Instigator / Pro
4
1655
rating
60
debates
66.67%
won
Topic

THBT On Net Balance, Google Should Uphold Users' Privacy

Status
Finished

All stages have been completed. The voting points distribution and the result are presented below.

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3
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2
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1
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With 1 vote and 2 points ahead, the winner is ...

RationalMadman
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Technology
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Two days
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10,000
Contender / Con
6
1635
rating
355
debates
65.63%
won
Description
~ 183 / 5,000

Pro will argue that Google should stop tracking people, their browsing history, etc. thus upholding the users' right to privacy.

Con will argue otherwise.

Burden of proof is shared.

Round 1
Pro
Thanks Madman.

Violation of Privacy

As one research Gate article introduces, " it is feared by privacy advocates who view it as a private sector big brother posing perhaps the biggest privacy problem of all times. Google is an informational gatekeeper harboring previously unimaginable riches of personal data. Billions of search queries stream across Google's servers each month, the aggregate thoughtstream of humankind, online. Google compiles individual search logs, containing information about users' fears and expectations, interests and passions, and ripe with information that is financial, medical, sexual, political, in short - personal in nature." [1]
       The problem is also noted in basic settings. “An associated press investigation found that many Google services on Android devices and iPhone store your location data even you’ve used a privacy setting that says it will prevent Google from doing so.” [2] Google is stating that users can use services in a variety of ways to manage privacy but my research on privacy concern concludes that google is still violating the laws itself on people’s privacy and bias.
      Privacy concern is developing as a major concern in the twenty-first century. “People will not use new technology if they do not have sufficient trust in the safeguarding of privacy, security, and safety and it is particularly true in compels system such as the IoT.” [3] Having said that, Google also informs that users can use Google services without having accounts. Google's privacy policy states that “users Can also choose to browse the web privately using Chrome in incognito mode.” [4] when the user uses incognito mode, it is not supposed to track the data from the browsers. Despite this, “a new class-action lawsuit alleges that Google is continuing to track the activity everyone using incognito mode in Chrome.” [5]
      There have also been issues with Google's‘ Filter bubble’ problem. “It’s a manipulation of your search results based on your data.” [6]It means it tracks the information even user is not logged in to the google account. Google also states that “ When you’re not signed in to a Google Account, we store the information we collect with unique identifiers tied to the browser, application, or device you are using.” [4] So, it means Google tracks people’s activities while they are using Google services. This is a very serious concern for the user. So, I would like to request that voters think about all privacy policies including their violations.

Proposition
     As I mentioned earlier Google can execute and fetch the information through search history. As we discussed the other browsing history tracking,  “even with location history paused some Google apps automatically store time-stamped location data without asking.” [2] Many writers and researchers are writing and investigating Google activities in collecting the data from the user. Writer Shannon writes that “ Turning off location history, you are only stopping Google from adding your movements to its timeline features, which visually logs where you have been.” [8]. In the privacy policy of Google, it is clearly stated that “The activity we collect may include the Chrome browsing history you have synced with your Google account.”[4] Furthermore, writer Patrick Berlinquete indicates that “ For as long as you have been using Google, Google has been building a “citizen profile” on you.” [9] In the search result, Google Ads determine the position of the search screen. “ More than 50 percent of people between the age of 18-34 can’t differentiate between an ad and an organic result on Google.”[9] Through the users' citizen profile, it collects unnecessary information. This includes voice search history, ad history, every google search, a place visited, saved images, and emails. And your privacy policy barely mentions about your user information collected by Google.
    Another problem is that Google is collecting information with Google map. Google’s support page states that “location History is turned off by default for your Google Account and can only be turned on if you opt-in. You can pause Location History at any time in your Google Account's Activity controls.” [10] But the previous expert notes “that isn’t true, even with location history paused, some Google apps automatically store time-stamped location data without asking.” [2] Even with these features Google stores information where the user is and when the user opened the map. So, tracking every aspect of the behavior of the user is unusual and unacceptable. As a user, I do not feel safe while using Google products because Google is collecting unnecessary information about the user. “It has been revealed that Google can store two billion users’ location minute-by-minute regardless of permission.” [11] Google must stop violating privacy laws, and change its tracking/search policy. 

Conclusion: It's evident based on the countless news articles and ideas that Google is violating privacy laws. I expect just as rigorous research on the con side to disprove my notion, due to the sheer amount of evidence I hold. By the premise, I say that Google should uphold User's privacy. It would assuage users' worries, and protect their rights. There are almost no significant problems with upholding users' privacy. The resolution is upheld.

Con
The Antihero painted as a Villain, Google and its ‘privacy infringement’.

==

Semantics

It is essential to this debate to establish what ‘privacy’ is and what upholding it entails. Con hereby requests the reader to pay close attention to the Debate’s description written above Round 1 of this very page.

Pro has to not simply defend privacy mattering and insinuate that Google has gathered data or acted in ways that infringe it but has to specifically justify the abolition of virtually any and all tracking done by Google, especially of browsing history and habits of users.

