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Google: we know where you have been

14 August 2018

People around the world are shocked and horrified that Google has been tracking their every move, even without their permission.

According to a report published by the Associated Press, Google does not honour the switches that are supposed to turn off location tracking. These claims have been verified by "Computer-science researchers at Princeton".

Oh my gawd!

First-world problems!

Should we be worried though?

Isn't it true that only those with something to hide have anything to fear from this sort of tracking?

Well I guess your position on this matter will depend on whether you believe in an old-fashioned and rapidly becoming out-dated concept called "privacy".

Personally, I don't give a damn whether Google wants to track my movements, with or without my permission -- because I don't use a smartphone.

My little $9 2G dumb-phone can still betray my presence though, despite its lack of GPS or "smarts". I'm pretty sure that if anyone wanted to find out where I was and where I'd been, a track of the cell-towers which responded to my phone's "pings" would give a rough but "near enough" indication.

Sadly for any covert surveillance operation, they'd probably find that I don't move much and that I simply move between two towers (the one that covers my home and the one that covers my workshop).

Call me "Mr Dull and Boring" I guess.

But what about you and everyone else?

Are you concerned that Google is apparently not truly honouring the "location history" switch that is supposed to disable the collection of such data?

Perhaps a better question would be "is anyone really surprised that Google is not honouring that switch?"

Now while in principle, I am pee'd off that Google would disobey a directive not to store this data, the pragmatist in me says "so what?". I've long accepted the fact that despite the fact we live in an era when there are explicit laws in place to allegedly protect our privacy, the whole concept of privacy has become nothing more than an illusion.

Through our use of technology, we now disclose more about ourselves than ever before.

Almost every purchase we make is tracked by our credit and debit card use. Our very movements are noted and logged by the apps running on our phones. Our use of the Net is carefully monitored and stored by Google and others -- but only so that we can enjoy a "better" more "tailored" online experience of course (Cue Tui's ad).

Although we're not as bad as the UK yet, we're increasingly being surveilled by CCTV cameras parked on street corners and other public areas -- with automated facial recognition systems probably just the blink of an eye away.

Yep, those who are grizzling that Google is not being honest need to take a reality check and realise that *everyone* is spying on you at your every turn. Get over it and get used to it or go bush -- those are your only two options in today's world.

What do readers think? Does this report concern you or are you also resigned to a world without any real privacy.

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