the other to move away from the perception of being ''owned by Google''. It's hard to define yourself as independant when 90% of your assets comes from a single entity.

Yahoo was looking to get that kind of partnership in the US, they were willing to pay some big money to have their search engine as default in a popular browser like Firefox. Google Search is in Chrome, Bing in IE, now Yahoo manage to get a window in Firefox. It's a win-win situation. It was then only a matter of securing a deal with Yandex in Russia and Baidu in China which wasn't very difficult for them.

monkeybrain20122
January 18th, 2015, 02:47 PM
Yahoo is crap. So in new installs I always default back to google. In China I suppose google is banned so they have to partner with someone else anyway and Baidu seems most popular there (kind of crappy and heavily censored)

Linuxratty
January 18th, 2015, 04:20 PM
On a personal note, I don't trust Google and despise their tracking methods which I view as a serious threat for privacy. .

I feel the same way. I don't feel I can avoid them as much as i can avoid facebook,which I refuse to use.
I do like the Google Hangout,but I hope someday that the Fire Fox Hello will be able to totally replace it.

Tar_Ni
January 18th, 2015, 04:56 PM
Yahoo is crap. So in new installs I always default back to google. In China I suppose google is banned so they have to partner with someone else anyway and Baidu seems most popular there (kind of crappy and heavily censored)

Changing the default search engine in Firefox has never been easier, so personally I couldn't care less if it's Yahoo!, Google or Bing. I use DuckDuckGo as default and Startpage as my home page. I am just glad that Firefox managed to cut the cord on their heavy financial reliance from Google.

As for Yahoo! search, I don't trust this compagny either but their engine is using the exact same algorithm as Bing. Yahoo! search is powered by Bing, one of the best search engine. So it's really not that bad. It's a matter of preference. Anyway, statistics shows that there are always some users who use the default search engine provided no matter what so it's a win-win stuation for both Mozilla and Yahoo!.

buzzingrobot
January 18th, 2015, 06:37 PM
People refuse to pay for internet services. That's why businesses like Google do what they do to make money.

Tar_Ni
January 18th, 2015, 07:41 PM
People refuse to pay for internet services. That's why businesses like Google do what they do to make money.

Yeah well, I don't use Google's services and they still try to track me and follow me around the web. Google's reach extend far beyond their own services. It's an advertising business that built Google, but not content of showing you non-intrusive ads, they have become greedy and now collect tremendous amount of data, target users for advertisers using tracking cookies canvas fingerprinting who in turn want to know everything about you.

And BTW, I don't pay for internet services such as email, word processing, a browser, a search engine ect. There are, and always have been compagny who offer free or basic services for everyone and don't need to engage in massive collection of personal data for targeting purpose. And it's not as if all of Google's product feature were free.. They have business plans and so on.

buzzingrobot
January 18th, 2015, 09:55 PM
Yeah well, I don't use Google's services and they still try to track me and follow me around the web. Google's reach extend far beyond their own services. It's an advertising business that built Google, but not content of showing you non-intrusive ads, they have become greedy and now collect tremendous amount of data, target users for advertisers using tracking cookies canvas fingerprinting who in turn want to know everything about you.

And BTW, I don't pay for internet services such as email, word processing, a browser, a search engine ect. There are, and always have been compagny who offer free or basic services for everyone and don't need to engage in massive collection of personal data for targeting purpose. And it's not as if all of Google's product feature were free.. They have business plans and so on.

The web wasn't designed to protect privacy. It's a public space. It would not function as consumers wish it to function if it was as "private" as some seem to desire. People expect free browsers, free mail, free search, free social media, but they will always be the source of the revenue that pays for what they won't.

DuckHook
January 18th, 2015, 11:40 PM
Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Google is not any more or less "evil" than any corporation of that size. It has an obligation to its shareholders and employees to maximize its profits. Expecting anything else is just na´ve.

In its early days, it could adhere to "Don't be evil" because, as a startup, there was plenty of low hanging fruit that it could pick off without stepping on any toes. But now that it is a $200G company, the only way it can keep growing is to progressively encroach on privacy and the personal, pushing the envelope on the boundaries of the acceptable. It is a matter of opinion whether they have stepped over the line. But the economic dynamics that define their conduct are real, indisputable and a legitimate issue for public concern and debate. When they were a $1G company, we didn't have to worry at that time about their then magnitude of power corrupting them too much. But now that they are so big, it is incumbent on us to be very wary of how corrupt they can be (or already are).

Most people I know who are not tech-virgins are ambivalent about Google. This includes me. I use their Android, many Google services and Gmail. The benefits are just too seductive to resist. But I know that I'm being used and am under no illusion that it's something of a deal with the devil.

When I carefully review my own experiences and motivations, I would not agree that people expect free browsers, mail, social media, etc. This might even be true, but it is a mischaracterization of the economic dynamic that's at work. Rather, these were (and are) the offerings that have been used to lure people into giving up their personal info. And this in turn is a consequence of our society having never formally adopted the principle that our personal info and our privacy actually belong to us and are not just "data" that is just laying there for whichever conglomerate is the first to nab it. In this Brave New World, do not ever suffer under the delusion that you are the customer. You are the product. It is Google's advertisers who are their customers.

This could turn into an essay, and indeed, one of the most eloquent expositors of this view is Doc Searls (http://searls.com/), who writes extensively for Linux Journal (http://www.linuxjournal.com/) (and who in many respects acts as their resident philosopher). I'll leave it to him to make the case (http://www.linuxjournal.com/content/big-bad-data) far better than I can.

To address the OP's initial post: my default browser is Links2 and default search engine is DuckDuckGo. If I need FF, it is locked up tighter than Fort Knox with no cookies or scripts allowed. But here's the thing: my third browser is Chromium and I find that Google search usually returns better results than DuckDuck. So, like most, I find myself using their stuff despite my reservations. I try to use Google products only sparingly and I manipulate my Google usage so that only the searches I want Google to see are done using Google's services. I'm under the illusion that this gives me a modicum of control over what they know about me. It's probably a forlorn hope.

buzzingrobot
January 18th, 2015, 11:55 PM
...free browsers, mail, social media, etc...have been used to lure people into giving up their personal info.

Of course, on the condition you consider where you go in a public space like the web to be "personal info". I tend to think it's no more private than the shops I walk in and out of when I visit the local shopping mall or if I take a stroll through a city park. I might want that to be private, but it isn't and it won't be.

Most every seems to not care and, in fact, many deliberately and willfully publish the most personal narratives.

And, in any case, almost everyone will always be what you call "tech-virgins".

I think personal information is just that: name, address, phone numbers, credit card numbers, etc. If I choose to provide that info to anyone, on the web or elsewhere, then it is my responsibility. I weight the potential privacy costs against the benefits.

