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Note: Google really wants your privacy settings to be left alone

Note: Google really wants your privacy settings to be left alone

The biggest difference in business models between the mobile giants Google and Apple is that Apple sells hardware and software while Google sells information. So when Apple plays a great game with privacy protection, such as denying encryption doors and government citations, it’s relatively easy for them. This is not primarily how you make money.

However, Google has a business model that really hates privacy. For Google, the privacy of business data, along with the privacy of consumer data, is just something that concerns them about the raw material they can sell. In short, Google must publicly state that it protects the privacy of its customers and, in private, does its utmost to continue to use this data.

So it’s no surprise that information recently released by the Arizona Attorney General’s Office, now published that a judge has agreed to open some of the data, shows Google trying to hide privacy settings and also track users. After they decided not to be followed. .

«Users are more likely to turn off their device’s location settings if such settings are easily provided. This was demonstrated by a substantial increase in devices with location features disabled on Android versions that included a change of panel location. Quick setup for easy access device. «Google saw the big increase as an issue that needed to be addressed, so it removed this setting from the Quick Settings panel of the devices it made and tried to successfully convince other manufacturers to use Android to do the same based on false and confusing information. «

The file added: “Google deduces extremely sensitive locations at home and at work without the user’s consent. Google not only deducts these locations when a user disables Location History, but also when a user disables all locations. Device locations. Related settings. Jack Menzel, former vice president of Google Product for Maps and current vice president of Product for Ads, said the only way Google can’t deduct a user’s home and work is for that user to «settle down at home and work as a location.» ”

Some of these tricks are buried in non-intuitive settings for Google. For example, Google tells users that «you can enable or disable the location of your Android device using the device settings app.» AG’s submission says Google’s vagueness is deliberate.

A reasonable conclusion from this disclosure is that ‘disabled means disabled’, which means that Google will simply not collect or exploit the user’s location information when a device’s location settings are disabled. But this is not true. Instead, Google works on the principle that «off means tough.» Google reduces the accuracy with which it collects and uses a user’s information when a device’s location settings are disabled, but does not stop collecting and exploiting that information. In fact, it is impossible for users of Google products and services to prevent Google from exploiting their location information for financial gain.

Another tactic: Google’s two WiFi settings. «There are two relevant settings: WiFi scan and WiFi connectivity. Only WiFi scan settings are shown in the location settings, which would cause a reasonable user to believe that if you turn it off, Google will no longer discern a user’s location. Via WiFi scans. But this is not true, even if WiFi scanning is turned off, Google can still get location information from WiFi scans if WiFi connectivity is turned on. «

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So, and this may be my favorite, Google allows users to delete their history, but users need to know where to do it to have a significant impact. «If you have Web and application activity turned on and your location switch turned on, your search history entries contain your approximate location at the time you made a query. It is also not possible to remove them by deleting your location history, which is counterintuitive; instead, you should clear your search history. «

There are quite a few other cases and business IT would do well to read the entire presentation. The result, however, is that these are not the tactics used by a trusted business partner.

The only viable resource is for IT to implement strict mobile information protocols. If employees travel to a secret location for an official meeting (perhaps preliminary negotiations to buy a listed company), it may be wise to leave their phones at home or in the office and drive to that meeting with a phone call.

Remember that there are two different issues with corporate data privacy: one, your business data is stored somewhere (such as Google’s servers) and distributed elsewhere; and Two, your business data is stored on your mobile device.

The differences between the two depend on what you are trying to protect and why. With One, the immediate risk would be compliance issues regarding what data can be stored and the geographies in which it can be stored. If your concern is a corporate spy targeting your systems, then Two is probably your worst nightmare. Google’s servers are very well protected (compared to an Android device) and store data from a large number of companies and consumers.

If an identity thief, cyber thief, ransomware extortionist, or corporate intelligence agent specifically targets your operations, they’re more likely to try to steal a targeted executive’s phone than to try to break into Google and and somehow find the data there.

This means routinely deleting emails, notes and other documents and cleaning your entire phone. It’s extreme, but resetting key personnel’s phones to factory settings once a month is one way to limit exposure to a stolen phone. Yes, remote deletion will work, but most IT users (and certainly the phone user) tend to delay remote deletion too much while desperately searching for the phone. Thieves know that they need to access the phone immediately and then keep it in airplane mode for as long as possible to avoid being erased remotely until they can access what they need.

By the way, mobile data storage is everywhere. I did an article about the data stored by a normal machine and the list is frighteningly long. Who is thinking of resetting the car data? Should.

Confidentiality is important. Be very careful with Google resources and especially with mobile devices.