3 REASONS TO BE SCARED OF GOOGLE
Google is this generation’s white elephant in the room. Everyone knows who they are. They know more about everyone than any other entity in the world. Today, if you own a computer, if you’re connected to the internet, if you have a phone, you most probably own Google products. You most likely – to use a metaphor – are a Google slave.
How many of us won’t be crippled if Google were to stop existing tomorrow? How many of us are not wedded to our Gmail inboxes? It’s amazing to think that ten years ago, nobody knew about Google, and now it’s the behemoth that is in everybody’s line of vision. And they have a finger in every pie.
Today we’ve put together a list of reasons why we should all be scared of Google.
The Google search engine has a self-proclaimed goal of ‘organising the world’s information’. In 2005, Google’s CEO, Eric Schmidt, said that it would take 300 years to organise all of the world’s information. In the nine years since, the amount of data floating about on the internet has grown more than ten-fold.
How is this scary? In order to give you, the innocent internet browser, the most ‘relevant’ search results, Google keeps tabs on your online behaviour and makes guesses on what data you would find interesting. The flip side of that, of course, is that it knows everything about you. Quite literally. In the world of Google, privacy doesn’t exist.
Oh, yes, the information allows Google to target advertisements for your taste too. It makes most of its money through your information.
The philanthropic image
Google goes to great lengths to portray itself as a humble giant who has nothing but humanity’s goodness at heart. Its unofficial motto is ‘Do no evil’. (Interestingly, much of the evil that has been committed in history has been at the hands of those who claimed to know what ‘good’ and ‘evil’ were.) It nurtures the image of this charitable corporation which gives away applications for free in return for user’s data. Has Google ever sold anything to us? Nope. Has it ever asked anything from us? Nope. All it does is give.
But at its root, Google is a corporation, driven by profits and revenue and market share as much as any other company. How will it react when the tide goes out?
Google is Big Brother
In George Orwell’s dystopian science fiction, the concept of Big Brother, where there is an eye watching everyone, was introduced. In 2010, Eric Schmidt, Google’s CEO, said: ‘We know where you are. We know where you’ve been. We can more or less know what you’re thinking about.’ When asked whether that was not creepy, he went on to clarify that Google’s policy was to ‘get right up to the creepy line and not cross it.’
Er, we think they’ve crossed it already.