Google. Who’s Watching You? – TimesOnline

You only have to spend a few hours in the Googleplex, talking to Mayer and fellow Googleytes, to realise that, if anything, Schmidt was being conservative. Instead of worrying that they are going too far, Google’s top team talk, with poker faces, about a “300-year mission” that will eventually see almost everything – including, perhaps, one day you and me – linked to the web and searchable online.

Google = Creepy

There, I finally stated it publicly. The article containing the excerpt quoted above, illuminates Google’s long-term plans… And they really creep me out! I am a very private person, and I would really like to keep things that way. This is also why I don’t Twitter. Nobody needs to know what I’m doing at all times. Nobody!

Until the last two or three years, I thought that Microsoft was the creepiest corporation, now I firmly believe that Google has overtaken them as being the creepiest corporation in the world. Sure, there’s Blackwater, but at least they don’t kill you softly while you’re thinking that they’re doing you a favor. I dislike Google for the same reason I dislike Microsoft, they are too powerful. Power corrupts, and Google grows more powerful each and every day, as we feed their ravenous information machine by allowing them to control every aspect of our involvement with the Internet. They do this in much the same way that Microsoft overwhelmingly dominates aspects of what we do at the PC level. I find this deeply disturbing.

Incidentally, this is why I have always been a Mac person. I can’t abide any one company controlling so much of what I do. This is also why I continue to use Bloglines, and MapQuest instead of Google Reader, and Google Maps. Don’t get me wrong, I think Microsoft has some great products, their Operating System isn’t one of them, nor is their browser. The same can be said for Google, they have a fantastic search product that is second to none. However, on a personal level I refuse to use their suite of webapps (email, mapping, documents, etc…) for the sake of simple convenience as doing so places far too much power in their hands. I would like to, becasue they offer some really nice tools, but I don’t trust them. INFORMATION IS POWER, and we are once again (like Microsoft) creating a monopoly. Only this time it’s a monopoly over information, which is much more insidious than a monopoly over software.

I find this even more disconcerting considering today’s political climate, with The USA Patriot Act, the liberal use of National Security Letters, ubiquitous wiretapping, the execution of extraordinary rendition, and without Habeas Corpus as a safety net. Google is the ultimate Web 2.0 application, sadly, I believe they are leading us toward an information abyss where Google, or Google’s “partners,” and our own government will profile and track people based on what they are reading, writing, who they are conversing with, where they are going, and ultimately what information they seek. This is very creepy, and will undoubtedly lead to consequences contrary to Google’s core philosophy of making money “without doing evil.”

I like the idea of having all of my information in one place, and utilizing one portal to access it, however, even if Google has the best of intentions, they are creating a monster that can, and surely will be twisted into something perverse by people with other agendas… This is Human Nature, and until that changes, the World isn’t ready for Google’s vision of the future.

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~ by Woeful on October 21, 2007.

15 Responses to “Google. Who’s Watching You? – TimesOnline”

  1. [...] Check it out! While looking through the blogosphere we stumbled on an interesting post today.Here’s a quick excerptThis is also why I continue to use Bloglines, and MapQuest instead of Google Reader, and Google Maps. Don’t get me wrong, I think Microsoft has some great products, their Operating System isn’t one of them, nor is their browser. … [...]

  2. [...] Check it out! While looking through the blogosphere we stumbled on an interesting post today.Here’s a quick excerpt I m doing at all times. Nobody! Until the last two or three years, I thought that Microsoft… Microsoft, they are too powerful. Power corrupts, and Google grows more powerful each and every day… involvement with the Internet. They do this in much the same way that Microsoft overwhelmingly dominates… t get me wrong, I think Microsoft has some great products, their Operating System isn t one of them…. INFORMATION IS POWER, and we are once again (like Microsoft) creating a monopoly. Only this time [...]

  3. I have to say that deep inside I have a lot of the same fears. I do use a lot of Google apps because they are great and make my life simpler. But I agree that Google just has way too much power and this post really made me stop and think about how much of my ‘online life’ I let Google control. Maybe it’s time for a change.

  4. Hi…

    Like with every issue in life, there are two ways of looking at the debate around the Internet and the knowledge it generates for companies like Google.

    As a voracious consumer of the internet, I would like to believe that the knowledge google gathers, goes towards providing me with better, more intuitive services.

    On the other hand, I’d hate to think the knowledge is being used against me or someone else… like by evil corporations in many hollywood films.

    Thus the dilemma.

    Do we begin with the premise that all people (hence corporations) are evil, and hence need to be cut down at the first signs of them showing strength?

    Or do we base our thinking on trust and acknowledge the fact that power is not always abused?

    I believe our efforts need to be focussed on generating knowledge and then working to harness its power positively. Rather than focussing our efforts on fighting knowledge, in the belief that it will be used negatively.

    My two bits worth.

    Thank You.

