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Google Chrome Spyware?


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33 replies to this topic

#11
marko

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FS, I'm in no way an advocate of Google, as I said earlier, I wouldn't trust them because they don't have my best interests at heart - however, not many other browsers do either, they all rely on some form of collecting data, like 99% of websites we all visit - whether it not we use Chrome, to me anyway, is irrelevant - as far as I'm concerned you could use any browser but unless you nail down the security settings of it, your included in statistics of some form, possibly even personally identifiable, but that really depends on the websites we visit and what information they request. In some form or another, the very second you hit the Internet, your part of a bigger collection of analytical data, whether it's built in to the browser or part of the collection process of the web site we're browsing.

As I say, I'm not an advocate of Google in any way, I'm an advocate of the facts, and so far I've not seen any credible evidence that Google is gathering information for alterior motives. They are supposedly gathering info to tailor search results which some other browser makers don't do, but that's because those other browser makers don't have an independant search engine like Google does. Of course, I could be wrong and I am always open to change my mind based on the facts available to me at the time, and whilst it's possible to misinterpret some facts, I'm happy that Google are currently only collecting data to either help my search requests, bring me more relevant information and even possibly suggest further reading. It's possible this info will be analysed for their marketing purposes also, but as long as it remains anonymous, I'm happy :)
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#12
Bala7

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the methods used to identify those people involved went far beyond the capabilities of a browser...

Marko, if you can spare a discretionary half-hour during your day, please listen to the audio file I attached at the bottom of post #8. Your browser(s) are your digital fingerprint / footprint / passport identifying your machine. People around our globe who exercise unflattering speech against their Govt. are targeted for retribution based on their unique digital fingerprint.

Do I trust Google Chrome, or even Google? ... not particularly

nor should you. Closer to home, witness the brazen vitriolic attacks on Irish political dissidents who dared exercise freedom of speech against the big banks (or banksters as some say) for principally thrusting the Irish economy into a tailspin .. same could be said for Iceland.

Become politically active, become a thorn against powerful ruling forces of any country, and you will draw attention of the ruling class at your own peril. Freedom has a price, if we take our liberty for granted, it will be lost. Some of you reading this may think I'm overreacting, that's only because you're NOT paying attention. How ridicules can things become: how about a farmer arrested for storing rain water > no joke: search for "Oregon man sentenced for storing rainwater."

I'm an advocate of the facts, and so far I've not seen any credible evidence that Google is gathering information for alterior motives

but you're missing the point: merely collecting and storing the information forever, may put you at risk if you ever decide to become ... let us say an anti war protester which have been arrested in Britain for exercising their freedom of speech. I never insinuated Google has any sinister motives, what I'm saying is: Google's unique profile of your machine is being used against political dissidents.
Those who would surrender liberty for security deserve neither liberty nor security. ~ Benjamin Franklin

#13
Claw

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Wow, Bala, I just read that warrantless wire tapping in now legal in the U.S. !!!
I don't trust any browser either, but a while back Jim posted a comment saying, SRWare Iron has all the same workings as Chrome without the security vulnerabilities , it is safer. True or not, I trust, Jim, so I've been using Iron just to be on the safe side. Even if it isn't any safer, I can't kick myself for lack of trying. I know they all collect data, but I guess it's how they use it that matters. They all want money, and sometimes Google wants "all" the money. Marko's right on his part, that's how they make their money off of us,, but you are also right on your assessment too that they can go too far.
@marko :good:
@Bala :good:

.

#14
jayesstee

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Remember (from your history at school), the Witch trials? In the 18th century, some UK women were "identified" and found guilty of witchcraft, sometimes just on the evidence of owning a black cat and some non-impartial person pointing the finger.

If Government security organizations can access and interpret any data from your browsing that you cannot be positively proved NOT to be a subversive, terrorist or just plain criminal then you are in deep doo-doo, my friends.

All these organizations have "performance" targets to show well the Government is solving the "problem" (which they defined in the first place). So any chance to pounce is an opportunity not to be missed.

It's going to be a rocky ride!

PS In Britain last successfully prosecution of a woman for witchcraft was in the 1940's during WW2!

Those who will not reason are bigots, those who cannot, are fools, and those who dare not are slaves.


#15
FutureShock

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As I say, I'm not an advocate of Google in any way, I'm an advocate of the facts, and so far I've not seen any credible evidence that Google is gathering information for alterior motives. They are supposedly gathering info to tailor search results which some other browser makers don't do, but that's because those other browser makers don't have an independant search engine like Google does.


