Many of us for the last umpteen years have been repeating that same phrase over and over again, “Google is your friend”, at least those of us not living underneath rocks. The problem with the contentious matter of Google is that, when we used those fond old words for the company that has grown so much so quickly, we were really describing the smaller and friendlier company.
The days when censored search, banned / angry Google Customer Merchant Services customers or Google Adwords preferential advertising were beyond the remit of suspicion or expectation. The days when internet was simple and Google’s results and size was so open and free. Today we see a different world, where Governments, Companies, and International Courts can determine what is and isn’t online. Companies like Google control vast monopolies on Internet services such as adwords (advertising online), adsense (making money from advertising online) and Search (finding stuff online). Even the video’s that we upload and watch on youtube are not within the boundary of the giant. Things like Addresses, telphone numbers and full names are a requirement for registration today, gone are the days of anonymity.
This has actually been taken as far that, if you want to add your URL on facebook community pages, a Phone number is required. Allegedly this is to stop fraud, and so should it be, but unfortunately the side effect and result of such a clause is that innocent people can be tracked so easily, environmentalists, politicians, businesses, the list really is endless.
So the real question is “google, are you my friend?”, right? Well, it’s been made clear a foray of new dangers exist with the emergence of internet technologies and the ever increasing complexity and diversion of principles google search and google search filter algorithms make, there are many other enemies. For instance when we update our facebook with our interests and preferences, many of us may think we are decorating our personal corner on the internet.
Unfortunately for intelligent personnel, nosey people hackers and crackers, or just plane unscrupulousness individuals, have a great target in their cross-hairs, that reveals not only your name, telephone number, and address on the internet, but your social styles, current location, beliefs and interests.
For those of us who value privacy, we must begin to find it hard to utter those famous words “google is your friend”. Indeed, we must eventually ask ourselves if the Internet is still our friend, when it is controlled by unscrupulousness, untrustworthy or exploitious monopoly magnets, we must consider our lives and our conscience in this century deeper and more carefully than ever before.
Today even people like the author have to check his or her phone hasn’t uploaded all of his contact information to Google in the Google Directory, and the user has to consciously go out of their way to remove the spying eye that is big brother. It should be a laughing matter, it should be a joke, but when all these surprising and contemptable facts are true, where can we go, and what can we do? Some of us are not technically able enough to ensure we are secure, and others may not be aware as to the sophistication of search and project algorithm that is used today. If you want the truth then you should look to the most technically minded individuals, such as those that produced FREE and OPEN operating systems and software licenses such as GNU. When you do you find that they consider companies like Google and Microsoft somewhat an Antithesis of free and open proprietary-isation.
Whilst it is true Google and others offer us invaluable services such as Mobile Phone Android OS, and phone number storage on their servers, as well as Google Maps that also means that our business is no longer ours, and the scientists who originally invented the internet , even as a defense missile system for DARPA, might be disgusted by the invasion of exploitation onto it. In any good society we must ask ourselves if that is what the internet is for, Why. And How we could use the internet to benefit humanity around the planet, instead of using it potentially to exploit eachother.
Gone are the days when you would receive filtered search results from Google that you asked for, today we can expect, and have slowly noted the emergence, or rather disappearance of our favourite news sites, websites, even briefly accepted. But what is next?
And, for the doubters or non-technically minded among us, it is not just us writing about this, literally thousands of mainstream news sites, blogs, vlogs, and documentaries are being released these few years to keep the most up-to-date of us reeling for years ,
Build online health profiles
You can enter your health conditions, medications, allergies, and lab results into your Google Health profile and you can name the profile anything you want. You can even create multiple profiles for family members or others you care for.
Import medical records from hospitals and pharmacies
Choose from a list of Google Health partners to see if your hospital or pharmacy can send copies of your medical records or prescriptions to your Google Health profile. This way, you can save an accurate history of your medical conditions, medications, and test results all in one place.
What this means is that Google will have the ability to link your health records to all of the other data they have about you including:
Web pages you visit (Google Analytics, Google toolbar, Google AdSense, DoubleClick Ads, future AdMob ads, etc.)
Search engine queries (IP address, Web history, Google Chrome)
Your physical location at all times (Google Latitude, Google Mobile Maps, Android phones including Nexus One, your IP address when accessing your Google Account, Google Maps direction searches)
The theoretical capability to track your exact physical gestures with your phone (see how cell phone accelerometers make this possible)
Your documents, spreadsheets, and other files (Google Docs, “Gdrive”, Google Desktop)
Your email (Gmail, Google Apps)
Your personal and business connections (Gmail, Google Talk, Google Buzz)
Your credit card numbers and purchases (Google Checkout)
Your phone numbers, calls, and voice mails (Google Voice)
Your photos (Picasa)
Your face recorded with facial recognition technology (Picasa)
and much more…
If you don’t think Google is that creepy, see how