  5. That is pretty creepy.
    I mean.. people watching every move you make on the interent…
    All this power in one hand…
    Thats pretty scarey.

  6. They have good products, but (with the exception of search) there are others available that are better, or at the very least competitive. Is Google more convenient? Yes, but is that a good reason to be lazy when there is so much at stake?

    Be suspicious. Anything that looks too good to be true, is. Google has a phenomenal search product, and Microsoft has fantastic business productivity tools, but why not spread the wealth?

    … And why you’re at it, turn off the damn GPS tracking device in your cell phone too!

  7. Thanks for stopping by noshtradamus! What I’m really getting at is diversification, the wolf likes to have all of your eggs in one basket… And usually he’s hungry. Keep in mind, that the overriding motive of any corporation is to make money… Factor in political, and theological concerns, and things can get ugly quick. I’m suspicious of their motives, and subsequently, feel more comfortable utilizing a number of various services for my digital needs.

    Hi klubmed! Thanks for chiming in.

  8. Oh Woeful. It’s been nice knowing ya (said with sarcasm just in case the google cops hunt you down and gut you like a fish).

  9. Hi,
    first of all we tend to get too dragged away with what is “cool” and what is “needed” to conduct our lives properly.. agree with you, nobody needs to know what I am doing, thinking or planning right now, I have got a pretty good relationship with myself to suffice my ego :-).. then, there are people who really need to keep in touch with me, and so there is a phone, text msges, email, a knock on the door, whatever.. but not all is applicable to everyone, and less of that to every aspect of my life. And I do not suffer if I am not twittering about…
    It is incredible how I can see some sort cyber-personality disorders coming our way..I trust some people may already feel “not right” in the cyber-world ’cause they have little friends on MySpace, no twitters in inbox, a poorly designed avatar and so forth… people have allowed bytes to run physical existence and cyber powerhouse to influence, as TV did, our thinking and behaviours, so much for Internet being a free place…. most interestingly of all, they are asking or questing for feedback, which we kindly oblige, just to put it right eventually…de-convergence is becoming the next “cool”, being a “critical” user of features demonstrate more intelligence than being a “systematic” user of whatever has been thrown your way..
    what a life, bless the ol’ library..

  10. Who’s to say they’re not already recording everything we do? I’m not trying to be paranoid, but unless you’re a hacker and you can disguise your ISP, they already know what household accesses what information. The newer laptops I’ve seen have fingerprinting technology that only the registered owner can use it. But there’s a easy way of getting your fingerprint in a database, not to mention everything you look at online can be traced back to you.

    Then there’s that My DNA Fragrance company who creates your very own unique perfume based on your DNA (you send a swab of your cheek and they extract your DNA).

    Are people really that dumb? Or are they just asleep?

  11. [...] [via, inspired] Tags: Google, google information, google search, igoogle, pestaola Σχετικά posts: [...]

  12. There is a major court case going on in California, something like the dead celebrity clause, which their governor has commented on, due of course to his personal stake in his image, likeness, friends, and family. it’s all a bit silly at first, but it is a row over the likeness of marilyn monroe, do her photos belong to her estate, or the photographers son? Tough call… So who owns your “likeness’ and are your thoughts “yours” once they on-line. Why could Go ogle take anything hat belongs to me if i wish it not to be so, for instance, maybe, iYahoo my search results, or maybe i am a “Lycos” dude, my point being, why Doesn’t Google have a say, why at all? iT is alarming, concerning, and a 300 year plan really quite is a juggernaut of a nut to crack, personally, i think we do have a say, and they are the ones with little right to capture my bad grammar, spelling errors, and personal photos/videos, i post with no intention of letting some company, track log, and connect to as many things a spossible, but of course Google and the search engines are (criminally) invasive and as cunning as possible incorporated in other countries so they cannot be shut down… for as long as pure-for-profit capitalism ticks, this will be one nut we can’t easily crack.

  13. Well for starters if you hate google so damn much maybe you should get rid of your gmail account! Number two the reason you use a mac is because you are a lefty all you left wingers use mac it the same type of computer that Hillary uses!

  14. “being a “critical” user of features demonstrate more intelligence than being a “systematic” user” — So true, 88days!

    Dianarn, thanks for commenting! I haven’t really given the fingerprint recognition technology any thought… CREEPY.

    Thanks for coming by ThunkDifferent. We do indeed have a say, I wish people wouldn’t jump on the bandwagon with abandon…

    Hi Dave! I love Google, I just don’t want them involved in every aspect of my cyberLife. LOL, “the same type of computer that Hillary uses!” :-)

  15. More on that??? the GPS enabled mapping services, to see and track down your whereabouts, always…how hard is it to answer to the question “Ehi mate, where are you???”.. I cannot find a good reason to have that as a hype amongst youngsters..perhaps they are still so innocent and tribe-based??? In dare need of social recognition?? Or simply dumb??
    Still, why getting so accustomed to leave traces of our lives?? It is so weird…

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