Is Google Being Bad?

Is Your Browser Security Being Breached?

Excerpted from Fox News

Google has secretly been bypassing your privacy settings in Internet Explorer, Microsoft claimed Monday afternoon.

The startling accusation came in a blog post Monday by Dean Hachamovitch, Microsoft’s corporate vice president for Internet Explorer. On Friday, a Wall Street Journal investigation revealed that the search and advertising giant was bypassing the privacy settings of millions of people using Apple Safari browsers on iPhones and desktop computers.

“When the IE team heard that Google had bypassed user privacy settings on Safari, we asked ourselves a simple question: is Google circumventing the privacy preferences of Internet Explorer users too?”  Hachamovitch wrote.“We’ve discovered the answer is yes: Google is employing similar methods to get around the default privacy protections in IE and track IE users with cookies."

Cookies are used for many different functions.  Have you ever noticed on websites that you have visited in the past show what links you have clicked on before?  Well that’s one of the functions that a Cookie can do. Basically tracking where you have been. (Ed: Tracking Cookies)

Although Google says this "trick" is used on signed in Google account users, it does make me wonder.

Google responded to Microsoft’s accusations with a statement saying that the Windows giant "omitted important information from its blog post," noting that Microsoft’s “self-declaration” protocol under which Microsoft asks "websites to represent their privacy practices in machine-readable form" is impractical to comply with — and stating that the policy is widely non-operational.  

Google further stated that this particular issue has been around since 2002. Personally, weather it has been 10 years or 10 mins, I do not agree with what Google is doing.  Maybe if I was told this was happening and had an option to "opt-out" I may be a little more understanding.  We all need to be vigilant about what information is being collected and how it is being used.  We also need to remember that a lot of things on the Internet are free because of it.  It is like a double edged sword.

It is prudent to be careful here, but are we at risk or are the elephants just roaring over the watering hole?

-Bryan

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