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SUMware
Premium
join:2002-05-21
kudos:2

1 recommendation

Google Voice: Press "1" To Invade Your Privacy

From ComputerWorld
March 12, 2009 -
quote:
Lost in all the hooplah about the release of Google Voice is this disturbing fact: The service will give Google enormous amounts of information about the intimate details of your everyday life, including recordings of your voice mail and possibly your phone calls. Combined with what Google already knows about you, it could mean your privacy is at an end.

Google Voice, by all accounts, may be the best tool ever for managing your telephone communications. It routes all of your calls through a single number, and can then ring all of your phones simultaneously. You can manage your voice mail with it, including getting free transcripts of your calls. It includes free voice conferencing, inexpensive overseas calls, and plenty more. You'll also be able to record and store your calls online.

But all that information about your calls will be routed through Google. Google will know everyone who called you and when they called. They'll have records of your voice mail, and because they offer free transcription, it means they'll have not just the voice, but text of your calls as well. They'll have recordings of your phone calls --- and I would expect them to offer transcriptions of them as well, which means they'll have the transcriptions as well as your calls.

Google Voice will be offered for free. Google, though, will certainly be looking for ways to make money from it. One of the most obvious ways is via targeted advertising, particularly because the company recently announced that it's going to figure out new ways to target ads based on your interests. It already does this with Gmail. So don't be surprised to see ad targeted based on who calls you.

Doing that means that Google will be mining data from your calls, possibly including what is being said on the calls themselves. It already does the equivalent of this in Gmail, looking for key words, and then displaying ads based on those words.

Privacy advocates are already worried. Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, when interviewed by the New York Times, has this warning about the service: "In the privacy world, it is increased profiling and tracking of users without safeguards."

Google already has a profile about your interests and surfing habits. If you use Gmail, it examines the content of your mail as a way to target ads. With Google Voice, it will know who you're talking to, and when you're talking to them --- and will have records of your voice mail, and possibly recordings of your actual calls themselves.

Given that, will there anything about your personal life that Google won't know?

What's next: Google Bedroom? I don't even want to think about that one.
More information from The Washington Post: Google Voice Service Takes Aim At Telephone Companies


Cudni
La Merma - Vigilado
Premium,MVM
join:2003-12-20
Someshire
kudos:13
said by SUMware:

From ComputerWorld
March 12, 2009 -
quote:
What's next: Google Bedroom? I don't even want to think about that one.
they will have transcripts of that too

Cudni
--
"what we know we know the same, what we don't know, we don't know it differently."
Help yourself so God can help you.
Microsoft MVP, 2006 - 2008


swhx7
Premium
join:2006-07-23
Elbonia
reply to SUMware
Looking thru Google's archives of text-form phone data will be easier for the 3-letter agencies than tapping the regular voice lines. They'll have to do both to monitor everyone, but this will make a lot more people's voice comms searchable, because the convenient features will attract a big userbase. You do better with honey than with vinegar, and all that.

On the positive side, I don't see how any of it would be linkable with a user's internet activity, if the user didn't want it to be.


Blackbird
Built for Speed
Premium
join:2005-01-14
Fort Wayne, IN
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Frontier Communi..
reply to Cudni
said by Cudni:

said by SUMware:

From ComputerWorld
March 12, 2009 -
quote:
What's next: Google Bedroom? I don't even want to think about that one.
they will have transcripts of that too

Cudni
Which could all be linked to Google Earth... where a whole universe of imaging possibilities opens before us.
--
If God wanted us to work with electrons, He'd make them big enough to see...


Its a Secret
Please speak into the microphone
Premium
join:2008-02-23
Da wet coast
kudos:3
reply to SUMware
One of the facts we should all recognise is, people embrace this crap as a way of being hip, trendy, and on the cutting edge of tech. But, they rarely discern the pitfalls of the technology they use. They just don't think. Period.

My ISP gives the ability to have your voice mail forwarded to your email, so you can listen to messages 'conveniently'. Yea, I'll get right on that for you...

