Space Ramblings

How Evil is Google Now?

Okay let’s see now.

Collaborating with the PRC Dictatorship to censor information to China in order to make money. Check.

Eavesdropping on your conversations in order to sell you ads. Check.

Eavesdropping on gamers to sell you ads. Check.

Running an increasingly useless search engine cluttered with bad results. Check.

Doing nothing to improve search results while instead changing around the interface for no good reason. Check.

Buying DoubleClick (itself evil) to better track you. Check.

Now the mere mention of the name of DoubleClick all along was enough to set the hearts of EFF types and privacy advocates trembling. DoubleClick’s terrifying database added to Google– which tracks your search results, tracks your emails and does its best to track you– is the kind of unnerving thing that quickly leads to speculation about Orwellian nightmares and bedwetting episodes involving people from the Google Campus planting microchips in your brain (they’d be colorfully Google branded microchips of course and would allow you to access Gmail just by wrinkling your nose like Samantha on Bewitched) but the basic reality of it, minus the paranoia is that Google is now best positioned to create a wide range snapshot of hundreds of millions of internet browsers and combine data from their browsing, shopping, email and even voice chatting habits into one mega-database that could be everything any futuristic dictator or marketer could possibly want.

Unsettling no?

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