I am willing to be reasonable to my opponent and not hold the ‘any and all’ to its extreme, nonetheless I do not think that Pro has even approached sufficiently meeting their burden of proof, really what they did was paste a series of quotes with some sentences in between and gave the illusion of a well-sourced, thoroughly referenced case.

I am going to define the term ‘privacy’ and leave it at that as ‘uphold’ seems arbitrary to me to define, since the actual definition of ‘uphold’ that almost anyone who speaks English would assume it to mean, is quite literally what Google already does to their users’ privacy and I am going to later debunk Pro’s attack on the upholding, after framing this debate as one of me saying Google is an antihero.

Privacy:
the right to be let alone, or freedom from interference or intrusion. Information privacy is the right to have some control over how your personal information is collected and used.

a multinational, publicly-traded organization built around the company's hugely popular search engine. Google's other enterprises include Internet analytics, cloud computing, advertising technologies, and Web app, browser and operating system development.


Framework and Case Outline

The dynamics that most would expect in this debate involves Con depicting Google as either a hero or at the very least a villain that is entitled to do what they do, legally speaking. I am going to explain to you what an antihero is and establish how it differs to a villain, before proceeding to establish my general case.

An antihero is a central character in a story, movie, or television show that lacks conventional heroic attributes you'd find in a traditional hero. They are often defined by the traits they share with an antagonist. They use, at times, unsavory methods to get the job of a traditional hero done.
Many opponents to Google and how it approaches users’ privacy, are oftentimes Libertarians in some shape or form. Consequently, I am going to present a case akin to the one of legalising drugs to fully allow and embrace how Google is using its privacy invasion. I am not simply going to defend their use being allowed but further explain just how villain-filled the world wide web would be if we were to let Google dwindle and multiple competitors rise.

You know how they say if you don’t have a decent supplier of a drug that’s in demand, someone else will supply and deal it anyway? This is not just theoretically true in the case of what Google’s competitors would do, it’s inevitable as an actual fact in and of itself. Not only is it inevitable in the direction of privacy invasion but if Google were to mimic DuckDuckGo and be the privacy-friendly search engine provider and keep trying to mimic this model across platforms, you would see a newer, potentially much more deceptive Google-equivalent (or many equivalents) rising and gathering data on you anyway.

I know what you’re thinking… Who am I to say it’s inevitable as an actual fact? To fully grasp this, let’s establish three things about Google:

  • They gather data, which many companies do, with the intent to improve their services to the highest degree possible for each individual at as cost-effective a price as possible (after all, their search engine is free despite being as in-depth and precise as it is).

Data makes it much easier for your company to understand what your customers want from your company, the specific products/services they're looking for, and even how they prefer to interact with your brand. 

When you know more about your customers, you can tweak everything about your business to better fit their needs. You can also improve the ways in which you communicate with your target market, optimize your website to improve the user experience, and much more. 


  • Their sheer size and capacity, while enabling them to gather more data than most data-gathering corporations, is also reason to feel safe and secure. Remember that since they do work with data and coding, they have some of our species’ finest minds in the field working for them. While a certain snippet of a Cloud database may be breached at some point, their reaction time and capacity to ‘contain’ the breach to a minimal level surpasses that of their competitors by far, despite being the company that most hackers would be motivated to hack.
It surely is accurate to say that your data in the hands of anyone other than Google is probably something that could more probabilistically fall into the hands of adversaries that you never consented to have your data in exchange for the preciseness of their service fitting your taste and preferences.


Bear in mind that because Google is the ‘biggest dog in the yard’ it’s never going to sell your data to anyone, it’s actually the company that may purchase your data from others for advertising purposes. You can say ‘that’s evil’ but what I am telling you is that someone is going to do it, people often want personalised ads and to not be seeing completely irrelevant ads shoved in their face that don’t relate to anything they wish to purchase, Google not only does it best but is never going to be strapped for cash meaning even from the perspective of data-selling, it’s actually very secure compared to any other tech company out there.


  • It’s easy to point at Edward Snowden or people similar to him in stance and to then call Google the ‘bad actor’ but that’s thinking far too simple about an incredibly complex matter. Google was one of the first and foremost companies of its kind to offer full scope (information) and clearly laid out and explained options list (control) over what it’s doing with your data and why you may not want to opt-out of it. Out of all the major companies at its level or close to it, meaning ones such as Microsoft (who own Bing), Apple, Amazon and more, Google was the first and almost still only one to offer this depth of information and control of its own volition (this was done regardless of the EU laws mandating it for all web services).

When Google bought out Android early on, people assumed that Android would become eerily control-freaky over what you can do to customise it and control its tracking of you, like Apple is with its iProducts. Instead, Google not only left the Android equivalent of jailbreaking (Rooting) completely legal and Google insisted that safe and reliable information and guides to Rooting be released, though they made clear that you violate Warranty agreements as you Root at your own risk by becoming so capable to customise your smartphone. Not only did this surprise people, what was even more shocking was just how many options there were to stop their use of your data.

