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Google Privacy controls even do anything for real?

RejZoR
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I'm wondering, does disabling features in Google Privacy panel even does anything to actually stop our data from being harvested or processed or is it just an useless frontend that makes us feel better while in reality, nothing really changes as you change or disable them? From the looks of it, when you disable "Youtube playback history", it just erases all the playback history from your view so you don't even know what you've watched or how far in the individual video you've played. But does it do anything for real on the Google end? From the looks of it, no one can really tell. Disabling stuff in Privacy page only seems to create inconvenience for the user, but what Google can still see is entirely down to trust you have on Google (which in my case it's right around zero). Also, there seems to be absolutely NO controls for GMail, so everything in there is entirely open up for their data hoarding.

 

Google Privacy Checkup:

https://myaccount.google.com/privacycheckup?pli=1

 

Google Privacy Controls:

https://myaccount.google.com/privacy

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If that was true then it would've been already leaked out, wouldn't it?

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13 minutes ago, duncannah said:

If that was true then it would've been already leaked out, wouldn't it?

Do you think? Even if anyone said anything, they'd just deny it as rumor. Who can really audit what they do with our data for real and if privacy controls actually do anything?

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It doesn't cut off all the data, but it does filter things according to your settings. If they are not set correctly there are some bugs at times where data is collected still. (E.g. changing settings on your desktop, but they didn't apply on the mobile settings immediately) In the end, as with any of these companies it boils down to trust. If they breach the said trust then they will face fines by your government, at least. (This depends on local legislation, but most of Europe would have an issue with a fake setting, and such a leak would irrevocably harm Google's reputation)

 

Basically, you can't trust any online service when it comes to data collection fully; unless you are running said service, and even then between domain registrars, hosts, DNS, Tier3, ISPs etc, you never know who logs or tracks what. Therefore, as a whole, the internet isn't to be trusted because it's just a wild-land that has some highly volatile regulation, the only thing that is certain are the standards required to establish a connection to any service you are trying to use.

 

Even LTT to an extent tracks its users, from the ads served, YouTube statistics, and even anonymous purchases through the Amazon affiliate link. Tracking doesn't mean there's an identifiable spyglass on you, but it is a summation of various, unlabeled information when a company is trying to be professional about their job.

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50 minutes ago, RejZoR said:

Google

No one knows what Google does, they are very very greedy!

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After poking these things some more, I'm starting to believe none of these controls actually do anything with how Google processes your data and they exist solely to "control" what is visible on the user end of things so someone on your computer can't see what you've been searching for or watching without having to clear every thing by hand. But I don't think any of this changes how Google sees and processes your data. Meaning we've misunderstood the controls entirely, thinking they protect our privacy in relation with Google. Instead, they only control privacy in relation between us and other users that might be using same local computer. Especially because descriptions for the controls are so vague you can't really understand what they mean for certain.

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