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How does Google know about my GameDev.net profile?

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This is kinda weird. I just got the following email from Google:

[attachment=13229:Screen Shot 2013-01-14 at 10.31.32 AM.png]

 

The weird thing is that I use my Hotmail account for my email for GameDev.net, not my Gmail account. I have no clue how Google associated my GameDev.net profile with my Gmail or Google+ accounts. I myself never added anything. And when it says "you've added Google Authorship markup to your pages" I have no clue what "pages" it's talking about (I have none in my Google+ profile). How on earth did Google know I wrote this post (4 years ago!)?

 

Black magic, I tell you...

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Google knows everything.  

 

In reply to someone saying "Pics or net never happened": Google has photos from everywhere to prove it.

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They're slowly acclamating you to how much they really know about you so you don't find it as outrageous when you find out it has video of you taking a bath with lavender bath salts and vanilla candles as you listened to enya this weekend.

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[quote name='Cornstalks' timestamp='1358185069' post='5021472']
The weird thing is that I use my Hotmail account for my email for GameDev.net, not my Gmail account. I have no clue how Google associated my GameDev.net profile with my Gmail or Google+ accounts. I myself never added anything.[/quote]

You are absolutely sure you never set your hotmail address as the fall-back address in case you lose your gmail password?

 

If not, it is probably following the link to your blog from your GDNet profile. And that blog's about page links directly to your Google+ profile...

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The weird thing is that I use my Hotmail account for my email for GameDev.net, not my Gmail account. I have no clue how Google associated my GameDev.net profile with my Gmail or Google+ accounts. I myself never added anything.

 

You are absolutely sure you never set your hotmail address as the fall-back address in case you lose your gmail password?

Ah, now that I have done. Yes, my Hotmail account is set as that for my Gmail account. But even then, Google shouldn't even know my GameDev.net account's email (it's not publicly listed, so how would it know the email I use for GameDev.net matches my backup email for my Gmail account?).

 

If not, it is probably following the link to your blog from your GDNet profile. And that blog's about page links directly to your Google+ profile...

I've thought of that, but then there's the Wikipedia stuff too (I guess it's possible I used my Gmail email for my Wikipedia account... I dunno if I did or not, that was years ago and I don't even remember my Wikipedia username (I just had to look it up)). But even then, that's a pretty incredible feat. GameDev.net is a good sized community, but it's just a tiny speck in the Internet, and I'd expect other GameDev.net users to be getting the same kind of emails (maybe I'm just the first? People, let me know if you get this).

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Ah, swiftcoder, you seem to be right. One way to get this is to add a <a href="[profile_url]?rel=author">Google</a> tag from my webpage (which was probably added to my blog by the template), and then "add a reciprocal link back from your profile to the site(s) you just updated."

 

Yup, that seems to be how it did it. It probably followed the author profile link (my Cornstalks profile), found the link to my website, and then linked it to my Google+ profile. The weird part is that the second link I posted there (the one analyzing my Cornstalks profile) says "Error: Author profile page does not have an authorship link to a Google Profile." and yet, it has linked my GameDev.net profile to my Google+ profile.

 

Surprisingly, it hasn't found any StackOverflow stuff, but somehow managed to get some of my Wikipedia stuff...

Edited by Cornstalks

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Fact: GameDev has a google +1 button at the bottom of the thread.

Fact: If you're logged into your Google account, google can automaticly detect what pages you view if that page contains a +1. (Facebook does the same thing with 'Like'). Poor theory: Maybe they somehow detect you 'submitting' the text in some way?

 

Stack Overflow doesn't have any +1 buttons, so they can't track what pages you view there.

Wikipedia doesn't either... but doesn't wikipedia publicly show IP addresses of contributions - or is that only with anonymous edits?

 

More theory: If wikipedia says, "This page was editted on <timestamp> by <ip>", and Google says, "<ip> accessed a different webpage with a +1 button two seconds later, and the user was logged into their google profile..." they could automatically put the two together, and with Wikipedia being one of the largest sites in the world, Google might've created a few special web crawling routines to harvest data from it. They wouldn't bother with a site like StackOverflow, but they probably would with Reddit.

 

Solution: Tin foil body armor

Edited by Servant of the Lord

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Stack Overflow doesn't have any +1 buttons, so they can't track what pages you view there. Wikipedia doesn't either... Doesn't wikipedia publicly show IP addresses of contributions - or is that only with anonymous edits? If wikipedia says, "This page was editted on <timestamp> by <ip>", and Google says, "<ip> accessed a different webpage with a +1 button two seconds later, and the user was logged into their google profile..." they could automatically put the two together, and with Wikipedia being one of the largest sites in the world, Google might've created a few special web crawling routines to harvest data from it. Just theorizing.

Decent theory, but I have a dynamic IP from my ISP, and my contributions to Wikipedia were about 5 or 6 years ago (long before Google+), so I wouldn't expect my IPs to match.

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TBH, the Internet is getting scarier.

 

Pretty much the reason why I don't post stuff on FB page, or link anything to anything else.  Every account gets their own email address.

Edited by alnite

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TBH, the Internet is getting scarier.

 

Pretty much the reason why I don't post stuff on FB page, or link anything to anything else.  Every account gets their own email address.

damn, every account get's it's own email address must be kindof insane to keep track of after a bit.

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damn, every account get's it's own email address must be kindof insane to keep track of after a bit

My girlfriend manages this by having her own domain name with an unlimited number of email accounts associated with it. So her FB email address is facebook@hername.com, her myspace email address is myspace@hername.com, etc.

