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Omg! Google Knows How Long You Stay At The Pub


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#1 EGOL

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Posted 18 July 2016 - 11:49 AM

SearchEngineRoundTable reports that Google Shows How Many Minutes People Spend At Venues

 

I know that this is based upon aggregated data, but I don't like it.   I think that how long people spend at a pub or coffee shop or restaurant or nail salon or massage parlor is private information of the venue owner.  Google's got no business clocking this stuff and even less business reporting it in the SERPs.  I think that the amount of time that people spend in a business can be interpreted in many ways which could be helpful or hurtful to a business.   A short time can imply "fast service" or "not fun" or "not a hang-out" or "stinks in here" or many other things. 



#2 earlpearl

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Posted 18 July 2016 - 12:20 PM

Hmmm.  That is a new feature, and it is a further example of google's use of monitoring one's activities via the location elements of a mobile.   Initially it became visible via the daily graphs wherein google would tell the public at what hours different types of places were busy; notably first with restaurants and later with many other types of establishments.   Frankly I did find the info helpful one time with regard to busy hours at a market.

 

And with that one example, I realized it speaks to the "customer utility" or "customer friendliness" that google engenders to the wide public with information of this type.   On the other hand if I were a restaurant I wouldn't want this type of information available.  Alternatively if I were a restaurant in a competitive area....if I were to review our own busy hours versus those of other restaurants around us...and look closely at them...one thing it might spark me to do is run specials during slower hours.  Possibly expand "happy hours" or run some kinds of specials to get people in the door during hours when we are staffed but slow. 

 

I generally don't like it.  I don't like that google is taking my location data and then using the data to provide public information.  Its without my specific consent.  It is with the consent I have to give to use google.

 

Have you ever turned off the location data on your mobile?  I have.  The volume of reminders and requests to turn it back on is beyond the extreme of annoying.  That should be limited IMHO.  Its entirely annoying, persistent, and ANNOYING. 

 

Now they have added this "time spent" thing.  Like Egol above I don't like it.  I simply don't want google nosing around in my mobile to report or assess anything I do. 

 

Marketers on the other hand love it.  One of the developing technologies is for some kind of beacon to assess when you get close to certain stores, and/or where you are in an arena or airport or something like a train station.  It will hit you up with ads and purchase opportunities.

 

The whole thing is an endless commercially driven environment.  Too overwhelmingly and endlessly commercial in my point of view. 

 

It would be nice to see the public revolt against these privacy intrusions.  I don't see it happening any time soon though.  The public loves google.



#3 bobbb

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Posted 18 July 2016 - 12:29 PM

Umm are we surprised? And as time goes by they will know more and more about you. They know when you go to bed and when you get up by the "no activity" of your devices. When everything is connected they will know what you eat and when and where you buy it, how much exercise you get or not, where you hang, everything you buy, everywhere you go, and on and on.

So do not be surprised if you get a notice from your insurance that your rate will triple because you drink too much, smoke, don't exercise, don't eat well, fly too much, work too much since you take no holidays, have too many prescriptions for drugs, and don't get enough sleep. All this suggests you also take dope and your profile also suggests you do this and that and other things.

... and if you live in Turkey you are probably anti Erdogan so expect black SUVs at your front door soon...

..FLASH: they are there now. Your policy is cancelled since you no longer need it.

OK so I exaggerated the last parts.



#4 iamlost

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Posted 18 July 2016 - 12:37 PM

Location data is the first thing I switch off. I know how well I can fingerprint visitors to ID returners without invoking exact location and how many drinks...

#5 jonbey

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Posted 18 July 2016 - 01:08 PM

It only gets data from people who opt in to sharing it, don't they? If you don't read the terms, don't be upset!



#6 bobbb

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Posted 18 July 2016 - 01:09 PM

On the serious side, could it be possible for G to send you to the restaurant of their choice with the data shown in the article by manipulating the data? Could that boost be bought? Would they stoop that low?



#7 EGOL

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Posted 18 July 2016 - 02:01 PM

On the serious side, could it be possible for G to send you to the restaurant of their choice with the data shown in the article by manipulating the data? Could that boost be bought? Would they stoop that low?

 

Google could buzz or vibrate your cell phone when you walk past a pub or a massage parlor to lure you in.  I am sure that there will be various Adwords services for them soon.



#8 earlpearl

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Posted 18 July 2016 - 02:15 PM

BTW:   There is this "beaming technology" that reads people who opt in.  Say you are at Macy's and you have opted in.  They see that you're there and they start flashing you ads and promo's etc.

 

Say they know you are some "guy" who buys a lot of expensive lacy pink ladie's undies.  Say you are at Macy's with your paramour./ your secret girlfriend.  The beam sees you have entered the store and they track your acct. 

 

Oh great.  Its our #1 customer for frilly pink ladies undies.  So while you are there shopping with your secret girl friend, Macy's sends its super undies sales person down to greet you and make you aware of the latest in frilly undies.

 

Except neither Macy's or the gf know you are a pervert who buys this stuff for yourself. 

