Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Dear Google

Dear John Google,
I love you!  I create spreadsheets in GoogleDocs and encourage others to do so too.  I send text messages to Google to get phone number information for businesses around town.  I post videos on YouTube for fun and for my teaching job.  I use GoogleChrome as my Web browser.  When I don’t know how to solve a technical problem, I Google it.  This blog is hosted by Google.  I have three different Google accounts and I actually use them all. 
But I feel like you have betrayed me, Google.  I just read an excellent article from NPR about Google’s new privacy rules and it seems that Google isn’t the generous friend I thought it was.  They are mining my email, YouTube activities and searches to provide more targeted advertising.   Sorry, they say they are “providing me with more relevant ads.”  Thanks, but no thanks!  It feels more like they are snooping and selling my secrets to their REAL friends, their advertisers. 
As Thomas Friedman put it in The World is Flat, “Thanks to the new industry called ‘search,’ individuals can now drill down and search out facts, quotations, history and the personal data of strangers as never before.”  And it’s not just individuals searching out facts about me and you, it’s companies with deep pockets and their own agendas.  I have blogged about this issue before here and here.
I am taking action TODAY, because apparently it will be a lot harder tomorrow.  I am going to stop Google from tracking my search history.   And I am going to get into the habit of logging out of Google before I do a search.  I already check my email from a third party application so that part is already done.  Here are some tips about how to limit your exposure while still enjoying  Google.

So, Google, I am not breaking up with you completely but this is no longer a relationship of complete trust and I might start seeing other people.   That cute guy, Bing, called just the other day.

No comments: