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Apple, Google, Facebook caught up in Safari privacy imbroglio

0. phoneArena 17 Feb 2012, 13:59 posted on

The Wall Street Journal set off something of a firestorm this morning with a report accusing Google and others of "circumventing" privacy settings on mobile Safari, although it turns out things are more complicated than they seem...

This is a discussion for a news. To read the whole news, click here

posted on 17 Feb 2012, 14:09

1. dreammixer (banned) (Posts: 81; Member since: 10 Feb 2012)


Google stealing people's information is nothing new and you being apologetic about it doesn't help the fact.

posted on 17 Feb 2012, 14:21 9

3. roscuthiii (Posts: 1785; Member since: 18 Jul 2010)


It's a fallacy in Safari that was exploited, not something Google or Facebook has engineered. Most likely Twitter, LinkedIn, Stumbleupon, Digg, Reddit, and any number of other companies were doing exactly the same thing to Safari.

You can't really claim any kind of invasion of privacy when first you had to sign in to Google, and then went and clicked the +1 button. (Or sign in to Facebook and click the "Like" button.) Those are voluntary actions. That kind of denotes the intention of sharing, or do people really not understand how the social networking buttons work?

It's really just a matter of semantics and perception. Safari lets sites place tracking cookies if a user interacts with the site, such as by filling out a form. Technically, that's exactly what happened. Not even technically, that IS what happened. The user chose to interact with Google and by clicking the +1 was requesting Google take their data. The situation reminds me of the kids sitting in the backseat saying, "You can't touch me, I have a shield!" But then go ahead and poke their little brother.

posted on 17 Feb 2012, 14:31 3

8. LoneShaolin (Posts: 307; Member since: 14 Jan 2012)


Truth. The second you sign in and hit Like/+1 is PERMISSION.

posted on 17 Feb 2012, 17:33

17. solidsnakeduds013 (Posts: 215; Member since: 20 Oct 2010)


Thank you. You comment gets thumbs up

posted on 17 Feb 2012, 14:24 3

5. MorePhonesThanNeeded (Posts: 618; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)


Perhaps you should learn to read iDiot! Said nothing about Google or anyone stealing your info, just says that they bypass the no cookie thing on safari to allow Google and FB things to save a cookie from their site in your browser. I hate stupidity and not the stupid people that use it. It's ok you will learn more if you read :)

posted on 17 Feb 2012, 14:17 3

2. cj100570 (Posts: 204; Member since: 12 May 2009)


So telling the truth about the situation is being apologetic? And since you seem to be privy to info that no one is aware of, what info has Google "stolen" from anyone?

posted on 22 Feb 2012, 23:40

22. sprockkets (Posts: 1075; Member since: 16 Jan 2012)


ap·o·plec·tic/ˌapəˈplektik/
Adjective:
Overcome with anger; extremely indignant.
Relating to or denoting apoplexy (stroke): "an apoplectic attack".

If you thought it said apologetic, you were wrong. And, btw, the WSJ hates google with a passion; they are diametrically oppossed in their political beliefs, and it shows. Example, the WSJ didn't like the fact of how Google treated the situation of Bill Clinton's search results vs. Rick Santorum's.

posted on 23 Feb 2012, 06:17

23. cj100570 (Posts: 204; Member since: 12 May 2009)


Your comment has me slightly confused. The 1st comment, to which I replied, claimed that the OP was being "apologetic" to Google. You're referencing the word "apoplectic", in a reply to my comment. I fail to see the connection. Please enlighten me.

posted on 17 Feb 2012, 14:21 2

4. remixfa (Posts: 13902; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


tell me all the things google has stolen from you please. a nice list would be great.

i love the little semi-zinger at the end about apple's refusal to allow competing browsers.

how do u guys live with being (mostly) adults and told how you can use every facet of your device? geesh.

posted on 17 Feb 2012, 14:26

6. dreammixer (banned) (Posts: 81; Member since: 10 Feb 2012)


Shows the author is ignorant as there are plenty of 3rd party browsers available in the app store. Google is known worldwide for stealing information. I'm not going to waste my time. Do a GOOGLE search :)

posted on 17 Feb 2012, 14:36 3

9. Scott_H (Posts: 167; Member since: 28 Oct 2011)


Dream is right in a way - there are lots of browsers that reskin the Safari code to provide differences in the basic UI. Apple generally restricts the sort of drastic changes that would allow for the type of competition I was referring to, but that's more detail than is necessary for this topic, so I removed it rather than expanding it.