I don't consider my travels along the web -- this page then that page then another page -- to be private. As I keep saying, it's a public space, so my activities there are in the public arena. As in the "real" world, if I don't want to be seen entering a place, or leaving traces on a server, I don't go there.

Frogs Hair
January 19th, 2015, 01:14 AM
I use the Google search engine , but none of the services or any Chromium based browsers that are dependent on the Google Web Store. I have in the passed used Chrome , Chromium, Iron , Maxthon and Dragon . I don't have any particular animosity towards Google, but don't really want to be part of its Internet culture and by that I mean services and social networks.

Tar_Ni
January 19th, 2015, 02:15 AM
The web wasn't designed to protect privacy. It's a public space. It would not function as consumers wish it to function if it was as "private" as some seem to desire. People expect free browsers, free mail, free search, free social media, but they will always be the source of the revenue that pays for what they won't.

It's the compagny in which you put your trust that needs to do everything it possibly can to protect your privacy. The world is a public place as well, anybody with some expertise could try to spy your doings by looking through a window or break into your house, or install cams in your room without your knowledge or a listening device in your phone's line. We have people to protect us as best they can, because we have decided that privacy is a right. I don't see why it shouldn't be the case on the Internet as well. If you want to trade your personal data in exchange for the usage of some services, fine, that's your choice. But there has to be options for those who don't. Thankfully, there are.

I am not fool enough to believe that I can be ''100%'' private on the Net, the NSA or any other spying agencies could track me, if they really wanted to. But that is the case for anyone in real life too. We have to fight the abuses though, such as these unjustified massive state surveillances programs.

As for free products, I would suggest FOSS as an answer. Mozilla Firefox is the perfect exemple of how a browser can be developped by a community. My email provider is also open-source and function on simple donations with the ideal that everyone should have acess to a free, basic email box without giving up their privacy. Also, DuckDuckgo makes all of it's money on affiliates sales on Amazon and Ebay, with an ad or two.

We have been taught to believe that we need to give up on the right to privacy in order to use the Internet, but that is the rethoric of those who have a vested interest in your personal data, the new 'black oil' of the 21st century.

DuckHook
January 20th, 2015, 02:39 AM
Of course, on the condition you consider where you go in a public space like the web to be "personal info". I tend to think it's no more private than the shops I walk in and out of when I visit the local shopping mall or if I take a stroll through a city park. I might want that to be private, but it isn't and it won't be.This is an incomplete and false analogy. It's more the equivalent of someone filming you, not just innocuously visiting shops, but every minute of your life: the private houses you visit (short of following you inside), the car you drive, where you drive it, the pets you walk, the people you talk to, the number of times you pick your nose or scratch your crotch, the routines you follow, the friends you have... And even this is short of the mark. To render the analogy complete, we must imagine the filmmaker then running all of his accumulated film through a sophisticated analyser, then selling the resulting summaries and projections about your habits and your daily life to any bidder who may be interested in buying this information to sell you anything, say, crotch cream.
Most every seems to not care and, in fact, many deliberately and willfully publish the most personal narratives.As a factual observation, this is true. But as an argument against privacy concerns, the observation is meaningless. The tobacco companies traded on ignorance to sell cancer sticks. Even if many of their customers chose to remain wilfully ignorant, this does not absolve those companies of responsibility for their conduct. With respect to privacy, because the internet has been such a recent and explosive phenomenon, no society has yet come to grips with the privacy concerns that it raises. The whole point of the questions being asked today is to determine what rules or limits ought to be placed on corporate snooping. It is fallacious to use what is as justification for what ought to be.
And, in any case, almost everyone will always be what you call "tech-virgins".Nothing follows from this for your position. If anything, it's a reason for restricting bad corporate conduct in the interest of consumer protection.
I think personal information is just that: name, address, phone numbers, credit card numbers, etc. If I choose to provide that info to anyone, on the web or elsewhere, then it is my responsibility. I weight the potential privacy costs against the benefits.Absolutely disagree. If a corporation wants my personal info in order to conduct business with me, then they have a responsibility to secure my info against public exposure, both morally and in actual point of law. A company that loses my credit card number is responsible for consequences arising from that failure. If my bank lets out my account info and this results in an unauthorized withdrawal, they have an obligation to reimburse me or else they can (and ought to) be sued.
I don't consider my travels along the web -- this page then that page then another page -- to be private. As I keep saying, it's a public space, so my activities there are in the public arena. As in the "real" world, if I don't want to be seen entering a place, or leaving traces on a server, I don't go there.This is a gross oversimplification. Moreover, it is a mischaracterization of our actual behaviour in the real world. People have a legitimate expectation that their visit to their psychiatrist, or the cancer clinic, or the battered women's shelter, or their call to the suicide prevention hotline will remain anonymous and private. There are thousands of private things people do that must be conducted by venturing outside and yet are none of anyone's business but their own. To say that visiting a place implies that it's open season on their privacy is nonsense.

It's really a disingenuous bromide when some people still say: "the net is a purely voluntary medium and if people don't want their privacy violated, they don't have to use it." Today, the internet is more important and, for many people, a more indispensible piece of society's infrastructure than our public roadways or our telecommunications systems. Expecting a modern citizen to stop using the internet is equivalent to expecting someone to stop using the roads. It's a totally specious argument.

The problem is that, unlike our roadways, the net has become owned, channeled and confined by the entertainment and data-gathering industrial complex (forgive me Ike), and they have convinced both our lawmakers and a large portion of the unthinking public that their ownership of our personal info is the natural order of things. They are trying to normalize insanity and I for one am depressed at how successful they have been in perpetrating this con.

Gah... you got me wound up so I spouted off, but I'm more aware than anyone that this is one of those recurring debates that rarely changes anyone's mind. Nothing personal intended and certainly no offence intended or taken. I'll keep mum after this and we'll just agree to disagree.

PondPuppy
January 20th, 2015, 04:19 AM
:p Lots of opinions about privacy and web tracking. What people have already written on on this thread seem valid to me, in the sense that all the opinions are understandable given different people with different viewpoints.

Sometimes I think of internet services and software markets in loosely Darwinian terms: right now, free email, free chat, free online document creation and storage, all out-compete paid services. To me that fact is somewhat decoupled from the Internet tracking issue. Yes, right now, those who offer free internet services mostly sell advertisements and use tracking to target the ads. But that's not the only way it could be, as we know. For example, free services are commonly offered in basic form, with payment required for extended features. Or the full package is free, but tech support is offered for sale. A few noble FOSS devs actually subsist on donations. (You rock, Irfan Skiljan!)

