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back to article Google's Schmidt satirised as privacy pervert

Eric Schmidt has been portrayed as a depraved privacy pervert by the US-based ConsumerWatchdog.org, which is running an advert in New York’s Times Square that mocks the Google boss. The ads are part of CW’s campaign that calls on Congress to bring in a national “Do Not Track Me” list. CW, which routinely grumbles about Google, …

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Hmmm.

Isn't the problem with a "don't track me" list, that in order for it to be any use, every site you visit would need to check it every time to see if you are on it, thus basically building a profile of your browsing anyway?

And I am sure that video must be libellous in some way!

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Go

Not in the US

Potentially libellous by UK legal standards maybe but not in the US. However, given our courts support for Libel Tourists, Schmidt could start a case in the UK if he could show (via youtube access logs?) that 1 person and his dog has watched the vid. here.

Roll on the reform of our ridiculous libel laws.

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Wheaty73 <----------------------------------------------> Point

The point of the list is that sites would be legally required not to record the history of your browsing. As of course would the maintainers of the list. Yes so the list would be checked for every visit, but everytime somebody popped up on the list then there would be no log kept.

I know I keep asking this, but can somebody (one of the Google sheep we get on here, perhaps) please tell me the difference between Phorm and Google. Oh, appart from Google's phoney "do no evil" hippy schtick.

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A minor difference

Phorm were actually intercepting traffic, so it was impossible for BT customers to avoid them. With Google I believe it's just really quite difficult to avoid them. I am ready to stand corrected if I'm wrong though, and even if I'm right I'm aware this is an academic distinction for your average web user anyway.

Oh, I guess another difference would be that Google are offering useful services. It doesn't excuse their dodgy behaviour but it's the reason I still deal with them.

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Big Brother

cookies

As I understand it, Phorm identified you by your IP address, and sniffed from what must be the majority of your web traffic, maybe more, and was opt out: you would have to present a special cookie to stop the ads but probably not the sniffing.

Google's services are opt in: Google is not sniffing all your traffic, It can only keep records from google sites you have visited. If you reject cookies from google this information becomes difficult if not impossible to tie together if your IP is dynamic. Additionally, You can opt out of most google advertising by rejecting webpage scripting.

In short, being with a Phorm ISP would have been detrimental to your overall web service; the only way Google would effect your web service is if you actually use it . Sadly I suspect you cannot tell the difference google and the internet.

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Correct on the "Don't track me" - not on the video.

"Do not track" is about as much use as "do not spam" because it starts too late in the cycle. "Do not collect info on me unless you have my permission" would be correct, but aside from the fact that DNCIOMUYHMP" isn't catchy acronym it would also amount to asking them to change an established business model that is already in violation of EU privacy laws which dictate explicit opt in..

Google and Farcebook were built in an era where the axis of evil Bush-Blair was destroying any last vestige of personal privacy by wildly waving the "terrorist" flag. As both these are busy with their personal rewriting of history (called "memoirs") to get at the last money they didn't get out of voters through taxes, the privacy swing is on the rebound and more and more people are finally starting to ask questions.

Google and Farcebook have now collected enough money with their abuse to more or less buy the laws they want, but that doesn't work everywhere - especially not since those pesky Human Rights are actually occasionally read by people and EU law already blocked what they were doing - only regulators started paying attention after the Swiss showed them up for not doing their job (only after the Swiss started asking questions about Streetview did others nations follow - but let's not forget Japan got there first).

As for the video: AFAIK you can get away with quite a lot in satire, which is probably why they used a cartoon format in the first place. This is mild compared to Southpark, but I'm positive Schmidt is grinding his teeth every time he goes across Times Square. Well done..

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Anonymous Coward

That's alright then...

"As I understand it, Phorm identified you by your IP address"

Were that the case then I woudln't mind Phorm. My router is only on when I'm using it so I have a different IP address every day.

Or maybe you don't understand it after all, or at least the bit about how IP addresses are normally allocated to home ADSL routers.

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Question

Have you checked that?

When I had a major problem a few years ago the technician I talked to said that because of the way their DHCP servers were configured (and the fact that most people just leave their router on) that you would tend to get the same one or two addresses repeatedly unless you happened to be offline when they connected a whole bunch of new people in your area.

Having a quick look at my router logs suggest that he's not wrong.

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These Americans are sick!!!

I mean, public-square trafficking?

Just think about all those poor people, addicted to public-squares, selling themselves into prostitution to buy an eighth of public-square cut with supermarket car park and fragments of low-quality cul-de-sac.

Won't somebody think of the children?!?!?

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Anonymous Coward

@Hmmm.