 

So the salesperson greets you and tells you about the latest frilliest daintiest ladies undies in pink  (your gf wears all black, btw) and makes this announcement in front of you and the gf.

 

You immediately get a stroke and fall to the floor.  Trying to help you...they undo your pants and loosen your zipper.  Lo and behold the pink frillies you are wearing are visible to everyone including the soon to be ex gf and of course the Macy's staff.

 

So the staff and the medics come and additionally go into your id before taking you to the hospital.  They find out who you are and contact your wife and your employer--"The international bank of the straightest humans in the world"

 

So the wife divorces you, the kids renounce you, the gf leaves you and the employer fires you.

 

All because of this horrific technology.

 

Give me some privacy.



#9 bobbb

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Posted 18 July 2016 - 06:00 PM

I get the Macy thing. I was thinking more like could they say there was a 5 minute wait at one restaurant and 30 minutes at another to sway your decision towards the first. and could this be bought. They own the data so they could but would they. I get the feeling that would be too low even for them.

 

So the wife divorces you, the kids renounce you, the gf leaves you and the employer fires you.

Play the record backwards and it all comes back :)



#10 earlpearl

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Posted 19 July 2016 - 10:13 AM

I get the Macy thing. I was thinking more like could they say there was a 5 minute wait at one restaurant and 30 minutes at another to sway your decision towards the first. and could this be bought. They own the data so they could but would they. I get the feeling that would be too low even for them.

 

Play the record backwards and it all comes back :)

 

Admittedly the Macy thing is a flight of fancy and involves additional technology.  I'm simply struck by how these intrusions in your personal life can result in unintended consequences.  I didn't agree to this usage of my data.  I agreed to google's vague terms and conditions because I have no choice.  This is not something I like or want.  Meanwhile when I turn off location context on my mobile the nagging efforts to get me to turn it back on are beyond the norm.

 

Meanwhile I did experience one practical application of another element of that tracking of people on mobiles.  I changed the hours of shopping at a supermarket to hours when it was less busy.  Definitely that was useful.

 

But do I want that kind of data via google, which is so overwhelmingly powerful?   No--not from google.



#11 bobbb

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Posted 19 July 2016 - 10:31 AM

Agreed not from G. That supermarket data should come from the supermarket.



#12 earlpearl

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Posted 19 July 2016 - 12:54 PM

Couple of points. 

 

I've been looking around and haven't seen the "how much people spend at a place" type of information---yet.  Its a new feature. 

 

2ndly I looked at the one place wherein I used the google knowledge box info about busy times.  The only place where this is available is google. 

 

Its a supermarket; one of a huge chain.  In fact there is not a separate web page for the location I tend to visit.  Busyness information is not available through the business website.  Bing doesn't show it when I look at the store, nor does Yelp.   

 

In fact the business has known this information for a long time, as do others.  They staff up at busy times and staff down at slower times.   Some business types share this type of info with "preferred customers".  If you are a preferred customer with a bank, a hotel chain, an airline, etc you will get perks.

 

But from a privacy perspective, from my perspective its significantly intrusive.  Google knows where I am, and if google wants to share it, or sell that information it can do so.  If the government demands it and can enforce that they can do so.  If crooks can hack that information...they've got it.

 

I just hate it.  And yet having experienced utility from it, at least once, I don't see it going away.   Oh lordie.  We live in the age of technological big brother.   And google is the big technology ogre. 

 

I don't see it anywhere but google.  I found the information helpful as it informed me which are the busy hours 



#13 iamlost

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Posted 20 July 2016 - 01:49 PM

If you are that freaked/concerned about basic mobile I guess telling what is possible via an app would be like shouting 'fire' in a crowded theatre...

 

Remember the old "duck and cover" atomic attack training of the 50's cold war films? The unmentioned "and kiss your rear goodbye' is as applicable to your current privacy as to ones' actual lives back then. Except, fortunately, back then never actually happened, unlike today...

 

Oh, by the way, your fridge would like you to pick up some milk on the way home :)



#14 earlpearl

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Posted 20 July 2016 - 02:30 PM

If you are that freaked/concerned about basic mobile I guess telling what is possible via an app would be like shouting 'fire' in a crowded theatre...

 

Remember the old "duck and cover" atomic attack training of the 50's cold war films? The unmentioned "and kiss your rear goodbye' is as applicable to your current privacy as to ones' actual lives back then. Except, fortunately, back then never actually happened, unlike today...

 

Oh, by the way, your fridge would like you to pick up some milk on the way home :)

I'm in the process of shutting down various apps of location services.  I'm going to monitor how many times I get nagged by which different services to turn it back on.

 

Hmmm....the old days.  I'm old enough to recall atomic bomb preparation and training in school rooms.  We'd go to the basement of the elementary school and sit quietly while some alarm went off. 

 

And it never occurred.  We were lucky.  Today with mobile apps privacy is a thing of the past. 

 

BTW:  I noticed a fleeting comment in the news recently wherein google stated that govt requests for privacy information had dramatically increased recently.    Frankly its astonishing that google has this gigantic reservoir of info that nobody else has.  I think that is rather troublesome in its own right.