Noted marko...thanks :)

#16
Bala7

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jayesstee,
solid post but we don't have to go back in history, we have something akin to a witch-hunt happening in Fukushima, Japan. Recall the horrific earthquake and tsunami nearly destroying Fukushima's nuclear reactors. Right this very moment, a couple dozen PhD scientist have equivalently stated radiation poisoning is occurring now to the people of Japan within a 250 mile radius of the plant. How are these brave scientist spreading the word of their findings, yep you guessed it, through gmail (google mail) twitter, facebook, myspace, and others.

Are Google or facebook maliciously spying gathering analytics, no of course not BUT Google search and Google mail and Facebook and ...
keep records of all searches and conversations exposing these scientist to painful consequences in some cases career ending betrayals by powerful local interests armed with nothing but a subpoena requesting Google's records.

<< harmless (unidentifiable) >> for those who never rock the boat but for those who challenge any postilions of authority, please spend a little time to listen to the audio I attached at the very bottom of post #8.
Identifying you is rival.

Claw,
It's far worse than Bush Jr. Patriot Act or Obama's National Defense Authorization Act upholding warrant-less wiretapping on ALL American citizens ... to all Americas on this BBS did you know our very own (US) Army had war games played on the streets of St Louis last month? In complete violation of the "Posse Comitatus Act" thereby violating an important tenet written into our Constitution. see here here and here. You say you haven't heard about this in the mainstream media, what a surprise. Why, why would our Army practice test case scenarios on US streets? Could one reason be to stifle political free speech such as Greece and Portugal today? Why all the secrecy?

________________________

If we don't actively fight for our liberty or right to uncomfortable speech or our right to anonymity or our right to worship whatever god (or no god) we choose history has shown it will be lost. Google is not evil, they are after-all a profit motivated business, but their business practices can and in many cases do reveal much about your state of mind. Gathering and maintaining information is not evil but using that information for personal or political gain and selling that information for someone else's gain, is.
Those who would surrender liberty for security deserve neither liberty nor security. ~ Benjamin Franklin

#17
Claw

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@ Bala, Agreed.

#18
FutureShock

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First, thanks Bala for being interested in this information and digging so much. The stories can be hard to find. All of the ones you have mentioned were valuable to read and learn about.

Second, as far as the Google Chrome browser and other browsers is concerned, I think we can all agree that we are concerned that the following be true:

1. Companies that gather browser data do not sell or give information to governments
2. Companies that gather browser data do not sell or give information to other companies
3. Companies that gather browser data may only gather data that helps them distribute and sell their products more effectively, specifically not IP addresses or specific machine information such as ID#, make, model, etc.

Is this a good list? This information being gathered cannot be ever tied to a particular user as I understand things for now. Listening to the podcast, though, this really is too close for comfort.

Again thanks for being so on this topic, Bala. I hope you keep up with that as you can. Unbelievable stories. In particular, I wasn't aware of war games in St. Louis. Gonna look into that one shortly.

Thanks for the comments marko, Claw, and jayesstee...

#19
marko

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Bala, I'm somewhat confused and bewildered to be honest - this topic was about the potential "spyware" that is supposedly inherent to Google Chrome - our browsers may be our digital footprint, but we've moved the conversation from Google Chrome is spyware to Google's profiling is working against political dissidents. Unless I'm missing something here, Google isn't purposely profiling anyone for the purposes of allowing an authority or government access to the information so they can use it against them. Like any other search engine, they collect and analyse data to further their own cause such as providing more relevant search results, browsing habits, and so on. This allows them to increase their own purpose online, but if at some point an authority comes along and asks "what do you have for IP address 11.11.11.11" and they are forced to hand over the information, then this isn't really the same as google spying on us - as I say, most browsers and search engines have those capabilities and realities.

If I, as a webmaster, were to be approached by a law enforcement agency and forced to provide details for IP address 11.11.11.11 I'd have little choice but to provide it. I certainly don't hold information on anyone at FBB other than their email address and IP addresses used (which is only for registered members), but with information provided by me, this could be seen as contributing to online profiling, but without holding such information on our site we firstly wouldn't be able to send notifications to anyone via email and we wouldn't be able to offer facilities such as unread content, new post's since your last visit, etc.

Whilst I agree that it's very likely some governments use information gathered for the wrong purpose, I really don't see how we can blame Google or any other search engine for this. As I say, they collect information like 99% of the websites we visit daily - it all incorporates profiling of some sort. In this instance, it's not the search engines who are the bad guys I don't believe, it's those who want to use that information to specifically target an individual for exercising their freedom of speech :good:
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#20
marko

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LOL!! I may stand corrected, although this story is regarding the manipulation of their advertisements (or rather the code to show advertisements) and is targeted at Safari users in particular, it does raise a slightly dubious question about google's tactics .... http://www.freewarebb.com/topic/97832-google-to-pay-record-privacy-fine
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