Archive 2019

UN-GOOGLING Why you should change your default search engine

“[W]hen you search, you expect unbiased results, but that’s not what you get on Google,” Gabriel Weinberg, founder of DuckDuckGo, a privacy-focused search engine, writes on Quora. “On Google, you get results tailored to what they think you’re likely to click on, based on the data profile they’ve built on you over time.”

On the surface, that may seem innocuous. But if our options are algorithmically curated, that removes our choice and diminishes our exposure to challenging viewpoints.

https://qz.com/1573585/why-you-should-change-your-default-search-engine/

https://duckduckgo.com/html/

Google’s Sensorvault Can Tell Police Where You’ve Been

Do you know where you were five years ago? Did you have an Android phone at the time? It turns out Google might know—and it might be telling law enforcement.

In a new article, the New York Times details a little-known technique increasingly used by law enforcement to figure out everyone who might have been within certain geographic areas during specific time periods in the past. The technique relies on detailed location data collected by Google from most Android devices as well as iPhones and iPads that have Google Maps and other apps installed. This data resides in a Google-maintained database called “Sensorvault,” and because Google stores this data indefinitely, Sensorvault “includes detailed location records involving at least hundreds of millions of devices worldwide and dating back nearly a decade.”

The data Google is turning over to law enforcement is so precise that one deputy police chief said it “shows the whole pattern of life.” It’s collected even when people aren’t making calls or using apps, which means it can be even more detailed than data generated by cell towers.

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2019/04/googles-sensorvault-can-tell-police-where-youve-been