The actual cause of the first quote in Pro’s case happening is that Apple, not Google, are extremely awkward about how much they let you do and control. It is their mechanics of settings menus and what they do that allowed it. Read the source properly rather than just a quote. Google wasn’t deceptive, the Apple user menus were not clear on what they did or did not control and/or prevent.

Google is not just completely honest, it gives control and for each thing it lets you turn off tracking and profiling for (and encourages you actually if you make a Gmail account), explains the full trade-off you make in terms of how much less capable Google will be of providing you with a personalised service: 

==

Summary

Proper rebuttals will come in Round 2, I will merely note that when I read through Pro’s series of quotes and vague assertions against Google and its approach to privacy, I am confused what case is even being made. The primary reason people even know how much Google tracks is because it’s so patently blunt and unashamed about it, offering a higher ability to customise its tracking and profiling of you than any of its rivals except for DuckDuckGo in the search engine category.

Microsoft (owns Bing), Apple, Amazon and others offered any kind of privacy customisation only after Google did, in fact many held out until EU laws made it mandatory to do if they wished to trade in EU nations.

There is a reason why Google is outlawed or at the very least extremely censored in oppressive regimes like China and Iran. It offers too much information to people and that’s something that such regimes don’t like.

Google does track users, it does indeed auto opt-in but it is not deceptive and gives a great breadth of options to stop it. I do not understand what ‘proof’ Pro is demanding I give to justify this. Pro has merely quoted a few bloggers and at best genuine article-writing journalists who clearly are all angry at tracking in general and ranting against Google because it’s just ‘there’ and does things that all companies, especially tech-focused ones, have done, still do and will keep doing (and they’re not always honest about it and definitely don’t let you control it).



Round 2
Pro
Con has noticed that my credibility is worse than usual. But even Con only has his common sense. He raises the privacy concerns as necessary and says that Google is ironically an anti-hero, as exposing the flaws of privacy allows us to see that Google may potentially be better than competitors at enforcing the right to privacy. That still doesn't negate the fact that Google must uphold the users' privacy. 

I will delve deep into the law expert's analysis of Google's privacy problems. The age of the article does not disprove its logic. If there were issues a decade ago, then Google must still uphold my ideals until con disproves them. Google must continue improving its search feature and prevent unfairly infiltrating personal information. 

The expert begins with quotes from other trusted sources, firstly with worries that government organizations may take advantage of Google's information. "Many users do not realize that this information is logged and maintained in a form which can facilitate their identification. As John Battelle memorably put it, “[l]ink by link, click by click, the search is building possibly the most lasting, ponderous, and significant cultural artifact in the history of humankind: the Database of Intentions.” [FN6] This “Database of Intentions,” meaning “[t]he aggregate results of every search ever entered, every result list ever tendered, and every path is taken as a result,” [FN7] constitutes a honey pot for various actors. These range from the NSA and FBI, which expend billions of dollars on online surveillance [FN8] and cannot overlook Google's information treasure trove, to hackers and identity thieves, who routinely overcome even the most robust information security systems."

Human Rights organizations also speak up against this problem"Privacy International, recently ranked Google's privacy practices as the worst out of a group of more than twenty leading Internet service providers, including Microsoft, Yahoo, Amazon, and eBay. [FN17] Privacy International describes Google as “an endemic threat to privacy.” [FN18] It criticizes Google's “aggressive use of invasive or potentially invasive technologies and techniques” and claims the company “fails to follow generally accepted privacy practices such as the OECD". 

Of course, even other complaints may not be 100% true if having no backup. Omar begins his case with personally identifiable information. Users unintentionally reveal information about themselves through their search queries, and even cookies can be cross-referenced with the personal IP address. Furthermore, Google itself admitted that persons may accidentally search or paste sensitive information. He concludes that "the contents of user search-query logs are personal in nature. They become privacy threatening if they can be traced back to a specific user. Google's ability to combine IP addresses, persistent cookies and user-registration information render search-query logs not only personal but also personally identifiable. Depending on their intended uses, search-query logs may raise serious privacy problems." 

The extensions of the search queries are not simple either. Though severe heinous crimes can justify looking in someone's computer to see if they wanted to know how to kill someone, the nature of the search makes things murkier when we reach vaguer crimes, especially with countries like China as Con brought up. The expert further compares that the same search terms may be vastly different in meaning depending on the context. "The evolving field of preventive law enforcement tests the limits of legitimate government action in a democratic society. [FN97] Nabbing a terrorist before he realizes his plot to bomb a passenger jet is one thing. [FN98] It is quite another thing to arrest a teenager who runs Google searches for “kill guns,” “Prozac side effects,” “brutal death metal bands,” and “blood gore,” and is therefore profiled by a data mining program as a potential “Columbine shooter.” The more valuable information Google stores, the more of a target they make themselves for hackers as well. The best solution to offering money for others to test the security would be simply not to store the information at all. And for the user, they would be haunted by potential government involvement or malicious hacker blackmail. It would be safest to not store search queries, to uphold user privacy. 