Convenience has always had a price, usually in the monetary sense, but in this case, it will exact a whole new 'cost' from users. Count me out.
--
"In the future, that which is not mandatory will be illegal"


JohnInSJ
Premium
join:2003-09-22
Aptos, CA
reply to SUMware
I don't get it.

Don't use the service if you don't want to. Using any cloud service obviously gives the company running the service "enormous amounts of information about the intimate details of your everyday life." I'm pretty sure the credit card company, brokerage firm, three credit agencies, employer, insurance agent, and medical practitioner have lots of my information.

I mean, seriously, lately these "warnings" are so generic - it's like "beware, breathing gives up valuable information to the biosphere, mother earth defense council warns!"

I take it we are all supposed to just become Mennonites and drop off the grid?
--
My place : »www.schettino.us


Blackbird
Built for Speed
Premium
join:2005-01-14
Fort Wayne, IN
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Frontier Communi..
said by JohnInSJ:

I take it we are all supposed to just become Mennonites and drop off the grid?
Uh... most Mennonites haven't "dropped off the grid". Perhaps you meant Amish? There is a difference...
--
If God wanted us to work with electrons, He'd make them big enough to see...

OZO
Premium
join:2003-01-17
kudos:2

1 recommendation

reply to SUMware
As I've heard on the radio couple of minutes ago from a guy who markets it as a best thing after a sliced bread and was specifically asked about privacy:
Dude, don't worry. It's already being done by other phone companies.
Yes, it's for US dudes, dumb and lazy ones, who don't give a dime about everything except to have a fun now and a couple of chicks tonight. They don't mind to keep their stupid conversations in text form forever. Who cares, they say...
--
Keep it simple, it'll become complex by itself...


JohnInSJ
Premium
join:2003-09-22
Aptos, CA

1 recommendation

reply to Blackbird
said by Blackbird:

said by JohnInSJ:

I take it we are all supposed to just become Mennonites and drop off the grid?
Uh... most Mennonites haven't "dropped off the grid". Perhaps you meant Amish? There is a difference...
Ok, sure, Amish. Whatever. Here's your nit,

you went to the trouble to pick it, you should keep it.


Blackbird
Built for Speed
Premium
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Fort Wayne, IN
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Frontier Communi..

1 recommendation

said by JohnInSJ:

said by Blackbird:

said by JohnInSJ:

I take it we are all supposed to just become Mennonites and drop off the grid?
Uh... most Mennonites haven't "dropped off the grid". Perhaps you meant Amish? There is a difference...
Ok, sure, Amish. Whatever. Here's your nit,
...
you went to the trouble to pick it, you should keep it.
To those who are Mennonite, it might not be a nit. Whatever. No thanks, you can keep your nit.
--
If God wanted us to work with electrons, He'd make them big enough to see...


JohnInSJ
Premium
join:2003-09-22
Aptos, CA

1 edit
Lol

Ok, apparently I mean "Horse and Buggy Old Order Mennonite"

Yeah, thats it.

Silly silly internet.

Edit: just to close the loop, now Google knows I searched for Mennonites. Crap. I'm screwed.


Its a Secret
Please speak into the microphone
Premium
join:2008-02-23
Da wet coast
kudos:3

1 edit
reply to Blackbird
said by Blackbird:

To those who are Mennonite, it might not be a nit.
BB, they're using number 4 on the The Woo-Woo Credo...
--
"In the future, that which is not mandatory will be illegal"


swhx7
Premium
join:2006-07-23
Elbonia
reply to SUMware
If we're going to talk of privacy implications they should be well defined. The ones I see are:

1. Aggregating together what would otherwise be accounts with different providers

2. Turning voice into text, which makes it easier to search/scan for content. The obvious data-mining potential is an unavoidable side effect of what will be a very popular feature, i.e. getting text versions of voice messages.

3. Connecting all this data with the user's internet activity? How would this work? To identify the person as the same person in phone traffic and online, would require either (a) cooperation with the ISP or (b) acceptance of google cookie plus an online account in same name (or with same payment) as the phone account.

Apart from these things, Google has no more information on the voice customers than the existing phone companies have on their customers. And U.S. Americans' phone traffic already is being snooped by telcos for the government, wholesale, according to the news.