: Thanks for that.I've just installed the advertising cookie opt-out plugin.
It'll be interesting to see what if any difference that makes as I've already got installed:
• AdBlock Plus
• EFF's Privacy Badger (just installed)
... and do much of my Google-related browsing in Incognito mode (which as I understand has the side-effect of nuking cookies.The "review option" isn't what I'm looking for.
It's a summary of the Google services (and profiles) associated with this account. It is not
a summary of the data which Google have compiled on me otherwise (sites visited / tracked, search history, YouTube history, Gmail history, related smartphone tracking data, including location data, etc. That
is the type and class of information I would prefer to be able to review, to know how it's been disclosed and to whom. For the most part, I see no reason for Google to retain more than a minimum duration of that data (a few weeks at best). Since I don't have that option, I've elected to stop feeding the beast for the most part: using DDG search, bailing on my Android device, disabling GPS and other services when I had used it, etc.
I have disabled Web history, which may help.
The situation's further confounded by the fact that I have a number of personas and/or associations used w/ Google, and, say, attempting to find out if Google has drawn any relationship between, say, "Edward Morbius" and my true real Earth identity of Kim Kardashian (now you know, people), well, that would just blow my cover entirely. (Please don't tell anyone, and believe me, I'll deny this as Kim).
Mind that while I'm picking on and concentrating on Google here, the complaints I have are not
specific to Google. While I don't participate in Facebook, I'm all but positive I've got some sort of shadow profile there (probably several as I maintain a few online identities for various reasons). And LinkedIn. And ... Most of whom, yes, are far
less transparent about this than Google is. But as good as Google is about this (and compared with the industry as a whole you are, I admit), it's not good enough or clear enough.I cannot disable / repudiate / disassociate certain services.
In particular, my dashboard shows a Blogger account, a YouTube account, Contacts including G+ Circles data, Docs, Tasks, and Webmaster Tools.
While I had
created a Blogger account, I subsequently deleted the associated blog and, to the best of my knowledge, the account. Yet it still appears. I've zeroed out all associated information as far as possible and disabled public access ("sharing") of my profile. I'd prefer it were simply and completely disabled and diassociated.
YouTube was, of course, a particular point of pain between myself and your employer. Oddly, while I see an associted YouTube account according to the Dashboard, when I click "Manage YouTube Account" or "Privacy Settings", I get a page with the banner "There was an issue signing you into YouTube. Troubleshoot here." Curious. Makes me suspect changes in process.
So that bit's weird and unsatisfying.I don't have a partial or selective delete option.
Since November 15, 2013, I've been manually deleting my G+ content and profile attributes. Note the "manual" aspect. That includes the 1,868 posts I'd made to that date (as of Feb 5, 2014 I was down to 539, a fair number of those a private "curation" Community), as well as my comments and circles. To put it mildly, G+ tools for managing such content are limited, and my primary tool has been a bash one-liner which extracts post URLs from my Google Takeout archive, prints them a line at a time, from which I can launch a browser tab to the specified post, confirm it exists, decide if I want to re-home it elsewhere (I've been doing that to my subreddit), and then deleting the post. I've since also written a rudimentary G+ takeout extractor (based on the JSON archive) which spits out Markdown-formatted content based on the posts, which helps in removing content.
That still leaves post comments. For those I've got to perform a full-name search and filter out 1) other Edward Morbiuses (thank the FSM my name isn't "Eric Schmidt" (https://plus.google.com/s/Eric%20Schmidt/people
), as well as 2) mentions of my name/account by others and 3) posts on which I'd previously interacted but have since deleted content (these continue to show in search history). The inability to limit search scope by data, by account (see above), by type of post (e.g., Community posts), etc., makes this ... tedious.
There's the nuclear option of removing all
my account, but that's not quite what I'm aiming for just yet. Later, probably. I'm familiar with Google Takeout.
See above. It's useful, though as I noted it requires some additional tools to be particularly
useful, and I do commend Google for this.On another note: I've been noticing numerous authentication / session glitches over the past 48 hours or so.
I keep getting kicked out of my G+ session, including while in the midst of doing stuff (my first attempt at writing this post, I've since gotten wise and am composing in vim). This started ~Friday evening or Saturday morning, as I recall. I've seen a couple of other mentions of it. No determinable pattern that I can distinguish, though something makes me think that Google are in the process of untangling G+ from other account services, possibly.
You write: "I'm sure you'll now find other things to complain about in order support the belief you already have..."
Brian: I can understand that it's not comfortable being under the spotlight, being picked on, and having grumpy old cusses such as myself goading you like this. Truth is: I've been inside the Googleplex, I know people there, I've worked in the industry, with social networking and other associated data (and SN is hardly the only place that such data is assimilated and used), I've got very good ideas of what's stored, what's used, and how it can be accessed both officially and within the scope of business, and outside. I've seen how data can be used against people, I've helped design systems to do just that, I've used it directly and personally myself to useful effect, and had it used against me. I'm quite familiar both personally and through reports, news, and research of specific instances, going back decades.
Spider Man's got it right. Great power: great responsibility. And as I've said above: Google's much better about this than other actors. Zuck's "dumb fucks" comment is one I'll never forget (and I've quoted it along with some supporting statements in answering FB recruiter inquiries indicating negative interest).
My big concern is actually that there's nothing Google can
possibly do to make a Big Data business model inherently acceptable despite its best possible wishes, intent, and ability
. Post-Snowden, I'm only that much more convinced of this. One line of inquiry I've followed over the past couple of years is how it might be possible to provide the revenue-generating services Google requires without maintaining intrusive personal dossiers, and I've made a few suggestsions in that regard.
While I can appreciate your feelings and sentiments in skewering me with that line, honestly, that's the sort of thing you should have written out, smiled at on screen, and deleted. It does you no gain.