Google and tracking

The AP recently put out a story of Google’s shady practice of still tracking you even if you’ve turned location services off.

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Google wants to know where you go so badly that it records your movements even when you explicitly tell it not to.

An Associated Press investigation found that many Google services on Android devices and iPhones store your location data even if you’ve used a privacy setting that says it will prevent Google from doing so.

Computer-science researchers at Princeton confirmed these findings at the AP’s request.

For the most part, Google is upfront about asking permission to use your location information. An app like Google Maps will remind you to allow access to location if you use it for navigating. If you agree to let it record your location over time, Google Maps will display that history for you in a “timeline” that maps out your daily movements.

Storing your minute-by-minute travels carries privacy risks and has been used by police to determine the location of suspects — such as a warrant that police in Raleigh, North Carolina, served on Google last year to find devices near a murder scene. So the company lets you “pause” a setting called Location History.

Google says that will prevent the company from remembering where you’ve been. Google’s support page on the subject states: “You can turn off Location History at any time. With Location History off, the places you go are no longer stored.”

That isn’t true. Even with Location History paused, some Google apps automatically store time-stamped location data without asking. (It’s possible, although laborious, to delete it .)

For example, Google stores a snapshot of where you are when you merely open its Maps app. Automatic daily weather updates on Android phones pinpoint roughly where you are. And some searches that have nothing to do with location, like “chocolate chip cookies,” or “kids science kits,” pinpoint your precise latitude and longitude — accurate to the square foot — and save it to your Google account.

The privacy issue affects some two billion users of devices that run Google’s Android operating software and hundreds of millions of worldwide iPhone users who rely on Google for maps or search.

Storing location data in violation of a user’s preferences is wrong, said Jonathan Mayer, a Princeton computer scientist and former chief technologist for the Federal Communications Commission’s enforcement bureau. A researcher from Mayer’s lab confirmed the AP’s findings on multiple Android devices; the AP conducted its own tests on several iPhones that found the same behavior.

“If you’re going to allow users to turn off something called ‘Location History,’ then all the places where you maintain location history should be turned off,” Mayer said. “That seems like a pretty straightforward position to have.”

This is a very shady though not altogether unsurprising trick by Google.  Entirely disingenuous.  Apparently if you read the fine print there are other places other than “Location History” that Google can track you.

Ideally there would be a third party option to Apple and Google (Android) running pretty much everything in the smartphone realm.  It looks like Android users are a little more at risk but you can turn off all settings in your account.  Go to myactivity.google.com and basically turn off everything.  You may be disgusted to see how much information they have on you.  The way Google circumvented a disabled Location History is by tracking you via “Web & App Activity” which you should pause if you don’t want to be tracked that way.  You’re honestly best off pausing all of those services.

The Most Dangerous Game

The left is crossing into dangerous territory.  It’s not just hyperbole when I say they are pushing us ever closer to a civil war.  They are continually attacking Constitutional liberties that were set in place to protect all citizens.

For a long time the second amendment was their issue du jour.  Their ultimate goal is to ban all firearms, an incredibly naive and short sighted move.  The power players on the left use the majority of the left as “useful idiots” to further their actual agenda.  The useful idiots push the narrative under the guise that they think everyone will be safer if nobody has weapons.  This is a common tactic we’ll see throughout our dealings with the Cabal and the agenda they are pushing.  Whether it’s guns, free speech, or other forms of indoctrination they will continually use the left to push these points under the guise of a different reason.

Anybody who has studied any history knows that disarming the populace is not the path towards a safer society but rather towards an oppressive regime and genocide.  There are well known examples in Russia, China, and Germany.  Great Britain likes to boast they are basically gun-free and how is it going for them?  Or Venezuela?  Hitler famously said, “The most foolish mistake we could possibly make would be to allow the subject races to possess arms. History shows that all conquerors who have allowed their subject races to carry arms have prepared their own downfall by so doing. Indeed, I would go so far as to say that the supply of arms to the underdogs is a sine qua non for the overthrow of any sovereignty. So let’s not have any native militia or native police.“.

This issue tends to creep up after another shooting.  Always in a gun-free zone, but that’s besides the point.  Of course, only when it suits their agenda.  Did you hear about the 72 people shot, 13 people killed in Chicago this weekend?  Me neither.  MSM will not report this stuff on a grand scale.

At the moment, they’ve moved up to attacking our greatest freedom, which is of course freedom of speech.  This past week has been a circus, with much buzz about InfoWars being deplatformed on Facebook, Google, Apple, and Spotify.  Again, this is a blatant attempt of the left to suppress free speech, and more specifically speech they disagree with.  A few sites have stuck up for Alex Jones, notably Twitter (surprisingly).

