If the product is free, then you are the product

Posted by davidmcnab 4 years, 4 months ago to Technology
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One of the most bandied-about slogans in the internet industry is that if the product is free, then you are the product.

I can't think of a time when this has been more true than now, with the release of that Pokemon Go game.

Lots of fun, and novelty with their great augmented reality innovation. But all this comes at a very creepy price.

It appears that as part of signing on to the game, you are giving away all the privacy of your Google account. This means that any and all of the following will be sold off to whoever has the money to pay for it: your past internet search history, most of your past web browsing history, your email headers and full message text, your physical location history, photos, and documents. Whoever buys that access can even send out emails in your name.

Never has 'free' been so expensive!
SOURCE URL: http://www.thefederalistpapers.org/us/people-are-deleting-pokemon-go-asap-after-finding-out-disturbing-fact


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  • Posted by $ sjatkins 4 years, 4 months ago
    Sorry but that is a serious misreading. Google is extremely privacy conscious and does not keep all that past history for anyone as a matter of policy. Where did you get the idea that this much information was made available to others? The article simply claimed it without evidence.
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    • Posted by $ MichaelAarethun 4 years, 4 months ago
      The only complaints I have are popup fixers that don't fix popups and are difficult to remove AND I've noticed both Google and Amazon tend to advertise stuff I bought yesterday with the perfect item that I no longer need to buy but they didn't bother to make it easy to find yesterday. They are a waste of time obviously and serve only to interrupt what I'm doing.
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  • Posted by $ jbrenner 4 years, 4 months ago
    Is there an Objectivist behind the Pokemon Go game? After all, the game players are capturing the Pokemon characters, and getting their own security violated in retaliation. Wait a second ... isn't that my kid playing that game?
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  • Posted by $ Olduglycarl 4 years, 4 months ago
    Except for the purpose of targeted advertising...who knows how else the personal info will be used...I'm betting it won't be in your favor. It would seem that google is in bed with the kakistocracy.
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  • Posted by Domminigan 4 years, 4 months ago
    I have always operated under the understanding that "free" games and services usually cost me something.
    A free sample of a product is an opportunity cost against another product when I use the free sample. Google uses my data to determine trends and sells that information to advertisers, signing up for a free car means I'm going to get a massive increase in junkmail; even playing a no-ad, no data reporting free game costs me time I could be doing something else with. As a result, I don't sign up for free things and use several unique devices for different online needs. I have gone in for a few free games and enjoyed them.

    While not everyone seemed to have expected this with the new Pokemon Go game, whenever I see this story posted that it can and does mine a ton of personal data; most people that respond seem to already have expected that it did and simply don't care.
    I know Microsoft mines a ton of data in it's Windows 10, but most people seemed to be more upset that it forced an update on their computer rather than the data mining aspect.
    With an entire generation growing up able to simply go online and look someone up on Facebook and Google, getting a huge amount of information that people willingly put online about themselves, is it any wonder that they simply don't care that Pokemon Go is getting even more about them?
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  • Posted by freedomforall 4 years, 4 months ago
    TANSTAAFL
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    • Posted by $ MichaelAarethun 4 years, 4 months ago
      With the advent of electronic this and that coupled with crappy education there is no wonder why people are more stupid by the day. No time to talk to their neighbor or the individual you asked to dine but OMG the damn cell phone rang so I'll pay attention to it instead of my neighbor's unfinished sentence or my dinner guests comment on whatever.

      Texting in and common politeness out.

      And these people get to vote?
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