The article, however, does not apologize for companies that used the work-around - we condemn the solution. But the reality is that everyone, including Apple (who ignored it for two years) was basically treating it as an open secret until the WSJ discovered that it also allowed for ad tracking. Consumers deserve a better solution.

As for Google "stealing" information - that's just hyperbole.

posted on 17 Feb 2012, 16:33

13. dreammixer (banned) (Posts: 81; Member since: 10 Feb 2012)


Google has gotten in trouble lots of times for taking information without permission.

posted on 17 Feb 2012, 17:08

15. 14545 (Posts: 1055; Member since: 22 Nov 2011)


WTF are you talking about? The only thing that they have ever gotten a slap on the wrist for was the "wifi snooping" incident in Europe. Please cite specific examples are STFU.

posted on 17 Feb 2012, 14:27 2

7. tward291 (Posts: 559; Member since: 14 Feb 2012)


dame safari my porn never works

posted on 17 Feb 2012, 15:00 1

10. Droid800 (Posts: 22; Member since: 23 Jan 2012)


God Phone Arena is getting as bad as Droid-life with their irrational iHate.

Google did something wrong, and they got pinged for it. Stop trying to excuse their mistake.

posted on 17 Feb 2012, 15:33 1

11. Scott_H (Posts: 167; Member since: 28 Oct 2011)


We're apparently in the same boat as "iHaters" like MG Siegler? No one is saying that the companies doing this (it's not just Google) were using the right solution, it's just that the issue is more complicated than the simplistic "oh noes, Google is evil!" sort of story that the WSJ wrote.

posted on 17 Feb 2012, 15:58 5

12. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2647; Member since: 26 May 2011)


It isn't iHate to say that Apple has a hand in this mess. However, it is fanboyism to ignore Apple's responsibility and and target Google in this case.

Google, Facebook and the rest probably shouldn't have used the workaround, but Apple should have given users the choice in accepting cookies in the first place.

posted on 17 Feb 2012, 16:35

14. dreammixer (banned) (Posts: 81; Member since: 10 Feb 2012)


Apple does give choice in accepting cookies although I agree it should be a more obvious choice. Still doesn't make what google is doing ok.

posted on 17 Feb 2012, 17:10 2

16. 14545 (Posts: 1055; Member since: 22 Nov 2011)


DID YOU MISS THE FACEBOOK PART? Geez, take your iCrap somewhere else.

posted on 17 Feb 2012, 19:48

18. Retro-touch (Posts: 248; Member since: 24 Oct 2011)


I've been wondering the same thing seeing his repetitve post, there are probably more sites that use this trick but for simplicity sake they concentrated on Facebook and Google

posted on 19 Feb 2012, 13:53

21. Stuticus (Posts: 26; Member since: 05 Feb 2012)


The problem with that is the average iDiot doesn't know what they would need to do on their own to make it work, much less that they could look up how to do it.

posted on 17 Feb 2012, 19:48

19. ENIGMA (Posts: 81; Member since: 17 Feb 2012)


We beleive apple is losing market to android

posted on 17 Feb 2012, 23:37

20. squallz506 (banned) (Posts: 1075; Member since: 19 Oct 2011)


i dislike this article.

the source is a much better read.

the source explains that the security breach is a tracking cookie dropped in by google or advent or other advertisers. the cookie collects no personal information; it is invasive but harmless. i think its a fair trade to give up a little information in exchange for better services.

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