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[liberationtech] Creepy Google Issue

Mike Oren moren at iastate.edu
Sun Mar 17 11:51:43 PDT 2013


If you and your wife use any of the same devices with Google then this is
how they are likely linking your accounts.

On Sunday, March 17, 2013, xek3149 wrote:

> Yes. I've done fresh installs, began a search using google, and received
> results that suggest my searches on other computers. This has happened in
> the suggested videos on youtube also. IP address is the only connection
> between computers.
>
> () ascii ribbon campaign - against html e-mail
> /\ www.asciiribbon.org - against proprietary attachments
> On Mar 17, 2013 12:09 PM, "Yosem Companys" <companys at stanford.edu<javascript:_e({}, 'cvml', 'companys at stanford.edu');>>
> wrote:
>
>> From: Steve Sebestyen <speed50 at gmail.com <javascript:_e({}, 'cvml',
>> 'speed50 at gmail.com');>>
>>
>> Considering a similar thread I saw this morning regarding Google I'd like
>> to ping the group to share a creepy experience and see if perhaps others
>> have had a similar experience.
>>
>> This morning my wife grabbed her phone to do a search for activities at
>> Chelsea Piers. She followed that up with another inquiry for hours at a
>> local mall. Five minutes later I launched Google Now for stock updates and
>> what do I see? At the top of the Google Now window was a map and
>> approximate time to Chelsea Piers. I was pretty astonished that Google had
>> linked my wife's search to me somehow. Our accounts are only linked via
>> Google Calendar but no event was created by her.
>>
>> I then followed up with a search. As I began the query with our local
>> town it auto-completed it with mall hours. The very same query my wife ran.
>> That was too much for my comfort.
>>
>> I've unlinked our accounts in every way I can think of barring a complete
>> deletion of my account.
>>
>> The only other vector I can imagine Google uses to provide such creepy
>> behavior is that both of our phones were connected to our WiFi AP and
>> therefore share a common external IP. Still, for me that's too much of a
>> 'seamless experience'.
>>
>> Has anyone experienced anything like this?
>>
>> Steve Sebestyen
>> 203-604-6963
>> About.me/stevesebestyen
>>
>> --
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>

-- 
Michael A. Oren
PhD in Human-Computer Interaction & Sociology
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