On walkabout in life and technology

Google Already Is Big Brother

You can, and probably already do, most of these without paying any money (in no particular order):

  1. Use Google’s browser Chrome to visit web pages, which tell Google Analytics what you did
  2. Find information using Google Search, which tracks and saves your searches, search attempts and selections; with the results customized by Google’s model of you
  3. Jump to your favorite sites using a Google Toolbar extension or built-in search that checks each site you visit
  4. Send and receive all your personal email via Gmail (and probably work emails too), analyzed and filtered by Postini
  5. Find out whats going on (and should be going on) in your life and around you using Google Now
  6. Chat with others on Google Talk
  7. Schedule your life in Google Calendar
  8. Maintain your relationships and connections in Google Contacts
  9. Socialize via Google+ and participate in Google Groups
  10. Use Google Maps for locating yourself and getting around
  11. Check in with Google Latitude
  12. Use a Google phone (Android) for mobile calls, using a Motorola or Nexus handset
  13. Call internationally using Google Voice
  14. Read the news via Google News and get your feeds via Feedburner
  15. Watch TV and other Video on YouTube
  16. Read books from Google Books
  17. Listen to tunes from Google Play
  18. Find a restaurant using Zagat
  19. Plan you next vacation on Frommers
  20. Log in to other services using your Google ID and OAuth
  21. Save and share your personal photos on Picasa
  22. Purchase stuff via Google Shopper using Google Wallet
  23. Save your files on Google Drive
  24. Track your shares and investments on Google Finance
  25. Click on ads served by Google, DoubleClick, AdMob, AdMeld, Teracent, and AdScape
  26. Create, edit and collaborate using Google Apps
  27. Write your blog on Blogger
  28. Save your code on Google code
  29. Access the internet over Google fiber (OK, so this costs some money)
  30. And then there’s bookmarks, offers, iGoogle, translation, alerts and scholar.

Not sure? Click the above links and see how many redirect to a personalized view for you versus a public common page. I was surprised how many were personalized for me.

If you are mostly-in on Google, you have no secrets from Google. Your data is sold to nameless, faceless corporations who are Google’s true customers. Your access to information is screened and controlled by Google’s mysterious algorithms, filtering, service terms and whims which work for the greater good. Your screen is filled with targeted advertising based on Google’s knowledge of you and what they think people like you would or should like.

Clearly, Google is the Big Brother out of Orwell’s 1984 that we mindlessly volunteered our precious secrets to and blindly follow its recommendations. But it’s so easy and convenient and cheap and “I’ve got nothing to hide”.


Follow the author as @hiltmon on Twitter and @hiltmon on App.Net. Mute #xpost on one.