Anyway, from a Darwinian perspective, Google, Mozilla, Microsoft, Apple, and all the rest might seem like insect colonies in a rapidly-evolving ecosystem. What is a successful pattern of behavior today may yield to a different pattern of behavior in a few years. If one had only knowledge of elm beetles and stinkbugs, who would guess that another member of the order -- the rhinoceros beetle -- would evolve elaborate horns? Who'd predict that? Similarly, I wouldn't feel comfortable predicting how the Internet and web services will evolve. Just not sure.

On the "What do you think of Google" question, I might note in passing that many (many!) companies besides Google are tracking web users. Many of them don't give me anything like the services Google does. I especially appreciate Google Maps, email, and chat. (I'm not photogenic enough to look like anything but a bruised eggplant on a webcam, however, so I don't do video...) How can I complain about really good free stuff?

That said, I usually avoid as many trackers as possible by using Ghostery, Disconnect, and NoScript add-ons for Firefox, and by making a few modifications in the about:config file. Sure I'm not completely hidden by these measures -- not even close. (If I wanted that I'd boot Whonix or Liberte.) But the anti-tracking measures give me a sense of partial control, anyway.

sammiev
January 20th, 2015, 05:46 AM
I have nothing to hide so adblockplus and betterprivacy is great for me with commend sense. If I want to be invisible, I would just stay off the Internet and put my foil hat on.

Tar_Ni
January 20th, 2015, 06:21 PM
I use the Google search engine , but none of the services or any Chromium based browsers that are dependent on the Google Web Store. I have in the passed used Chrome , Chromium, Iron , Maxthon and Dragon . I don't have any particular animosity towards Google, but don't really want to be part of its Internet culture and by that I mean services and social networks.

But you do know that every single search quiery made on the Google website are recorded and kept indefinitly (for further considerations?) on their servers, along with your IP adress, system infos and geolocalisation?

So you may think that by not using the Chrome web store or any other services but Google Search you are relatively 'at safe distance' from it's internet culture but they can, if needed, build a profile on your search quieries alone, and God knows this is A LOT of personal data. Everything you want, look for, medical problems, political views, your tastes well eveything you have ever searched concerning your private life they currently have access to and will still have access to in the foreseeable future. Scary.

The safest option, as far I am concerned, is to use Startpage (by Ixquick). There is no doubt that Google Search is the most poweful search engine out there. What Startpage does is that they use Google's search results yet they do not record your IP adress at all and remove any kind of identifying informations before sending the quiery anonimously to Google and return the hits privately. Your visit is not logged and no tracking cookies are placed in your browser. I mean, who can ask for more?

See: https://startpage.com/

newbie-user
January 20th, 2015, 07:09 PM
But you do know that every single search quiery made on the Google website are recorded and kept indefinitly (for further considerations?) on their servers, along with your IP adress, system infos and geolocalisation?
Yeah, that's how Google makes relevant responses to my searches. Personally, that's what I want to happen. When I do a search, I want a useful answer, not some mashup of keyword responses. I choose to let Google know about me so that I can get what I need from Google right away. If Google ceases to provide useful information, I'll go elsewhere.

DuckHook
January 20th, 2015, 07:17 PM
...use Startpage (by Ixquick)... https://startpage.com/Many thanks Tar_Ni. :KS Did not know about this one. This forum and its members confirm again how helpful and informative it is.

monkeybrain20122
January 20th, 2015, 07:35 PM
But you do know that every single search quiery made on the Google website are recorded and kept indefinitly (for further considerations?) on their servers, along with your IP adress, system infos and geolocalisation?


Why would that bother me? It is not like I am searching for recipes to make bombs or child porn. :) Anyway being single I move often and always share internet service with ~ 10 roommates. :) Like I said before, I have a boring life to warrant any attention, and I suspect that is the same with most people who are overly paranoid about their online privacy (not to say that there is no legitimate concerns for some people like those living in police states or activists, but I think this is overblown for your normal users)

That being said, I don't feel comfortable to use google services that have remote access to my machines (e.g remote desktop?), if I go offline then I don't want to be bothered. I also logout from my google account once I am done (instead of permanantly logged into gmail like some people, for example)

I agree with newbie-user that my purpose of using a search engine is to find what I need, not to cover my track. With the new Firefox it is easy to switch between search engines, tried DuckDuckGo on and off, not terrible impressed.

monkeybrain20122
January 20th, 2015, 08:06 PM
Startpage seems interesting. Will try that for a bit just to experiment. :)

DuckHook
January 20th, 2015, 09:12 PM
Startpage seems interesting. Will try that for a bit just to experiment. :)I've done some preliminary research, and it seems that Tar_Ni's recommendation is very interesting indeed. The description of what they do is here (https://startpage.com/eng/what-makes-startpage-special.html?). Adding them to the FF search bar is here (https://startpage.com/eng/download-startpage-plugin.html?). Like you, I'm going to try them out for a bit... and digging into more about them and their parent company. Will post back if I find anything worth noting.

vasa1
January 21st, 2015, 02:01 AM
I've been using Google since it became available.

I don't know if I'm being tracked. If indeed I'm being tracked I'm not conscious of any adverse effect. Nor do I know, first-hand, of anyone who has been adversely affected.

I don't know if my "privacy" is being invaded. I see no evidence of that. How will I know? What are the signs?

I've still to read any convincing arguments to move away from Google to anything else including search engines such as DDG which provide Bing results. I think it's more profitable to learn how to use any search engine effectively than to engine-hop.

Oh, I've just bought an Android One (entry-level 'phone) which comes with kitkat 4.4.4. Looking good so far.

newbie-user
January 21st, 2015, 03:36 AM
I've been using Google since it became available.

I don't know if I'm being tracked. If indeed I'm being tracked I'm not conscious of any adverse effect. Nor do I know, first-hand, of anyone who has been adversely affected.

I don't know if my "privacy" is being invaded. I see no evidence of that. How will I know? What are the signs?

I've still to read any convincing arguments to move away from Google to anything else including search engines such as DDG which provide Bing results. I think it's more profitable to learn how to use any search engine effectively than to engine-hop.

Oh, I've just bought an Android One (entry-level 'phone) which comes with kitkat 4.4.4. Looking good so far.

Google tracks pretty much everything you do in order to provide you with relevant products, information, service, etc. There isn't any personal information that is collected, other than your browsing/searching habits. Some people consider this to be a huge invasion of privacy, though. In order for search engines to provide the most useful results, however, they must have some sort of basis on which to rank the results that they show you, which is why Google and other search providers collect information on the users. All that data is sorted through by servers and no one at Google, Microsoft, Apple, etc. is looking at it. There's not likely to be any adverse affects, since that would drive away users in a mass exodus.

Quite frankly, I haven't found any search engine that provides the same quality results as Google. This is partly because I don't use other search engines and partly because Google is just that good.

