Re: They did their dash with me
I see quite a lot of duplicitous language, such as the oft-used myth that "computers do it, so it's all OK" - oh really? And who programs those computers?
Who cares? I've programmed lots of things that crunch data I don't actually see. In fact, I've programmed things that crunch sensitive data, extract just enough information to establish trends then jettison the original sensitive data.
Why should I assume there is a nerd manually examining my data? I don't even assume Microsoft does that. (Though I do assume they give all my data to the NSA, since they're so chummy.) What I do assume is that Microsoft has algorithms that hunt through everything looking for information that is of commercial competitive value. Microsoft conducts industrial espionage, of this I am 100% certain. I have been given no reason whatsoever to believe that Google does.
Also let's not forget it was Google who was fined $22.5M by the FTC in 2012 for explicitly developing and deploying a method by which it could track Safari users despite the tracking prevention being enabled
It was Google who got CAUGHT doing this. I am 100% positive that Microsoft have done the same thing, and more. They are every bit as keen on tracking everyone all the time as Google, Facebook or Apple.
"The other thing they are not upfront about is your ability to opt out of Google Analytics. You know what their advise is? You should INSTALL something to opt out - why not simply follow the Do Not Track flag that most browsers now have, or would that make it too easy for people to drag Google again into court if it did regardless?"
This is one of the few valid complaints that I agree with. From Google's point of view DNT is about *advertisers* tracking you, so they see Analytics as a separate thing. (And frankly, I'm more than happy to ally website operators to see some basic data about me, but don't want advertisers to track me. That's just me, however.) I don't think that it should require a cookie to be placed on your system. That said, we don't currently have another mechanism to differentiate between the two types of information. That isn't an excuse - Google could be leading the charge to create one - but I can at least sort of understand their point of view, even as I disagree with it. I emphatically don't think it's malicious.
That's the thing, I guess. Google's entire income is based on building a profile of you and selling advertisers the ability to put an ad in front of the right audience. They spend a lot of time trying to walk a tightrope between what is okay to do to build that profile and what is not. Google is also huge. I can believe that some groups go overboard while others would not approve of the same actions.
Microsoft, on the other hand, seems to make decidedly hostile choices which are all the more galling because tracking you is such a small fraction of their income. Microsoft violates your privacy and compromises your data sovereignty because they CAN. Not because they have to.
With Google, we know what we're getting. They're selling us nothing so we're the product. With Microsoft, we're paying spectacular amounts and they're STILL screwing us over, privacy-wise. It's not okay.
Google are not the good guys. I acknowledge this.
But Microsoft are worse. They lie repeatedly about how very much they are the good guys, then behave just as badly - frequently worse - than those they deride. Give me someone overtly evil over a well trained conman any day. At least I know where I stand with the openly evil fellow.