It would probably require a fixed IP address or the mobile device's subscriber info (which Google has access to if you use a mobile device). Its a shame MAC addresses wouldn't work as they are unique.

How would checking a list of IP addresses be building a profile? If the IP is on the list then dont track them. Its really quite simple. They probably wouldn't even need to check every time, just every few weeks. Holding an IP address isn't bad, its all the other data they link to it that identifies you.

They'd need to stop Google simply moving all its actual tracking hardware outside the US but leaving the machines that link everything together where its needed.

Where is the Evil Eric icon?

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Troll

It's simple

Just use the telephone number, like the Do Not Call list. duuuuuuh.

I wonder what will happen when these people run into the anti-pædophila lobbyists who insist that no right to privacy is so great that it shouldn't be brushed aside for THE CHILDREN.

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Thumb Up

You've got to hand it to Google, they are pretty easy on censorship

If this was Apple, Job's altar iPhans would have smote this video from it's servers.

Google happily indexes competition, critics and things that cost it money.

Pretty even handed.

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They'd hire Naomi Campbell..

.. to sling an iPhone through it - I hear her aim is excellent :-).

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i love it

the only way you combat these people is to expose their personal information.

start gathering the information for as many google employees and execs as can be found and start throwing it all over the net.

that's the only way these people will stop. people like this live in gated communities and wouldn't have to put up with this crap while others can't afford to live like royalty and have to be treated like second class citizens.

said it before and i'll say it again, I see a streetview queer in my neighborhood the thing will be on a flatbed and gone into the sunset before the pimply faced puke can yell mommy.

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Anonymous Coward

It would be much more fun..

. if you could use it as a paintball target.

That would be worth organising - every time a Streetview car shows up, organise a paintball posse and blob the cameras. You should leave the drivers alone, they're just contracted.

As for gated communities, AFAIK that's part of the reason they got in trouble in Switzerland - they got onto private land without permission. In Bern is an area where a number of embassies are., and as far as I can see they got the gate shut in their face. The gate you see across the road at http://bit.ly/dzwYZD is normally open to the public..

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Oh, Not-For-Profit Mud Slinging

Well, that's rich. It sounds to me like they've made a personal vendetta out of it.

Is that some acceptable non-profit work, then? I find it difficult to believe that it ever could be, except if in some strange looking-glass world where such a ridiculous piece of work as that mud-slinging campaign could be deemed "worthy":

Believe me or not, that kind of nonsensical semblance-of-work is not accepted everywhere, in the states.

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WTF?

Is that it?

Not very long. Not very impressed.

That's all.

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FAIL

Don't track me man!

All in favour of raising public awareness of the implications of all this tracking. Raising it to the point that it is enonomically unfeasable for browsers to not offer easy tools to block it and sites to not be able to refuse access without it.

But I honestly can't see how legislation or a list to track who doesn't want to be tracked can really help here.

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Phorm versus Google

"please tell me the difference between Phorm and Google."

I know the result is the same near-pervasive tracking. But Phorm was sitting between you and the rest of the internet, sniffing your web traffic (including potentially banking and other private traffic, at least the parts that are unencrypted) without either your consent or the consent of the web site at the other end.

Google, on the other hand, doesn't know what's going on unless the owners of the sites you are going to voluntarily (well, for the advertising money..) put some google sutff onto their sites.

That's not to say they shouldn't have some kind of "do not track" option. But as has been pointed out it's a catch-22 since the users will have to have some kind of way (I assume a cookie) to indicate they aren't supposed to be tracked, so the users will simply have to trust this is being used properly and not abused to just make tracking even more effective.

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Is there any evidence...

...that Google is using this data for evil purposes (aside from targeted ads which I don't click on anyhow)?

So far, all I can see is that they're giving me access for services I want for very little outlay.

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FAIL

The problem with Do Not [whatever] Lists...

...is that they don't actually do anything.

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Joke

Sorry Eric

I watched it and I live in the UK!

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Black Helicopters

Consumer Watchdog <> a consumer watchdog

Who is funding consumer watchdog?

Well various sources have pointed that they are a lobby group funded by Microsoft to bring negative advertising and spearhead anti-trust regulations against Google.

More info can be found at http://techrights.org/2009/05/04/consumer-watchdog-exposed/

but whichever way you look at it they do seem to have a very large amount of funding for a consumer group and their efforts seem to be largely aimed against Google (especially the well funded ones). They also don't seem to ever have a bad word to say about Microsoft - the first and original tech monopoly.

Their links to various other unsavoury bodies is also documented.

Whatever your opinions about Google, don't presume these guys are working in your best interests and maybe wonder what the real motives are.

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