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Re: maybe not djf AT&T the Web Spy? -- And Their Big Google Lie
From: David Farber <dave () farber net>
Date: Sat, 16 Aug 2008 03:25:18 -0400



Begin forwarded message:

From:
Date: August 16, 2008 1:31:45 AM EDT
To: dave () farber net
Subject: PLEAE WITHHOLD MY NAME Re: [IP] Re: maybe not djf AT&T the Web Spy? -- And Their Big Google Lie

For IP if you wish, but without my name on this one please, as I have
first hand past experience in IT in the adult industry.

Aside from other sites large and small, major porn site operators use
google analytics.  The click streams in that business are already
overwhelming enough without having to run data warehousing servers to
crunch user paths through your site on your own servers.  Which of
course is another reason many large sites use it. The "free" part then
is really saving some money above and beyond the price of software to
run your own in house web analytics, the hardware and time to run some
of the number crunching can get high pretty quickly.

So just remember, those dirty pictures you looked at might be sending
your clicks into google's click logs too.  Maybe a browser addon that
alerts to google analytics tracking on a page would be an idea for
someone to make (if it doesn't exist already).

-Name withheld

On Fri, Aug 15, 2008 at 12:59 PM, David Farber <dave () farber net> wrote:


Begin forwarded message:

From: "Erich M." <me () quintessenz org>
Date: August 15, 2008 2:49:22 PM EDT
To: dave () farber net
Subject: Re: [IP] AT&T the Web Spy? -- And Their Big Google Lie

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David Farber wrote:

Servus Dave, for IP if you wish.

Begin forwarded message:

From: Lauren Weinstein <lauren () vortex com>
Date: August 14, 2008 6:28:16 PM EDT


AT&T's new Big Lie regarding Google is of particular note:

"Advertising network operators such as Google have evolved beyond
merely tracking consumer Web surfing activity on sites for which
they have a direct ad-serving relationship. They now have the
ability to observe a user's entire Web browsing experience at a
granular level."
  -- Dorothy Attwood, AT&T senior vice president for public policy

That second sentence is the kicker -- and is simply untrue.  But
it's crucial to AT&T's arguments that people *believe* it to be
factual.

Google does collect a great deal of data across their affiliated
networks, via IP addresses, cookies (when enabled by users), and
presumably URL referers as well.  But this only includes sites
somehow affiliated with the Google networks, and/or users who have
installed various Google tools and enabled associated site reporting
features.  But it does *not* otherwise include all visited Web
sites.  Not by a long shot.

I would not be so sure at all of the latter, Lauren. Of course you are
perfectly right that AT&T as your telco access providor can monitor all
you do online. Unless you use a VPN, of course.

As to Google:

In the German speaking world about 80 percent of the leading news
websites run Google analytics and/or google syndication resp. doubleclick.

See the link at the bottom to an online tool called ontraXX where you
can look up whether the US news websites you read hand over all your
usage data to Google. You should be surprised how many these are.

German and Austrian top news sites send their visitors' clickstreams to
Google for analysis, a service free of charges. Google sends then
[incomplete] sites statistics back.

According to EU data protection laws owners of websites have to inform
their users about their usage data being handed over to third parties.
Neither spiegel.de nor sueddeutsche.de, nor derstandard.at complied to
that when I ran that news story two months ago.

These EU media and many others also violate Google's policy over here in EU: to add a disclaimer - according to EU laws - on a "prominent place"
on the respective website.

Nobody likes to do that in a EU country, because the disclaimer starts
with a sentence saying: This website uses Google Analytics, a service by
Google, all your traffic data will be stored on a server in the Unites
States of America".

I asked a Google spokesperson in Hamburg, Germany a few months ago on
that matter. What is Google doing to sanction those who violate Google's
policy, by not adding the said disclaimer on a "prominent" place on
their website?

The Google spokesperson answered: "That is a good question. I will check into that matter". Obviously that checking is still going on as I have
not heard of him again since mid june.

If you read the leading print news media in Germany or Austria online,
Google is more or less always watching you. All user traffic data go
into one, big pot.

I would not be surprised if the same was the case in the USA. The New
York Times does it and the Washington Post does it well. LA Times uses
all three Google services.

There is no mentioning of Google in the privacy policy of the Washington Post -to pick one out - just a tiny Google logo a very long scroll away
on the very bottom  on the frontpage.

The ontraXX.net machine description is - I'm afraid to tell - only in
German. But that should not be a problem: Just type in the domain you
wish to check and type in. Amongst "Externe Services"

http://www.ontraxx.net/

The guy who owns that and the related notraxx.net, Walter Karban,
managed to get an altavista license in 1997 and ran a self branded
search engine called "austronaut.at" for a few years. He used that as a
PR tool for his small company because the .at domain was not indexed
that well on altavista or lycos, then.

I am really on your side when bashing the circuit switched gang for
their extensive network surveillance, Lauren.

Know a bit about that topic. But: All our online _news_ consuming habits
in one pot at Google?

Servus from Europe
Erich Moechel





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