How do they think this will end?  We know what the ultimate goal of the Cabal is in this case, but your ordinary, garden variety left leaning person agreeing with this is troubling.  How short sighted are these people?  Do they really see that this precedent could someday (and inevitably) be used against them?  We already see it now.  When Obama was in office and they had control of the House and Senate they used tactics and many executive orders to get what they wanted.  Now that the other side uses similar tactics all they do is complain.

So called “hate speech”, a completely absurd yet clever spin concocted by the left is what needs to be protected most of all.  It’s easy to defend the stuff you agree with, not so much the stuff you don’t want to hear.  It’s clear many on the left are short sighted so they cannot see the implications of their actions when they cry for the government or big tech companies to ban websites and personalities they do not like.  And given that big tech is almost completely comprised of left leaning types at this point in time it’s easy for them to suppress voices and opinions they disagree with.  Facebook and Twitter have recently come under attack for selectively censoring viewpoints they do not agree with.

I say again, how do they think this will end?  Do they really think the portion of the country that is selectively policed by the other side, while they’re being told “hey it’s for your own good” is just going to sit there and take it when they see the rules used differently for some people as compared to others?  We’re continually told “don’t worry, we can be trusted in how we police” yet there is zero evidence they can be trusted and a mountain of evidence on the contrary.  We know this to be entirely true.  Recently, conservative journalist Candace Owens retweeted something racist NY Times journalist Sarah Jeong wrote about white people, but replaced “white” with “Jewish” and “black”.  What was the result?

Twitter later responded by saying it was a mistake.  Right.  Funny how these mistakes only seem to happen to people on the right.  This is the double standard I speak about all the time.  As if the useful idiots won’t have this turned against them once the purge is complete.

Rightly so, conservatives are pushing alt-tech to create new platforms that truly respect freedom of speech.  Sites like BitChute and Gab have made some nice inroads but have a long way to go.  Sadly, even these sites are not entirely safe from leftist policing.  Microsoft has threatened to stop hosting Gab due to supposed “hate speech” posts.  They truly are pushing for such segregation that nothing will be able to be shared between those who believe in freedom and those who want more government control and suppression.

This will not end well.  Those who still believe in the principles this country were founded on will only take so much before they finally snap and hit back.  It is imperative we try and solve this peacefully if at all possible.  I wish I could say for sure that this was achievable, but the violent and oppressive tactics the left have been using will force the hand of those reasonable people on the other side eventually.  Perhaps it’s as good a time as any to remind ourselves of Rudyard Kipling’s poem, The Wrath of the Awakened Saxon.

It was not part of their blood,
It came to them very late,
With long arrears to make good,
When the Saxon began to hate.

They were not easily moved,
They were icy — willing to wait
Till every count should be proved,
Ere the Saxon began to hate.

Their voices were even and low.
Their eyes were level and straight.
There was neither sign nor show
When the Saxon began to hate.

It was not preached to the crowd.
It was not taught by the state.
No man spoke it aloud
When the Saxon began to hate.

It was not suddently bred.
It will not swiftly abate.
Through the chilled years ahead,
When Time shall count from the date
That the Saxon began to hate.

Get off of Gmail

If you’re one of the 1.4 billion people with a Gmail account you should probably consider getting off of it if you haven’t already.  Or at least get an alternate account on another platform for anything other than spam.  Via the Wall Street Journal (and archive.is link here):

Google said a year ago it would stop its computers from scanning the inboxes of Gmail users for information to personalize advertisements, saying it wanted users to “remain confident that Google will keep privacy and security paramount.”

 

But the internet giant continues to let hundreds of outside software developers scan the inboxes of millions of Gmail users who signed up for email-based services offering shopping price comparisons, automated travel-itinerary planners or other tools. Google does little to police those developers, who train their computers—and, in some cases, employees—to read their users’ emails, a Wall Street Journal examination has found.

You should always be wary of any company re-assuring you that it’s totally self-policing to make sure we get the best user experience blah blah blah.  The fact of the matter is they’re only saying this crap because they got caught before, not because they care.  And you’d be naive to think they weren’t going to keep this practice up anyways.  Given how lax any sort of vetting is on who from the 3rd party software is reviewing what emails and for what purposes leaves way too much latitude for misuse.  They shouldn’t be reviewing the damn emails in the first place.

The best solution is to get off Gmail entirely.  ProtonMail is a much better alternative.  There are a lot of better alternatives out there.  If you do stick with it, review your Security Check-up and revoke access from any apps you don’t want to risk your data going to.