Do you like the Google search engine? Yeah? I do too. In fact, I LOVE Google, and basically don’t use any other search engine. Why would I? Google gives great search hits, it’s fast and has that lean, efficient interface that doesn’t get in the way of my searching for information.
Maybe I’m being Ultraparanoid™, but I’d have to say ”NO!”.
”But Google doesn’t know everything about me”, you say. Well, let’s take a look at what Google DO know (or may know), shall we?
If you use GMail, Google reads all your mail. If you use Google Desktop, Google reads every document on your computer. Just those two are enough to give me the creeps. But it gets even worse – a lot worse!
If you use Blogger, Google knows what you’re passionate about. If you’re logged in to GMail or Blogger while searching for something on Google search engine, Google knows what topics you wanna know more about; that is: connecting a search result to a specific person. Google knows what things you’re buying. With the recent purchase of Doubleclick, Google can follow you around as you surf, knowing everything you read about on the Internet.
So, do you trust Google Inc. to not misuse all this information you’re giving them? I sure as hell don’t. In fact, I don’t think you’d have to be Ultraparanoid to see trouble here.
Also, as I’ve previously stated: Ebay/Skype is evil, and Google recently made a deal with eBay to integrate services wich send shivers down my spine. Just imagine combining the staggering electronic surveilance of Google with the communications nightmare that is Skype, bundeled with NSA snooping and you have a Big Brother Bonanza.
So what can you do to avoid this hell?
Well, I for one do not use GMail. I never will. I will never let a search engine/advertising gigant read my mail. Never. Did I say never? I meant NEVER EVER. Even more so, I will never let any company read all the documents on my computer. I don’t even trust the company I work for read all my documents, why would I give that trust to an international conglomerate?
I use Blogger, but I log onto Blogger with another browser than I use for day-to-day browsing and research. I now use WordPress. This still stands, though: using Internet Explorer, Firefox, Opera and Safari for different taskt can do wonders for your privacy.