Tar_Ni
January 21st, 2015, 04:48 AM
Why would that bother me? It is not like I am searching for recipes to make bombs or child porn. :) Anyway being single I move often and always share internet service with ~ 10 roommates. :) Like I said before, I have a boring life to warrant any attention, and I suspect that is the same with most people who are overly paranoid about their online privacy (not to say that there is no legitimate concerns for some people like those living in police states or activists, but I think this is overblown for your normal users)

It's true that the Google fandom actually has no reasonable expectations on privacy, whether their search quieries are recorded, every single email scanned or tracking cookies placed on their computers to collect data on their browsing habbits.

But not everyone feels comfortable with that sort of Internet, including many of us respectable citizens. :)
You can call me paranoid for not buying into that kind of practice but all I am doing is pointing to some very concerning facts. Facts that far from every users are aware of, for they don't bother reading the fine print. I am mentionning Google here because that's the subject matter but the same could be said of Facebook too, both have aweful trackrecords on privacy.

Tar_Ni
January 21st, 2015, 05:09 AM
I've still to read any convincing arguments to move away from Google to anything else including search engines such as DDG which provide Bing results. I think it's more profitable to learn how to use any search engine effectively than to engine-hop.

It really depends where your priorities are. I believe a compagny in which I trust with my data should do everything it possibly can to protect user's privacy. Google Search fails to meet that requirement. The thing is, a search engine does not have to record any kind of data about you. In fact, a compagny can so choose not to record anything at all. Ixquick and DDG are very good exemple on how that can be done. If Google records every search quieries you make as well as the identifying informations tied to them and stock all of it on their servers indefinitly, it does not take a rocket scientist to realize that they have a vested interest in doing so, and they can potentially monetize the whole thing at some point. This raises some serious concerns in my view.

As for DDG and Bing results, it should be mentionned that DDG uses over 100 sources, including DuckDuckBot (web crawler), Yahoo, Yandex, Yelp, Wolfram Alpha, About, Bing, Wikipedia ect ect.
I mean even a big compagny like Yahoo! can't even compete with Google and Bing in web crawling technology, both spend hundreds of millions on it each year. We can't reasonably expect DDG to do this with DuckDuckBot alone, considering the limited budget they have, or their search engine would be completely irrelevant. That doesn't change anything to their privacy stance though. That's it's strenght. For more on this: https://duck.co/help/results/sources

I totally agree with you about engine-hopping and people should use what works best for them, according to what they consider to be essential. For a year and a half now I am using Startpage as my main, everyday search engine and DDG to look for news article. It took some getting used to, but now I got things figured out. I am not looking behind. :)

CantankRus
January 21st, 2015, 05:36 AM
So what your saying is DDG searches would be completely irrelevant without google.
So these non-tracking solutions aren't even possible without tapping into the business model
of the big search companies?

Would you rather pay directly everytime you used a search engine and billed at the end of each month in return for no tracking?
Everyone knows some services are provided by collecting browsing habits for the purpose of customized advertising
and don't really care or use browser extension blockers.

Tar_Ni
January 21st, 2015, 05:46 AM
So what your saying is DDG searches would be completely irrelevant without google.
So these non-tracking solutions aren't even possible without tapping into the business model
of the big search companies?

DDG has it's own web crawler (DuckDuckBot) to provide results, but they do have to use external sources to improve them. There is nothing unusual about this. It's an undeniable reality that Google and Microsoft are far ahead in this field, both have virtually limitless ressources to spend on web crawling and indexing.

From the DDG community platform:

''While our indexes are getting bigger, we do not expect to be wholly independent from third-parties. Bing and Google each spend hundreds of millions of dollars a year crawling and indexing the deep Web. It costs so much that even big companies like Yahoo and Ask are giving up general crawling and indexing. Therefore, it seems silly to compete on crawling and, besides, we do not have the money to do so. Instead, we've focused on building a better search engine by concentrating on what we think are long-term value-adds -- having way more instant answers, way less spam, real privacy and a better overall search experience.''

Source: https://duck.co/help/results/sources

monkeybrain20122
January 21st, 2015, 05:58 AM
It's true that the Google fandom actually has no reasonable expectations on privacy, whether their search quieries are recorded, every single email scanned or tracking cookies placed on their computers to collect data on their browsing habbits.

.

Actually I am not even a google fan. I use Firefox 99% of the time instead of chrome. Only services i use are gmail, googletalk (not even hangout) and google search. Datamining is done by automatic algorithms that do keyword matches and something like that, it doesn't really bother me, it is not like google hires a bunch of people to read through your emails. :)

Tar_Ni
January 21st, 2015, 06:19 AM
Datamining is done by automatic algorithms that do keyword matches and something like that, it doesn't really bother me, it is not like google hires a bunch of people to read through your emails. :)

From Google's terms of service:

“Our automated systems analyse your content (including emails) to provide you personally relevant product features, such as customised search results, tailored advertising, and spam and malware detection. This analysis occurs as the content is sent, received, and when it is stored.”

Source: http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/apr/15/gmail-scans-all-emails-new-google-terms-clarify

Why the need to hire a bunch of people sitting there when they can use automated systems to scan all of their users' mailbox?

I don't even trust a friend's Google mailbox, as you can see ''received'' contents are also scanned, instead I send him an encrypted mail that he can view in a more private manner on Tutanota with a password we previously agreed on. He was bit bothered by that at first but now he is actually considering switching to Tutanota!

mikodo
January 21st, 2015, 06:20 AM
I've done some preliminary research, and it seems that Tar_Ni's recommendation is very interesting indeed. The description of what they do is here (https://startpage.com/eng/what-makes-startpage-special.html?). Adding them to the FF search bar is here (https://startpage.com/eng/download-startpage-plugin.html?). Like you, I'm going to try them out for a bit... and digging into more about them and their parent company. Will post back if I find anything worth noting.I use StartPage's home page. Their searches are not recorded. If one click's on a link, without using the proxy, (lxquick) that is found under the link you want to go to and rather just click on the link alone, then one is open to all the identity recording associated with the website. I don't use the proxy much, in fact very little, (my searches are pretty much linux and computer related, and I don't care if people know that I go to say ... ubuntu/linux/some computer vendors site, but that has to do with "my" level of comfort with sharing that but, each of us need to discern what we want shared). That said, if I want it kept "on the down low", like with financial matters, then I search as per normal with StartPage, then click on the proxy below any sites I want to see.

I also have a Tutanota (https://tutanota.com/#%21home) email address. I haven't use it, except once with a friend to try it, who got angry with me, for bothering him about it, while telling me he shares nothing personal on the internet. That coming from an avid facebook fan. ](*,)But, I wanted a free email with them, to use, when in the future I needed to.