Omar adds to this distortion of the image of a person with the problems of a secret database. Particularly, governments may scare users into submission without the consent of the governed, for lack of better phrase. He notes: " The prohibition against secret databases is one of the doctrinal foundations of European privacy law, gleaned following decades of totalitarian regimes that used information in secret databases to police and terrorize citizens into conformity and submission[FN129]" Indeed, this furthers all my blogs' testimonies and the other research that proves that users will be vulnerable and uncertain. If you do not know what is being collected and whether it will truly be used for good, then you will hesitate to trust Google. It takes "four links from Google's ubiquitous homepage [FN135] to obtain information concerning the company's data-collection practices. [FN136]" The more we delve in, the more we realize that Google is practicing uninformed consent, and proving all the blogs I have offered.

I will not use too much space to address the rest of Omar's argument. He is telling us the solutions to the problems I've offered so far. For example, the privacy policy could be easier to access. Also, Google's policies stating “We may also share information with third parties in limited circumstances, including when complying with legal process...” is far too vague, and Yahoo even allowed the government to access the search queries even without a search warrant. More justification is necessary to uphold accessing user's information. The user consent is very hard to obtain, because it's not like they are told of the tracking information, nor given a chance to judge Google's storage for themselves.

In summary, Con's entire case only supports my idea that Google only values corporate interests most and does not truly value what people think or deserve to have. Adding constitutional protection, or statuary protection would certainly help as well in the long run. 

In the end, the protection of privacy is far more important than the intangible benefits that Con offers. Just how much do we lose really, if we don't let Google keep track of our results?

Dropped Arguments:

  • Expert Source:People will not use new technology if they do not have sufficient trust in the safeguarding of privacy, security, and safety and it is particularly true in compels system such as the IoT." 
  • Google's‘ Filter bubble’ problem. “It’s a manipulation of your search results based on your data.” [6]It means it tracks the information even user is not logged in to the google account. 
  • Even with location history paused, some Google apps automatically store time-stamped location data without asking
  • “It has been revealed that Google can store two billion users’ location minute-by-minute regardless of permission.”
  • An associated press investigation found that many Google services on Android devices and iPhone store your location data even you’ve used a privacy setting that says it will prevent Google from doing so.
  • More than 50 percent of people between the age of 18-34 can’t differentiate between an ad and an organic result on Google

Con
Amusing rhetoric plagues Pro’s Round 2.

From the very beginning of their Round 2, where it is said they will ‘delve deep’ into an analysis only to blindly quote and embolden some text, Pro’s Round 2 is full of slanted terminology that skews so far from the truth at some points I am genuinely amused at it and hope that you are too.

For instance, the entire ‘dropped points’ section at the end of their Round 2 is an unreasonable assumption to make. I used my Round 1 to make my case, using almost 100% of the character count. There was no room for rebuttals and if I were to jampack it with rebuttals, I’d be accused of leaving too little of my own case for Pro to rebuke.

In this Round I assure you that I will address these supposedly ‘dropped points’ (some of which were actually addressed in my Round 2) and cement my case that Google is a very effective antihero, as opposed to a genuine villain, when it comes to users’ privacy.

==

Google is never going to sell your data, it doesn’t even need to let alone want to.

Pro brings up that Google gives data to law enforcement agencies… Con doesn’t need to deny this. As Pro admits, heinous crimes must indeed be stopped and investigated, with user privacy being a price to pay. Pro tries to bring up China, a nation that has outlawed Google because Google provides too much truth for their populace and is too difficult for them to efficiently censor it seems. It was unwise of Pro to even bring up the example of China and what it does to its people, since that nation has outlawed Google entirely.

Google explicitly promises to never sell your data but as I say in my Round 1, it is the company that almost every single data mining tech company may be motivated to sell their collected data to. This is the epitome of the antihero position that I try to explain. If you wilfully seek anything technological where you give data in exchange for a personalised service, it’s always going to need your data to do so. Pro has provided absolutely no alternative whatsoever in terms of how to provide a personalised experience without gathering data on the user. Google is merely the biggest and best provider of such a service in the search engine and advertising fields but let’s actually look into why it’s delved into both.

Can you for a second imagine a world where we don’t have a free and extremely extensive, personalised search engine for every single person on the planet who has Internet access and isn’t in a highly censored and/or oppressive nation? The only reason that Google is capable of providing such an excellent service to everyone with Internet access is because of their secondary specialty in advertising. If Google remained a company that solely dedicated to search engine optimisation, they couldn’t remain free without going completely bankrupt (they have to use an incredible amount of servers to store the information itself, let alone run it). Google doesn’t sell your data to earn money at all, in fact it is one of the only data mining companies to solely use what it finds for its own service back to you. This is again why I see it as an antihero and encourage you to, as well.

