Google is Watching You
It’s been quite a marriage. 9 years, to be precise.
Back in 2003, I fell for Google the first time, called Google ‘God’, for its ready answers to everything from ‘how to cook a roast chicken’ to ‘what is a large hadron collider’.
The same year, I opened my first Gmail account. Then another. Then I got myself a Google Blog, I got in to Google Chat, worked with Google docs, owned an Android phone for a bit. Last year I got on Google Plus, and began to watch some of my favorite shows on Youtube.
I’ve been married to Google and rely on it on a daily basis almost as much (gasp!) as I do on my real-life husband– and though I joked about how much of my life is lived on my blog and my mails, I did not realize how much of a hold Google had on me till I began to read this: How I divorced Google , of which the following is an excerpt.
When I sit at home, Google (unless I consciously prevent it) knows where I sit, on what machine, and what time of day I’m there. Data is collected not only from the search engine site, but sites that I visit that have Google maps, and so forth. The penetration of Google’s ability to sniff a single individual’s location and preferences is unprecedented. Google knows more about me than my mother.
Then, as I read about cookies, and super cookies and redirected host files, I hit another realization: I’m not equipped to do this—I can’t go after cookies, eliminate super cookies and then evade going to Google sites forever, not only because Google is everywhere, but also because, like a whole bunch of other people, I’m a tech-dunce.
As a writer, I’ve had a few ‘conspiracy-theory-like’ nightmares since, where Google would be able to buy and sell us (it already acquires and uses our info), choose our mates, and decide the fates of our children.
Privacy, once compromised, can lead to any slippery slope, after all.
But for the time being, I’ve decided to ignore these scenarios. It isn’t just Google. All of them do it—Google is just the biggest Shark. So, I’ll go back to my cocoon of the free bounties of Gmails and You tubes and Blogger, and pretend that all is well with me and Google. Isn’t that what most marriages are about, anyway?
When this post publishes, Google will know exactly when and where it was put up, and by whom. In a few years from now, they might decide (and be in a position to) to take action. Who knows, they may do it now–my blog on Blogspot is 4 years old, and I shall be sorry to lose it….!
One thing is sure, they, not me, would have that last laugh. Because, unlike Tom Henderson who managed to divorce Google, I’m both lazy and stupid (besides being a scatterbrained writer).
What is your take on Google? On its Privacy policies? Are you on/ do you use anything Google-related? If, like me, you’re married to Google, have you ever contemplated divorce?