I am not agreeing, with what has become with our lack of any privacy society, in this new-age techno world we live in. I just use the securer services that are there, when I am not comfortable airing personal information, to everyone.

mastablasta
January 21st, 2015, 10:07 AM
Quite frankly, I haven't found any search engine that provides the same quality results as Google. This is partly because I don't use other search engines and partly because Google is just that good.

actually it's not as good as it used to be. it finds plenty of junk and pushes things mildly related to search to the very top.

I was trying to see how my wife's page was doing and so I searched (using private browsing window i.e. no tracking for them from previous searches as well as my default browser window). the pages, specific recipes I searched ranked relatively high 8th - 3rd place. but what was stupid was that top places were occupied with pages that had no mention of the keyword. in few cases pages were not even about cooking but tourism or something completely different. and these were not even sponsored pages.


when using other search engines with same keyword they found only cooking websites and the relevant pages were actually on top.

that's how bad they've become. don't believe me? try it.

I searched for Ubuntu and got results for Debian. and not even Debian's official documentation but some documentation from VPS provider.


dont' get me wrong I still use google a lot, but sometimes I just have to use another search engine as google keeps finding things unrelated to my search.

buzzingrobot
January 21st, 2015, 05:17 PM
I've been using Google since it became available.

I don't know if I'm being tracked. If indeed I'm being tracked I'm not conscious of any adverse effect. Nor do I know, first-hand, of anyone who has been adversely affected.

I don't know if my "privacy" is being invaded. I see no evidence of that. How will I know? What are the signs?

I've still to read any convincing arguments to move away from Google to anything else including search engines such as DDG which provide Bing results.

I'd agree with that.

To me, tracking means being targeted: Someone sets out to follow -- track -- my activities either in real time or something very close to that.

Obviously, my IP address is broadcast around the net each time I initiate a transaction, and every packet sent back to me is also broadcast around the net. Every server those packets transit can, and probably does, log their passage. The lifetime of those logs and the purposes to which they are put depends on the intent and the purposes of the people who own the servers.

That's how it works and how it is intended to work. If someone believes that means the net violates their privacy, they should avoid using the net.

So, a great amount of data about my net activities -- or rather of the IP address of the hardware I use (subject to change when the DHCP lease is renewed) -- is out there.

If I willingly provide my name and other personal info to someone, then they have the ability to link that info with that IP address.

All that allegedly personal data about me sits in aggregation with identical data collected on untold numbers of other users and other transactions. Is Google massaging and analyzing that data to advance its business interests? Of course. That's why they exist. They are not a public charity.

Does that mean Google is tracking me? No, it doesn't.

craig10x
January 21st, 2015, 08:24 PM
Big plus1 to both vasa1 and buzzingrobot's comments...that is exactly how it is...they aren't tracking YOU specifically, all that information is used to enhance their business aspects...they aren't there to provide a charity for you...i think if one feels like his privacy invaded, he likely has a rather "overblown" view of his importance in the internet world ;)

Seems many expect to get lots of goodies and don't want to pay for anything...well, you perhaps you don't but someone has to...otherwise you don't get those goodies for free...just accepted it and stop making such a fuss...i say!

Google is not some hacker trying to get at say, your bank information...that would be something to worry about...not tracking what sites you visit to target ads to your interests...

Tar_Ni
January 21st, 2015, 09:51 PM
To me, tracking means being targeted: Someone sets out to follow -- track -- my activities either in real time or something very close to that.

I would agree with that definition and that's exactly what a compagny like Google or Facebook is doing when planting tracking cookies into your computer, with the purpose of recording you entries and reporting them back to it's source for further considerations. How then can you get targeted ads, of the websites and products you visited the other day? That's a clear intrusion in my private life. I mean why on Earth should a compagny get to know everything I do online?? If your are comfortable with that, that's your choice, but I am not and so are quite a few people.


Obviously, my IP address is broadcast around the net each time I initiate a transaction, and every packet sent back to me is also broadcast around the net. Every server those packets transit can, and probably does, log their passage. The lifetime of those logs and the purposes to which they are put depends on the intent and the purposes of the people who own the servers.
I get your point that Google is not a charity, it's corporation with it's own agenda and I much prefer to use other services that do not based it's business model on tracking and intruding in the private life of it's users. Such services do exist, ann still manage to be accessible to everyone. http://ubuntuforums.org/images/smilies/icon_wink.gif

That's how it works and how it is intended to work. If someone believes that means the net violates their privacy, they should avoid using the net.

Of course your IP adress is following you around the web. But that's not the point. You can use proxies or TOR if you want to be anonymous but that is not the intent here. We are talking about a business who record every single search quieries you make on their website as well as all the identyfing informations associated with them (IP adress, systems infos, geolocalisation) and stock all of it on their servers indefinitly, probably for monetizing purposes.. That's a lot of personal data to give in the hand of a single entity. If you are like me and use a search engine on a daily basis, one could easily build a profile about me (tastes, medical conditions, political views, ect ect.) based on my search queries alone. I do not wish that.

That's some sensible data about a person's life. None of it should be recorded at all. Thankfully, not all search engine does.

I get your point that Google is not a charity, it's corporation with it's own agenda but that doesn't make it excusable in my view, and I much prefer to use other services that do not ground it's business model on tracking and intruding in the private life of it's users. Such services do in fact exist, and still manage to be accessible to everyone. http://ubuntuforums.org/images/smilies/icon_wink.gif

monkeybrain20122
January 21st, 2015, 10:26 PM
Aggregate data is not about any specific 'person'. It is more like demograhic data. The 'targeting' is based on statistical profiles. It is 'nothing personal'.

I think Tor actually brings more attention to 'you' as a specific person because by acting as though you have something to hide you automatically attract attentions from not google, but something much more nefarious like the NSA or FBI.

Frogs Hair
January 21st, 2015, 11:29 PM
http://ubuntuforums.org/images/ubuntu-VB4/misc/quote_icon.png Originally Posted by Tar_Ni http://ubuntuforums.org/images/ubuntu-VB4/buttons/viewpost-right.png (http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?p=13211740#post13211740)
But you do know that every single search quiery made on the Google website are recorded and kept indefinitly (for further considerations?) on their servers, along with your IP adress, system infos and geolocalisation?

Yes , I also have ixquick and Duck Duck Go in the mix , but the results are not always to my liking and once I leave the srearch result page of either of those sites I'm open to tracking anyway.

buzzingrobot
January 21st, 2015, 11:30 PM
...that's exactly what a compagny like Google or Facebook is doing when planting tracking cookies into your computer, with the purpose of recording you entries and reporting them back to it's source for further considerations. How then can you get targeted ads, of the websites and products you visited the other day? That's a clear intrusion in my private life.

Targeted ads are not an invasion of privacy. Businesses have been targeting ads for decades, based on the data and the means available to them. How am I any less private because ads target me? Are children less private because toy ads appear on TV shows for kids? No, they are not. They are people who very probably fall into a demographic category the advertisers want to reach: Children. Are sports fans any less private when TV shows them beer ads during a football game? No. Nor am I when Google shows me targeted ads because I visited XYZ page 5 minutes earlier.

