First of all, nowhere else is the old adage more true than with Google: if you don’t know what the company is trying to sell you, then they are trying to sell you. Gmail, Google Docs, Google Search, and every other service provided by Google is free. They make money by collecting information about you to tailor advertising, which they sell to others. This should come as a surprise to nobody: why else would Google offer such versatile and useful products for free?
I was honestly surprised that before now, Google was not agglomerating information from all of the different services that Google offers. So for them to do so now is not terribly concerning to me: I think that more targeted YouTube searches, for example, would be useful. If I worry about my searches, I can use Chrome’s incognito mode, or maybe DuckDuckGo. I can get rid of my Google account, shutting off my Gmail, Google+, and everything else. Would it be a pain? Of course. But as a non-paying customer, what do I expect?
Two issues about Google’s collection of information have the potential to bother me. The first is whether they sell that information to third parties, and they say that they don’t. Should that change without an opt-out, that would be a different ball game. The second, and probably more important, is how well they are actually securing the data they collect. To date, Google has not had any major data breaches that I am aware of. They seem to do a pretty good job securing their data. Again, if that changes in the future, that would be concerning, but at the same time, let’s be honest: plenty of companies have a far worse record when it comes to securing personally identifiable information. Zappos lost my data, and I’m not severing ties with them.
- Current Mood: Bang
- Currently Listening To: "Purple Rain", Prince