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Don’t Be Evil or Whatevs

October 14th, 2013 - 12:47 pm

Dont Be Evil

Creepy:

Google is facing a backlash over plans to put people’s faces and comments about products and places into adverts.

The “shared endorsements” policy change starts on 11 November and covers the comments, “follows” and other actions people do on Google+.

One protest involves people swapping their profile pictures for that of Google boss Eric Schmidt so his image rather than their own appears on ads.

Google said it had made it easy for people to opt out of the system.

But they’ll still collect and collate and who-knows-what your data.

Reminds me a bit of a digital version of one of the scariest moments of my life. Summer of ’84, I spent a month in Germany with our German teacher and a dozen other 15-year-old boys. We were there during the Los Angeles Summer Olympics — the games the entire Warsaw Pact (minus Romania) had boycotted in protest of… Reagan or whatever. Really it was just payback for our boycott of the 1980 Moscow games. Needless to say, tensions were high.

And there I was with my friends, getting ready to cross a Berlin Wall checkpoint to travel from West Berlin to East.

Guard towers with machine guns, soldiers with automatic rifles — the works. The worst part was sticking your passport through a slot in an otherwise blank concrete wall. You’re standing on unfriendly territory, without your passport, while people you can’t see are doing who-knows-what to it.

Every American ought to experience a police state like that at least once, although right now maybe I should be more careful about what I wish for. But I digress.

Google reminds me a bit of a much-friendlier version of that East Berlin border crossing. In exchange for free services like Google+, Gmail, and Google Docs, you surrender pretty much all your browsing information and tons more — to Google. And what are they doing with all that data and metadata you provide them?

It’s a lot like that slot in the wall in East Germany. You put your data in and Google does …stuff… with it.

Good stuff? Bad stuff? I dunno. Just… stuff.

I avoid Google’s data wall slot as best I can, by using Dogpile as my search engine, using my own, paid-for email as much as possible, and avoid signing in to Google at all. Except when I need Google Voice for conference calls or to upload YouTube videos. The rest of the time I’m signed out and using DoNotTrackMe at all times.

But I get the feeling I’m fighting nothing better than a rearguard action, and probably losing.

Comments are closed.

All Comments   (6)
All Comments   (6)
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Aside from preferring that I get compensated for the use of my personal information -- including my likeness and words in a paid advertisement, hence my opting out of "shared endorsements" -- I have never gotten a satisfactory explanation of what harm I'm supposed to be suffering from having Google or any other company keep records on how I interact with them.

What are they going to do, serve me up targeted ads that I won't click on?
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
Steve,
because you use "do not track me" you must know that your site adds tracking cookies from 4 social sites and 7 companies.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
"covers the comments, “follows” and other actions people do on Google+." - People are actually using Google+ enough for this to be an issue?
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
What is disturbing to me is the affinity Google has for King Obamessiah's fascist admin. Imo there is no better representative for what Mussolini described as "fascism" or "fascist". Google is a fascist enterprise.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
They meant "Don't GET CAUGHT being Evil".
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
Google has already spent hundreds of millions on privacy lawsuits.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
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