Of course they are, why wouldn't they?
Here's a hint... open any webpage... notice how the ads relate to stores and businesses in your area that somehow magically seem interesting to you?
How else could they do that if they weren't gathering information on your location and browsing activities.
Every time I visit a site like Tesla Motors or even CCM I get ads about cars, bicycles, motorcycles etc. If I switch to electronic parts searches, I get ads about television sets, stereos, etc.
OF COURSE they're spying on us!
If they are, they are doing a hell of a better job at it than those who aren't. Just this week I finally had to swallow a toad by ending up for good my 5 year old relationship with Firefox and switch to Chrome. I'm still not a user of Google's menagerie of tools and services (except for Gmail that I use mostly as a spam buffer these days). I use Microsoft for that; At least they are the devil you know. But I'm perfectly aware they don't offer much in the way of a real alternative to Google's web services.
We are more technocrats than what we sometimes would like to assume. But it's with some rejoice that I do notice that Google's is losing the untouchable tag and it's been more criticized lately. It's about damn time users woke up from their mental torpor, got on their toes and recognized Google as just any other corporation.
They're not spying on me! At least, they're not spying on my general browsing. I'm sure they still parse my gmail. Firefox 4 + NoScript, and google-analytics.com (amongst others) is disallowed. That plus AdBlock Plus stops a lot of annoying crap.
Not in any harmful way I think, you are just statistics to them. There are alternatives to most of the things they do, not always free however but I guess you have to weigh in the price of you personal data into it. If you have a privacy concern chose a paid service that does not sell your data to advertisers.
The link between Facebook and the CIA is tenuous at best. Trust me. Doing crack research (the best form of research) led me to an article about said link. What proved to be way more interesting than that was the part about Mark Zuckerberg's personal history, consisting of breaking into school servers to steal things like pictures and student records. Then while doing that full time, he decides to run a web site that gets people to collaborate on his homework. He grows up to be Big Zuckerberg and basically does the same things with stuff no one asked him to.
Anyway: That lead to an article about how hard it is to stay anonymous online (which I didn't really read), which lead to an article about the US government stealing gold.
I'm done going deeper.
Facebook, the CIA, and You. // Brainsturbator
Yeah... I think there are other concerns with Facebook like where their loyalties are for example. As a Facebook user you are not their customer, their customers are the companies they sell the data to, which means you have very little saying if they for example shut down your account due to some complaint. There have been some examples of that based on alleged copyright infringements (which may be false) for example. Obviously, if you are a company that rely heavily on public presence on Facebook, this can be quite serious. Getting them to listen and fix this can be quite problematic as far as I have understood for various reasons like: you are not paying them, you are using their service for free, and the sheer size of their user base.
type "google spying" in your url. the page that comes up is google.com with the word "spying" in the search box.. it is a conspiracy i tell you. they control your searches. they track and keep your info.
Google Engineer Fired For Spying On Teen Users; Serious Privacy Concerns Raised | Techdirt
YouTube - ‪Google's Spying On You‬‏
Google spies on America. - By Michael Agger - Slate Magazine
"About 11,300,000 results (0.15 seconds)" that many resultz ?
ever notice the poople bot ? <note the 'g' is upside down and the 'o' is upside down and the 'l' is upside down > meow.
Well I don't know about what others will say about this, but I think yes they are spying on everybody. And why wouldn't they? They have to spy on us to increase or decrease the ranking of any web page.
Dearly beloved we are gathered here today to lay this honorable thread to rest. In it's brief but important lifespan it brought joy and happiness to all who partook in a portion of it's life. This thread was taken from us so hastily and in such short manner and often it is hard to understand why one is taken and one lives on. So it is with great sorrow that we now return this thread to the ground from whence it came. Ashes to ashes and dust to dust.