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Google Web Accelerator

I fully understand why some people will find Google Web Accelerator scary… after all, you are effectively routing all of your surfing through Google’s servers, which gives them an enormous amount of information about you. But it’s very useful, and given how many people already know about almost every aspect of my life anyway, I have no problem with Google knowing a little more about me. So I’m using it. And recommending that you do too.

Edit: I’ve stopped using it again now – read through the comments to see why, paying particular attention here.

This post was filed under: Technology.

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Comments and responses

Comment from Anon E Mouse

    09.39, 06/05/2005

Have you thought about sending Google a copy of your tax return as well, since you appear not to care about your privacy?

Comment from sjhoward

    11.17, 06/05/2005

As it happens, I don’t file a tax return… But that’s hardly the point. I don’t mind revealing to them information about the websites I visit – information which is already available to my ISP, and (on demand) to the police, not to mention university when I’m online there. It’s hardly secret stuff, and should I want to exclude Google from any of my web surfing, I’m free to do so – as is not the case with the other institutions. My tax return, on the other hand, is not public knowledge in the same way as my surfing habits are, and so I wouldn’t publicise it.

Comment from Anon E Mouse

    15.20, 07/05/2005

“I don’t file a tax return… But that’s hardly the point.”

But that is the point!

If you do file a tax return online, as more and more people are doing, and as the IRS prefers people to do, are you (and all the other people) using this spy in the browswer, going to remember to turn off the Google spyware before connecting to the web site to file your tax return?

And when you buy goods and services through your browser, do you want Google to know what you are buying, and presumably your credit card details which will pass through their software?

Comment from sjhoward

    18.03, 07/05/2005

I don’t file a tax return – and if I did so online, it would be via a secure connection, as would shopping with a credit card, which does not pass through Google’s servers, whether the program is switched on or off.

Comment from Pathologically Paranoid Coward

    23.04, 07/05/2005

“it would be via a secure connection .. which does not pass through Google’s servers”

How can you be sure of that?

Comment from sjhoward

    00.59, 08/05/2005

I could use software to trace the connection between my PC and the host servers, but I’m not that bothered. Which only goes to show that they could indeed be watching my secure connections without my knowledge. So you probably have a good point – but I’m not going to stop using it.

Comment from Ethelred the Unready

    02.49, 08/05/2005

Maybe you should read this article, and worry about who might be logging in as you on various accounts and forums —


Or there again, maybe you just do not really care, in which case you deserve whatever happens …

Comment from sjhoward

    09.56, 08/05/2005

Now that’s a bit of a worry – but, presumably, it would only affect sites whereby passwords are cached, which means it could only affect forums and the like, not banking accounts. However, I’ve removed it for the time being anyway, at least until I hear that this glitch has been fixed (though, in fairness, I think it may already have been fixed, since my version numbers appear to have increased).

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