#15 EGOL

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Posted 20 July 2016 - 03:44 PM

Remember the old "duck and cover" atomic attack training of the 50's cold war films?

 

I remember this stuff too.  The entire community would participate in these drills.   Teachers would turn off the lights, pull down the black blinds, we would go to the basement.   It would scare kids to death.



#16 bobbb

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Posted 20 July 2016 - 04:43 PM

Want to be scared read this: (I've posted this link before)

 

How “omnipotent” hackers tied to NSA hid for 14 years—and were found at last

http://arstechnica.c...-found-at-last/

 

Funny I don't remember doing the  "duck and cover" in Canada.

 

I remember reading about it happening in the US

 

bwelford is here an so is iamlost. Did you two ever do this?



#17 iamlost

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Posted 20 July 2016 - 06:57 PM

@earlpearl: a nasty sneaky app says it don't need no stinking location services. It can use a smartphone's accelerometer, gyroscope, magnetometer, digital compass, camera... to backstop a inertial navigation hybrid... within a sensor fusion architecture with Kalman filter among others... it will even know whether you are going up/downstairs...

You don't actually believe the bumph on the label, do you? Except mine, of course. :)

@bobbb: We had fire drills not atom bomb drills, which is why I referenced films; those I did see at the time on the news reels, remember them? Gad but I'm ancient!

Of course I was not only in Canada but the northern sticks of Canada so we hardly thought about the outside world at all. We did all go stand in the street at night to watch the satellites and capsules move across the night sky. Both the American and Russian. While, local ham radio operators would play over speakers the sounds being transmitted. It was all pure awesome rather than pure terror.

We did get the American military stopping or overflying on their way to/from Alaska. The planes were cool but the crews seemed alien. Two very different worlds passing.

 

Ya, I remember that article and more. Which makes one wonder just how much more they can do now. I do have a vague knowledge of what some of the best (non-gov) pennetration testing hackers/teams can do and that is mind blowing, but meanwhile aka since the Snowden leaks the NSA, GCHQ, Unit 121, Unit 61398, etc. haven't been idle.



#18 glyn

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Posted 21 July 2016 - 01:09 AM

Wifi beacons are good for marketing in shops that people dont know about too.

#19 earlpearl

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Posted 22 July 2016 - 10:45 AM

@earlpearl: a nasty sneaky app says it don't need no stinking location services. It can use a smartphone's accelerometer, gyroscope, magnetometer, digital compass, camera... to backstop a inertial navigation hybrid... within a sensor fusion architecture with Kalman filter among others... it will even know whether you are going up/downstairs...

 

Well rats.  They got me beat.  So I see where my apple records steps and flights of stairs.  Are you saying if I turn that off, it will still know that data through other methods?   Also, Apple takes the info, but its not reprocessing the info and publishing it elsewhere a la google.  (small consolation)

 

So it knows if I'm going upstairs or downstairs;  does it know when nature calls and the specific call of nature?   (I wonder when they are going to install a smell-o-meter??)



#20 iamlost

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Posted 22 July 2016 - 02:15 PM

A whole lot of stuff is built into smartphones that apps can connect to, leverage. Often without informing the user. Yes, such behaviour is against Apple's and Google's et al "rules" for apps but as they do not test them fully before allowing them into app stores...

As to your privy moments... Who has control of your microphone? And what do they hear? Just asking...

Fortunately most app makers are like most SEOs: simply following basic instructions without understanding. So they may or may not work as advertised but any bad behaviours are inadvertent. Aren't you relieved?

#21 earlpearl

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Posted 22 July 2016 - 02:48 PM

A whole lot of stuff is built into smartphones that apps can connect to, leverage. Often without informing the user. Yes, such behaviour is against Apple's and Google's et al "rules" for apps but as they do not test them fully before allowing them into app stores...

As to your privy moments... Who has control of your microphone? And what do they hear? Just asking...

Fortunately most app makers are like most SEOs: simply following basic instructions without understanding. So they may or may not work as advertised but any bad behaviours are inadvertent. Aren't you relieved?

 

I don't quite recall the date, but I was introduced to mobiles at an early date.  Those big clunky things, plus big clunky car phones.  .......and then there was an instance, still leaving a strong impression in my personal memory banks.

 

I was working as a commercial RE broker at the time and was visiting the office of another firm for a meeting.  Whatever the date it had to be early in the days of mobiles.  As I'm waiting in the office suite lobby for whomever I was to meet, one of the colleagues, (somebody I knew) blew past the front desk and me, hurrying to the lavatory.  Mobile phone in hand.  That poor fellow was really scurrying and I didn't think that at that rate...the call of nature was a #1.  Had to be a #2....and an urgent one at that.

 

I recall that moment.  I know I thought whoa is us.  Civilization is coming to an end.  Isn't there a damn minute when privacy takes precedence????

 

Meanwhile according to a potential candidate for President of the US....his mate never needs to worry about what mobile phones may hear or smell!!!!!  

 

We live in a golden age!!!!!!


Edited by earlpearl, 22 July 2016 - 03:11 PM.




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