Thursday, March 1, 2012

Google - Please Stop Trying to Control My Life

Back in the good old days I had a cell phone and an email account and they were two very different things. The people I emailed were not necessarily people I'd call and vice versa.

Enter in the age of the Android phone. I'm finding that Google are desperately trying to match up my email contacts to my phone contacts. So friends who I've known for years have suddenly got photos of random people I met on Google Plus associated to them. It's quite disconcerting answering the phone trying to figure out which "Simon" or "Fiona" it is I'm going to be talking to. Someone I knew 5 years ago who's still in my phone or someone who I met on Google Plus last year?

Have you noticed the little notice that Google products keep popping up with?

We're changing our privacy policy and terms. This stuff matters.

The whole data mining thing has taken on new wings. The information collected from all of Google's services will be collated across multiple products. So what you write in a blog and what blogs you visit can be collated against what you search for or what sort of emails you receive. Have you actually had a look at the text ads in your gmail? They're targetted based on the contents of your email. It's horribly scary. How much does Google really know about me? In Google Plus they made sure they had the name I'm known in meat space by. With my phone they probably have a fairly good idea of where I am at all times. They know what sort of work I do and probably have a fairly good grasp on my work ethic and competency.

Never mind Facebook and their data mining. Google have it sorted and collated and associated to a real person. There is something insidious about Facebook as well but to do that post I'd have to steal an idea from someone (though she told me the idea around 3 months ago and hasn't written the post yet so I'm tempted).

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