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Ear to the Ground

Google Caught Tracking Apple Users

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Posted on Feb 17, 2012
Robert Reineke of Venezuela stands by the Google booth at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Saturday, Jan. 7.
AP / Jae C. Hong

Sneaky, sneaky Google. The online search giant did an end run around Apple’s proprietary Web browser by jacking Safari’s privacy settings so that the Internet travels of iPhone and computer users could be followed for marketing purposes without their knowledge—that is, until The Wall Street Journal called Google out.  —KA

The Wall Street Journal:

The companies used special computer code that tricks Apple’s Safari Web-browsing software into letting them monitor many users. Safari, the most widely used browser on mobile devices, is designed to block such tracking by default.

Google disabled its code after being contacted by The Wall Street Journal.

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By John G, February 19, 2012 at 9:25 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Hey Mac users: Google has been doing the same thing through Firefox, probably built into Mozilla’s contract with them which is practically M’s only source of income. And of course Google does it through Chrome. And who knows what other browsers.

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By Big B, February 18, 2012 at 5:06 pm Link to this comment

First, allow me to say that I realize the irony of using the internet in order to decry the dangers of using the internet.

It has always been a favorite subject in the recent past for science fiction writers to imagine a totalitarian future that was caused by, or at least directly aided, by some sort of “super” computer or other form of AI (Don’t think terminator, although that is a good example. Think farther back to Azimov’s robot series, or Colossus, the Forbin project.) we have always seemed destined to destroy ourselves, but here in the atomic age we always assumed we would meet our making cowering the “duck and cover” position under our desks. But now it has become plainly obvious that we are in the middle of farming out our demise to a third party contractor, namely all the “search engines” and “social networking” sites that put all of our weaknesses on display for the whole world to see, including any potential enemies and their “search engines” and “social networking” sites.

We always envisioned our finals days in a post apocolyptic nuclear wasteland. Now it appears we will be dying of starvation in a workcamp or ghetto, all the while, being watched over by the “smart” machines and computers that are controlled by the top 1/10th of 1% of our overlords. And with our last shriveled, dehydrated finger we will be “de-friending” our cousins best friends sisters uncles step son for sending us the wrong link to a porn site.

Out with a whimper…

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By Maani, February 17, 2012 at 8:41 pm Link to this comment

Let’s see…

Google’s motto is “do no evil,” and they are becoming the embodiment of evil.  Facebook was supposed to be “safe,” and now hey have signed a deal to provide Homeland Secutiry with millions of datafiles on users.

Add to this that the Senate just passed the NDAA - which, if signed by Obama (he said he won’t, but…) would be the final nail in the coffin of habeas corpus and posse comitatus - and I think it is safe to say that it is no longer a matter of “conspiracy theory” that the U.S. is fast taking on the attributes of a proto-totalitarian (if not proto-fascist) nation…

Hmmm…

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UreKismet's avatar

By UreKismet, February 17, 2012 at 6:24 pm Link to this comment

That is the least of it.  Citizens need to accept that there is no such thing as a free app and modify their behaviour on the basis of everything they do online being subject to scrutiny by the unscrupulous.  Mr J. Assange explains that .

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