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Discussion Starter #1
I was wondering if anybody else ran across these on the web yet.

If you thought Google had too much information on you already, you ain't seen nothing yet. Today, I was accessing a news site (about Google's Android L release, coincidentally), and the web site asked me to answer a survey in order to view the page. The survey was powered by Google (with a Google logo at the bottom), and was asking me such questions as my political preferences (who do I plan to vote for), the age of my kids (do you have a child between the ages of 7 to 10), my level of education (have you completed college/university in Canada), how much coffee I drink, what type of internet I have, whether I'm planning on buying a smartphone.

I think this is really intrusive, and that Google has crossed the line. Collating user information across different Google services and ad networks is one thing, but asking a person who they're going to vote for and how old their kids are, in order to view a web page is a whole different story. Well I'm sorry, but these survey-ads have the reverse effect on me - rather than answer a survey about my kids to access a web site, instead I'm going to avoid the website entirely. Anything that Google or the website owner were hoping to achieve by asking me these questions, has utterly failed.
 

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The survey probably uses Google Docs but its not Google that is collecting the information. Blaming Google is like blaming Microsoft when someone wants you to fill out a document created in Word.

In this instance, Avoid the website, not Google.
 

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Hmm, you may be right. There are website surveys that can be created using Google Docs similar to survey monkey but apparently Google now has consumer surveys which might be what you encountered. Hard to tell without seeing but found the following FAQ at Google.

Hard to tell from FAQ if data collected is being held by company and Google or just company.

https://support.google.com/consumersurveys/answer/2753080
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Well, the survey was Google-branded, and the site I was visiting was UK-based; it's very unlikely that Winnipeg municipal elections would be interesting enough to the UK site owner, to force website visitors to answer survey questions about the upcoming Winnipeg election. For the same reason, it's also unlikely that a third party would pay Google to poll visitors to UK sites about their Winnipeg voting preferences.

That leaves the possibilities that either (a) Google is doing this on their own behalf, to gather additional analytical data about me (and others like me), or (b) some anonymous third party [most likely from Winnipeg, considering the question] is paying Google to drop surveys into web pages, and ask visitors about their political preferences, family status, education, and spending habits. Neither possibility is very comforting, Google already knows who I am and can link other data about me with the survey data, possibly passing on that information to third parties. I'd actually much rather just get an ad than a mandatory survey asking me personal questions.
 

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Google Consumer Surveys is a product just like AdSense, which Google markets to news sites as an alternative to a paywall. Someone pays Google 10 cents for a survey question and Google pays the news site 5 cents. That is a lot more than the site can earn from ad revenue.

Even though you were visiting a UK site, Google uses your IP address to geo-target suitable surveys, just like it does for some ads.

If you feel that particular news site isn't worth the invasion of your privacy, don't use it. I'm not sure how much personal information Google retains about the responses or how much it distributes to the survey customers, so I would use a different site. Just like when I encounter a paywall, I go somewhere else.
 

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From the survey site (bolding is mine)

We show your questions across a network of premium online news, reference and entertainment sites, where it gets embedded directly into content, as well as through our mobile app. On the web, people answer questions in exchange for access to that content, an alternative to subscribing or upgrading. We infer the person’s gender, age, and geographic location based on their browsing history and IP address. On mobile, people answer questions in exchange for credits for books, music, and apps. They answer demographic questions up front. This not only means we can automatically build a representative sample of thousands of respondents, it also means you don’t have to ask those demographic questions yourself.

So the solicited information seems to be owned by the survey buyer, not the website nor Google.
 

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^^I doubt that. I think Google collects the info and in turn sells it to whichever buyer wants it. I mean, c'mon. You think there is a buyer out there that wants to know the answers to all the questions outlined in the op?

Google is rapidly becoming the shady company some people suspect they may be.
 

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Google is rapidly becoming the shady company some people suspect they may be.
Does that mean that you've stopped using Google or are you still using services from a "shady" company? Are you a paying Apps or Ad-words customer or just an end user?

And similarly are you boycotting any companies that impose these survey's on you or are you still visiting sites that do business with "shady" companies?

Seriously those are legit questions? Because everyone should remember that Google isn't a civil right - it's a business. And they're accountable to their shareholders and their customers, not the end users who primarily use them for search and email without monetary cost. The key word there is "accountable". If anyone doesn't like the services they're providing or what information they require then everyone has the option to just not use them.
 

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Late to the party, but I'll answer.

Yes, I severed all my connections to Google
No, I do not use Google for my search engine
Yes, I have cancelled my gmail account
But yes, sometimes I find myself on Youtube after following a link.

I've exercised my choice not to use their services. It works for me - it may not work for others.
 
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