Friday, May 13, 2011

Google Blackmailing Users to Obtain Their Mobile Phone Numbers?

Activist Post

Internet users, who may have one or multiple accounts through Google, whether they’re for Gmail, YouTube, Blogger, AdSense, or other services, now seem to be forced to give Google their mobile phone number in order to maintain their services.

Surely, the message below has now been seen by nearly all users:


The message prompts users to give their mobile phone number to receive an automated call with a security code to verify their account in order to reinstate it.  In the past when account discrepancies arose, Google simply asked for verification through a “recovery” email account.  There are no explanations from Google as to why this method has been insufficient enough to now appear to require the mobile phone number of all users.

For many users, Google provides services vital to operating a business.  It may be a blog that generates income, a popular Youtube channel, or simply emails that must be answered by professionals.  In today’s world, when these services are blocked for even 24 hours, many stand to lose tremendous potential.

It is for this reason that if Google users have no choice but to submit to further personal data forfeiture, it can only be viewed as forced submission, or drop Google services.  Because Google has grown so large, if this new requirement becomes mandatory, it will surely affect a large portion of Internet users.

With the recent spate of stories concerning smart phone tracking and lawsuits against Google for harvesting data illegally, forgive us if we view this recent information request suspiciously.  This not only means Google will obtain your phone number, but potentially the ability to track your movements via that data.



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51 comments:

Anonymous said...

The screen shot clearly indicates that the email address and the phone number are both optional, so where is any requirement to provide a cell phone number to maintain services?

Anonymous said...

It is optional, but the point is that many will likely enter it in thinking it not to be optional. They are counting on people not reading, which, unforuntately, many do not do.

Anonymous said...

You're right, this is the old screen shot of this request. The new one only allows the phone number.

Anonymous said...

piss on google use startpage instead google an kiss my ass

Anonymous said...

They let me enter also a bogus number.

Let's use all the same number f. e. the official telephone number of the White House.

Anonymous said...

Been using Startpage lately, and I have to say I am liking it. Down with google!

Ed Hurst said...

Not everyone can make that page go away. Some of my computer ministry clients have taken a lot of harassment from Google for just this sort of thing. Today I'm moving my blog and mail service to MyOpera, and I will allow my Blogger and Gmail account to lapse.

Anonymous said...

I ignored that screen last time I logged in and today got it again. So I entered a number I found for Google in Yahoo answers, (650) 253-0000, into the phone number field.

Anonymous said...

I have been using startpage for several years. Send Google into the abyss!

Anonymous said...

I was presented with this screen yesterday and had the option to skip it. Though it was in very fine print, the option not to enter it was there. Next time, we not have that option...

Anonymous said...

It's not required and you can opt out. Why does activistpost try to stir the sh*t pot? Please...get ALL the facts and report them ACCURATELY. You really are getting as bad as FOX.

Anonymous said...

I just accessed a rarely used GMail account of mine and while the screen appears after login, there's absolutely no need to enter a phone number.

Anonymous said...

There must be different versions of this scam. I got it about 2 months ago and there was NOT an option to opt out. I read the fine print. For 3 days, I kept getting the same message screen wanting my mobile number. No alternative. Let me say this again, I read the fine print. Finally, I just accepted that I would have to let my Google account go, but before I did it, I tried using my home phone number instead. Google called with a code. I put the code in, and my account was unlocked. No way in hell was I about to give them my mobile number. And it IS blackmail and they should be charged with such.

Jack

Anonymous said...

So that's what you're going with? "most won't read the word 'Optional'."
If people are that dumb, then they deserve what they're going to get in life.
This is sensationalizing a non-issue. When they force you to reveal your phone #, that would be an issue. Calling it "Blackmail" is ridiculous. You're not forced to do it at all.
Now blackmail would be like Paypal actually FORCING you to put your bank account information on their site. THAT is blackmail.

Anonymous said...

There was no opt-out for me either. There was no 'Remind me later option, it was a phone code or nothing.

I'm changing number in a couple of days anyway, and am already looking for a new email provider. That kind of behavior certainly does not sit well with me.

atexascash said...

The Federal government, which is foreign to the United States of America, which is located in the District of Columbia, which is not part of the United States and which is in fact controlled to a great extent by the international bankers which created the... Federal Reserve and by the laws and rules of the United Nations, whereby this Federal Washington D.C. state or country, has set itself up as a control over the United States of America as a quasi-government.
www.stopthepirates.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

It's just Jew World Order bullshit........