If Google were to not have existed or to simply stop gathering data and cut off its personalisation, it would be thwarted by competitors such as Yahoo, which Pro explicitly exposes as being willing to very liberally give away gathered data when the opportunity arises. Google has only ever been reported to give data to law enforcement, which is the most understandable and if anything benevolent reasons to give data away. Pro’s beef is with NSA and other such agencies, not with Google who were merely able and willing to submit data after getting subpoenaed.

==

Let’s look at the ‘dropped points’ 

Dropped Arguments:

  • Expert Source:People will not use new technology if they do not have sufficient trust in the safeguarding of privacy, security, and safety." 
I explained in Round 1 that Google was the first and foremost tech giant to admit the data it gathers on users and offer each and every user a breadth of control over it. It’s also the only one to explicitly promise that it will never sell your data (while also being the company that others are very likely to sell the data to). As for this point in itself, the fact that so many people use Google surely makes it backfire on Pro. 
Pro is saying that people won’t use new technology without sufficient trust. Is this somehow an attack on Google? Do you know how many people trust Google, assuming that Pro’s axiom was always true?
  • There are over 63,000 Google searches each second. That’s almost 227 million an hour and about 5.4 billion Google searches per day.
  • Google, the most popular search engine controls 90% of the global search engine market. 
  • Google has over 246 million unique US visitors. That’s more than 75% of the US population. 
  • Google's‘ Filter bubble’ problem. “It’s a manipulation of your search results based on your data.” [6]It means it tracks the information even user is not logged in to the google account. 
I am not sure where Pro got this information. If you read the ‘Spread Privacy’ source, it merely states that being logged in itself isn’t the sole criteria for personalisation to occur. This is a world away from suggesting that Google uses the data profile of a Google account to personalise searches for people while they’re not logged into the account.
Instead, it’s extremely likely that the location (via IP address) and browsing history, which may be stored locally on their machine, of the user of the browser, may be used to minimalistically personalise searches. The only thing that the source actually says is that they could not explain the means of personalisation based on being logged in to the Google account or not, it doesn’t in any way suggest that Google uses account-specific data to personalise searches made by individuals while logged out of their accounts.
You absolutely should know that Google uses things to personalise, this isn’t deceptive, it’s how it avoids filling your results with junk that you are unlikely to want to see, it does the same with its advertising. It has not in any way been proven to ‘leak’ data out of personalised accounts to personalise searches for a person that’s logged out. The sources that Pro uses does not say this.
  • Even with location history paused, some Google apps automatically store time-stamped location data without asking
I explained in my Round 1, this is a flaw of Apple. The iPhones options list was deceptive in the wording it gave when offering you to turn off location tracking. Instead, you had to do so otherwise on a ‘My Activity’ settings section. Android devices don’t have the same flaw, they turn off the location tracking for all apps if you turn it off in the settings and it’s important to note that Android is owned by Google.
  • “It has been revealed that Google can store two billion users’ location minute-by-minute regardless of permission.”
I have no idea what this exactly means. Your IP address isn’t hidden from any website or service you visit/use while accessing it via the Internet. This is linked to your location and is true for any/all such services that would have two billion at once. The only thing fairly unique to Google is that it really is popular enough to consistently have 2 billion different users at once accessing it.
  • An associated press investigation found that many Google services on Android devices and iPhone store your location data even you’ve used a privacy setting that says it will prevent Google from doing so.
Please see how I addressed the second ‘dropped point’. This was a flaw of Apple options list wording. I see absolutely no proof of this being the case with Google’s options or Android options. This is an Apple-specific issue because the settings in one menu don’t properly affect those of another. The flaw is with Apple, not Google.

If you read the investigation's results, it doesn't give any clear cut evidence that Android devices have the same flaw, it merely implies that they probably should.

^ Aside from all the sources I gave in Round 1, let's give you this one. It explicitly explains how to control your privacy and is written by Google. They have fully explained how to do it, there is no deception. If users fall for a poorly worded iPhone menu option, that is not Google's fault.
  • More than 50 percent of people between the age of 18-34 can’t differentiate between an ad and an organic result on Google
What is it I am supposed to rebuke here? What is an ‘organic’ ad? All ads are ‘organic’, what this is saying is that the same level of organic ad can be strategically personalised in distribution. You are not seeing a more personalised version of an ad than the organic version, you are merely being allocated an advert that Google deems is likely to be relevant to you as a user. 
Thus, it should in fact be 100% of users who can’t differentiate between an organic ad or one personalised to them since all personalised ads are organically made, it’s not the case that there are different versions of the same ad personalised to you. What this is testing and implying is that more than 50% of people can’t pinpoint the reason why an Ad was given to them, which is not proof that Google is wrong to do it at all.

==

Closing Statement

Google is the single most relied on and widely accessed provider of free information to people worldwide. The personalisation of results are in fact part of why people choose it over its competition and if it stopped doing this there is absolute guarantee that competitors would leap at the opportunity to provide personalised results and ads, perhaps even leaving some results behind a paywall.