What *you* are really arguing for is the ability to travel the web invisibly, to go where you choose and leave no traces. I have no particular objection to that. But, I think the net would need to be redesigned and reengineered to permit it. Moreover, I don't see governments permiting that kind of "secret" net, and they'd have broad public support.



...one could easily build a profile about me (tastes, medical conditions, political views, ect ect.) based on my search queries alone. I do not wish that.

The only way they can create that profile about you and attach your name to it is if you willingly gave them your name, and other data.

Information about our activities is recorded in many different ways. I use a credit card for all my purchases. I use a loyalty card at my grocery store. I drive on a toll road that photographs my car and sends me a bill. My health insurance company knows when I see physicians and why I see them. On and on...

That, like Google's alleged tracking, represents an increase in data about me in someone's system. That reduces my anonymity but not my privacy.

verymadpip
January 22nd, 2015, 12:26 AM
Tin foil hat alert...
Wait until something you do today gets made illegal in however many years time.
Then Google keeping hold of all your meanderings forever & a day will be a problem.

End paranoia...or not O_o

monkeybrain20122
January 22nd, 2015, 12:27 AM
Targeted ads are not an invasion of privacy. *snip*.

Very well argued. Great post.

monkeybrain20122
January 22nd, 2015, 12:29 AM
Tin foil hat alert...
Wait until something you do today gets made illegal in however many years time.
Then Google keeping hold of all your meanderings forever & a day will be a problem.

End paranoia...or not O_o

Well when that happens the loss of privacy is probably not your main concern, as some dystopic dictatorship has taken over. :)

buzzingrobot
January 22nd, 2015, 01:49 AM
Wait until something you do today gets made illegal in however many years time.


Well, then, that's on me for residing in a country where laws apply retroactively.

I can understand the unease at businesses like Google retaining data. I don't share it, but I can understand it.

But, what I don't understand is what, precisely, is the apparently personal fear prompted by retention of data about perfectly mundane, lawful behavior? What evil is going to afflict me if Google knows that I visited this site at this moment on this day?

vasa1
January 22nd, 2015, 02:51 AM
...
that's how bad they've become. don't believe me? try it.

I searched for Ubuntu and got results for Debian. and not even Debian's official documentation but some documentation from VPS provider.


dont' get me wrong I still use google a lot, ...
Can you post the exact query you used so that others here can reproduce the issue? And if you include a screenshot that would be nice. And I hope there's no confusing ads and results.

Irrespective of the search engine used, I think it would be beneficial to learn the "syntax" of that engine to get better results rather than to "engine-hop" in the hope of getting better results.

mc4man
January 22nd, 2015, 03:13 AM
They've made me a few dollars & provide some useful services so - I like Google
The vast majority of my Internet use is for entertainment & info, who tracks what, where & when I could care less.

Draven_Vestatt
January 22nd, 2015, 03:22 AM
@Tar_Ni

I understand where your coming from I think. I'm deep in the Microsoft & Google ecosystem because I can't find decent free or affordable alternatives. I hate the fact that Microsoft and especially Google js tracking everything I do, even though I have nothing to hide. However, I run an online business and I can't make it without the products that they offer.

I have all Windows 8 products right now(Xbone, Phone, Surface, and Desktop Workstation). I can't wait to make the switch to Ubuntu powered TV, Desktop, Phone, and Tablet. I'm hoping to make that transition by 2016.

However, I don't know what to do about email, office suite, and etc. I'm even wanting to switch away from Adobe. I can get Inkscape to run on my WinPC and I love it, but there is no decent WinPC alternative to Lightroom and Photoshop(don't say GIMP). As far as Office Suites LibreOffice & Open Office I find lacking because I can only working on them from my desktop, and not my phone or tablet. Calligra looks very interesting, but I can't get it to run on my WinPC. It'll have to wait until I get a Ubuntu PC.

I've never heard of Tutanota or Mega Cloud and I'll be sure to check them out now. I'm open other suggestions if anyone wants to make suggestions for alternatives.

mikodo
January 22nd, 2015, 03:23 AM
Yes , I also have ixquick and Duck Duck Go in the mix , but the results are not always to my liking and once I leave the srearch result page of either of those sites I'm open to tracking anyway.Hmm ... On the page for Starpage's Full Proxy Protection (https://startpage.com/proxy/eng/help.html?), it states:


StartPage goes to the website you select, retrieves the page, and displays it for you.
You are invisible to the website. They see only StartPage's IP address, not yours.

Is this different with DuckDuckGo and Ixquick or did I not understand correctly, what message you conferred?

vasa1
January 22nd, 2015, 03:31 AM
Tin foil hat alert...
Wait until something you do today gets made illegal in however many years time.
Then Google keeping hold of all your meanderings forever & a day will be a problem.

End paranoia...or not O_o

Wait until something you do today gets made illegal in however many years time. This is such an awesome argument! Kudos for coming up with it. I never really thought along those lines.

Meanwhile we should all go back to proprietary software and pay good money for it to ensure that we're not the product.

End recurring discussion...or not O_o

CantankRus
January 22nd, 2015, 04:01 AM
Would the collecting of data by Google Bing etc be such a concern if governments had not claimed a right to access
this info in the name of national security?
Maybe we need to update privacy laws to be relevant in the age of the internet.

Draven_Vestatt
January 22nd, 2015, 04:03 AM
I think sometimes people are a little naive about businesses & government collecting your data. People often think that has long as they have nothing to hide, there's nothing to worry about.

But what do you do when someone or some company is willing to pay a generous amount of money to find out what it is your doing? What happens when start tweeting about a ground breaking invention that you haven't yet patented? What about that movie your making that you think is a good idea and could quite possibly be a hit? Or what about a new theory or concept you have based on scientific research?

Then some person or company beats you to it who hasn't invested the work and time like you did? Or, releases something similar to what you have around the same time, only calling it by a different name? What are the odds?

Is there a bot that crawls the net and calculates peoples interests and spending habits to build a 10 year forecast for an elite few who can afford to look at the data, so that they can get richer get richer via investments? Does 1% of the global population own 40% of it's wealth?

What happens when that data mining isn't enough anymore and marketing companies start asking for your DNA to use their services? [hint]

I dunno...

I think perhaps we should all search the net to see if these things have happened and build conclusion from that. Instead of basing our conclusion on "I'm not important enough to worry about being data mined".