Anonymous said...

new accounts require it!!

Anonymous said...

Awhile back on youtube I was asked to link my email address to Google. I never did. Today I went to my youtube account and it stated I needed to sign in with my email address which magically appeared in the sign in screen. I guess it's been linked for me, like it or not. How long will it be the same thing with your phone number?

Anonymous said...

I got the no opt out page the other day and just hit save and continue without entering a number and it let me through to my email. Sneaky bastards... They took the option out but there is no way they can demand that info from you, just make it SEEM like you have to give it to continue. Like I said, sneaky bastards.

Truther said...

I saw this same page & ignored it. Didn't have a problem...but YES, Google, like Facebook, is part of the Internet super spy network.

It seemed optional, but I wouldn't doubt that many Americans would have had trouble logging in without it. Never give Google anything they ask for if it seems unnecessary. Hell, when I signed up for a YT account, I didn't realise it was connected via Google until AFTER I signed up & they had already IDed my location.

Sinister...

But these fools do not scare me. Yes, I visit Rense & promote my interests on YT...what are you going to do about it?

Anonymous said...

False alarm, everyone can unknot your panties now.

Anonymous said...

The ONLY google account I have and use is my youtube account. I've had it for many years, I primarily use it for watching vids and commenting, NEVER had a problem with it at all. I put off "linking" my youtube to a "google account" as long as I possibly could because I am stubborn and resented being forced to do so given my unfavorable feelings about google practices and complete lack of regard for privacy.

I was "prompted" by this screen asking for my mobile number about a week ago, it did NOT give me another alternative. I "X'd" out of the screen and didn't give it another thought. The next time I wend to log into youtube a couple of days later, I got the same prompt and attempted to close it out. At that point, my account was made "unavailable." I shot off a nasty email to google and they responded a couple of days later with an apology email stating that they reinstated it. Not so, what they did was make it so I can log into "google" (with my email address, which is what I used to link my YT account) but my youtube account is G-O-N-E!!! If you search for me on youtube, you get the following message: "(this user) has been terminated due to multiple or severe violations of our Community Guidelines." !!!

I've NEVER violated any TOS with either google or YT, never got any "warnings" or had any other issues. This happened immediately, and ONLY after I refused to provide my mobile. I'm STILL waiting for an answer as to where my YT account went and WHY! I don't plan to let this go without making a BIG stink over it. If anyone has any questions about it, you can email me at divinitybleu at yahoo. I'd be happy to provide the "apology" email from google or what have you.

Anonymous said...

You are all so full of ignorance. It is not optional, it is required. Have you ever tried signing up for a new gmail account now? You're required to hand over a valid cellphone number or you don't get the account. There is no choice in the matter.

Activist said...

Submitted via e-mail:

I recently opened a new email account with gmail to use with my new Lake Michigan rockpicking blog, and I was given precisely no option except to give them my cellphone number in order to register. Perhaps this is their new pro forma if one's IP shows as already having an account with gmail... and note that this wasn't about password recovery, this was to register a new email account at all. I registered the account I'm writing you from (my personal account) nearly a year ago and only got the optional alternate email/mobile phone password recovery page you showed on your posting... this was an entirely different page, and without the confirmation number given me over my cellphone I would not have been able to open the new account.

So much for online anonymity.

Catherine

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
new accounts require it!!
May 14, 2011 8:46 AM


All new accounts require phone number now; I first noticed this about a year and half ago. There is no longer an 'opt out'. Outside of the occasional youtube, I don't use anything related to google. I stopped using google after the 'rumors' years ago linking them with cia.

anon 5:59 PM - It's simple, you wouldn't comply and you brought attention to yourself. I knew youtube would start this sort of garbage after google bought it. This here is fascist corporatocracy horseshit at its finest. Land of the free and home of the brave.

http://www.shtfplan.com/headline-news/americans-everything-you-do-is-monitored_05052011

Amerika is fast going down the sewer folks, there's no mistake about it. It's only gotten this far because you've let it happen. Either you do something about it or you get sucked down the shit-hole with it. Personally, I won't miss any of it when its gone because something much, much better is going to replace it soon enough... :)

..peace..

"And Orwell's hell/a terror era coming through/But this little brother's/watching you too/watching you too." ratm

Anonymous said...

