(NaturalNews) Once again, a major social media company is under fire for essentially trashing users’ privacy rights.
This time, it’s Google, which is being heavily criticized for a controversial new service that reveals some of the personal information that the company knows about you.
The service, “Your Timeline,” is designed to permit users of the social media company’s famous online maps to identify places they visit. Google officials say the app will help people remember places like restaurants and other locations they visited.
As reported by the UK’s Daily Mail, however, some users took to Twitter and other social sites to proclaim Your Timeline as “scary.” In fact, one site – BGR.com – proclaimed the new app “incredibly cool” and “terrifyingly scary.”
In a blog post, Google’s Gerard Sanz, in announcing the feature, wrote, “Have you ever wanted a way to easily remember all the places you’ve been — whether it’s a museum you visited during your last vacation or that fun bar you stumbled upon a few months ago? Well, starting today, Google Maps can help.”
Another hit to privacy – don’t use this
Sanz wrote further: “We’re gradually rolling out Your Timeline, a useful way to remember and view the places you’ve been on a given day, month or year. Your Timeline allows you to visualize your real-world routines, easily see the trips you’ve taken and get a glimpse of the places where you spend your time.”
The app works by taking information from users’ mobile phones and is even capable of looking through pictures to find those that were taken at each location.
“If you use Google Photos, we’ll show the photos you took when viewing a specific day, to help resurface your memories,” Sanz wrote.
As always, Google is emphasizing privacy and security of the service, noting, “Your Timeline is private and visible only to you; and you control the locations you choose to keep.”
But in this day and age of massive collection of personal data both by government and by private tech firms, you have to be some special kind of naive to believe this claim.
In fact, as reported by RT.com, in August 2013, as the scandal regarding the surveillance of email accounts with snooping government agencies escalated – thanks to revelations by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden – lawyers for Google filed a legal brief stating that users “have no legitimate expectation of privacy.”
“Just as a sender of a letter to a business colleague cannot be surprised that the recipient’s assistant opens the letter, people who use Web-based email today cannot be surprised if their emails are processed by the recipient’s [email provider] in the course of delivery,” the motion, filed in U.S. District Court for Northern California, read, in part.
“Indeed, ‘a person has no legitimate expectation of privacy in information he voluntarily turns over to third parties,'” the motion – filed to dismiss a class action against Google – continued.
Fourth Amendment repealed, and without a single vote
If anyone actually believes such “assurances” by Google, they are some special kind of naive.
Google has a long history of trashing the Fourth Amendment’s privacy protections. As we have reported, Google:
— has tracked iPhones, bypassing Apple browsing protections;
— has secretly installed audio snooping programs on its Chrome browser, so the tech company can listen to your conversations; and
— allows users to download their entire browsing histories, which, by default, means the company archives and has access to all private data.
And Google also manipulates interstate commerce, as Natural News editor Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, reported three years ago:
The latest attack on free speech in America comes from the FDA and is supported by Google Adwords. NaturalNews has learned that the FDA is quietly, and without notice to affected companies, commanding Google to disable the full Adwords accounts of nutritional supplement companies offering “detox” or “chelation” nutritional products.
Anything anyone does online or electronically can be, and is being tracked – either for marketing purposes or because the government wants to monitor you. That is just a fact in the Information Age, where the Fourth Amendment has been completely repealed, and without a vote of Congress and ratification by three-fourths of states.