Whoops.... Google just made another boo boo, or did it?

Rob Williams

Staff member
I am lost with this story. In one camp, people say Google should be hung at the stake, but in the other, Google states that Microsoft is adhering to archaic standards (this wouldn't surprise me... we're talking about IE here).

If Google did in fact do things that override user cookies however, they deserve to be held responsible.


Partition Master
I'm waiting to see if Firefox also has similar problems with Google code; after all I don't think the code wrote itself, and if Google is guilty than I'm also sure that they must have violated Firefox as well, and maybe Opera as well? Then again, Safari and webkit are the biggest browsing platform on the mobile scene and Safari itself generates 2/3 of all search inquiries according to Google:


Partition Master
Then again, Safari and webkit are the biggest browsing platform on the mobile scene

Considering the 2 major phone platforms on the market right now have webkit browsers stock. No one even had to survey that, it could have been guessed by anyone and been guaranteed correct. It just goes without saying.


No ROM battery
Well, my issue with that statement is different. None is a browsing platform. One is a browser, the other an engine. And the browser uses that engine anyways.

What he probably wanted to say was that Safari was the biggest browser on mobile devices. Which probably is true. And that WebKit was the largest browser engine on mobile devices, which is definitely true.

A browsing platform is a PC, or a Macintosh, or iPad or a Android device, etc.

Brett Thomas

Senior Editor
*snicker* ;) Ah marfig, there you go inserting facts into conversations again. Do definitions really matter? ;)

On topic, I, too, am curious to see whether or not Firefox was also subjected to this. For Google to say that it's an archaic standard is one thing - and the company actually points to where MS itself breaks the standard - but it IS still currently a standard and therefore a company that holds the motto "don't be evil" should look at that as still needing to be respected even if others aren't.

After all, when you're the good guy, you simply don't have the same options as the bad guy.


Partition Master
Corporations are set up to reward evil for good. "Don't be evil" sounds like they're setting the bar pretty low, but really it's impossible not to be evil and still make a buck.


No ROM battery
There so many things that went wrong with that Google motto that it isn't surprising they don't explore it anymore.


Tech Monkey
UPDATE: It turns out Facebook and many other sites are using an almost identical scheme to override Internet Explorer's privacy setting, according to privacy researcher Lorrie Faith Cranor at Carnegie Mellon University. "Companies have discovered that they can lie in their [P3P policies] and nobody bothers to do anything about it," Cranor wrote in a recent blog post.

UPDATE 2: Google has gotten back to us with a lengthy reply, arguing that Microsoft's reliance on P3P forces outdated practices onto modern websites, and points to a study conducted in 2010 (the Carnegie Mellon research from Cranor and her colleagues) that studied 33,000 sites and found about a third of them were circumventing P3P in Internet Explorer.

Facebook's "Like" button, the ability to sign into websites using your Google account "and hundreds more modern Web services" would be broken by Microsoft's P3P policy, Google says. "It is well known that it is impractical to comply with Microsoft’s request while providing this web functionality," Whetstone said. "Today the Microsoft policy is widely non-operational."

That 2010 research even calls out Microsoft's own msn.com and live.com for providing invalid P3P policy statements. The research paper further states that "Microsoft's support website recommends the use of invalid CPs as a work-around for a problem in IE."
Wah wah wah, if it was such a problem why is it the RECOMMENDED work-around? All I hear is cring because Google supposedly screwed up with Safari and now they wanna try and say oh they did it with IE too guys!!! How do we know that by default it isn't set up like that due to a lazy coder and IE? Since it is the recommended work around whats to say the guy who did it didn't just say "well it wont mess with any other browser, why do extra work?'

Also, if it was the massive problem it has been made out to be then why would so many other sites INCLUDING Microsoft do the SAME thing?

Oh and BTW, some idiots were asking "I wonder how Chrome handles those P3P Policies" (over on the original site that is) Answer THEY DONT! Nor does Opera Safari OR Firefox only IE has them because only IE is compliant with backwards a** 2002 standards that are not really a standard.

The Platform for Privacy Preferences Project (P3P) is a protocol allowing websites to declare their intended use of information they collect about web browser users. Designed to give users more control of their personal information when browsing, P3P was developed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and officially recommended on April 16, 2002. Development ceased shortly thereafter and there have been very few implementations of P3P. Microsoft Internet Explorer is the only major browser to support P3P. The president of TRUSTe has stated that P3P has not been implemented widely due to the difficulty and lack of value.[1]

Also found a possible reason for all this bad publicity lately for Google, it actually makes sense since they were one of the largest Anti-SOPA supporters:

Because all this pro-SOPA legislation supporters are launching smear campaign against Google (remember WSJ is owned by Rupert Murdoch). Google uses the exploit on Safari to make +1 work on the browser. It is not used to track users. These hired shills by Microsoft and pro-SOPA company are all flocking to techsite to condemn Google.
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No ROM battery
You know, I'm tempted to side with Microsoft. Wait, better, I say Go Microsoft!

Signed, Marfig. Pro anything that messes with +1.