Google is the antihero of the search engine and data mining arena. People give their data to Google but Google doesn't sell your data to anyone, ever. 
Round 3
Pro
Con has chosen to refute my non-expert sources instead of my expert source, bringing extra legitimacy to them. While I will admit most of the bloggers did not successfully tell us why exactly Google has failed, Con has not managed to defeat the core of my argument, the expert's analysis. The man with the law degree is certainly far more impacting than mere common sense or well known knowledge. Con keeps on saying that search engine optimization is best when tracking the user, but notes how he has very little impact on this, much less outweighing my detriments.

Points that con has failed to address:
- search-query logs may raise serious privacy problems
- Google's "Secret database" is a big target for hackers and government alike, making it more dangerous to store the information
- Governments may be able to grab people based on suspicious searches, destroying the nature of democracy
- Europe has its own privacy laws established to prevent regimes from forcing citizens into submission. Would con argue that looking information up slightly quicker defeats your own liberty and safety? I doubt it.
- It takes four page clicks to access Google's privacy policy page, which severely reduces informed consent. If Google's privacy policy was directly on the homepage, this alone could already establish my premise and fulfill a vast problem my expert has with Google's upholding of privacy. You say that Google never sells users' information, yet it seems clear that they want to hide this fact. Why would you hide something that you're proud of? More people would use Google if you admitted that their information is perfectly safe. You would only want to make it hard to access if you have something secret that you're afraid of being found out. Why else would Google reduce informed consent? The logic doesn't work here. If Con was truly correct, then Google should try even harder to be the leader on telling people what they're getting into.

Since I have extra space, I will stack on extra information to defeat Con's idea that extra information tracked is better for search engine optimization. One of the favorite comparisons of people is DuckDuckGo VS Google. Though the former has much fewer users, countless articles have pointed out that it has no worse search results than the Goliath of search, despite respecting privacy. Wired author James Temperson explains why he quit Google in favor for DDGo. He points out the product cram makes it actually harder to find results: "Search for, say, ‘Iron Man 2’ and Google will first tell you it can be purchased from Google Play or YouTube from £9.99. It will then suggest you play a trailer for the film on, where else, YouTube. The film is also “liked” by 92 per cent of Google users and people searching for this also search for, you guessed it, Iron Man and Iron Man 3. The same search on DuckDuckGo pulls in a snippet from Wikipedia and quick links to find out more on IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes, Amazon or iTunes. For the most part, the top of Google’s page of results directs you towards more Google products and services.Indeed, Con claims that Google is working for the users, but the reality is that this is false. In addition to the problems I've listed above, Google mostly cares about the corporation more than the person. It thinks there is no obligation to uphold the person's own rights. But we must enforce those rights, as the Corporation is still considered a person in legal terms, even if "non natural person." 

Indeed, the further we go down the advertising rabbit hole, the more obvious Google's exploitation of the persons are. Con is basically saying, as long as we provide information as quickly as possible, it wouldn't matter if they knew everything about you and tailored specific companies' ads to lure you in. Even if Google had zero privacy policy, he thinks it is justified based on accessibility of information. By his logic, we should be able to look up anyone's personal information because privacy doesn't matter. And that destroys people's safety, their ability to live peacefully without being blackmailed or pressured by other forces. Clearly, some enforcement of privacy is necessary. The fact that Google does not sell users' information already proves my premise is being partially upheld.

Another expert's paper further supports my exploitation point. [1] Once again using the EU standard, Esteve points out that Europe considers privacy an essential right, while US has no comprehensive framework, with only self-regulation available. According to EU directive, US privacy legislation doesn't provide the adequate level of data protection. There are very little actual rules to control the use of personal information. The expert even warns, "For these aforementioned reasons, what Google and Facebook describe in their privacy policies should not be regarded as their actual data processing practices". Due to the arbitrary laws of the US, Google actually has a lot of freedom to do everything uninhibited, which is a severe violation of our right to privacy.

As previously mentioned, Google's privacy policy is incredibly vague, which reduces the informed consent and ironically reduces the information available to the user. Esteve admits, "Although Google and Facebook inform their users that they will automatically collect all these data from them, the users remain uncertain as to what specific personal data are being tracked". For such an information advocate as Con, I am very surprised that he does not admit that Google's privacy information should also be more transparent for the users. Now even his own ideology is contradicting himself. 

So, to conclude my argument: The expert admits the same problems I've been saying about privacy: 

  • Lack of or inadequate consent from Google and Facebook users for the procedure of obtaining and sharing their personal data
  • Insufficient user’s access and control of their personal information.
  • Risk of re-identifying anonymous personal data.
It would take too long to actually read the privacy policies, and the clauses are vague and confusing. EU guarantees people the right to access their personal data, and the right to object to processing. Both uphold the user's privacy. But Con would rather us go in blind and not care about anything than looking up other inconsequential information, and bringing more money to Google. Google never mentions that users can erase data, or can complain for unnecessarily long retention of data. Remember that the 4th amendment already respects privacy, even on a government level. Following the same logic, we need similar prevention to prevent Google from collecting information without our agreement. If someone would rather their results be slightly slower and more inaccurate, at the benefit of keeping their personal information, then it is their right. 