What is the problem with giving them your phone number? What are they going to do with it? They already can track you through your use of google maps on your phone. Fact is, we already live in a police State. Cameras everywhere, everything is registered, everything is traced. The war for freedom is lost - well, it was never fought! Just give them your number, turn up your MTV, drink some more Aspartame, eat some MSG and drink some Fluoride.

Anonymous said...

I've bypassed this screen, probably, two dozen times. Just enter nothing and hit save/continue. You don't have to enter anything at all.

Anonymous said...

Inconceivable as it may seem, some people neither have nor want a cellular phone. Being among them,I have to wonder. Does this mean I'm no longer connected to the Matrix?

Anonymous said...

Startpage is now "enhanced" by google. Not so safe ya think?

Anonymous said...

They did it to me, too. I had no alternative. No opt out option. I had to put in my number, so I could open my mail.

Anonymous said...

They did the same thing with Youtube where at first it was only optional, then they refused to let me login until I provided a cell phone number. I refused and therefore only use youtube anonymously. I think they will the same with gmail eventually. Time to find a new email home...

Anonymous said...

do you mean completly new acct because otherwise this is just scare mongoring i realize the big picture of what kind of control is progressivly being forced upon us. However i have many g mail accts and i just opened a new one to test this i provided no number at all I also have a you tube acct.Final note i dont trust google at all though not at all nor fb just be aware knowledge is power people and remain people not sheople

Anonymous said...

... and after happily using gmail for a few months until Google announces there is "unusual activity" on your account. The only way I can regain access to my accounbt is to provide my mobile number, to which Google sends a code for me to key in. Then I have to login in again and change my password. Any strange emails? No. So what going on Google? You really wanted my mobile number?

Anonymous said...

Google is a business, no one is forcing you to use thier service. they make the rules with thier business and if you havent realized google makes android phones, its made google+ and this is most likely an attempt to get people to connect them to their smart phone since most people use thier phones more then computers now a days

Anonymous said...

I live in the UK and have had a youtube accounbt for years with the same email address as a log in. But yesterday this prompt came up for a mobile phone number, I reloaded the page and have yet to see it. However, should I need to log in to youtube from another pc, it would be interesting to see if that prmpt appears again. I thought at first it was a scam but am not so sure.

Anonymous said...

Quote: "Google is a business, no one is forcing..."

It's pure arrogance. If it WASN'T pure arrogance, on the google sign up page google would say IN A LARGE FONT something like:

"We delete all records of your mobile number used for signup, after 7 days, guaranteed"

It's pure arrogance.

Anonymous said...

is safe to give your mobile number to youtube upgrade upload (more than 15 min) ? pls answer

Anonymous said...

I wanted to login in my youtube account today, which is linked to my Google account, and Google said it locked my account for unusual activity.
I did travel to an other part of Germany but they FORCE ME to give my phone number in order to unlock it.

I hate Google for doing this and I will give up all their services. There is no way in hell I will give them my phone number. How exactly is my phone number a "safe" way for them to check weather it is me or someone elese. The era of control has started

Anonymous said...

They are becoming a wildly sinister company. Their recent decision to bring all services, accounts, and data tracking under one umbrella was a big move. And as much as I hated the idea of SOPA, I think it's interesting that Google fought so hard against it, and then announced the new user policy just a few days after SOPA failed to pass. With each new power that Google bestows on itself, it becomes less and less innovative, less easy to use, more invasive, and plain 'ole evil. I have begun to hate this company, and am taking steps to switch my e-mail accounts to private domains and servers. Kiss mine Google.

Anonymous said...

Ironic that we are posting using Google Blogger, however After telling them for MONTHS, "No, I would NOT like to give you my cell phone number to link to my account", they have now blocked my gmail access from my smart phone as of today. They justify it by saying they now require an "application-specific password" for the mobile device that you must use with your smart phone. Oh and to use that, you have to use to use '2-factor security' which requires you to give them your cell phone number. Again, kiss my a$$, creepy company. Time for another email provider, or growing my own private domain/server.

Anonymous said...

You are not forced to enter a phone number. There is no blackmailing going on. This article cannot be considered journalism and can even be considered downright lying. There are many issues that are truly nefarious that need to be shown the light of day (many from Google and their misdeeds, but this is not one of them); writing an article like this with lies does everyone a disservice and is nothing more than sensationalism at its worst. Press the save and continue button without entering a phone number and continue using the service if you so choose. If you do not like the way Google does business, then use another service, simple as that.

Anonymous said...