Heck if you really wanted to be "dramatic", what if a religious group bought people's religious information in bulk and starting targeting large families by household who didn't have the same beliefs as them? Some households have 6-12 people, would be easier to infiltrate/target, and could most likely cause more damage. Heck, because of government spying, I'm even scared to even post this particular comment now due to fear of being detained for a day or two for it. Hasn't the government detained people on less? I know I didn't do anything wrong, you know I didn't do anything wrong, the government will figure out I didn't do anything wrong, but what a waste of time and tax-payers dollars. Not to mention the stress and bad PR from that. For the record, I'm and not suggesting or planning or intending to hurt any person place or thing. I'm simply trying to make a point about data mining and giving away or selling someones personal information.

Lol, I just had another thought. Here's a good business idea involving data mining. Start collecting people's data on who they have dated or slept with. I'm sure Facebook, Twitter, and dating sites have alot of information on that. Then sell that data to whoever wants it. I know plenty of people who purchase this data on a particular person along with those background checks they do. Girlfriends, Boyfriends, Celebrities, and Stalkers. I'm sure it'll happen eventually. Oh boy, the drama that would come from that would be intense...

Ok, rambling... STOP.

QIII
January 22nd, 2015, 04:12 AM
We are moving towards politics.

Please step back behind the line.

vasa1
January 22nd, 2015, 05:24 AM
Sorry about the repeated posts, the forums isn't acting right ATM.

Press the report button in the lower left corner of each of the duplicated posts and ask a mod to remove them.

QIII
January 22nd, 2015, 05:30 AM
Done. :)

verymadpip
January 22nd, 2015, 01:24 PM
Wait until something you do today gets made illegal in however many years time. This is such an awesome argument! Kudos for coming up with it. I never really thought along those lines.

Meanwhile we should all go back to proprietary software and pay good money for it to ensure that we're not the product.

End recurring discussion...or not O_o

Awww, c'mon. You're just teasing me now :)
Can we have a tin foil hat emoticon please?

Tar_Ni
January 22nd, 2015, 09:17 PM
Meanwhile we should all go back to proprietary software and pay good money for it to ensure that we're not the product.

Perhaps you're not looking at the right places.

There are quite a few privacy-oriented alternatives:

Google Chrome -> Firefox, Palemoon
Google Hangout, Skype -> Tox or Firefox Hello
Google Search or Bing -> Ixquick, Startpage or DuckDuckGo
Gmail or Outlook -> Tutanota, Scryptmail, Mailoo, ProtonMail, Lavaboom
Google+ or Facebook -> Whaller
Youtube -> Vimeo or Dailymotion
Google Doc or MS Office -> LibreOffice or OpenOffice
Google Drive, SkyDrive -> ownCloud, Mega Cloud or SpiderOak
Google Map -> OpenStreet Map
Chrome OS or Windows -> Lubuntu, LXLE, Peppermint OS, Ubuntu, Linux Mint, Fedora ect..

Ah, and did I mentionned they are actually free to use? :-\"

/ADM
January 23rd, 2015, 10:17 AM
I like using Google products. Plus most of my family and friends do as well so using any privacy products within a Google ecosystem will be kind of missing the point.

I find the only way to use privacy oriented products is to force everyone who you communicate with to use them too. Which probably won't work well.

Tar_Ni
January 23rd, 2015, 05:30 PM
I find the only way to use privacy oriented products is to force everyone who you communicate with to use them too. Which probably won't work well.

That can only be true for instant messaging.. And even so Firefox Hello is very convenient, who can just share call-back links with anyone using a WebRTC-compatible browser. Firefox, Chrome, Opera all support it. No accounts required. If you have some open-minded relatives, then you should definitly give it a go!

Emails are emails.. even if your contacts are using mainstream services such as Gmail, Outlook or Yahoo it has no bearing on what you are using. And if you don't trust the services they use, you can even send them encrypted mails with Tutanota which they can easily access from their own mailboxes.

Anyway, people should use what works best for them, according to their priorities. I am simply pointing out here that the typical arguments that there can be no free, privacy-oriented services just don't hold water. The truth is, there's quite a few options.

Frogs Hair
January 23rd, 2015, 05:38 PM
Hmm ... On the page for Starpage's Full Proxy Protection (https://startpage.com/proxy/eng/help.html?), it states:


StartPage goes to the website you select, retrieves the page, and displays it for you.
You are invisible to the website. They see only StartPage's IP address, not yours.

Is this different with DuckDuckGo and Ixquick or did I not understand correctly, what message you conferred?

Once a site is selected after the search the user is open to any tracking that site uses or allows. I can see this by watching the tracker count in ghostery after an ixquick search . If I were invisible this wouldn't be possible. If I were seeking anonymity I wouldn't be on the Internet though I do like to block adds. I have experimented a with privacy proxy extension after a little research I found it was useless without flash disabled because adobe flash leaks the real IP address anyway. Without flash the extension works well.

Tar_Ni
January 23rd, 2015, 06:02 PM
Once a site is selected after the search the user is open to any tracking that site uses or allows. I can see this by watching the tracker count in ghostery . If I were invisible this wouldn't be possible. If I were seeking anonymity I wouldn't be on the Internet though I do like to block adds. I have experimented with privacy proxy extension after a little research I found it was useless without flash disabled because adobe flash leaks the real IP address anyway. Without flash the extension works well.

Of course you are open to tracking on the Web, whatever IP adresses you use. That's why the lambda user need to protect himself with an extension such as ABP+Easyprivacy list or something like Disconnect, Ghostery or Privacy badger. Clearing browsing and LSO flash cookies regularly is also very important. Online privacy is about restraining who and what can have access to your data. It's not about hiding yourself. Some people here seem to confuse privacy and anonymity.

''Privacy is the door you close when you go to the bathroom, or rather, the door you choose to close. The main problem with privacy though, is knowing where those doors are and knowing how to close them properly.''

Here's the difference: https://blog.spideroak.com/20140124105217-vpn-privacy-anonymity)

Startpage does it's job, it brings you to the desired website without recording your identyfing informations, and your browser's referers can only tell this newly visited website that you came from 'Startpage.com'. That's all. After that you're on your own but the website can't know your search quiery or anything like that.

As mikodo mentionned, if you don't trust a particular website, you can also use the Ixquick proxy just below the link.

CantankRus
January 23rd, 2015, 06:55 PM
Perhaps you're not looking at the right places.

There are quite a few privacy-oriented alternatives:

Google Chrome -> Firefox, Palemoon
Google Hangout, Skype -> Tox or Firefox Hello
Google Search or Bing -> Ixquick, Startpage or DuckDuckGo
Gmail or Outlook -> Tutanota, Scryptmail, Mailoo, ProtonMail, Lavaboom
Google+ or Facebook -> Whaller
Youtube -> Vimeo or Dailymotion
Google Doc or MS Office -> LibreOffice or OpenOffice
Google Drive, SkyDrive -> ownCloud, Mega Cloud or SpiderOak
Google Map -> OpenStreet Map
Chrome OS or Windows -> Lubuntu, LXLE, Peppermint OS, Ubuntu, Linux Mint, Fedora ect..