Con has failed to refute that people have the right to privacy and informed consent.

Con claims to value the gain of information, but arbitrarily prevents people from quickly obtaining information about Google's threat of privacy. This is clearly contradictory and absurd. We can have a "best of both worlds" where people are able to sacrifice their privacy for better results, or sacrifice results to keep their privacy. Either way, allowing people the choice will result in the premise being upheld, and the resolution won for Pro.

If we allow Con to succeed (ex. "Google should NOT uphold users' privacy), then what's stopping Google from having no privacy policy at all? The more quickly you sell information off to bidders, the more available your information is going to be. Soon enough you can find your social security number for free online. Soon enough your ex is going to be able to blackmail you with your secrets. If Google cares about nothing other than earning money, then the best way is to completely destroy everyone's privacy. And soon enough Google will be the dictator of all the people. Does Con advocate for such a bleak future, no different from the regime I mentioned in round 2? 

Con
Reminder of the Burden of Proof (BoP) in this debate.

I will reiterate it from my ‘Semantics’ section in Round 1.

In this debate, there has been a BoP-split agreed upon by both debaters via the description found above Round 1 in this webpage. It states explicitly:

“Pro will argue that Google should stop tracking people, their browsing history, etc. thus upholding the users' right to privacy.”

This cannot be flipped around to such a status of BoP split wherein Con has to defend Google having no obligation whatsoever towards their user’s privacy, this was never Con’s stance in this debate and Pro has failed to pressure Con into such a stance.

A huge portion of Pro’s Round 3 consists of pushing against the notion that Google should not at all respect its users. It is essential for you, debate judges, to understand that this was never something Con supported in the first place. Google is dedicated to user privacy, with plenty of links in my Round 1 and even a link in my Round 2 displaying the depth to which Google goes to help users control exactly what Google takes and explaining the tradeoffs made in the personalisation of their service that the collection of each data-type benefits.

For clarity’s sake, I will paste the four relevant links again here: 

These were all used at the relevant stages of debate.

==

Replying to the bolded ‘failed to address’ points.

I again used 100% of character count in Round 2 to address Pro’s 2 entire Rounds of debate. If I happened to miss a point here or there that Pro raised in their 2 full Rounds of debate, who can blame me? I did my best and most of the points Pro mentions have actually been addressed via constructive points I raised as well as angles via which I rebuked other points.

I will finish addressing the points here, Pro still has an entire Round to reply so it is fair for me to do so.
- search-query logs may raise serious privacy problems

I am uncertain what I am supposed to be addressing here. Anything ‘may raise’ some concern because of the nature of the word ‘may’. Google has the leading tech experts working for its cybersecurity, which I will reiterate in my rebuttal to Pro’s Round 3 but now I will source it.

See here for a more detailed explanation: https://safety.google/security/built-in-protection/
As well here:

Google is universally regarded as a consistently high-ranking leader and even pioneer of security in the tech world, as for ‘privacy’ (when contrasted with security), the logs of searches and entirely utilisation of them are an absolutely available turn-off switch in the privacy settings discussed in previous Rounds. I will not patronise you, reader, by pasting the links regarding what specifically can be stopped and how to stop it, two extremely relevant links to this are even in this Round itself, in the list of links.

- Google's "Secret database" is a big target for hackers and government alike, making it more dangerous to store the information

I definitely completely addressed this in Round 1 and just linked to things regarding the counter to this in the rebuttal just above this one. I will quote what I said in Round 1 regarding it:

  • Their sheer size and capacity, while enabling them to gather more data than most data-gathering corporations, is also reason to feel safe and secure. Remember that since they do work with data and coding, they have some of our species’ finest minds in the field working for them. While a certain snippet of a Cloud database may be breached at some point, their reaction time and capacity to ‘contain’ the breach to a minimal level surpasses that of their competitors by far, despite being the company that most hackers would be motivated to hack.
It surely is accurate to say that your data in the hands of anyone other than Google is probably something that could more probabilistically fall into the hands of adversaries that you never consented to have your data in exchange for the preciseness of their service fitting your taste and preferences.

I pasted 4 solid links after this, all of which relate to the topic and are extremely reliable.

As for ‘governments’ I am not sure where exactly where Pro is going with that and they keep bringing this up, yet the only examples of governments getting their hands on Google’s data is to help stop dangerous criminals, the rest is conspiracy theories and Pro has not actually proven that there is a ‘casual sharing’ of general search data with law enforcement or anyone outside of Google whatsoever.

- Governments may be able to grab people based on suspicious searches, destroying the nature of democracy

This is again an abuse of the flexibility of the term ‘may’. They ‘may be able’ maybe, sure. What evidence is there that they’ve done this or are genuinely able to? The information given by Google to law enforcement was done due to subpoenas, not unintentional leaks of data to any agency whatsoever. Pro has baselessly asserted that this is able to be done. Furthermore, this is not even relevant to the debate as this would not be Google’s failure to uphold user’s privacy but rather user’s security (which is not the same as privacy but is linked).

