Tuesday, February 20, 2007

The Big Brother of the Internet: Google.
So you really like Google, use it for searching, check your mails on it, link to your friends on Orkut, blog away on Blogger, create web pages on Google Page Creator, organize images using Picasa, shop using Froogle, read news using Google Reader, publish scraps of info using Google Notebooks, edit documents using Google Spreadsheets, find maps using Google Maps, view your home using Google Earth, soon you will be operating on Google OS....

Doesn't this sound like a monopoly of sorts? Not that you are forced into opting for Google products, its just that there are no good alternatives. So, what does all this mean for an average guy? It means that everything about your online "personal" life has a record on some Google server and you and I can't do anything about it. (I mean, I doubt that sending a mail to Google, asking them to delete all your private data would even elicit a response.) It all depends on how much you value your privacy. For me, I value it a lot but because of Google's sterling track record, I'm comfortable in entrusting private information to it. But that doesn't stop people from worrying about what "computer analysis" can be done to your private data in order to "catalog" you in the pecking order of the internet. Anunay was bothered with the same thought and came to more or less the same conclusion.

Anunay has posted a very nice reflective article here and if you bother to "Google" - "Google as Big Brother" , there will be plenty of good articles that will tell you why you should be wary of Google. Check out this article on google-watch.org(there it is again, the 17th time in this article) that I liked because of its objectivity, though I don't agree completely with all its points. In the end, you have to decide about the level of trust you are willing to put into a "monopolistic" data warehousing company. For the more privacy inclined, have a look at Scroogle. Oh, and don't forget to educate yourself here.