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damn, every account get's it's own email address must be kindof insane to keep track of after a bit

My girlfriend manages this by having her own domain name with an unlimited number of email accounts associated with it. So her FB email address is facebook@hername.com, her myspace email address is myspace@hername.com, etc.

just seems like a bit overkill, although thinking about it, you'd essentially be able to discover what site's are selling your email to advertiser's.

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My GD.net profile page doesn't list my email, except to people logged in as moderators... but one day I got a personalized email from a google HR representative asking me if I'd like to apply for a job, and they referenced posts that I'd made on this board!
 
They definitely know a lot about everyone.
 
On topic, but regarding Facebook --
Maybe 5 years ago, I signed up to Facebook with a fake account in a fake name ("Bill"), with an old email (also made under the same fake namewhich I use for things that might spam me), because I was going to an event that was being organized on there.
Recently, Facebook has started sending emails to this address trying to entice me to start using this long-idle account. The scary part is, most of these emails are in the form of "Hey Bill, do you know *person*, *person* or *person*?", and I shit you not, about 50% of the people it lists I've never heard of, but the other 50% are either high-school friends, university friends, colleagues (past and present -- from every different job I've ever had), current close friends or even family.
I've not logged into that account for years, and somehow, it has a really good idea of the institutions and workplaces that I've attended!
thinking about it, you'd essentially be able to discover what site's are selling your email to advertiser's.
For anyone with gmail, I'd recommend you do the same thing to catch out people who on-sell emails.
You can add "+anything" to the end of your email address, and it still goes to the same gmail account.
e.g. if you're "bill@gmail.com", you can sign up to gd.net with "bill+gdnet@gmail.com" and you'll know they've on-sold your details if you get spam to that address happy.png Edited by Hodgman

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My GD.net profile page doesn't list my email, except to people logged in as moderators... but one day I got a personalized email from a google HR representative asking me if I'd like to apply for a job, and they referenced posts that I'd made on this board!
 
They definitely know a lot about everyone.
 
On topic, but regarding Facebook --
Maybe 5 years ago, I signed up to Facebook with a fake account in a fake name ("Bill"), with an old email (also made under the same fake namewhich I use for things that might spam me), because I was going to an event that was being organized on there.
Recently, Facebook has started sending emails to this address trying to entice me to start using this long-idle account. The scary part is, most of these emails are in the form of "Hey Bill, do you know *person*, *person* or *person*?", and I shit you not, about 50% of the people it lists I've never heard of, but the other 50% are either high-school friends, university friends, colleagues (past and present -- from every different job I've ever had), current close friends or even family.
I've not logged into that account for years, and somehow, it has a really good idea of the institutions and workplaces that I've attended!

thinking about it, you'd essentially be able to discover what site's are selling your email to advertiser's.
For anyone with gmail, I'd recommend you do the same thing to catch out people who on-sell emails.
You can add "+anything" to the end of your email address, and it still goes to the same gmail account.
e.g. if you're "bill@gmail.com", you can sign up to gd.net with "bill+gdnet@gmail.com" and you'll know they've on-sold your details if you get spam to that address happy.png

your story is quite scary, my dad asked me the same question when he first started using facebook, and the only response i could give him was that it might be linking people who had tried to search for him in the past, although reading that you used fake names, and it still discovered your real friends is just....scary....

 

also, that tid-bit with adding + to gmail emails is actually handy to know, thanks=-)

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I think this whole "web 2.0" stuff is really setup to collect as much data about unaware people as possible to the sell targeted ads. And really, why do you need to post on FB when you could just email a selected few of your friends with what you wanna tell them? This picture I saw somewhere really makes this visible:

http://www.ethannonsequitur.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/facebook-and-you-pigs-450x360.jpg

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Fact: If you're logged into your Google account, google can automaticly detect what pages you view if that page contains a +1. (Facebook does the same thing with 'Like'). Poor theory: Maybe they somehow detect you 'submitting' the text in some way?

 

I wonder, does this also happen for sites with Google Analytics? This seems to be like 99.99% of sites on the internet right now, it's practically impossible to find a site that doesn't have that.

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This is serious shit. A run a search on myself a few times per year but so far I never found anything even remotely as scary as that!

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I had the same problem with Facebook, I created a brand new account a few days ago due to some personal life requirements (I deleted my old one like years ago) and the thing instantly came up with lots of people I knew, including people I talk to on Skype only. It's ridiculous.

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"does this also happen for sites with Google Analytics?"

 

As far as I know (which is more than a guess), it does not.

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This is serious shit. A run a search on myself a few times per year but so far I never found anything even remotely as scary as that!

If you're paranoid about your information getting out, that's about the last thing you should do. Typically, if I recall correctly, the number one name a person typically looks for on search engines, when you remove celebrities, is their own name.

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damn, every account get's it's own email address must be kindof insane to keep track of after a bit

My girlfriend manages this by having her own domain name with an unlimited number of email accounts associated with it. So her FB email address is facebook@hername.com, her myspace email address is myspace@hername.com, etc.

I do this too, I think it's a good idea. I view them all through my old gmail address though :P Should probably go with a real email client at some point....

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I trust duckduckgo which claims to do pure searching.

And by the way, how does it knows I'm searching about myself and not one of the other three guys with same name and surname (and in 1 case, age)?

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My GD.net profile page doesn't list my email, except to people logged in as moderators... but one day I got a personalized email from a google HR representative asking me if I'd like to apply for a job, and they referenced posts that I'd made on this board!

 

But that might be manual search which is much easier - they found something you wrote here and decided to check you out. A bit of digging around turns up all kinds of things. Are you sure your GD account doesn't allow GD to pass your name onto interested companies, some sites do this.

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