- Europe has its own privacy laws established to prevent regimes from forcing citizens into submission. Would con argue that looking information up slightly quicker defeats your own liberty and safety? I doubt it.

Firstly, the first sentence has absolutely nothing to do with the question unless I’m misreading it. Google not only had already begun to dedicate to informing people of data they track and giving people control of it, prior to the EU laws, they have a constantly updated transparency report regarding their upholding of specific deletions of data that the EU laws explicitly demand enforcement of: https://transparencyreport.google.com/eu-privacy/overview?hl=en

In fact, Google even instantly employed filters towards EU citizens (based on IP address) using Google, whereby it would remove results from the list that had not properly employed EU-privacy-law abiding Cookie-prevention and other such options for users to be informed and given control upon using the website (that it allowed/allows you to opt-out of at the bottom of the first page of results each time). In fact, no search engine other than Google, especially not DuckDuckGo the ‘privacy haven’ search engine, actively filters out websites that in any way threaten security and privacy of users. Google goes further than the rest, both due to sheer capability as well as attitude.

The EU has attacked Google for being too lax in its filtering for a while, but Google tries to find a healthy balance for users while constantly being pressured otherwise.

There is a reason why oppressive regimes outlaw Google entirely or at the very least censor it. The reason is so incredibly simple and irrefutable, it’s why Pro is trying to twist this around in very strange ways such as this:

Google will be the dictator of all the people. Does Con advocate for such a bleak future, no different from the regime I mentioned in round 2? 

This is blatantly hyperbole and nonsense. The regime Con mentioned was China, which outlaws Google and hates it with a passion because of how informed it allows the average citizen of a nation to be. What is Pro saying to that? Pro is simply giving empty rebuttal here, it is almost comedic. I am not sure what I’m meant to rebuke, I never (and Google never) has advocated for giving users no privacy control whatsoever, that was never the agreed upon BoP of this debate, just read the debate’s description (written by Pro himself).

As for the ‘hidden behind four pages’ point, this is more of an exaggeration than it is a deceitful portrayal. Typically on any platform at all, it’s two clicks away from either the phone’s homepage, App, Gmail etc to access the full privacy controls. In fact when making a Gmail account, it’s a mandatory part of the signup process, since around 2015, for you to be informed of privacy controls of Google and what you can do about it, you actually have to scroll to the bottom of it while signing up, I know this first-hand.

These ‘privacy reminders’ appear often enough in all Android devices, on YouTube, Gmail etc. especially when any update has been done to the policy: https://support.google.com/accounts/answer/6227261?hl=en

They don’t want to annoy users, so they of course don’t show it anywhere close to daily, nonetheless it’s there and actively given to users as both information and easy-to-access one-click-away controls.

==

Summary

Round 3 from Pro was essentially a series of twisting and turning the BoP as well as outright exaggeration, if not lies, about what law enforcement, governments and Google itself is doing with regards to democracy vs user privacy... The degree of conspiracy theories involved is amusing more than it is alarming, in my opinion. Google is being depicted as being hellbent on worldwide dictatorship and we are told it's this supervillain.

In reality, Google is the antihero, the supreme company in the fields of advertising and search engine provision, as well as pushing out into other areas. It does not ever sell data, Pro is merely alluding to something that is completely false and has never happened. Google doesn't sell data, it actually regularly purchases access to other companies' data. It is the epitome of antihero regarding privacy. It guards your data fervently to delivery personalised results with excellence.
Round 4
Pro
Con has essentially conceded the debate. He admits that the security and privacy are linked together. He admits that Google has taken steps since 2017, the release of my paper noting EU rules, that Google has tried to be more transparent and uphold the deletions of the data. He tries saying that Gmail has since my complaint of "four pages away" has made it much easier to access the privacy policy as well. Clearly, even the company itself is moving towards supporting my premise and supporting our right to privacy, and the ability to make that decision to either give it away to Google, or to keep it and look up search terms on DuckDuckGo. Google loses very little by upholding the Users' privacy. Con tries to refute me otherwise, but all the precautions and security that Google takes to keep our data safe proves that Google actually respects our privacy. So Google should continue its policy, continue enforcing Europe ideals, and make people feel safe and educated about what Google is doing to their data. 

Remember that on the bigger picture, if we let Google slack and return to the 2007's state, it may resemble Yahoo once again, and arbitrarily give away data. All the progress made by Con's "anti hero" speech is destroyed by loosening the enforcement of user privacy. Con tries to show Google as a leader in the progress, which only enforces my argument. He has admitted that we need information of all type. His own framework based on information proves that Google wants us to understand what we're getting into. By enforcing privacy rules, Google also encourages other search engines to be more clear about their privacy policy, and potentially influence social media as well, with Facebook and other sites also under scrutiny. The impact here is very clear. All Google has to do is to continue enforcing democracy. Con's plan seems vague and counter-productive. He has provided no impacts of loosening the user privacy enforcement, while I have proved that it counters our current progress and ideology. Vote for pro.
Con
Forfeited