Ah, and did I mentionned they are actually free to use? :-\"

You keep championing Ixquick and Startpage which both use google search results and would be useless without it.
They have no qualms about inserting google ads at the top of their search results to monetize the site and are in fact
for profit entities parasiting off the big search engines in the guise of privacy.

zombifier25
January 23rd, 2015, 08:46 PM
You keep championing Ixquick and Startpage which both use google search results and would be useless without it.
They have no qualms about inserting google ads at the top of their search results to monetize the site and are in fact
for profit entities parasiting off the big search engines in the guise of privacy.

The search engine is still completely private though. The ads themselves are based on the current search, not previous searches or IP addresses since the information is never stored. I couldn't care less if the company is looking for profit.

buzzingrobot
January 23rd, 2015, 09:16 PM
The search engine is still completely private though. The ads themselves are based on the current search, not previous searches or IP addresses since the information is never stored. I couldn't care less if the company is looking for profit.

If they don't store incoming queries, how do they have any idea how people are using their software? Seems to me that recording search queries is perfectly legitimate behavior for any organization trying to determine how their product is actually used, and then improve it based on those findings.

An argument could be made that if retention of queries is justfied for that reason, it doesn't justify retaining them in near-perpetuity. But, I'm still waiting for a convincing argument that explains why my queries sitting on server farms accompanied by billions of other queries represents something more than the most abstract privacy intrusion.

Privacy becomes an issue for me when it affects my behavior, when an alleged intrusion makes me think twice about doing something. So far, nothing Google does has caused me to change my behavior.

Tar_Ni
January 23rd, 2015, 09:23 PM
You keep championing Ixquick and Startpage which both use google search results and would be useless without it.
They have no qualms about inserting google ads at the top of their search results to monetize the site and are in fact
for profit entities parasiting off the big search engines in the guise of privacy.

No one is denying the fact that Google Search is most likely the best search engine on the Internet. The truth is, no one can compete this way with tech giants like Google and Microsoft who invest hundreds of millions in web crawling and indexing. That would be plain silly and geez even a big compagny like Yahoo! can't even do it... But Google has awful privacy policies and that's not about to change. Startpage allows you to use what's best with Google Search yet without sacrificing your privacy. If Google didn't exist than I guess it would be something else. We could speculate about it for a long time but at the end of the day it is what it is and we need to be able to adapt to this reality.

As for the ads, well a compagny needs money to survive. These ads don't plant tracking cookies in your computer though. Believe me that's the first thing I checked. Just don't click on it though. Ah, and with an Adblocker they suddenly disappear..


The search engine is still completely private though. The ads themselves are based on the current search, not previous searches or IP addresses since the information is never stored. I couldn't care less if the company is looking for profit.

Thumbs up!

CantankRus
January 23rd, 2015, 09:35 PM
The search engine is still completely private though. The ads themselves are based on the current search, not previous searches or IP addresses since the information is never stored. I couldn't care less if the company is looking for profit.
Nor could I. The point is they would cease to exist if they did not use the services google provides, largely funded by data collection.

Erik1984
January 23rd, 2015, 10:45 PM
How I feel about Google is mixed. Of all the 'tech giants' Google seems the most sympathetic by far (also towards Linux and open source). But at the same time it just doesn't feel right if one corporation has so much power in so many areas. As said earlier in this topic: power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Yet I haven't seen that many signs of Google being corrupted. At least not in a way that affects most of its users.

vasa1
January 24th, 2015, 05:40 AM
Perhaps you're not looking at the right places.

There are quite a few privacy-oriented alternatives:

Google Chrome -> Firefox, Palemoon
Google Hangout, Skype -> Tox or Firefox Hello
Google Search or Bing -> Ixquick, Startpage or DuckDuckGo
Gmail or Outlook -> Tutanota, Scryptmail, Mailoo, ProtonMail, Lavaboom
Google+ or Facebook -> Whaller
Youtube -> Vimeo or Dailymotion
Google Doc or MS Office -> LibreOffice or OpenOffice
Google Drive, SkyDrive -> ownCloud, Mega Cloud or SpiderOak
Google Map -> OpenStreet Map
Chrome OS or Windows -> Lubuntu, LXLE, Peppermint OS, Ubuntu, Linux Mint, Fedora ect..

Ah, and did I mentionned they are actually free to use? :-\"

Thanks for pointing out that Firefox, LibreOffice, and *buntu are "actually free to use". But then what about the argument that if you're not paying for the product, you are the product?

Oh, and as for the rest of the suggestions, if someone I respect suggests them, I may have a look if I feel what I'm using currently doesn't meet my needs.

Tar_Ni
January 24th, 2015, 07:21 AM
Yet I haven't seen that many signs of Google being corrupted. At least not in a way that affects most of its users.

You may want to read When Google Met Wikileaks by Julian Assange. It's worth it.

http://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2014/11/when-google-met-wikileaks-by-julian-assange-review.html


Thanks for pointing out that Firefox, LibreOffice, and *buntu are "actually free to use". But then what about the argument that if you're not paying for the product, you are the product?

That's the whole point, you are not the product. They make money with non-intrusive ads, afilliate programs, donations and premium/business plans. There is no need of tracking and data mining. That's just not their vision of how the Internet should be.

oscablenet
January 24th, 2015, 08:58 AM
it's global economy bro...
waiting for BING action

jay65
January 25th, 2015, 07:15 AM
I use only chrome browser apps. They are very useful for linux because there is few apps for linux.
But I avoid other things like search, mail/calendar/contact, drive, map, keep, and etc.
I have different google account in galaxy phone. It is only for play store. Never sync with mail/cal/contact and photo
I also considering Tizen phone or Blackberry when contract ends.
FF, TB, OO, MEGA, Mailbox.org, open street map are essential for me.

shantiq
January 25th, 2015, 08:36 AM
musings: if one wanted to have complete surveillance over the planet and one was the most most powerful country on earth one would/could fund and help a company to have the best resources research departments and funkiest gimmicks; one could also fund [or possibly give] a young man the best social site and let him "release" it .... then you would have the almost entire signed-up internet population surveilled everytime they switch on their glittery boxes.... that would be a dream-come-true for your info harvesting

Oh yes there would be alternatives but they would be knee-high to the grasshopper with their limited funding

So de facto : you are free to choose alternatives but they will likely be of lesser quality; and clearly reading the posts here hardly any of us do
I too use google AND gmail and facebook and know all my info is there to see for the Great Info Harvest

The illusion of freedom=the illusion of choice
All sewn up
In the 21st century most of us are/will be willing happy shiny slaves reporting for duty :]

After me the mantra : "Google" "Google""Google""Google""Google""Google""Google"