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Google Privacy

Signed-In Maps Mean More Location Data For Google 39

mikejuk writes The announcement on the Google Geo Developers blog has the catchy title No map is an island. It points out that while there are now around 2 million active sites that have Google Maps embedded, they store data independently, The new feature, called attributed save, aims to overcome this problem by creating an integrated experience between the apps you use that have map content and Google Maps, and all it requires is that users sign in. So if you use a map in a specific app you will be able to see locations you entered in other apps.This all sounds great and it makes sense to allow users to take all of the locations that have previously been stored in app silos and put them all together into one big map data pool. The only down side is that the pool is owned by Google and some users might not like the idea of letting Google have access to so much personal geo information. It seems you can have convenience or you can have privacy. It might just be that many users prefer their maps to be islands.
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Signed-In Maps Mean More Location Data For Google

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 30, 2014 @05:09PM (#48273389)

    Then why are they signed into Google?

    • They haven't been signed in to Google. This change will force users of pages that utilize Google maps to auth to Google in order to display the result.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        My undestanding is that signing in is optional. If you don't sign in you'll get the same map you're getting now.

      • This change will force users of pages that utilize Google maps to auth to Google in order to display the result.

        No, it doesn't. Signing in is optional. If you don't sign in you'll get the same map you're getting now. If you're signed in you'll get additional personalized information.

        • No, it doesn't. Signing in is optional. If you don't sign in you'll get the same map you're getting now. If you're signed in you'll get additional personalized information.

          No, if you're signed in you will get your own information back, in the new map. The only party that gets "additional" information this way is Google.

          • No, it doesn't. Signing in is optional. If you don't sign in you'll get the same map you're getting now. If you're signed in you'll get additional personalized information.

            No, if you're signed in you will get your own information back, in the new map.

            That's what I said.

            The only party that gets "additional" information this way is Google.

            Google already gets that information if you're signed in.

            • That's what I said.

              Well, chalk it up to misunderstanding, but I don't think my interpretation was unreasonable because you used the word "additional".

              Google already gets that information if you're signed in.

              That's what *I* said. :)

    • If people don't want Google to have their info, Then why are they signed into Google?

      It's not always that simple with Aunt Google. If you have logged into Gmail with your browser, you're logged into Google. If you close the tab without explicitly signing out, you're logged into Google, and when you go Maps next week, you'll be logged in still. Even if you sign out, Google still seems to keep enough of a session cookie lying around that it shows you the last person to log in, so you just need your password. Depending on how tight your tin foil hat is, it's not beyond the realm of possibility

  • Push all the buttons you want to try to turn this shit off. You're only fooling yourself if you think it does anything.

  • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Thursday October 30, 2014 @05:14PM (#48273429) Homepage

    all it requires is that users sign in

    Or, all your base is belong to us.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Jeez. If you dont like it, don't sign in.

    • Jeez. If you dont like it, don't sign in.

      Yeah, don't use Gmail if you don't want to be tracked all over the damn web when you're visiting sites that aren't owned by Google!

  • by 93 Escort Wagon ( 326346 ) on Thursday October 30, 2014 @05:18PM (#48273479)

    But while I see the advantages for Google Corp., I don't see how this really benefits me personally. It's getting more common for websites to trigger the Safari popup saying "xxx.yyy.zzz would like to use your location data, is that okay?" when generally there's no reason for them to need it at all.

    This just seems like a big end-around on Google's part to try capturing more data on you.

    • The advantage is that all of the Google maps-based map pages you see embedded at various sites will now be configured the same way, and any pins you've stuck in or any other notes you've made will now be consistent across sites. The disadvantage is that now sites don't have a means of utilizing a Google map without their customers being tracked by Google.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    One map to rule them all
    One map to FIND them
    One map to bring them all
    and in darkness ...

  • They may help you write a grammatically correct sentence with No map is an island in it.

  • Old news (Score:4, Informative)

    by Amorymeltzer ( 1213818 ) on Thursday October 30, 2014 @06:37PM (#48274081)

    It seems you can have convenience or you can have privacy.

    We're just figuring this out now? Convenience means letting someone do something in your place. If you want it to be at all useful then some information has to be passed on. A drive through may be convenient, but it requires letting people know your meal preferences; not a major deal for most but it's there. The issue becomes the balance of the two and ensuring that you aren't "forced" out of your own comfort level, but it's certainly not news that there is a give and take between convenience and personal privacy.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    "It seems you can have convenience or you can have privacy."

    Figure that out all on your own?

  • Google will extract their pound of flesh for all historically free services. If I ever use a Google service they get a fake name. Most of the time my computers are not even permitted to talk to Google. Yes, that means using Bing Maps, but it's a worthwhile sacrifice to use anything, but Google. Microsoft is no saint, but since they are the only legitimate rival so be it. The enemy of my enemy is my friend. I know someone has to pay for services for them to exist, but good security and complete loss of priva

  • by Anonymous Coward

    You're just giving it away including any rights to reuse what you gave away. Give it to osm instead.

  • by hobarrera ( 2008506 ) on Friday October 31, 2014 @12:36PM (#48280061) Homepage

    Good thing we have OpenStreetMap [openstreetmap.org] which just keeps getting better and better.

  • Anything networked has this problem (as multiple posters have pointed out) (cue Battlestar Galactica quotes about the dangers of networking). The only way to get "convenience" - which I conflate with "functionality" for this discussion - while retaining privacy is to use standalone devices. My GPS doesn't tell anyone where I go, because it's never connected to anything else (and because of that design, I'm betting it doesn't even bother trying to store anything for later retrieval). Of course, that means

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