This is ridiculous, people who insist that there is no option, people who insist there is. Some saying it is a fact that there is a skip option. Some saying there isn't. Has it occurred to anyone that both may be the case? It may have to do with frequency of use, date of opening the account, or even possibly random. They could be phasing their changes or just waiting on an opportunity. I am not sure but just because you haven't experienced it doesn't mean it doesn't happen.
True there will be those that miss the opt out just as much as those to choose not to actually check and profess that they know.

I don't know if is is required on new accounts, I haven't tried so I am not going to try to attest to that. I know that used to ask me which i always opted out of, I know that I updated my Firefox 10 days ago, and I know that, ever since that, I can't log into google.
They requested my phone number to prove my identity. There is an alternate, which was drawn out, requested info that was irrelevant like my frequent flyer number, which they wouldn't have to compare to, and then said that they would send me a reply to my alternative contact address. When I got the reply they requested a credit card account to continue verification. So my choice is either give them my phone number or my credit card number.

I agree that is isn't extortion (The practice of obtaining something, esp. money, through force or threats). No one is forcing you to give the information although, depending on what you might have in their servers, it may feel that way. However, I don't agree that this being bogus just because it hasn't happened to you. The article isn't nefarious or misleading.
I wouldn't necessarily call it journalism, more of an opinion post. It is their option that requiring a phone number to continue to use their services equates to blackmail. If google singled someone out knowing what information they have and used it to get more information, it would be arguably extortion. However establishing new albeit unpopular requirements to be phased in to include everyone isn't extortion just bad business practices.

I know that there will be those that will claim that I have no proof. If I could I would attach a picture to prove there is no opt out as well as additional screen captures with unrelated requests.

Anonymous said...

There just might be a Save and Continue, but
it is probably on the bottom part of the phone demand
blackmailing form, which they have carefully
hidden on my screen.

I had a battle with Facebook,who wanted to present my phone number online, and eventually
won that battle, but I cannot see a way clear to
win this one with Hotmail. I only hand out my
phone number to family, friends, or business without a hidden agenda.

Anonymous said...

Try to get a google account now without a cell phone.

Google, along with most other large email and internet service providers are under extreme pressure from US authorities to reduce the anonymity of the internet. While certainly not fool proof (get a Trak phone with cash) cell phones are an instant link to most peoples real identity.

That is the reason why there is so much of this going on now. To the authorities America is a nation of suspects.

Anonymous said...

Google did this to me and one week later my cellphone number which was 100% spam free for years got about 20 spam chains from different sites and adds companies, what is even worse there were people calling me at 2 AM and about 4 to 5 times a week from the very same number, harassing me at all times and hanging the phone, why? because they check to see if the number is still in service, AT TWO IN THE MORNING.

Anonymous said...

Here's a handy little tip:

just ignore that garbage, go the to url box and type on https://mail.google.com.

Should take you right to you inbox without having to supply the requested data.

Anonymous said...

Google just blocked my account citing "Suspicious activity" and forced me to supply a phone number to unblock it. They failed to mention what the suspicioius activity was. There was no getting around it - I had to supply a phone number to get back into my account - see https://support.google.com/accounts/answer/181513?hl=en. Goodbye freedom - welcome to the new world of internet slavedom

Anonymous said...

I am trying to create a google drive group for my class to have students share documents etc... but I can't because I refuse to give my phone number to Google. Shame on them, will look elsewhere for my services. Bing here I come.

Anonymous said...

I think it is done for secret services purposes because everything usually has official and unofficial purposes. In that matter looks that maybe FBI, CIA, etc orgs are interested to secretly spy on users. For example if trying to connect from different IP addresses they waiting for opportunity to have excuse to determine your private personal data by blocking Your access; supposedly someone tried to brake in the account. Then they force U to disclose the phone number to totally check U out. Sometimes just regular, not engaged, crew of google do not know what exactly is it 4. Of course they have not been informed by those services for they are not their crew. Everybody is given a lot of blah blah blah about possibility of burgle and gulps that without hesitation. At first glance looks justified but if think deepen, there could be other the hidden purpose namely to overcontrol U. This is my thinking.

Anonymous said...

this is why I left GooglePlus because of all the negative comments and why Google needs Phone Number? It is personal and against the rules to post phone numbers on the Internet, I learned this in school, and they tell you "Never give your personal info, full name, phone or address....." Thanks Google, for opening up a person's account when is not private no more!

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